Showing posts with label Missouri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Missouri. Show all posts

Switch and Valve Concepts Used in Fluid Power

Fluid valves
Pneumatic valves used in fluid power
(ASCO Numatics)
The direction in which a cylinder piston will move or a fluid motor will rotate can be controlled by the direction of flow into the device. A cylinder is said to reciprocate if it's piston travels back and forth being reversed automatically at each end of its stroke without human operator attention. In an air cylinder, automatic reciprocation can be stopped by an electrical action or by a shutoff valve in the airline. If stopped by electrical action it will continue to travel until it reaches one end or the other of its stroke. If stopped by shutting off the air, it can be made to stop anywhere in its stroke.
Cylinders and Actuators
Cylinders and Actuators
(ASCO Numatics)

Fluid valves are typically described as being either in the open or closed position. As described, the open position allows the flow of fluid, while the closed position prevents flow. The normal position of the valve is defined as the position of the valve when its spool is unshifted and the power is off. This means that any mechanical actuators, such as springs, are in their non-actuated positions. Electrical actuators, such as solenoids, are powered off. 

The normal position can sometimes be referred to as the unshifted, de-energized, or unactivated position. Valves that do not have mechanical or electrical actuators do not have a normal position because they must be manually moved. When shifted they remain in that state until manually shifted to another position. The terms normally opened and normally closed are used to describe the condition of a valve when it is in the normal position.

Watch the video below for a better understanding of these concepts.

For more information on fluid power components, or on fluid systems, contact Process Control Solutions by visiting or calling (800) 462-5769.

What Is A High Performance Butterfly Valve?

high performance butterfly valve
High performance butterfly valve.
(Pratt Industrial)
Industrial process control applications can present stringent and challenging performance requirements for the physical equipment and components that comprise the process chain. The valves employed in fluid based operations need to be resistant to the impact of extreme fluid conditions, requiring careful design and selection consideration to assure proper performance and safety levels are maintained in a predictable way.

Industrial butterfly valves intended for extreme applications are generally referred to as high performance butterfly valves (HPBV). While there are plenty of published and accepted standards for industrial valves, one does not exist to precisely define what constitutes a high performance valve.

So, how do you know when to focus valve selection activities on high performance butterfly valves, as opposed to those rated for general purpose? There are a number of basic criteria that might point you in that direction:
  • Extreme media or environmental temperature or pressure
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid or extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • Corrosive media
Certainly, any of these criteria might be found in an application serviceable by a general purpose valve, but their presence should be an indicator that a closer assessment of the fluid conditions and commensurate valve requirements is in order. The key element for a process stakeholder is to recognize when conditions are contemplated that can exceed the capabilities of a general purpose valve, leading to premature failure in control performance or catastrophic failure that produces an unsafe condition. Once the possibility of an extreme or challenging condition is identified, a careful analysis of the range of operating conditions will reveal the valve performance requirements.

There are numerous manufacturers of high performance butterfly valves. Pratt Industrial manufactures high-quality resilient-seated, high performance, and triple offset butterfly valves. Construction materials include carbon steel and stainless steel. Their TE Series triple offset valve offers premium, zero-leakage seating capability even in severe service applications.

You can always get more information and discuss your special requirements with a valve specialist. They have application experience and access to technical resources that can help with selecting the right valve components to meet your severe service and high performance applications.

For more information, contact Process Control Solutions by calling (800) 462-5769 or by visiting

Flame Testing a WIKA Industrial Pressure Gauge vs. Competition

The video below shows the results of laboratory flame testing of the WIKA XSEL process pressure gauge against those of a competitor.

The test first exposes both gauges to a 10 second burn, followed by a 30 second burn. Then, both gauges are exposed to the flame again over an extended period of time.

You can see by the time lapse video that the WIKA gauge maintains stability, does not melt, and does not continue to burn.
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Fluid Power Applications in Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants

In plants all across the Midwest, ASCO Numatics solenoid valves, cylinders, manifolds, and other fluid automation devices provide ultra-reliable service in water and wastewater treatment facilities. ASCO Numatics has a well-earned, 50 year reputation as a key supplier for OEMs, engineering contractors, valve assemblers, and end users seeking dependable treatment of potable water and wastewater.

