Various types of valves are being used to control multiple automated machines working on more prominent processes and power plants. One such example is the control valve. It is primarily used to, as suggested by the name, control the fluid as per the directions from the signal. It varies the size of the flow passage to control the flow of the fluid. This results in direct control of the flow rate and also enables ultimate control of liquid level, temperature, and pressure.
As mentioned, the control valve is used in numerous process plants, and at each plant, there could be hundreds or even thousands of them. This shows how vital the valves are and how they should be substantially maintained well. Control valves are also the final control elements of a machine. This means these control valves are responsible for keeping process variables such as level, flow, temperature and pressure within the designated operating range. These are just like any machinery and need to be taken proper care off.
Benefits Of Control Valves
The large scale use already emphasizes how important control valves are, but that still does not mean that all they do is control and regulate the fluid flow. There are a lot many things they can do, let us take a look at some of the uses and benefits of control valves:
When you are into the manufacturing industry, each product is supposed to be the same. It should be the same in size, shape, and volume. This is enabled with the help of control valves. If you have the correct valve size and the right type installed, which you can get from great check valve or butterfly valve manufacturers, there will be consistency.
The main job of control valves is removing the chances of the variability of the process and of controlling the different forms of process variables. Both of these are factors that contribute to and increase the efficiency of the process. It is not just at these levels. Every step of a standard procedure offers scope for efficiency and control valves help with that at each stage.
When your product is consistent, and you have high efficiency, that means that control valves are indirectly helping to improve the profitability of the plant as a whole. Not just this, they also help to reduce a lot of excess material costs and facilitate environmental sustainability. All of these only prove to be a great benefit to the process.
Why Is Control Valve Neglected?
For such an important component, the control valve is an intricate part, and hence, prone to neglect as well. Let us look at the two leading causes for the neglect of a control valve:
The importance of a control valve is often lost on even big shots like the people responsible for efficiency, engineers or managers. They often look at other things, for example, a control loop, to help to improve efficiency and ignore the control valve, which is a central component.
A control valve takes a small portion of the big process machinery, and while the entire machinery is maintained and the upkeep is performed, the same is not done for control valves. They are not maintained, which affects the overall performance of the machinery.
How To Maximize The Performance Of The Control Valve?
It is imperative that the control valves are taken good care of and regularly maintained to use them to their optimum and also improve the efficiency of the process in turn:
While it is assumed that the control valve needs not much thought while choosing the valve required, the reality is quite the contrary. Many things need to be looked into while selecting a control valve. Given their importance, the right amount of attention should be paid on the list of things you need from the control valve, and then decide which would fit the description.
Below are some of the things that should be considered:
- Type of the fluid which needs to be controlled
- Valve body
- Valve size
- Body material
- Instrument signal
For the control valve to give a topmost performance, you need to ensure that the control valve is installed correctly and there are no misses in the process. The placement should be as per requirement, and below are the things that should be looked into:
- Check the valve to ensure it is not damaged before installation.
- Ensure that both the valve and the installing point are cleaned before the installation.
- The valve is installed correctly as per the installation, whether vertical or horizontal.
- There should be adequate accommodating space around the valve for its operation as well as for when it requires any maintenance.
- The piping should have sufficient support for the valve
A new valve functions efficiently, however with time it will need its share of maintenance and care to be able to give the required efficiency. There must be a valve maintenance plan in place to facilitate the responsibility of the valve. This involves a lot of things. With advanced technology, there are means to check the diagnostics of the control valve automatically. It would mean that the control valve doesn’t need to be uninstalled to correct the issue.
A repair is needed when you have identified the exact problem with the valve. There could be an issue with the valve as it uses increases, and the same would need to be fixed. Below are some of the problems that might need valve repairing:
- Valve has stopped working
- Internal or external leakage
These are some of the points that explain why control valves are essential and why they should be maintained regularly. It not only helps to increase the performance of the valve but also increase the success of the process overall.