Wireless Valve Monitoring System

In this blog, we are going to be explaining a new product: A complete wireless valve monitoring system.

We are going to explain how the system works and all the parts involved.


V-Flow Solutions can provide a complete wireless valve monitoring system.

The field-proven solution provides real-time position-indication to the control system and enables predictive maintenance on actuated valves using its diagnostics capabilities, driving CAPEX and OPEX reduction while increasing safety and productivity for its customers.

Wireless Valve Monitoring System

Benefits of a complete wireless valve monitoring system
The Plant

·         Designed for the process industry

·         For existing plants and new installations

·         Addresses concentration of valves

·         Certified as Zone 1 intrinsically safe

The Solutions

·         Real-time monitoring of valves

·         Full range position and limit indications

·         5 Year battery life

·         Predictive valve failure indications

·         Robust wireless system

·         Redundant mesh network

·         Conforms to industrial standards

·         Fully integrated with all standard automation systems: PLC / DCS / SCADA

·         Easy, non-disruptive and quick implementation on hot lines

·         Fraction of the cost compared to wired alternatives

The Value

·         Increased yield – reduced risk

·         Comprehensive monitoring added to the plant

·         Predictive valve maintenance

·         Eliminates unnecessary shutdowns

·         Improved safety

·         Enhanced operational efficiencies

·         Improved plant profitability – reduced operational costs

·         Improved accountability with increased automation

·         Smooth implementation

·         Quick ROI


·         ATEX approved for Zone-1 intrinsically safe installations

·         TUV/CE Certified

·         Integrated OPC interface to PLC / DCS / SCADA

·         Wireless standards supported: ISA 100.11a and ZigBee Pro

·         Compatible with HART management system

·         Embedded in ISA100

·         IP66

Predictive Maintenance

·         Monitoring of valve opening and closing profiles

·         Detecting of variations from reference profiles

·         Creating alarms and enabling predictive maintenance

·         Adjustable reference profile and limit

Industrial Wireless Monitoring

The wireless monitoring is an end-to-end solution of a sensors network used to monitor various types of valves operating in a process plant. It provides both field and control room operators a comprehensive picture of valve performance status in real time. This system allows for wireless valve monitoring without using cables or any other infrastructure.

The system comprises a small battery-powered Valve Monitoring Device (VMD). It installs on any type of existing or new valve and/or actuator. Mounting options include NAMUR interface for valve actuators or ISO 5211 interface for manual valves. The Valve Monitoring Device collects dynamics-of-state change of an actuated valve, then transmits it as a 64-point packet. This provides preventive data on the actuated valve set.

The system also comprises a network of Valve Monitoring Device Routers that transfer monitoring data from the Valve Devices on a wireless MESH network to the tunnelling VDR. The latter is a last hop VDR that transfers collected data from the VDRs network to RI Wireless Gateway. Several TVDRs can be connected via TCP/IP to RI Wireless Gateway, an industrial computer that manages the RI Wireless system.

RI Wireless Management System is a software management tool. It monitors and reports valve position and health status. WMS provides data in common industrial standard connections to HMI, DCS and PLCs on-site. The system’s Operator Device is a handheld instrument used by the process line operator for setup and local data retrieval.

The Complete System Cycle

VMD – Valve Monitoring Device

Small, self-powered wireless sensor and transceiver for bi-directional communication. The device is bracket mounted on the valve or actuator, and it transfers analog position and other vital monitoring data in real time.

DIB – Digital Input Box

Small, self-powered input box capable of receiving up to 3 digital inputs and transfer the data in real time.

OD – Operator’s Device

A hand-held wireless device that communicates with RI Wireless VMD and network components in the field, using low frequency and ZigBee one-on-one communication. The OD delivers messages and performance data to the operator and is used to support installation, configuration, provisioning, calibration, maintenance and network performance.

Wireless Router

Each Wireless Router collect and routed data from up to 32 associated VMDs and nearby Wireless Routers and transmits the information to the control centre. Data transfer redundancy is assured by automatic routing of the wireless devices through a Mesh Topology.

