How to Select Pneumatic Valve Actuators   Pneumatic valve actuators adjust valve position by converting air pressure into linear or rotary motion.  There are two main forms: the piston actuators and diaphragm actuators. Piston actuators are used when the stroke of a diaphragm actuator would be too short or the thrust is too small. Compressed air is applied to a solid piston contained within a solid cylinder. Simple designs have the air fed into a central chamber and the air...
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Q & A on Pneumatic Valve Actuators

We asked our users for their input on Pneumatic Valve Actuators. Here are the results of 117 users familiar with Pneumatic Valve Actuators.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing pneumatic valve actuator design?
16 answers
Answers:
New materials for O-ring seals, more advanced metallurgical processes, new mechanical standards (port thread, interior/exterior dimensions).
~Aidan C, Student, Cabin John, MD
Smaller size, greater torque output, longer cycle life, plus a wide variety of diagnostics capabilities.
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
Spring biased, modular construction, quick interface with valve, integral position indicator.
~Engineering, Consulting, CHENNAI, India
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative pneumatic valve actuators?
15 answers
Answers:
The Chinese in terms of reducing the cost of pneumatic actuators. The Indians - specifically - VAAS in terms of increasing the torque of pneumatic actuators so that larger vales can be automated with smaller pneumatic actuators.
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
Bimba (full/large-sized actuators), Humphrey (full/large-sized volume chambers), Clippard (miniature actuators/volume chambers), Hobart (micro-miniature actuators/air tanks, servo-driven valves).
~Aidan C, Student, Cabin John, MD
Mecanica Prisma (optional materials and protective coatings) Bar GmbH (innovation, integration of new approaches) Puretorq ( advancing the design of the Vane actuator)
~Mike M, General Management, Osborne Park, Australia
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used pneumatic valve actuators for?
43 answers
Answers:
1. Flush Bottom Valves for all tanking problems, especially in food and pharma industries. 2. Batch and weighing application for two stage filling with innovated 3-position valve and valve automation. 3. Full proof API reactor automation with innovated 3way diversion with shut-off through a single valve.
~Carlos D'Souza, General Manager - Technical, Vasai Road, India
Strange Question, it seems self explanatory. Extremely varied application, mainly of Rotary actuators for on/off and modulating control in applications applicable to Mining, process, oil & Gas, Water Treatment and desalination, ship building and many other industries.
~Mike M, General Management, Osborne Park, Australia
Fuel gas and water cooling on large reciprocating and turbine engines. Glycol and gas flow through natural gas dehydration systems. Pneumatic and hydraulic actuators to operate large valves in natural gas transmission lines. Too numerous to list them all.
~Rodney T, Marketing/Sales, Greenville, SC
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that pneumatic valve actuators have been used for.
9 answers
Answers:
On rocket propelled vehicles for space activities. On oil rigs to control the ebb and yaw of deep sea exploration platforms. To save space in more and more plug-and-play skids. On robotic automated processes. Plus.....
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
1. 120 degree diversion. 2. Stay-put application. 3. Triport valve for thermic fluid or hot oil heating through a single valve and valve automation achieving both control and by-pass for SIL IV level safety.
~Carlos D'Souza, General Manager - Technical, Vasai Road, India
As for me, the meaning of actuator always goes together with positioner. The input is control signal with low energy, the output is movement, or rotation with high force very precisely, and fast.
~Dezso H, Project Engineer of Valve Maintenance, Tiszaújváros, Hungary
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of pneumatic valve actuators?
7 answers
Answers:
Using an actuation pressure over the rated PSI (line ruptures causing whip-like injuries, explosions, actuator-rods turning into projectiles).
~Aidan C, Student, Cabin John, MD
Yes, when actuators are undersized to save cost and then when installed in a major new process and cannot operate the valves.
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
Wrong size selection leads to non response in case of emergency.
~Raj Pandey, Senior Engineer Instrumentation Engineering, New Delhi, India
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
9 answers
Answers:
Longer lasting spring life in fail-safe pneumatic actuators. More noncorrosive coatings. More internal diagnostics capabilities.
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
Non metallic maintenance free actuators - meeting low cost and quick delivery.
~Engineering, Consulting, CHENNAI, India
Maximum interchangeability between double acting and single acting actuators.
~Vinayak Chillal, Marketing/Sales, Hubli, INDIA
User friendly service - maintenance possibility, like an military design.
~Dezso H, Project Engineer of Valve Maintenance, Tiszaújváros, Hungary
Standard mounting and drive to allow actuators to be mounted on any valve.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Somerton, Australia
Size of the actuators to be smaller for big lines.
~Raj Pandey, Senior Engineer Instrumentation Engineering, New Delhi, India
Best possible integration of accessories.
~Mike M, General Management, Osborne Park, Australia
Ultimate solution for fit and forget.
~Carlos D'Souza, General Manager - Technical, Vasai Road, India
Higher PSI ratings.
~Aidan C, Student, Cabin John, MD