Some of the most common applications to use ASCO Numatics products are:
  • Air Preparation
  • Aeration and Odor Control
  • Bio Refinery Solutions
  • Carrier Water Control
  • Disinfection and Filtration
  • Process Valve Piloting
  • Seal Water Control
  • Solids Dewatering
For additional information on water and wastewater treatment applications, read the document below. For assistance with any ASCO Numatics requirement, contact Process Control Solutions by calling (800) 462-5769 or visiting

The Fundamentals of Fluid Power

Fundamentals of Fluid PowerThe purpose of fluid power is to transmit power from one location to another. In the mid-1600s Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, made a very important contribution in the field of fluid motion. This contribution, known as Pascal's Law, relates the transfer of pressure through a fluid. Pascale determined that a contained, pressurized fluid will exert pressure equally in all directions. Pascal's Law states that pressure set up in a confined body of fluid acts equally in all directions and always at right angles to the containing surfaces.

Another important property of fluid mechanics was discovered in the late 1600s by Robert Boyle, an Irish physicist. Boyle's Law is an experimental gas law which describes how the pressure of a gas increases as the volume of gas decreases. A modern statement of Boyle's law is the absolute pressure of a confined body of gas varies inversely as its volume, provided it's temperature remains constant. In a physical system this means that as the volume decreases, the pressure increases. Similarly, as the volume increases, the pressure decreases. Boyle's Law can be expressed mathematically as the pressure at state 1 times the volume at state 1, is equal to the pressure at state 2 times the volume at state 2. This is true as long as both the temperature and mass, or amount of gas, remains constant.

In the late 1700s Jacques Charles, a French scientist and mathematician, discovered an important rule regarding gases under pressure. Charles's Law, also known as the Law of Volumes, is an experimental gas law which describes how gases tend to expand when heated. It states that if the pressure of a gas is constant, and it's temperature is raised, the volume will also be raised by the same ratio. Additionally, the inverse is true. If the pressure of a gas is constant, and the temperature is lowered, the volume will also lower. Charles's Law can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of the temperature at state 1 to the volume at state 1, is equal to the ratio of the temperature at state 2 to the volume at state 2. This law is true as long as the pressure and mass remain constant.

In the mid-1700s, Danielle Bernoulli discovered another very powerful rule in the field of fluid mechanics. Known as Bernoulli's Principle, this rule is related to the Theory of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In this fluid system, pressure is potential energy and fluid flow is kinetic energy. Bernoulli's Principle states that an increase in the speed of an incompressible fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure.

Toward the end of the video below, this is illustrated by the flow of water through a pipe. The volume of water flow through all three sections is the same when the waters flow is restricted. In Section B, the speed of the water increases to maintain the same amount of volumetric flow. This increase of speed simultaneously causes a decrease in pressure. When the flow of water reaches section C, the inverse occurs. The water flow decreases and the pressure increases. This rule can also apply to the types of energy present in the system. As the pressure decreases in Section B, the potential energy converts into kinetic energy. This increases the speed of water flow and decreases the pressure. When the water reaches section C, the kinetic energy is converted back to potential energy. This is illustrated by the decrease in speed of the water flow and it's simultaneous increase in pressure. 
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What Are Control Systems?

Control systems
Control systems are computer-based systems that are used by many infrastructures and industries to monitor and control sensitive processes and physical functions. Typically, control systems collect sensor measurements and operational data from the field, process and display this information, and relay control commands to local or remote equipment. In the electric power industry they can manage and control the transmission and delivery of electric power, for example, by opening and closing circuit breakers and setting thresholds for preventive shutdowns. Employing integrated control systems, the oil and gas industry can control the refining operations on a plant site as well as remotely monitor the pressure and flow of gas pipelines and control the flow and pathways of gas transmission. In water utilities, they can remotely monitor well levels and control the wells’ pumps; monitor flows, tank levels, or pressure in storage tanks; monitor water quality characteristics, such as pH, turbidity, and chlorine residual; and control the addition of chemicals. Control system functions vary from simple to complex; they can be used to simply monitor processes—for example, the environmental conditions in a small office building—or manage most activities in a municipal water system or even a nuclear power plant.

process controlIn certain industries such as chemical and power generation, safety systems are typically implemented to mitigate a disastrous event if control and other systems fail. In addition, to guard against both physical attack and system failure, organizations may establish back-up control centers that include uninterruptible power supplies and backup generators.