Tunnelling Router

Last hop Wireless Router which transfers data collected from the wireless network to the management components of the TCP/IP network. Two or more Tunnelling Routers ensure redundancy.

WMS Clients – Access to the RI Wireless sensor network and information

The GUI Client provides a view to sensors data and network status and allows configuration of remote sensors and alarms. The Client Connectivity Service forwards Valve Monitoring Device data and status to the third party PLC, DCS and SCADA. Supported protocols are Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP/IP and OPC DA.

WMS – RI Wireless Management System

Central server software on the TCP/IP network which maintains the wireless network performs data logging and publishes sensor information to clients.

PLC Adaptor – PLC/SCADA/DCS interface

The RI Wireless hardened connectivity device (embedded software). Adds robustness to the entire system by providing industrial-class and redundant interface to PLC, DCS and SCADA, as well as network management abilities.


Valve Monitoring Device (VMD)

Wireless Valve Monitoring System


The RI Wireless Valve Monitoring Device (VMD) is the basic component of the RI Wireless Monitoring System. It is installed on top of the monitored valve or actuator and consists of a stem attached mechanically to the valve or the actuator axle.

The VMD incorporates the means and sensors to measure the angle which corresponds to the opening status of the valve (in degrees or opening percentage). The valve status is transmitted by an internal bi-directional transceiver that is based on the standard ZigBee protocol. A dedicated Low Frequency (LF) receiver, in the VMD, supports unique maintenance and provisioning procedures.

VMD Operation

The VMD is a smart device with three integrated processors that continuously maintain the highest quality of performance for fast response times, high communications reliability, and optimal battery consumption (5 years with one set of replaceable batteries). The VMD is packaged in a compact plastic enclosure that complies with the environmental requirements typical of the process industry.



Valve Monitoring Device Specifications
Wireless Communications (RF)
Mode Two-way Radio – IEEE 802.15.4 – 2006 at 2.4GHz
Communication Protocol ZigBee Pro version
VMD max. Transmitted Power +3 dBm
VMD Antenna Internal +2 dBi peak. Optional external antenna F-SMA connector (VMD mounted or remote)
Communication Range VMD/VDR Open space – about 70m / Indoors at non-obstructed environment – about 25m
Latency Less than 0.1 sec in average (assuming one hop)
Measurement Angle of valve’s stem position
Update Rate VMD is at sleep at all times. Its transmits its status every 5 min or when a valve is moved more than 1.5°
Sense Movement Duration Between 30 msec to 7 minutes
Sector Quarter turn: -10° to +100°
Resolution 0.1°
Accuracy ±1°
Calibration and setup on valve This is done using the Operator Device (OD) with short range low-frequency wireless communication between OD and VMD
Message timing Each message is sent by the VMF with a real-time stamp
Low Frequency (LF)
Characteristics 125 kHz (3 channels) – short range receiver continuously open, also when VMD is turned OFF – VMD on/off, calibration, identification, commissioning, test, etc.
Sensitivity  ~2 mV each channel
Data Rate 1,366 bps
Modulation OOk Manchester
LF Range (with OD)  ~1 metre
Additional VMD Data VMD internal temperature, battery voltage and unit’s house-keeping parameters
Battery 2 X Lithium Tadiran ½ AA TLL5902. Field replaceable
Battery Life 5 years assuming one valve position change per hour and normal configuration
Valve Transition Measurement (optional) After 1.5° move of the valve, VMD collects up to 64 readings of valve position every 5 ms up to 9sec (user selectable in discrete steps) and transmits them as a packet
VMD software upgrade Both ZigBee stack and MCU application can be upgraded through the ZigBee link (Download Over Radio)
Case Material Nylon 12 with 50% glass beads, UV stable
Operating Temperature -40° to +85°C
Sealing IP66 grade
ATEX Category 2 / Division 1 -II 2 G Ex ia IIC T4 (intrinsic safety Zone 1/21)

Valve Device Router


The VDR (Valve Device Router) collects reported data from up to 32 associated VDs ad wirelessly transfers the information to the next VDR.

