- Published on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 15:50
- Written by Genilee Parente
Much of the business conducted at Valve World Americas Expo & Conference, July 15-16, was done on the 39,000-square-foot exhibit floor at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where almost 200 exhibitors from five countries showed their wares. Among them were nearly 50 members of the Valve Manufacturers Association and Valve Repair Council, including valve, actuator and control manufacturers, suppliers to those manufacturers, distributors and OEM repair firms.
- Published on Monday, 17 August 2015 11:09
- Written by Chris Warnett
Since the early days of valve actuator use, there has been a choice between powering the actuator with electricity or pressurized fluid. Sometimes a user industry has a traditional preference for actuator power and sometimes it’s dictated by the circumstances of the application.
Deciding the best power medium for an industrial application depends on many factors such as following what has traditionally been used in the application. But with today’s sharp focus on return on investment and environmental impact, the traditional solutions now warrant closer examination.
For plants that have instrument air systems, the choice of actuator power is more flexible because electricity is usually available to power the instrument air supply. Either fluid or electric-powered actuators could be used. But there are many installations, such as well heads, pipelines or irrigation systems where an electric power supply is not available.
Where both power modes are available, then the choice comes down to other criteria and the traditional choice varies by industry and region.
- Published on Monday, 27 July 2015 10:29
- Written by Kate Kunkel
While the science fiction image of robots conjures up visions of humanoid-like machines with arms, legs and a head, the reality is that most robots have no resemblance at all to humans. Generally they are basically an arm of some kind, and in the past they were most often employed to do repetitive or dangerous jobs such as welding or materials handling, as well as being used for bottling and packaging functions.
However, advances in robotics and computing have made it possible for them to do much more complex tasks, including picking and packing, testing or inspecting products or even assembling electronics. The latest generations are even able to take on what were traditionally considered traits available only to humans, like dexterity, trainability, dexterity, memory and object recognition. Certain drones also are often considered a type of robot that can be used to inspect equipment deep inside hard-to-reach power plant boilers or to scan refineries from above to check for emissions.
- Published on Wednesday, 15 July 2015 12:13
- Written by Mark Freeman
Graphite has qualities that make it a great choice for certain applications in the manufacturing world. Those qualities include its reaction to extreme temperatures, as well as its flexibility when engineered a certain way.
In the valve world, flexible graphite provides an ideal choice for many sealing products.
The History of Graphite
The stories about graphite go back to about 1500 when an enormous deposit of graphite was discovered in the Borrowdale Parish in England. One of its first uses was as a refractory material to line molds for cannon balls, which resulted in rounder, smoother ammunition that could be fired further. This better way of making the balls contributed to the growing superiority of the English Navy back then.
- Published on Monday, 06 July 2015 14:28
- Written by Mark Madsen
Experienced engineers know that not all supplier CAD tools or files are created equal. When applying pneumatic automation components (cylinders, valve manifolds, FRLs, etc.) to a product or system design, it pays to consider some defining details of a web-based CAD tool.
Does the site use neutral or true native file formats? Individual or assembled files? Part numbers or attributes? And does it offer advanced ease-of-use features? How about helpful error avoidance techniques?
New tools that get these decisive details right can save critical development time, make the design experience significantly easier and deliver higher-quality results.