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

Monday, August 20, 2018

Understanding Valve Positioners

valve positioner
Valve positioner on
linear control valve
(Siemens SIPART)
Industrial valves allow the flow of a process fluid through a pipe. Valves always include some type of actuation (opening/closing) device - from simple manual levers to sophisticated electric or pneumatic actuation packages. Industrial valves can act as on/off or proportioning devices to allow full flow, no flow, or modulated flow. When valves are used for modulating fluid flow, an instrument called a valve positioner is installed.

A valve positioner is used in tandem with a valve actuator, the power source to open or close the valve. Positioners precisely direct the actuator to move the valve so that a desired flow volume is achieved and maintained. The positioner does this by monitoring the process condition, comparing it to a desired set point, and then pneumatically, electrically, or hydraulically manipulating the valve orifice until the difference between the set point and actual process variable is zero.

In closed loop control systems where the final control element are valves, valve positioners are the "brains" that provide the corrective signal to eliminate process offset. Positioners enable tighter control by overcoming the realities of valve wear, imprecise calibration, and a host of other process variable challenges.

Valve positioners are used throughout the process industries including power, pharmaceutical, chemicals, oil and gas, food and beverage, pulp and paper, refining and petrochemicals, pipelines, and many other processes.

Basic Function

positioner diagram
Diagram of typical flow control loop using valve positioner.
A valve positioner receives a signal from a controller. The controller could be part of a distributed control system (DCS), a programmable logic controller (PLC), or a discreet PID controller. The controller interprets a signal from some type of sensor, such as a flow transmitter, temperature transmitter, pressure transmitter, or other, and compares the transmitter reading to a desired setpoint. If the controller sees an offset (error), a corrective signal based on the difference, is sent to the valve positioner. The positioner then repositions the valve actuator that in turn readjusts the position of the valve, thereby changing the process condition, brining the system to to equilibrium.

Types of valve positioners:

Pneumatic Positioners

Pneumatic positioners receive pneumatic signals (3-15 or 6-30 PSIG) and proportion the supply air pressure to the valve actuator accordingly to move the valve to the required position. Pneumatic positioners are intrinsically safe and have the ability to provide a large amount of force to open or close a valve.

Electro-Pneumatic Positioners

Electro-pneumatic valve positioners are very similar to pneumatic postioners, except that they contain internal current-to-pneumatic converter (I/P). The current-to-pneumatic module receives a varying electrical signal (most commonly 4-20 mA) and converts that signal (proportionately) to a pneumatic output signal (3-15 PSIG or 6-30 PSIG). The pneumatic signal then then proportions the supply air pressure to the valve actuator.

Electric Positioners

Electric valve positioners receive an electric signal, usually 4-20 mA, 1-5 VDC, 2-10 VCD or 0-10 VDC and generally drive the motors in electric actuators. They perform the same function as pneumatic positioners do, but use electricity instead of air pressure as an input signal.

For more information on valve positioners, or any valve automation requirement, contact Ives Equipment by visiting or calling 877-768-1600.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ives Equipment: Growth and Leadership in Automation and Control

For over 60 years, Ives Equipment Corporation has successfully served the industries of eastern and central Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, metro NY, and Virginia with the latest in process control equipment and services. Our business has been built on a foundation of quality people, highly trained and experienced, who take a keen interest in finding the optimum solutions to our customers' control problems.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ives Equipment Business Groups

Ives Equipment organizes its extensive product line into four distinct groups:

Ives Equipment and Controls, providing instrumentation and control products to the chemical, petro-chemical, refining, bulk storage, primary metals, pulp & paper, powergen, gas & oil distribution and OEM markets.

Pharmaceutical, Bio-pharm, and Sanitary, providing hygienic, ultra-pure and sanitary instruments, connectors, fittings, tubing and gaskets to the pharma, bio-pharm, food and beverage, life-science and labortory industries.

Analytical Instruments, used to analyze process material samples and record the data for quality, conformance and compliance.