There are two primary types of control systems. Distributed Control Systems (DCS) typically are used within a single processing or generating plant or over a small geographic area. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems typically are used for large, geographically dispersed distribution operations. A utility company may use a DCS to generate power and a SCADA system to distribute it.

control panelA control system typically consists of a “master” or central supervisory control and monitoring station consisting of one or more human-machine interfaces where an operator can view status information about the remote sites and issue commands directly to the system. Typically, this station is located at a main site along with application servers and an engineering workstation that is used to configure and troubleshoot the other control system components. The supervisory control and monitoring station is typically connected to local controller stations through a hard- wired network or to remote controller stations through a communications network—which could be the Internet, a public switched telephone network, or a cable or wireless (e.g. radio, microwave, or Wi-Fi4) network. Each controller station has a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU), a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), DCS controller, or other controller that communicates with the supervisory control and monitoring station. The controller stations also include sensors and control equipment that connect directly with the working components of the infrastructure—for example, pipelines, water towers, and power lines. The sensor takes readings from the infrastructure equipment—such as water or pressure levels, electrical voltage or current—and sends a message to the controller.

HMIThe controller may be programmed to determine a course of action and send a message to the control equipment instructing it what to do—for example, to turn off a valve or dispense a chemical. If the controller is not programmed to determine a course of action, the controller communicates with the supervisory control and monitoring station before sending a command back to the control equipment. The control system also can be programmed to issue alarms back to the operator when certain conditions are detected. Handheld devices, such as personal digital assistants, can be used to locally monitor controller stations. Experts report that technologies in controller stations are becoming more intelligent and automated and communicate with the supervisory central monitoring and control station less frequently, requiring less human intervention.

For more information about industrial control systems, visit of call (800) 462-5769.

Diaphragm Seals Protect Your Pressure Instruments, Your Plant, and Your People

Diaphragm seal
Diaphragm seal (Wika)
Pressure measurement is a common element of industrial operations or control systems. Fluid processing can often involve media that is potentially harmful to pressure sensing devices. The media may be corrosive to the sensor material, or other media properties may impact the performance or usable life of the instrument. In process control environments, diaphragm seals play a role in protecting items like pressure sensors from damage by process fluids. The diaphragm seal is a flexible membrane that seals across the connecting path to a sensor and isolates the sensor from the process media. System pressure crosses the barrier without inhibition, enabling accurate measurement, but the process fluid does not. Typical materials composing diaphragm seals are elastomers, with a wide variety of specific materials available to accommodate almost every application.

In the operating principle of the diaphragm seal, the sealed chamber created between the diaphragm and the instrument is filled with an appropriate fluid, allowing for the transfer of pressure from the process media to the protected sensor. The seals are attached to the process by threaded, open flange, sanitary, or other connections. Diaphragm seals are sometimes referred to as chemical seals or gauge guards. Stainless steel, Hastelloy, Monel, Inconel, and titanium are used in high pressure environments, and some materials are known to work better when paired with certain chemicals.

Sanitary processes, such as food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals, use diaphragm seals to prevent the
Sanitary Diaphragm seal
Sterile, diaphragm inline seal
with temperature measurement.
accumulation of process fluid in pressure ports, a possible source of contamination. If such a buildup were to occur, such as milk invading and lodging in a port on a pressure gauge, the resulting contamination compromises the quality and purity of successive batches. Extremely pure process fluids, like ultra-pure water, could be contaminated by the metal surface of a process sensor. Some pneumatic systems rely on the elimination of even the smallest pressure fluctuations, and diaphragm seals prevent those by ensuring the separation of the process materials from the sensors.

Diaphragm seals are not without some application concerns, and devices are now built to address and counter many potential issues related to the use of diaphragm seals with process monitoring instruments and equipment. Products seek to eliminate any and all dead space, allow for continuous process flow, and are self-cleaning thanks to continuous flow design. Some high pressure seals come equipped with anti-clogging features, accomplished by the elimination of internal cavities while protecting gauges. Multi-purpose seals reduce temperature influence and improve instrument performance while pinpointing and diffusing areas of high stress. These pre-emptive measures result in longer instrument life-cycles and improved performance while ensuring protection from corrosion.

