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Achieving Predictable Valve Performance for Safety Applications

Achieving Predictable Valve Performance for Safety Applications

A focus on having the proper specificati...

Putting Servo Valves Back to Work

Putting Servo Valves Back to Work

Industries as varied as paper production...

Corrosion and Fouling: Is There a Solution?

Corrosion and Fouling: Is There a Solution?

According to a 1998 study released by the ...

Valves with All the Trimmings

Valves with All the Trimmings

The term valve trim has been around for ...

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Industry Headlines

Leading Economic Indicators Rose in January

Friday, 23 February 2018  |  Chris Guy

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.0% in January to 108.1, following a 0.6% increase in December, and a 0.4% i...

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Valve Positioners Offer Improved Control Valve Performance

Valve Positioners Offer Improved Control Valve Performance

Monday, 19 February 2018  |  David Matherly

From time to time, we are re-posting well-received or particularly valuable articles that have previously run on VALVEMagazine.com so that those who m...

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Industry Headlines

MRC Global Announces Fourth Quarter 2017 Results

2 DAYS AGO

MRC Global’s sales were $903 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, which was 26% higher than the fourth quarter of 2016 and 6% lower than the third quarter of 2017 due to seasonality. As compared to 2016, all sectors increased driven primarily by midstream and upstream.

MRC Global's fourth qu...

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Curtiss-Wright Acquires Dresser-Rand Government Business

3 DAYS AGO

Curtiss-Wright has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets that comprise the Dresser-Rand Government Business (Dresser-Rand), a business unit of Siemens Government Technologies, for $212.5 million in cash.

Dresser-Rand designs and manufactures mission-critical, high-speed rotating equipment sol...

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U.S. Refiners Increasingly Turning to Export Markets

2 DAYS AGO

“U.S. gasoline consumption has leveled off as the stimulus provided by low and falling oil prices between 2014 and 2016 has faded, so refiners are increasingly turning to diesel and customers in emerging markets,” Reuters  reports .

“In geographical terms, the fastest growth in co...

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$900M Power Plant Planned for Indiana

2 DAYS AGO

Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana is proposing to install an additional 50 megawatts (MW) of universal solar and build an 800 to 900-MW natural gas-fired generation facility in addition to other critical investments that will significantly change the way the company generates power for the region .

Th...

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Leading Economic Indicators Rose in January

16 HOURS AGO

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.0% in January to 108.1, following a 0.6% increase in December, and a 0.4% increase in November.

“The U.S. LEI accelerated further in January and continues to point to robust economic growth in the first half of 2018. Whi...

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IHS Markit Manufacturing Index Rose in February

1 DAY AGO

U.S. manufacturers reported a strong upturn in business conditions during February, which continued the positive trend seen at the start of 2018. At 55.9, up from 55.5 in January, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) pointed to the fastes...

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Accessories for Control Valves

spr11_b2b_introHigh-pressure, angle-style control valves with high-pressure piston actuators are equipped with digital valve positioners, airsets and volume boosters, along with other accessories.While control valves are an essential part of most flow processes today, they cannot accomplish their key tasks without help from the many accessories that aid in smooth operation.

Control valves are a ubiquitous essential in today’s industrial facilities. Whether they are managing flow or controlling process conditions such as temperature or pressure, they are key to maximizing production, maintaining product quality and ensuring safety.

However, they cannot accomplish these tasks on their own. Equally important to the processes are the accessories that work with a control valve—helping ensure accuracy, boosting output, making various control system components compatible with one another and providing added layers of safety.

In this article, we will review some of these devices, the roles they play in a control system and factors that should be considered when specifying these devices.


VALVE POSITIONER

Positioners are required in almost all control valve applications. Many positioner types and communication protocols are available, but a positioner’s primary function is always the same: to accurately position the throttling element within a control valve as directed by a signal from the process control system.

The positioner receives a sign from an external process controller, compares the valve’s actual position to the desired position, and sends a command change to the actuator to correct the valve position in a controlled feedback loop. The process controller measures the change in the process and sends further changes to the position signal as necessary.

Without a positioner, a control valve position is an open loop; the valve moves in response to the signal but nothing is providing feedback to ensure the valve is in the desired position.

Four factors make positioners vital components in today’s process control systems:

Higher-pressure actuators: Positioners make it possible to use today’s higher-pressure actuators in traditional pneumatic control systems, which can reduce costs and make the valve more responsive.

Most pneumatic control systems use an output signal range of 3 to 15 psig or 6 to 30 psig. Traditional spring-diaphragm actuators are widely available in these ranges, but the output force from a given actuator size is significantly limited. And, piston actuators almost always require higher air pressures to perform optimally.

As a result, most actuators are designed and sized to operate at air pressure ranges well above the 3 to 15 or 6 to 30 psig delivered by the control system. Therefore, a positioner or other amplifying device is required to make them compatible with the control system’s lower output pressure. The higher air pressure allows selection of smaller actuators reducing overall equipment cost.

spr11_b2b_schematicTypical placement of some of the most commonly used control valve accessories
Forces within the control valve: Friction from valve stem sealing systems (packing) can be significant, particularly in higher-temperature applications in which graphite-based materials must be used. Unbalanced forces or flow-induced forces within the valve also will affect the actuator’s ability to consistently position the throttling element or plug within the valve.

A positioner continually monitors the effects of these forces and sends the appropriate feedback to the controller, ensuring that necessary adjustments are made quickly to keep the control valve performing as expected.

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