Fisher control valves for nuclear power plants undergo rigorous qualification testing in the Emerson Innovation Center seismic lab.

The world’s appetite for energy is driving the development of next-generation nuclear plants, mega-train liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, and large oil and gas refineries - all of which require larger capacities and highly engineered control valves and instrumentation. To help its customers engineer these systems, Emerson Process Management invested $30 million to create an Innovation Center for Fisher Technology in Marshalltown, Iowa. The dual goals of the center are to help customers deliver record volumes of natural gas and other forms of energy, and to help customers consume less energy in their processes.

Features include a flow laboratory that enables large valves to be tested in real-world plant conditions. For instance, Control valves can be tested at pressures up to 3,500 psi.

“No other facility in the world can do what our Marshalltown Emerson Innovation Center can do – from seismically qualifying a 35,000-pound control valve to testing a two-story-tall valve that controls the flow of feedstocks for a petrochemical plant,” says Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management.

Also, a 26,000-ft2sound chamber will allow Emerson to develop and verify the noise levels of new devices before a customer’s plant is built.