There are numerous options and available diaphragm seal variants. Share your application specifics with a product specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Red Valve: Pinch Valves, Check Valves, Expansion Joints, Pressure Sensors

Red Valve has set the standard for solving the world’s toughest flow control challenges through unmatched elastomer design and manufacturing experience. Red Valve is dedicated to exceeding customer expectations with proven, creative, high-value solutions.

Red Valve products are designed to handle the toughest flow applications in:
  • Power Plants – FGD Systems, Scrubber Systems, Coal Handling
  • Mining Facilities – Tailings, Flotation Control, Thickener Underflow Lines, Numerous Other Slurry Applications
  • Chemical Processes – Corrosive and Abrasive Materials, Powders, Pellets
  • Pulp & Paper Mills – Sludge Handling, Grit Removal, Lime, Carbon Slurry
  • Bulk Materials - Food, Cement, Sand, Glass
  • Industrial Treatment Plants

Process Control Solutions
(800) 462-5769

Valve Selection Guide for Wastewater Treatment

valves for water treatment
Wastewater Treatment Facility
Over the past 30 years, the process of wastewater treatment has seen dramatic changes as world populations continue to increase and concern over the environment grows. Ever more stringent regulations for wastewater quality have been met with high-tech engineering. Red Valve Company has worked closely with the designers and operators of wastewater treatment plants across the globe to provide innovative solutions for the most difficult challenges faced in a treatment plant.

Unlike most valve companies who view water and wastewater as one and the same, Red Valve provides products specifically engineered for the rigors of use on slurries such as sewage, sludge and grit. Red Valve provides a Total System Solution for Wastewater Treatment that encompasses every step of the treatment process, from collection to final discharge. Their commitment is to provide dependable, cost effective products that offer the best possible solution for their particular application. See the brochure below for specific water treatment facility applications where these products provide a proven, superior engineered solution.

Contact Process Control Solutions with your valve and actuation requirements by calling (800) 462-5769 or by visiting

Field Service & Repair from Process Control Solutions

Process Control Solutions is an essential industrial service company with decades of experience solving issues in the entire flow path. We offer comprehensive flow solutions from on-site and off-site repair, to maintenance and installation, to product sales and application support. Our field service experts, with stocked vehicles, are available 24/7 throughout Missouri and Central and Southern Illinois. We are trained to solve the most difficult issues when and where they happen. Whatever the time, location, or complexity of a project, PCS has the field service know-how and equipment to do the job safely, effectively, and on schedule.
(800) 462-5769

New Flow Control Products Video

We just published a new flow control products video for our YouTube channel. We hope you enjoy.

Electric Actuators Improve Delayed Coker Operational Uptime and Reliability at Refinery

Reprinted with permission by EIM
EIM 2000 M2CP
EIM 2000 M2CP
Operating ball valves, water purge and slurry gate valves on delayed coking unit process valving.

Refinery in USA

Operating conditions in any refinery’s delayed coker units are extremely severe. Inlet temperatures of the residual oil flowing through the transfer line into the coke drum exceeds 700° F (375°C). During the filling of the coking process, torques are high and tend to increase as the process media builds up in the valve’s wetted parts. The process of coking requires multiple actuators to perform a sequenced series of valve strokes to divert process in a precisely timed event. This sequenced event is controlled by a programmed logic command and must be executed at each actuator reliably and consistently every time. This decoking cycle occurs at regular intervals every twelve to eighteen hours. Upon completion of the cycle, feed is switched to a second drum while the filled vessel is being decoked. During the coke removal process, there is a high level of vibration and water hammer effect as the coke is drilled out by high pressure water jets blasting the coke residue from the lines and coke drums. The introduction of high pressure water into a 700 °F piping system creates rapid expansion and temperature fluctuations. The coke product naturally has traces of sulfur which can be corrosive when subjected to water during the unit wash down. Wash down is necessary due to the abundance of abrasive airborne coke dust that covers every surface within the working coke process unit. The coke dust not only creates challenges for corrosion protection but also builds up in small crevice spaces and impedes instrumentation functionality.

Actuators operating the switching and recirculation valves are subjected to all of these harsh conditions. As such, the Meantime Between Failure (MTBF) of competitors’ actuators in this service has ranged from as little as two months to approximately one year. Valve and/or actuator failure results in unscheduled shutdowns of the coker units and unplanned service repairs or replacement. Actuator failure necessitates manual valve operation and extra manpower. More importantly, process time is extended and, since the coke is used as feed stock in Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) units, production can be curtailed.