The TVDR (tunnelling VDR) is the last-hop VDR that passes on all the collected data from the string of VDRs to the site network for processing and analysis.

Valve Device Router


The VDR network acts as a relay that transmits messages, received from remote VDRs, through a ZigBee wireless network, until they reach a TVDR.

One or more TVDR(s) are connected to the RI Wireless Gateway using TCP/IP communication, thus facilitating bi-directional, redundant communication between all VDRs and the site network.

ZigBee mesh technology is implemented and ensuring the required routing redundancy for very high communication reliability. The TVDR generates a wireless heartbeat message, over fixed periods, and broadcasts it between the VDRs for mapping routes and diagnosing communications performance.

In the event of a unit failure, the mesh technology automatically reroutes communication with the relevant VDs (or VDRS) thus ensuring continuing network communications.

An operator can use an OD to communicate with VDs, VDRs and TVDRs for installation, configuration and maintenance purposes.


The VDR has one connector for an external power supply while the TVDR has two additional connectors:

  • A USB port for testing and maintenance
  • A TCP/IP port for network connection



VDR/TVDR Specifications
Network Architecture VDRs and TVDRs provide a full self-recovery mesh architecture
VDR/TVDR max. Transmitted Power +16 dBm (+ additional antenna gain)
Antenna External, 18cm, +3 dBi with Male N-Type connector
VDs per VDR 32. will be increased in next VDR generation
VDRs per Network Practically limitless
TVDR From ZigBee domain to Ethernet TCP/IP and back. Transfer of wireless data to Gateway
VDR From ZigBee to ZigBee domains. VMD range extender
TVDRs per Network Not limited
TVDR Connection Two Glands. 3 pin terminal block for DC. 5 pin terminal block for ethernet
VDR Connection Two Glands. 3 pin terminal block for DC
Control Internal jumper and/or LF command from OD
Indications 15 coloured LEDs on the Front panel
Mounting On wall by special installation bracket
Receiver Sensitivity -97 dBm typical
Communication Range Router to Router

Open space – about 200m

Indoors, in non-obstructed environment – about 100m

Backup Supply

2.2 AH Li-Ion rechargeable battery

VDR – 11 hours

TVDR – 4 hours

Battery is charging when the unit is powered (also in the OFF state)

DC Supply VDR 7-36 V / 7.5 W max. TVDR 7-36 V / 10 W max.
ATEX CE Ex II 3 GD Ex n IIC T4 / NEC 500-Class I, Division 2, Groups A & B T4; NEC 505 – Class I, Zone 2, AEx n, IIC T4

Operators Device

The OD is a mobile field operational panel for the wireless valve monitoring system used by field operators. The OD enables operators to effectively perform a variety of operational, setup, maintenance and monitoring tasks related to all wireless system components (VMD, VDR and TVDR).

The most basic functions of the OD are turning the devices ON/OFF, supporting the installation and commissioning, and receiving real-time feedback in regard to the status of a particular Valve Monitoring Device (VMD).

Operators Device (in use)

Operators Device


The operator uses the OD as a portable control panel to conduct one-to-one communications with various wireless devices. Login ensures that each operator is associated with all conducted operations, thus providing comprehensive support for full tractability when an operation is executed.

In addition, the OD is used to configure new Wireless devices prior to joining the network, report performance, and assist in installation and maintenance tasks.

The OD communicates with VDs and VDRs/TVDRs using a low frequency (LF) channel (to communicate with the device) and a ZigBee channel to receive a response (from the device or from the Gateway).

As part of the system commissioning procedure, the OD transfers – over the LF channel – the required AES key so that VDs can join the secure ZigBee network. The OD manages a log-in mechanism in which each user has a unique username and password.



