How to Select Electric Valve Actuators   Electric actuator. Remote operation actuation. Rotary valve actuator Image Credit: Samson | Elliott Manufacturing | Amstrong Electric valve actuators mount on valves which, in response to a signal, automatically move to a desired position using an outside power source. Single-phase or three-phase AC or DC motors drive a combination of gears to generate the desired torque level. Electric valve actuators are the most popular actuator used...
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Q & A on Electric Valve Actuators

We asked our users for their input on Electric Valve Actuators. Here are the results of 108 users familiar with Electric 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 electric valve actuator design?
17 answers
Answers:
The use of servo motors to provide a true 100% duty cycle. Also the use of innovative ways to convert the rotary motion of the motor to give you a linear actuator that is also continuous duty, fast and accurate.
~Barb B, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Depends on the area of application. Variable speed-high torque stepper motors with "smart" controllers are the most promising things.
~Thomas D, Automation Engineer, Houston, TX
Actuators with Smart controls ie Field bus, Profi bus & Mod bus. Also position transmission with HART protocol communication.
~Vinod S, General Management, Faridabad, India
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative electric valve actuators?
18 answers
Answers:
I had used electric actuators of companies having operation in India ie Limitorque India, Rotork & Auma.
~Vinod S, General Management, Faridabad, India
Promation Engineering, Inc., Rotork
~Chris A, Marketing/Sales, Bella Vista, AR
New player to the market is Exlar.
~Barb B, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used electric valve actuators for?
24 answers
Answers:
Valve control includes ball valves, butterfly valves, gate valves, plug valves, discharge valves, gates and penstocks. We also purpose build actuators for decant gates for sewerage treatment facilities. We have also supplied actuation solutions in various industries for damper control(coal power industry), VIV fan dampers(steel & power), cement industry, Paper Industry (valves and dampers).
~David M, Application engineer, Melbourne, Australia
Commercial HVAC (dampers and valves), Industrial HVAC (tunnel applications, etc.), BFVs, Cremation Equipment, Burners/Boilers, Oil/Gas, Mining, Water Treatment (skids, etc.), Energy/Power, Air Filtration, Food (equipment and processes), Pharm, Chemical Processes
~Chris A, Marketing/Sales, Bella Vista, AR
High and low pressure steam and water systems in a supercritical Piedra Buena Power Plant 2 x 310 MW (Bahía Blanca - Argentina) / Combined Cycle 125 MW x3 + 185 MW x 1 Loma de La Lata - Neuquén - Argentina - Pampa Energy Argentina
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Bahía Blanca, Argentina
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that electric valve actuators have been used for.
10 answers
Answers:
Movement of test samples in a nuclear research lab. Linear actuators on a variable pitch-fixed speed turbine with a "smart" controller for HVAC application.
~Thomas D, Automation Engineer, Houston, TX
Electronic water mixers for column showers (with motorized low voltage proportional valves) Selection of water source in home sanitary systems(domotics)
~Engineering, Design, Rio Meao, Portugal
Actuators design to provide a variable speed through its travel from open to close.
~David M, Application engineer, Melbourne, Australia
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of electric valve actuators?
6 answers
Answers:
Not paying attention to the environment. Heat kills. If the application is hot, look for motors that are more efficient and run cooler, such as servo motors. If it will be mounted outdoors, make sure it has at least IP65 sealing.
~Barb B, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Yes but more related to the valves and dampers not correctly selected for the system task. Actuators were suited for the valve. The valve was not correctly selected for the system.
~David M, Application engineer, Melbourne, Australia
None that were 'disastrous'. Improper installation by people that are not familiar with the total package/application causes the most problems.
~Thomas D, Automation Engineer, Houston, TX

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
14 answers
Answers:
I) It should be light in weight. ii) Easy to install, commission & re-setting. iii)Capable of delivering the long service life with least maintenance. iv) Must meet required safety requirements & surrounding environment. v) Maintain its outer sheen through its service life.
~Vinod S, General Management, Faridabad, India
Multi voltage Multi speed Quarter turn and multi turn combine in one unit Common ratings ie Weather proof and EXd
~David M, Application engineer, Melbourne, Australia
Base package actuation (bare bones) with all options (ie manual override) offered as an additional feature.
~Chris A, Marketing/Sales, Bella Vista, AR
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using electric valve actuators?
10 answers
Answers:
Make sure to do your research. Weigh your supplier options carefully considering quality, application knowledge, service, and personal relationships. This will ensure proper communication channels and correct information for any project and/or application questions. We all know projects always go as planned...
~Chris A, Marketing/Sales, Bella Vista, AR
Understand the process forces which may cause operator failure ie: pressure in a pipeline causing butterfly valve to overcome actuator and loss of position control. Ice buildup on valve or valve stem stalling out actuator.
~Randy W, Engineer, Bayonne, NJ
Do not go for the minimum price only. Devote some attention for the actuator close to wish list above.
~Vinod S, General Management, Faridabad, India
Electric valve actuators are not just for valve automation. Many are now available for control valves.
~Barb B, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Consult a company such as Acrodyne for actuator selection and sizing.
~David M, Application engineer, Melbourne, Australia
Check the actuation time as per application select the valve.
~Lajeesh A, Technical Support, HOSUR, INDIA
Choose a reliable, modern design that fits your requirements.
~Benjamin H, Design Engineer, Mullheim, Germany
Use a common brand like Auma or Rotork.
~Henk klep M, Sr. valve technician, Appingedam, Netherlands
Know the limits. Expect compromise.
~Thomas D, Automation Engineer, Houston, TX
Temperature rise, robust
~Y N Cheung, Valve supplier, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of electric valve actuators?
9 answers
Answers:
Avoid over specification. Do not gear the requirements around one manufacturer. Keep the control system generic as possible. Training of personnel, brand specific and generic, is a must. A union electrician is the worst person to use for final hook-up; they will not listen.
~Thomas D, Automation Engineer, Houston, TX
Consult experts. Most importantly understand the exact duty requirements of the valve or damper so that the unit is not undersized. Do not oversize as this also could damage the driven element in the event of a jam or obstruction.
~David M, Application engineer, Melbourne, Australia
Make sure the actuator fits the application. You should not have to oversize the actuator by 2X to get the life you need. Look for new suppliers if your existing actuators are failing. Technology is changing and better solutions exist.
~Barb B, Marketing/Sales, Minneapolis, MN
Always contact the manufacturer to make sure there are no holes in the specification and that you are guaranteed the correct solution fit considering safety.
~Chris A, Marketing/Sales, Bella Vista, AR
Before finalizing the selection, contact the actuator supplier engineer.
~Vinod S, General Management, Faridabad, India
Understand the torque and speed requirements of the application.
~Randy W, Engineer, Bayonne, NJ
Check the property of the fluid pressure, temperature etc.
~Lajeesh A, Technical Support, HOSUR, INDIA
Pay less, pay twice.
~Benjamin H, Design Engineer, Mullheim, Germany
Never undersize
~Y N Cheung, Valve supplier, Hong Kong, Hong Kong


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