Methods for Optimizing Control Valve Efficiency

Every part has a close relationship with the performance of machines, so does the control valve. Its efficiency directly affects process plant profits. The role a control valve plays in optimizing processes is often ignored. Many process plant managers focus most resources on distributed control systems and their potential for improving production efficiency. However, it is the final control element (typically a control valve) that actually creates the change in process variable.

Control valves must operate properly no matter how sophisticated the automation system or how accurate the instrumentation. Without proper valve operation, you cannot achieve high efficiency, good products, maximum profits, and energy conservation. In order to optimize control valve efficiency, you must take many things into consideration. For example, you should select correct control valve for application. You should properly store and protect the products. Besides, it also depends on proper installation techniques.

Proper storage and protection should be considered early in the selection process. Generally, manufacturers have packaging standards that are dependent upon the destination and intended length of storage before installation. Because most valves arrive on site some time before installation, many problems can be averted by making sure the details of the installation schedule are known and discussed with the manufacturer at the time of valve selection. In addition, special precautions should be taken upon receipt of the valve at the final destination. For example, the valve must be stored in a clean, dry place away from any traffic or other activity that could damage the valve.

There are many points for proper installation techniques. First of all, you should read the instruction manual before installing the valve. Instruction manuals describe the product and review safety issues and precautions to be taken before and during installation. Following the guidelines in the manual helps ensure an easy and successful installation. Secondly, you should make sure that the pipeline is clean. Foreign material in the pipeline could damage the seating surface of the valve or even obstruct the movement of the valve plug, ball, or disk so that the valve does not shut off properly. To help reduce the possibility of a dangerous situation from occurring, you should clean all pipelines before installing. Thirdly, it is also very important to inspect the control valves. Although valve manufacturers take steps to prevent shipment damage, such damage is possible and should be discovered and reported before the valve is installed. In addition, you should check inside the valve body to make sure no foreign objects are present.