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The Valve is King

Aug. 7, 2008
Predictive Maintenance Keeps Valves Humming

Without valves there would be no way to control either the flow or temperature of the fluid in a piping system. When treated like the essential devices that they are, valves will provide a higher level of system performance for a longer amount of time.

When specifying a valve for your application, Rick Plummer of Spirax Sarco recommends asking several questions. Can the valve:

  • Be maintained and restored to duty quickly?
  • Be maintained without removal from the pipeline?
  • Can components be replaced without special tools?
  • Is the valve simple to maintain?
  • Does it offer long service intervals?
  • Does the design allow for harsh conditions?
  • Does the valve use trim materials to reduce erosion?
  • Is it easy to adjust the valve to meet new demands?
  • Does the valve offer smooth and accurate control?
  • Does the vendor give high-quality technical support?
  • Can the valve vendor deliver the valve quickly?

Once valves and actuators are installed, maintenance plays a critical role in keeping them up and running. The introduction of control systems using open communications standards has made this function easier. If smart positioners are incorporated into a network, web-based browsing technology can monitor the valves, collect performance trends, tabulate data, and post it to a web page where engineers can evaluate emerging problems and plan for cost-effective maintenance. Predictive maintenance provides trend data to identify which devices will need maintenance, what kind they will need and when.

Patti Pool
Products Editor


Ball-style diverter valves ar built for multiple-source convergence and multiple-destination divergence of dry materials in either pressure or vacuum modes. The three-way vortex design is available in seven configurations to accommodate a range of piping layouts, and the valve’s actuator rotates up to 135° for installation flexibility. The valves are suited for use in conveying applications to 80 psig and temperatures to 300 °F and perform in semi-dense, dense and dilute phase systems.



GF Piping Systems
Type 567 butterfly valve comes in diameters up to 12 in. This corrosion-resistant valve operates in industrial water treatment, potable water treatment, and wastewater treatment in chemical, chemical distribution, electroplating and power plants. The valve’s double eccentric disk design has an off-center shaft that allows the disc to completely disengage from the disc seal, even when partially open.



Vortex Valves North America
Vortex HDP slide-gate valve for applications involving sticky, abrasive or corrosive materials can handle dry bulk solids in pneumatic or gravity conveying systems up to 75 psig, depending on size and modifications. It's available in 4-in. to 16-in. sizes.



SK Series 316 stainless steel, multipurpose ball valve offers positive, quarter-turn shutoff for general process control applications and features a spring-loaded seat, floating ball and low-torque operation. Spring loaded seats and floating ball provide leaktight integrity in low- and high-pressure systems. In addition to manual operation, they’re available with standard or ISO 5211-compliant rack and pinion actuators. End connections include gaugeable tube fittings, NPT and ISO pipe and VCO O-ring face seal. Sizes: ¼-in., 3/8-in., 6-mm and 8 -mm. Working pressures to 6,000 psig; temperatures: -40 °F to 302 °F.



Emerson Process Management
Fisher Fieldvue DVC6000 digital valve controller is CSA-approved for natural gas applications and eliminates the need for an additional seal or an associated wiring termination box. To prevent natural gas from passing into areas not suitable for natural gas, the controller now provides an integrated solution in the instrument that meets the CSA Single Seal requirements per ANSI/ISA 12.27.01.



Red Valve
Series DX slurry knife-gate valve is designed especially for heavy slurry applications in the power and mining industries. Each time the valve strokes, it’s designed to discharge a small amount of slurry out of the valve, keeping the gate path and seat area clear of entrapped particulates. The DX prevents slurry build up in the seat area, which might otherwise prohibit the valve from closing.



Fast Pack is a concept that packages over 125 popular valve and actuator combinations in easy-to-order configurations. Packages include Series 92 or 94 electric actuators or Series 79 pneumatic actuators mounted on Type 21 PVC ball valves or Type 57 butterfly valves. Packages are available in ½-in. to 4-in. ball valves and 1½ -in. to 8-in. butterfly valves.



WEH 17 Series connectors are designed for calibration of control valve actuators during manufacturing or in fi eld applications where precision is critical to keeping control valve actuators performing effi ciently. The connector uses a handle-actuated collett system for repeatable connections where no wrench tightening or thread sealant is needed, eliminating thread wear and damage. Designed for a 5,000-psi, leak-tight connection, the connector is made of stainless steel with nitrile seals for ¼-in., 3/8-in and ½-in. thread sizes common to control valves.



Metso Automation
Neles RotaryGlobe control valve design combines the best features of proven linear and rotary valve technologies. They’re cost-effective, small-bore control valves that operate at pressures up to ASME 1500 class designed to control a wide range of process liquids, gases and vapors. RotaryGlobe valve features a one-piece, globe-valve style body that minimizes potential leak paths, and provides enhanced anti-cavitation performance. It also incorporates a rotarymotion stem for improved control of fugitive emissions. Available in the size range ½ in. to 2 in., it operates in the -110 °F to +800 °F temperature range and meets all the requirements of both ASME and EN standards.



Auma Actuators
724-743-AUMA (2862)
AUMA type SA multi-turn electric actuator with Aumatic controls gives plant owners and operators a wide range of fl ow control capabilities. The SA series is available in 11 sizes and with AUMA’s full range of worm and bevel gearboxes, can operate all types and sizes of valves. The microprocessor-based Aumatic controls allow actuator parameters to be set up either conventionally or nonintrusively. In addition, Aumatic can interface with a wide variety of plant control systems including digital communication protocols.



Rotork Controls
Rotork IQ Pro electric, non-intrusive valve actuators include a powerful datalogging feature that monitors valve performance, so users can forecast when valve maintenance might be required, and manage assets for maximum productivity. The IQ Pro stores historical and current operating data, including valve torque profiles, number of operations, valve and actuator positions, and other vital performance and operational statistics. Users can download the data by pointing an intrinsically safe Rotork IQ Pro setting tool at the actuator. The information is downloaded wirelessly and stored in the setting tool in seconds. Then, users can upload the data to virtually any laptop PC or desktop computer.



A new line of VAX valves is designed for applications requiring fast actuation, durability and reliability. These compact valves combine a process valve and actuator in a single integrated unit with only one moving part. The coaxial design offers high flow rates with minimal pressure loss. Shut-off speed is fast, occurring in as little as 0.25 milliseconds in either direction. The valves are available in two-way or three-way configurations with pressure ratings up to 600 PSI.


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