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using pneumatic valve actuators?
10 answers
Answers:
Carefully check and confirm actuator position when in confined areas, especially with non-symmetrical units likes Bettis. Specify torque requirements and safety factors for break away torque, especially for important safety valves, which are used only in emergency cases. Use partial stroke test procedures.
~Mick V., Engineer, Hoogvliet, The Netherlands
Consider maximum torque developed by actuator at full line pressure and select suitable valve stem torque. When air is available at 5 bar, use maximum air pressure to actuator rather than limiting to 3.5 bar, which is not economical.
~Vinayak Chillal, Marketing/Sales, Hubli, INDIA
Use a regulator on a smaller tank at a very high psi (thousands of PSI) to save space and money, and to achieve a constant actuation pressure (hundreds of PSI) for a greater number of cycles.
~Aidan C, Student, Cabin John, MD
Do not demand cheapest price- RELIABILITY is best assured by careful and conservative matching of an actuator to valve and process conditions, not by the cheapest assembly possible.
~Mike M, General Management, Osborne Park, Australia
Make sure that the actuator that you select has sufficient torque output to open and close the valve you are going to mount it on.
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
Go for the Pneumatic Valve Actuator more reliable and accurate in the equal % application.
~Roger, Instrumentation Engineer, Toamasina, Madagascar
Do check size when selecting for ESD.
~Raj Pandey, Senior Engineer Instrumentation Engineering, New Delhi, India
Look for ultimate solution.
~Carlos D'Souza, General Manager - Technical, Vasai Road, India
The quality has the price.
~Dezso H, Project Engineer of Valve Maintenance, Tiszaújváros, Hungary
Keep the air supply clean
~Bob M, Design Engineer, Freeport, NY

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of pneumatic valve actuators?
8 answers
Answers:
Use the expertise of their actuator and valve supplier and be prepared to define full operating and process conditions. Ensure reliable and high quality air supply. Protect actuators from adverse process installation conditions.
~Mike M, General Management, Osborne Park, Australia
Check the measures of place or room, where we would like to install into the valve and actuator, twice before ordering. Try to imagine the installation and maintenance at its working place.
~Dezso H, Project Engineer of Valve Maintenance, Tiszaújváros, Hungary
Make sure that you select the actuator with the proper mechanical design for your application. There are scotch yoke, double rack and pinion, and four piston designs.
~Robert D., General Management, Hackensack, NJ
Correct working pressure, minimum air pressure of air for actuator operation Service condition, especially slurry to consider suitable safety factor
~Vinayak Chillal, Marketing/Sales, Hubli, INDIA
Just follow the Standard Procedure in designing based on the process data and selection.
~Catalino U, Senior Instrument Supervisor, Surigao City, Philippines
You will save space and money by using a smaller-bore actuator at maximum PSI.
~Aidan C, Student, Cabin John, MD
Application and implementation of ISO 5211.
~Carlos D'Souza, General Manager - Technical, Vasai Road, India
Always ask for sizing calculation.
~Raj Pandey, Senior Engineer Instrumentation Engineering, New Delhi, India


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