By Olivier Tisserand – Indelac
The Impact of Automated Valve Actuators
The use of automated valve actuators affects several aspects of manufacturing and different forms of processing, which might include hazardous materials, oil and gas, chemicals, food and beverage, and others. Operating valves manually poses a series of risks:
- Manual valve operation is a time and labor-intensive process.
- Manual operation increases the risk of human error in measurement and may increase operational costs through unnecessary waste that comes from ruined product.
- Automated valve actuators provide operators with a more efficient, streamlined control of piping system flows facilitating more accurate costs per unit.
Improving Output with Automated Valves
Improved output control using automated valves helps to cut costs related to product waste. Automated valves do not depend on an operator, which allows them to continue to monitor and adjust flow through a system without interruption.
Paired with battery backup systems providing an emergency power supply, they can continue to produce even during power outage events or at least safely end the current process until utility power is restored. Valve automation allows operators to set optimal operating positions, allowing for flow adjustments and monitoring with limited operator involvement. Automated valves also help maintain the safest possible operating levels when dealing with potentially dangerous materials and environmental factors.
Increasing Safety with Automated Valve Actuators
Adding to operator safety, actuator valves help to control consistent operating levels and maintain safety in environments where extreme temperatures, pressure levels, noxious fumes, flammable elements, or other circumstances have the potential to create catastrophic failures. In emergencies, automated valve actuators return to fail-safe positions, preventing accidents, environmental hazards, damage to equipment or structures, and other devastating consequences.
This type of valve also allows for remote access of valves that might be difficult or impossible to reach safely, in order to manually return them to a safe position.
Automated Valve Actuators
Automation has an impact on a wide range of manufacturing operations. It is especially beneficial when applied to valve actuation in processing facilities. Among the benefits of valve automation are greater cost-effective production through the reduction of waste, optimized output control requiring limited operator interaction, and increased safety of systems with the potential to produce catastrophic events in emergency situations.