Water and Wastewater Treatment, providing instruments, analyzers, valves and controls for the transfer, storage, analysis, treatment, and logging of municipal and industrial water treatment systems.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

An Industrial Valve Positioner that Offers Decisive Advantages

SIPART ® PS2 electro-pneumatic valve positioner
The SIPART ® PS2 electro-pneumatic valve positioner is used to control the final control element of pneumatic linear or part-turn valve actuators. The electro-pneumatic valve positioner moves the actuator to a valve position corresponding to the setpoint. Additional function inputs can be used to block the valve or to set a safety position. A binary input is present as standard in the basic device for this purpose.

The SIPART PS2 smart valve positioner is characterized by significant advantages compared to conventional devices, such as:
  • Only one device version for linear and part-turn valve actuators
  • Simple operation and programming using three keys and a two-line LCD
  • Automatic startup function with self-adjustment of zero and span
  • Manual operation without additional equipment
  • Selectable or freely-programmable characteristics
  • Minimum air consumption
  • Selectable setpoint and manipulated variable limiting
  • Programmable "tight shut-off function"
For more information about the Siemens SIPART 2 positioner download the detailed product brochure from this link,  or visit

Monday, January 30, 2017

Valve Actuators: An Overview

Rack & Pinion Actuated Valve
Rack & Pinion Actuated Valve
(courtesy of Flowserve Worcester)
Valves are essential to industries which constitute the backbone of the modern world. The prevalence of valves in engineering, mechanics, and science demands that each individual valve performs to a certain standard. Just as the valve itself is a key component of a larger system, the valve actuator is as important to the valve as the valve is to the industry in which it functions. Actuators are powered mechanisms that position valves between open and closed states; the actuators are controllable either by manual control or as part of an automated control loop, where the actuator responds to a remote control signal. Depending on the valve and actuator combination, valves of different types can be closed, fully open, or somewhere in-between. Current actuation technology allows for remote indication of valve position, as well as other diagnostic and operational information. Regardless of its source of power, be it electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, or another, all actuators produce either linear or rotary motion under the command of a control source.
Electric Valve Actuator
Electric Valve Actuator
(courtesy of Flowserve Worcester)

Thanks to actuators, multiple valves can be controlled in a process system in a coordinated fashion; imagine if, in a large industrial environment, engineers had to physically adjust every valve via a hand wheel or lever! While that manual arrangement may create jobs, it is, unfortunately, completely impractical from a logistical and economic perspective. Actuators enable automation to be applied to valve operation.

Pneumatic actuators utilize air pressure as the motive force which changes the position of a valve. Pressurized-liquid reliant devices are known as hydraulic actuators. Electric actuators, either motor driven or solenoid operated, rely on electric power to drive the valve trim into position. With controllers constantly monitoring a process, evaluating inputs, changes in valve position can be remotely controlled to provide the needed response to maintain the desired process condition.

Manual valve
Manual  cryogenic ball valve
(courtesy of Flowserve Worcester)
Manual operation and regulation of valves is becoming less prevalent as automation continues to gain
traction throughout every industry. Valve actuators serve as the interface between the control intelligence and the physical movement of the valve. The timeliness and automation advantages of the valve actuators also serve as an immense help in risk mitigation, where, as long as the system is functioning correctly, critical calamities in either environmental conditions or to a facility can be pre-empted and quickly prevented. Generally speaking, manual actuators rely on hand operation of levers, gears, or wheels, but valves which are frequently changed (or which exist in remote areas) benefit from an automatic actuator with an external power source for a myriad of practical reasons, most pressingly being located in an area mostly impractical for manual operation or complicated by hazardous conditions.

Thanks to their versatility and stratified uses, actuators serve as industrial keystones to, arguably, one of the most important control elements of industries around the world. Just as industries are the backbones of societies, valves are key building blocks to industrial processes, with actuators as an invaluable device ensuring both safe and precise operation.

Contact Ives Equipment with any valve automation requirement you may have.