Control Valve Actuators

Reed Research Group surveyed Control Engineering subscribers in December 2008 about their use of control valve actuators currently, and going forward. The results presented here are based on 224 completed responses from subscribers who evaluate, specify, recommend, install, and/or purchase these devices.

02/01/2009



Reed Research Group surveyed Control Engineering subscribers in December 2008 about their use of control valve actuators currently, and going forward. The results presented here are based on 224 completed responses from subscribers who evaluate, specify, recommend, install, and/or purchase these devices. Among these, 46% say they run both batch and continuous processes, 25% run continuous processes only, 14% are batch only plants, and the balance fall into other categories. Liquid handling outnumbers gasses nearly 2:1 with a few percentage points for slurries and powders. Looking ahead to the rest of 2009, prospects for growth are slow, with only 17% of respondents saying their purchases will increase, and 83% looking for the same level as 2008 or a decrease.

 

Many different size companies responded. A large segment (48%) buy 24 units or fewer annually. A sizable middle group of 34% covers the intermediate space of 25 to 149 units annually, and the large users at 150+ account for 18%. The bulk of valves (75%) have integral actuators, with the balance mounted as a separate item. Pneumatic actuators still dominate at 45%, but electric units are a close second at 40%. Manual designs take most of the balance.

 

The critical nature of control valve operation comes through when comparing the answers to a number of questions. Reparability and cost factors topped the list of most important factors for selection, followed closely by manufacturer’s reputation and availability from stock. Actuators are expected to perform reliability, but must be economical, and easy to repair or replace when there are problems. Most companies (60%) do their own actuator repairs in house, with the balance split between factory and third-party shops. Generally, actuators operate without a large amount of maintenance, as 46% report that they have to service actuators once every three or more years, and 29% said once per two years. Only 25% require service once per year or less.

 

Purchase habits in 2009 seem to reflect current economic conditions. In 2007, 29% of respondents expected purchases to increase, and only 10% anticipated a decrease. Repairs in house have also declined slightly, shifting to third-party providers.

Purchase habits in 2009 seem to reflect current economic conditions. In 2007, 29% of respondents expected purchases to increase, and only 10% anticipated a decrease. Repairs in house have also declined slightly, shifting to third-party providers.

When it comes to selecting control valves, respondents included comments formed by experience, such as:

 

  • “Deal with people that have control valve experience and have the practical knowledge on how the valves need to perform.”

  • “Research the products completely. Obtain the best match between the product and application and don’t assume that a more expensive unit with more features is going to be the best fit.”

  • “For industrial environments, you have usually have to pay a little more to get robust equipment, but it is worth it due to MRO savings.”

  • “Research you application in depth, to ensure the need meets all aspects of the application: serviceability, cleanability, and low replacement costs.”

  • “Keep it clean and exercise it often.”

  • “Make support your most important attribute above availability and price.”

Additional results, links, and product information from these vendors are available with this article online at www.controleng.com/archive for February 2009.

 

While a few suppliers tend to dominate much of the market, there is still a large variety of manufacturers who have a strong hold on specialty and niche applications.

While a few suppliers tend to dominate much of the market, there is still a large variety of manufacturers who have a strong hold on specialty and niche applications.

Author Information

Peter Welander is process industries editor. Reach him at PWelander@cfemedia.com .



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me