Product Roundup of valves, actuators and positioners

This Product Roundup of control valve technology shows that valve devices and components continue to get smarter, wired and more networked.

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By Rich Merritt, Senior Technical Editor

CONTROL VALVES, regulators and actuators are one of the few products that the Third World has not been able to reduce to a commodity, so traditional valve manufacturers still have a chance to keep their business. It appears vendors are maintaining their edge through electronic technology in the form of built-in controllers, networks, fieldbuses and software.

As you can see in the roundup that follows, new valve products sport HART, fieldbus, DeviceNet and similar communications along with traditional 4-20 mA. Some have built-in controllers that can diagnose valve and positioner health. These advances might help account for increasing control valve sales on the world market.

The worldwide control valve market totaled nearly $2.9 billion in 2003 and will reach nearly $3.4 billion by the end of 2008, expanding at an annual rate of about 3%, according to "Control Valve Worldwide Outlook," a study by the ARC Advisory Group.

"Long-term business prospects for control valve suppliers look reasonably bright due to MRO business opportunities in developed regions and new projects' business in developing countries," says senior analyst Dave Clayton, author of the study. From a regional perspective, most of the growth over the next five years will come from Asian countries, such as India and China. Russia is also a promising market.
The share of North America in the worldwide control valve market is decreasing, the study says, and the trend will continue over the forecast period as developing countries continue expanding their manufacturing base.

The world market for all industrial valves will rise to $5l billion in 2005 from just over $41 billion in 2001, says “Valves: World Market,” a study by McIlvaine. The oil and gas sector is the largest. This will grow from $11 billion in 2001 to $13 billion in 2005. The second largest sector is power, followed by chemical, refining, municipal water, and municipal wastewater.

As usual, the market researchers disagree. ARC says the world market for control valves will be $3.4 billion by 2008, but McIlvaine says automatic regulation and control valves sales are projected to reach $12 billion this year. Gate and globe valve sales will exceed $9 billion while ball valve sales in 2005 will be just under $7 billion. Three other categories (butterfly, industrial plug, and miscellaneous) comprise the balance of the market, says McIlvaine.

If you see “more info at” in the product description, it means we had more information than would fit into the product writeup, so we included it in the writeup that appears on our web site. If you want to see more about these products, go to, scroll down to Site Highlights, and click on the Roundup section.

Valves, Actuators and Positioners Plug In

Smart Positioner Cuts Air
In balanced conditions, the Sipart PS2 valve positioner consumes virtually no air, saving users $900/year per valve compared to using the company’s conventional smart positioners. The positioner moves the actuator to a valve position corresponding to the setpoint. It can self-diagnose system changes and optimize the tuning parameters to maintain valve performance, even with changes in actuator supply pressure and valve friction. Siemens Energy & Automation; 215/646-7400; 

Digital Valve Controllers
Fisher Fieldvue DVC2000 Series digital valve controller meets NAMUR standards IEC60534-6-1 and IEC60534-6-2, and can be mounted on Fisher and other brand actuators on linear and rotary valves. It has a two stage, pre-amplifier that multiplies small changes in the pneumatic signal, a digital tuning algorithm, and performs valve diagnostics. Fisher/Emerson;

Fieldbus Positioner
The PMV D3 digital valve positioner for control of linear and rotary control valves communicates via Foundation fieldbus, 4-20 mA analog, HART, and Profibus PA. Its user interface employs a menu structure similar to cell phone menus, so the positioner can be configured manually via its keypad, through a HART handheld device, or from a fieldbus system. Flowserve; 281/ 292-7500;

Smart and Safe
The microprocessor-controlled Type 8635 process controller/positioner for linear and rotary control valves is intrinsically safe for use in FM Class 1 Div 1 environments. The user can program all critical interface options via a three-key HMI with a plain-text display located within the IP 65 housing, or through HART or Profibus PA communication protocols. Burkert; 800/325-1405;

Pneumatic Positioner
Models in the Series 3730 include the 3730-0 low-cost positioner for globe valves, 3730-1 for all globe and rotary applications, and 3730-2, with a microprocessor controller. Options include HART, Profibus and Foundation fieldbus communications, valve diagnostic software, and explosionproof operation. Valve diagnostics are integrated and supply the information required for predictive maintenance without the need for additional software. Samson Controls; 281/383-3677 x279;

Actuator Feedback
Absolute Position Feedback linear actuator sensor provides analog feedback to the controller or PLC to determine actual load position. The option is available for the company’s BC3 pneumatic and B3S electric series actuators, and can be ordered in incremental stroke lengths from 2-156 in. An analog signal of 0 to +10Vdc or –10 to +10 Vdc can be selected. Tol-O-Matic; 800/328-2174;

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