OD Specifications
OD Communication Magnetic at Low Frequency (LF at 125 kHz) from OD to device. The device responds back on ZigBee channel.
OD LF Range Up to 1m typical
OD Display Alphanumeric, backlighted, 2 rows 12 characters
Keypad 16 special membrane keys
LF Data Rate 1366 bps
Battery 0.75 AH Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Charged when unit connected to USB
Indications BAT full charged; BAT fast charge; Low BAT; USB activity; ZigBee / LF transmit
Supported Functions

·         Identify all devices in range

·         Select a device for one-on-one session

·         Turn device on/off

·         Set up the device by providing all required data either manually or from a preloaded template/list (loaded by the WMS package)

·         Perform calibration of VMD

·         Command devices to join/leave the network

·         Read and present setting of device

·         Read and present status of device (continuously updated)

·         Monitor network status

·         Evaluate radio coverage

·         And much more

Wireless Management System

The Wireless Management System is a central server software programme on the TCP/IP network which maintains the wireless network, performs data logging and publishes sensor information to clients.

The GUI client provides a view to sensors data and network status and allows configuration of remote sensors and alarms.

The client Connectivity Service forwards Valve Monitoring Device data and status to the third party PLC, DCS and SCADA. Supported protocols are Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP/IP and OPC DA.

Wireless Management System

Wireless Management System

Wireless Management System

Wireless Management System

Wireless Management System

PLC Adaptor – PLC / SCADA / DCS interface

The Wireless hardened connectivity device (embedded software), adds robustness to the entire system by providing industrial class and redundant interface to PLC, DCS and SCADA, as well as network management abilities.

PLC Adaptor

Digital Input Box

The Input Box (DIB) consists of a wireless monitoring module using the most advanced 2.4 GHz 802.15.4 communication protocols.

It has 3 dry contact inputs and one analog input (future option). The DIB is a non-routing sleepy device.

The DIB is housed in an IP65 industrial box (IP66 for non-ATEX) and external antenna. It is powered by four 1/2 AA batteries type Tadiran TL4902 that power the unit for more than 8 years assuming not more than 10 input changes per hour. Whenever one of the inputs changes state, the DIB reports the state of the three dry contact inputs and the timing between the dry contact events.

The DIB reports the inputs state every configurable interval (8sec to 60min) or after it sensed a state change in one of the inputs. The DIB temperature, batteries status, the state of the three digital inputs, wireless signal strength, and other housekeeping information are broadcasted with every message. Each DIB message is transmitted with a real-time stamp.

Digital Input Box



Input box specifications
Main Functionality Wirelessly monitoring of digital inputs (in future also one analog input) Additional Parameters
Additional Parameters Internal temperature, battery voltage and unit’s house-keeping parameters
Battery Life 8 years assuming one input change per hour and nominal configuration
Operating Temperature -40 to +80°C
Sealing IP66 grade, IP65 for EX approved
Measurement Up to 3 dry contact inputs
Contact Resistance Max. 1000 Ohm
Update Rate Transmits its status on each change in input or every configurable time interval
Message Timing Each message is sent with a real-time stamp
Installation Installed on flat surface or a pipe using a mating bracket
Enclosures Polyester, Glass-fibre reinforced, halogen-free
Wireless Communication (RF)
Mode Two-way Radio – IEEE 802.15.4 – 2006 at 2.4 GHz Communication Protocol: ZigBee Pro
Max. Transmitted Power +3 dBm
Antenna External +2 dBi peak. Optional external antenna F-SMA connector Open.
Communication Range to Router Space – about 100m/ indoors at non-obstructed environment – about 50m
Latency Less than 0.1 sec in average (assuming one hop)
Calibration and Setup
Concept Using Operator Device (OD) with short range Low-Frequency wireless communication
Characteristics 125 kHz (3 channels) – Short range receiver continuously active
Sensitivity ~2 mV each channel
Data Rate 1,366 bps
Modulation OOK Manchester
LF Range (with OD) ~1 metre

Soldo Wireless Limit Switch Box

Designed for installation in both safe atmosphere and hazardous areas and for use in multiple industries including oil & gas – from gas pipelines to crowded off-shore platforms, where weight is an issue.

Benefits of using this device in oil & gas and power generation industries include the reduction of installation costs, lowering energy consumption and minimising downtime.

Long life battery technology provides up to 8 years maintenance free operation.