Production has increased since installing EIM actuators and maintenance cost has been reduced. The use of EIM 2000 M2CP actuators in this application has been successful due to its robust design and protective coatings. EIM actuators have performed continuously for more than six years in the refinery’s two coker units (eight drums total) where others have failed prematurely. The long life can be attributed, in part, to the Series 2000 gear train durable ductile iron housing and superior powder coating on all surfaces. Because of the rugged design of the EIM M2CP electrical control package and components, the vibration and violent shaking of the actuator during coking process has little adverse effect on the M2CP components. The smaller mass components such as the limit switches are also designed to resist destruction from inertia and momentum generated by operations.The other major design advantage is the ductile iron linear power train Series 2000 gear assembly which is built to withstand the high torque and thrust loads without cracking or deforming. This durability is important in order to maintain precise gear alignment for the rigors of high service demands. The EIM M2CP actuator is well-suited for operations where vibration and water hammer effect are present. There have been nearly no failures or unplanned service requirements in more than six years in the coke application. The plant has been able to conduct shutdowns on schedule. Actuators have been eliminated as a cause of process interruption.

For more information about EIM actuators in Missouri, Kansas, or Illinois, contact Process Controls Solutions by visiting or calling (800) 462-5769.

Control Systems by Process Control Solutions

Process Control Solutions' Control Systems group offers turn-key process automation and systems integration services backed by years of experience in the design and implementation of control systems. Our capabilities include design, specification, fabrication, configuration, programming and start-up of your project. We support a wide range of process applications and requirements including SCADA, PLC & HMI programming, industrial control panels fabrication, product testing and virtually any other custom process automation application. PCS is UL 508 certified and a Wonderware Certified Integrator.

For more information, visit

Numatics 503 Series Solenoid Pilot Actuated Valves

​The Numatics 503 Valve series provides higher flow and higher reliability in one versatile valve platform. The 503 Series is available in dual 3-Way and 4-Way solenoid air pilot actuated valves. They are available with manifold or individual base mountings, proprietary or ISO 15407. Numatics 503 series valves are compatible with the Numatics G3 Fieldbus Electronics Platform.

Standard Numatics 503 Series Valve Specifications:

  • Cv 1.0 – 1.4
  • Port Sizes: ¼, 3/8, 8mm, 10mm, Push-In, NPTF & G Tap
  • 5 ported, 2X3-Way, 2 and 3 position, 4 Way, spool & sleeve & rubber seal
  • Operating Pressure Range: 28" HG. Vacuum to 115 PSIG/ Vacuum to 8 Bar
  • Pilot Pressure Range 29 to 115 PSIG / 2 to 8 Bar
  • Temperature Range(Ambient): -14 °F to +115 °F/ - 10°C to 50 °C
  • Numatics 503 Series Valve Features
  • G3 Electronics Compatible
  • Solenoid air pilot actuated
  • Low wattage, 1.7 watt for DC application
  • DC solenoids polarity insensitive with surg suppression
  • Plug together circuit boards eliminate internal wiring
  • Integral recessed gaskets
  • Push-in Fittings to accommodate various tubing sizes
  • Simple conversion from internal to external pilot
  • IP 65 Certified

Numatics Offers Express Products Program

ASCO NumaticsNumatics, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic products and motion control products. Since 1945, Numatics has emerged as the prominent specialist in developing and manufacturing pneumatic and fluid power components for a widely diverse field of automated industry.

Numatics Express Shipping Program guarantees product shipment in two, three or five business days. Unlike most traditional quick ship programs, the Numatics Express Shipping Program includes the most comprehensive offering in the industry.

Check out the Numatics Express Catalog below. For any applications questions or ordering requirement, visit Process Control Solutions at this link, or call (800) 462-5769.

Need a Tough Electric Actuator with Proven Performance? Check Out EIM Electric Valve Actuators

EIM electric actuator
EIM electric actuator.
EIM electric actuators are well known for their innovation, quality and ability to withstand for harsh industrial applications.  EIM actuators are found throughout the processing industries - oil and gas, power, refining, chemical, petrochemical, water/wastewater and mining.  EIM actuators and controls have a proven track record for reliable performance in critical shutdown applications as well.

For more about EIM Actuators visit Process Control Solutions website here, or call (800) 462-5769.

Watch the video below for a general overview of EIM actuators.