The hydraulic swivel production test system has now been running for a few years at UEA. The test pressure applied on hydraulic swivels for leakage detection varies with the individual ports according to the port functions and customer specifications. Currently we have a manual valve to set up the intended test pressure. The procedure for the pressure setting is to turn a manual valve knob, read a pressure gauge, and then check if the pressure setting meets the requirement. Figure 1 shows the manual valve used to set up a test pressure.
Figure 1 – Manual Setting Test pressure
After a few years of hydraulic swivel production testing, it appears the manual valve pressure setting has deteriorated gradually and is unable to keep up the accuracy as expected by just turning the knob one time. The test technician often needs to repeat the pressure setting process several times using a trial and error approach to achieve the intended test pressure.
In order to improve the test pressure accuracy and enhance testing efficiency, UEA has been developing an auto-setting system to improve the hydraulic swivel production testing process. The idea is to develop an automatic control system to carry out the pressure setting process automatically. By running this system, the technician just inputs the expected test pressure and lets the system automatically set up the desired pressure rather than manually adjusting the pressure back and forth. More specifically, the developed system integrates a pressure transducer, a proportional pressure control valve, a controller, and a data acquisition module with control programming into a closed loop. The control system block diagram is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 – Auto-Setting Test Pressure
This way it is expected that the test pressure setting will be more accurate and efficient, consequently reducing the overall swivel production testing cycle. At UEA, production processes on hydraulic swivels are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility.
Bo Li, CFPE,