Showing posts with label industrial valve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label industrial valve. Show all posts

Definition: Industrial Valve Actuator

pneumatic actuator
Pneumatic actuator on ball valve.
Actuators are devices which supply the force and motion to open and close valves. They can be manually, pneumatically, hydraulically, or electrically operated. In common industrial usage, the term actuator generally refers to a device which employs a non-human power source and can respond to a controlling signal. Handles and wheels, technically manual actuators, are not usually referred to as actuators. They do not provide the automation component characteristic of powered units.

electric actuator
Electric actuator (Worcester)
The primary function of a valve actuator is to set and hold the valve position in response to a process control signal. Actuator operation is related to the valve on which it is installed, not the process regulated by the valve. Thus a general purpose actuator may be used across a broad range of applications.

In a control loop, the controller has an input signal parameter, registered from the process, and compares it to a desired setpoint parameter. The controller adjusts its output to eliminate the difference between the process setpoint and process measured condition. The output signal then drives some control element, in this case the actuator, so that the error between setpoint and actual conditions is reduced. The output signal from the controller serves as the input signal to the actuator, resulting in a repositioning of the valve trim to increase or decrease the fluid flow through the valve.

electro-hydraulic actuator
Electro-hydraulic actuator
(MIH Trident)
An actuator must provide sufficient force to open and close its companion valve. The size or power of the actuator must match the operating and torque requirements of the companion valve. After an evaluation is done for the specific application, it may be found that other things must be accommodated by the actuator, such as dynamic fluid properties of the process or the seating and unseating properties of the valve. It is important that each specific application be evaluated to develop a carefully matched valve and actuator for the process.

Hydraulic and electric actuators are readily available in multi-turn and quarter-turn configurations. Pneumatic actuators are generally one of two types applied to quarter-turn valves: scotch-yoke and rack and pinion. A third type of pneumatic actuator, the vane actuator, is also available.

For converting input power into torque, electric actuators use motors and gear boxes while pneumatic actuators use air cylinders. Depending on torque and force required by the valve, the motor horsepower, gearing, and size of pneumatic cylinder may change.

There are almost countless valve actuator variants available in the industrial marketplace. Many are tailored for very narrow application ranges, while others are more generally applied. Special designs can offer more complex operating characteristics. Ultimately, when applying actuators to any type of device, consultation with an application specialist is recommended to help establish and attain proper performance, safety and cost goals, as well as evaluation and matching of the proper actuator to the valve operation requirements. Share your fluid process control requirements with a specialist in valve automation, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Contact Ives Equipment for any valve actuator application. Visit or call (877) 768-1600.

Special Application Challenges Call For High Performance Butterfly Valves

high performance butterfly valve double offset with actuator
Series 400 High Performance Butterfly Valve
ABZ Valve
Industrial process control applications can present stringent and challenging performance requirements for the physical equipment and components that comprise the process chain. The valves employed in fluid based operations need to be resistant to the impact of extreme fluid conditions, requiring careful design and selection consideration to assure proper performance and safety levels are maintained in a predictable way.

Industrial valves intended for extreme applications are generally referred to as severe service or high performance valves. While there are plenty of published and accepted standards for industrial valves, one does not exist to precisely define what constitutes a severe service valve.

So, how do you know when to focus valve selection activities on severe service or high performance valves, as opposed to those rated for general purpose? There are a number of basic criteria that might point you in that direction:

  • Extreme media or environmental temperature or pressure
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid or extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • Corrosive media

Certainly, any of these criteria might be found in an application serviceable by a general purpose valve, but their presence should be an indicator that a closer assessment of the fluid conditions and commensurate valve requirements is in order. The key element for a process stakeholder is to recognize when conditions are contemplated that can exceed the capabilities of a general purpose valve, leading to premature failure in control performance or catastrophic failure that produces an unsafe condition. Once the possibility of an extreme or challenging condition is identified, a careful analysis of the range of operating conditions will reveal the valve performance requirements.

There are numerous manufacturers of severe service or high performance valves, each with specialized product offerings focusing on a particular performance niche. ABZ Valve manufactures high performance butterfly valves ranging from 2-48 inches and 150-600 psi. The valve design is ideal for manual or automated actuation, installed with a manual hand gear, electric actuator, or a pneumatic actuator. Seats are available as soft, metal, and fire safe, and body types include wafer, double flanged, and butt-welded. Construction materials include carbon steel and 316 stainless steel. A range of options and variants are available to customize the valve build to suit a replacement or new installation.

More information about the ABZ Valve high performance offering is included below. You can always get more information and discuss your special requirements with a valve specialist. They have application experience and access to technical resources that can help with selecting the right valve components to meet your severe service and high performance applications.