Valve stiction is indicated as one of the main problems affecting control loop performance and then product quality. Therefore, it is important to detect this phenomenon as early as possible, distinguish it from other causes, and suggest the correct action to the operator in order to fix it. It is also very desirable to give an estimate of stiction amount, in order to be able to follow its evolution in time to allow the scheduling of valve maintenance or different operations, if necessary. This paper, in two parts, is a review of the state of the art about the phenomenon of stiction from its basic characterization to smart diagnosis, including modeling, detection techniques, quantification, compensation and a description of commercial software packages. In particular, Part I of the study analyzes the most significant works appearing in the recent literature, pointing out analogies and differences among various techniques, showing more appealing features and possible points of weakness. The review also includes an illustration of the main features of performance monitoring systems proposed by major software houses. Finally, the paper gives indications on future research trends and potential advantages for loop diagnosis when additional measurements are available, as in newly designed plants with valve positioners and smart instrumentation. In Part II, performance of some well-established methods for stiction quantification are compared by applications to different industrial datasets.
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