Available in either die-cast aluminium or 316 stainless steel with different lid choices made from the same enclosure material. Options include lids with a large visual indicator or flat lids without any visual indication.

The Soldo wireless limit switch box achieves ATEX certification (pending) using the intrinsically safe (IS) protection method.

SOLDO Wireless Limit Switch

Wireless Sensors

We can offer a range of additional wireless sensors for pressure, level and temperature measurement. These battery-powered sensors are very easily fitted and suitable for hazardous and non-hazardous locations and transmit via the ZigBee mesh wireless network. They enable a cost-effective solution for additional process and diagnostic information.

Pressure Wireless Sensor

Precision wireless pressure sensor with the ease of installation of a dial gauge. Each sensor has a 5-year battery that powers the sensor and 2-way radio transceiver. Stainless Steel (316S) or Inconel 625 Safe Area; or ATEX certified Inconel 625.

Available in 0-200, 0-500 and 0-5000 psi pressure range configurations.

Pressure Wireless Switch

Fluid Level Wireless Sensor

Precision wireless fluid level sensors measure by means of a submersible level probe that is resistant to petrochemicals. For routine use in monitoring remote tank levels for chemical injection or fuel storage.

Each sensor has a 5-year battery that powers the sensor and 2-way radio transceiver. Options include cable type for chemical or organic resistance; 0-5 psig or 0-15 psig range; Safe Area or ATEX certified.

Fluid Level Wireless Sensor

Temperature Probe Wireless Sensor

Precision wireless temperature probe with the ease of installation. Each sensor has a 5-year battery that powers the sensor and 2-way radio transceiver. Options include probe material & dimensions; fitting; Safe Area or ATEX certified.

Temperature Probe Wireless Sensor

Pakscan Wireless

The Pakscan network control system is flexible and cost-effective to deploy thanks to the Pakscan Wireless option.

Over a secure wireless mesh network, it maintains control of actuators and other field devices, as well as gathering extensive operating data for efficient, centralised asset management.

Whether you are installing a completely new network or adding to an existing wired installation, Pakscan wireless provides a secure, resilient control and monitoring solution.

With its flexible wireless connectivity, it allows you to add new actuators to your control systems faster, without delays and costs involved in new cable runs. Fast data throughput means it can collect all the operating data you need to both monitor and predict the maintenance needs of your actuators.

The Pakscan wireless network has been designed to provide high levels of security and a degree of redundancy similar to 2-wire systems. Pakscan wireless is fully integrated and controlled through the Pakscan P4 master station.


Easy to expand:

With Pakscan wireless there are no network cable runs, so adding or removing actuators is a quick, simple task.

  • Add wireless actuators in short time
  • Eliminate the issues of laying network cables
  • Configuration through P4 master station


Pakscan wireless data gathering saves time and money during predictive maintenance analysis:

  • Full actuator log files gathered centrally
  • Almost instantaneous reporting
  • No need for manual data collection
  • Data viewed via web pages and InSight software


Suitable for internal or outdoor applications, Pakscan wireless can adapt to meet most industrial environments:

  • A single base station can serve the entire mesh
  • Outdoors, actuators can be up to 100m apart
  • Indoors, actuators can be up to 30m apart
  • Data can take up to 7 hops to reach its destination
  • Cable runs can connect actuators in pits and black-spot


Robust security is a key feature of Pakscan wireless. The network is designed with strong measures to safeguard your network:

  • Strong encryption hides commands from external analysis
  • Anti-spoofing prevents malicious take-over
  • Private protocol obscures monitoring data


Pakscan Wireless has one of the most resilient network architectures available:

  • Built-in redundancy safeguards
  • Mesh network dynamically reroutes around faults
  • Large frequency and channel options to avoid interference
  • International frequency band usage is respected

Host communications

communication between the host and P4 master station used the industry standard Modbus protocol:

  • Ethernet and optional serial connections on the P4 master station
  • Modbus TCP/IP and/or Modbus RTU
  • Selectable between RS-485 or RS-232
  • 1 Modbus database to access all wireless actuator modules

Valve Monitoring System

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