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How to Choose the Best Rapid Prototyping Method

How to Choose the Best Rapid Prototyping Method

As new products are designed, including ...

Monitoring Valve Health via the Internet

Monitoring Valve Health via the Internet

Most valve end users are already using s...

Valves in Oxygen Service

Valves in Oxygen Service

In his presentation at VMA’s 2017 ...

Thermal Spray Coating

Thermal Spray Coating

Q: What are the pros and cons of us...

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Industry Headlines

U.S. Fuel Ethanol Production Continues to Grow in 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017  |  Chris Guy

Through the first six months of 2017, U.S. weekly ethanol production averaged 1.02 million barrels per day (b/d), an increase of 5% over the same peri...

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How to Choose the Right Size and Type of Actuator

How to Choose the Right Size and Type of Actuator

Monday, 24 July 2017  |  Carlos Gamero

A common misconception in our industry is that actuating a valve is as simple as putting the most cost-efficient actuator on top of your valve of choi...

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Industry Headlines

Badger Alloys Joins VMA as Associate Member

6 DAYS AGO

This week the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) welcomes Badger Alloys as an official associate supplier member. This is VMA’s fourth new member in 2017.

Located in the heart of Milwaukee and founded in 1966, Badger Alloys offers single source capabilities for custom castings. The company pou...

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Thermodyn Joins VMA as Associate Member

6 DAYS AGO

This week the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) welcomes Thermodyn Corporation as an official associate supplier member. This is VMA's third new member in 2017.

In 1979, Thermodyn began business with the dual purpose of selling A.W. Chesterton products and manufacturing high-temperature elastomers ...

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U.S. Fuel Ethanol Production Continues to Grow in 2017

12 HOURS AGO

Through the first six months of 2017, U.S. weekly ethanol production averaged 1.02 million barrels per day (b/d), an increase of 5% over the same period in 2016. On a weekly basis, U.S. ethanol production set a record of 1.06 million b/d in the week of January 27, 2017, and it has averaged near or a...

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LyondellBasell to Build the World's Largest PO/TBA Plant

3 DAYS AGO

LyondellBasell has made the final investment decision to build the world's largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant in the Houston area. The project is estimated to cost approximately $2.4 billion, representing the single-largest capital investment in the company's history...

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IMF Lowers 2017 Growth Forecast for U.S.

12 HOURS AGO

The growth forecast in the United States has been revised down from 2.3% to 2.1% in 2017 and from 2.5% to 2.1% in 2018, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. While the markdown in the 2017 forecast reflects in part the weak growth outturn in the first quarter of the year, the major fa...

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Leading Economic Indicators Increased in June

3 DAYS AGO

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.6% in June to 127.8 (2010 = 100), following a 0.2% increase in May, and a 0.2% increase in April.

“The U.S. LEI rose sharply in June, pointing to continued growth in the U.S. economy and perhaps even a moderate improvement...

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When Accessories Become Necessities

vmspr10 beyond valves 1This automated valve assembly is made up of a process ball valve, pneumatically operated actuator, solenoid valve and inductive non-contact valve position sensor and target.Specification sheets for selecting automated valves list requirements for the valve and actuator but often lump all other devices together as related instrumentation or accessories.

Since the definition of an automated valve is a flow control device that can be remotely operated, a typical selection hierarchy is:

  1. Select the best valve for the service conditions
  2. Select a suitable actuator to operate that valve
  3. Provide enough information on accessories so the valve supplier or end user can just add them as needed.

A comprehensive valve data sheet may enumerate 40 to 50 line items of information that define the scope of the valve assembly. Since performance and safety of that assembly are greatly impacted if any component in the assembly fails, the more forethought put into the specification, the more likely the final assembly will perform as intended. The purpose of a specification is not to exclude any manufacturer but rather to include only those products the specifier perceives as most closely meeting the equipment application requirements.

THE SPEC SHEET

If we look at all system devices as necessities instead of accessories, we can divide the specification sheet into three sections.

  1. Under Process Components all devices that are in contact with the media would be listed. That would include the valve and instrumentation such as flow meters and other process variable transmitters.
  2. Under Force all devices that supply the motive power to operate the valve would be listed. This would include the actuator—pneumatic, electric or hydraulic; hand-wheel overrides; linkage kits/mounting brackets; solenoid valves; filter regulators; pressure gauges, etc.
  3. The third column would be headed Intelligence. This category would include valve position sensors. Intelligent devices interface the operator’s commands and the valve’s response. Without supervision/control, the automated valve will not function; therefore, the process will not function.

vmspr10 beyond valves 2The automated valve assembly shown here is for use in a hazardous location. It consists of a process ball valve with pneumatically operated actuator, solenoid valve and inductive NAMUR non-incendive valve position sensor and target. Note that the solenoid valve is driven from the valve position sensor, which simplifies wiring.Valve position sensors indicate to the plant operator that an automated or control valve is open, closed, or between open and closed. A valve position sensor or switch can take numerous forms: inductive proximity sensor, reed switch or mechanical switch. Sensors can be directly mounted to a rotary pneumatic actuator, bracket-mounted to a linear valve, enclosed inside a switch box or an electrically operated actuator, or inside a valve positioner.

An inductive proximity sensor is a non-contact device, which means the sensor is free from wear. A common metal target is mechanically attached to the actuator stem of a linear or rotary travel valve. When the target comes into range of detecting the sensor, an electronic switch changes state, which confirms the position of the valve. Actuation speed or frequency has no effect on inductive proximity sensors. They are typically used in pairs, one for the valve’s open position and another for the closed position, although sensing other positions can be easily accomplished. Dual sensors directly mounted onto a pneumatic actuator provide valve open and valve closed switching in one compact package. Proximity sensors are available in a variety of configurations and voltages and can be an integral part of a valve assembly, especially when the sensor’s full capabilities are utilized.

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