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Industry Headlines

Eastern Controls to Distribute ITT & PBM Valves

2 DAYS AGO

Eastern Controls, Inc. (ECI) is now an ITT & PBM factory authorized distributor for New York and northern New Jersey. ECI is the distributor for a variety of sanitary process valves and instrumentation which serve the life sciences industry.

ECI has been awarded factory authorization to sell both I...

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Cameron Signs Two Long-Term Transocean Service Agreements

3 DAYS AGO

Cameron, a Schlumberger company, has signed two 10-year pressure control equipment management service contracts on behalf of Transocean valued at greater than $350 million.

The first contract calls for Schlumberger to manage Transocean’s Cameron risers in the Gulf of Mexico. This comprehensive ag...

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Plains All American Expanding Cactus Pipeline Capacity

3 DAYS AGO

Plains All American (PAA) Pipeline, L.P. is expanding the capacity on its Cactus pipeline from McCamey to Gardendale, TX to approximately 390,000 barrels per day. The expansion will allow PAA to move increasing production volumes from the Permian Basin to Corpus Christi and other delivery points along...

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New Investments Spur Permian Oil Production Increase

4 DAYS AGO

The Department of Energy (DOE) said on Tuesday that oil production in the Permian Basin could increase by 53,000 bpd by next month. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), that is the largest monthly increase in the region in a year.

“The EIA’s first shale oil forecast o...

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Philly Fed: Mid-Atlantic Business Activity Hits Two-Year High

2 DAYS AGO

Economic conditions continued to improve in January, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The index for current manufacturing activity in the region increased from a revised reading of 19.7 in December to 23.6 this month. Approximately 40% of t...

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Industrial Production Sees Largest Rise in More Than Two Years

4 DAYS AGO

Industrial production rose 0.8% in December, the largest increase since November 2014, after falling 0.7% the previous month. For the fourth quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.6% at an annual rate.

Manufacturing output moved up 0.2% in December, as an increase in durable manufacturing outweighed d...

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Selection Considerations for Control Valves vs. Regulators

In any control system, the option potentially exists to select either a control valve or a regulator, so it is useful to compare the respective performance and economics of these approaches to arrive at some general selection guidelines.

Unlike regulators, control valves are not standalone products. A control valve is the final control element in a control system and needs to be evaluated in that context. A control valve is most frequently used in the control of the following parameters: temperature, pressure, flow and level.

However, in principle, any continuously varying system parameter that can be measured and compared to a set point can be controlled. Also, keep in mind that regardless of the parameter being controlled (the controlled variable), the control valve itself can only change the flow rate.

All control is to a set point, and the control system can be diagrammatically illustrated as shown in Figure 1.

spr09_bv_fig1

The essential feature of the controller (whether acting as a single-loop controller or as a component within a PLC or within a DCS or fieldbus device) is the incorporation of proportional and integral control modes capable of returning the measured variable to the set point following load changes or system disturbances. Control is generally within 5%, often within 1 to 2%.

Rising stem control valves are typically globe valves commonly used to the 2-inch size. However, globe valves can extend to at least 24 inches in size with special trims and cages for severe service and high-noise applications.

For economic reasons, rotary control valves are generally applied as line sizes increase above 2 inches and a variety of ball valves, eccentric plug and segmented ball valves, and butterfly valves exist in this segment of the market. The segmented ball valve is used in many applications and the largest size rotary control valves, such as butterfly valves, can extend to 72 inches in diameter.

Globe-style valves offer advantages in that the plug and/or cage can be more readily characterized to optimize the installed flow characteristic. Most rotary valves have an inherent flow coefficient characteristic that increases approximately exponentially with the increase in travel.

Although a range of actuators can be used, pneumatic actuation predominates. The diaphragm actuator is generally the style of choice due to minimized resistance and hysteresis for small changes in travel associated with control to within 1 to 2%. For improved control and minimized deadband, positioners are generally specified. It is also common practice for the current-to-pneumatic conversion to occur at the positioner. There is also a continuing increase in the use of intelligent or smart positioners, thereby providing automatic commissioning, higher accuracy, tight shut off, customizable characteristics and diagnostic capabilities.

There are obvious economic considerations associated with the choice of a control valve, which, at a minimum, require the incorporation of sensors and transmitters, controllers, positioners, instrument valves, tubing, wiring, calibration, tuning, etc. Generalized cost estimates can only be considered representative, at best, and can vary significantly depending upon application, size, material, accuracy and commercial circumstances.

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