Valves in all their forms are an integral part of every piping system. Sectors such as the chemical process industry, microelectronics or water treatment all rely on valves to regulate and control different media, and to ensure a failsafe operation. But in order to meet the very high standards in many applications, components such as butterfly valves, membrane valves, or ball valves need to be automated. In addition to sensors and controllers that help operators monitor important parameters and make the necessary adjustments, this means that valves also need to be fitted with the correct actuators and positioners.
One platform, multiple options
Today, operators demand fully compatible and customizable piping systems that address their specific needs. As a result, they expect vital components such as valves to be fully modular. This includes features such as consistent installation lengths and a simple construction to avoid long downtimes and simplify maintenance, as well as a broad range of different materials and dimensions. At the same time, modular valves also allow additional equipment to be retrofitted at any time, such as different positioners and actuators, position feedback indicators, or smart functionality, which meets all-electric, pneumatic, and manual operation requirements. Looking toward the future, smart actuation is particularly important as it provides operators with a wide range of opportunities such as a better overview and control of the system, remote diagnosis, and pre-planned maintenance.
Finding the right material for the job
Traditionally, many valves are made of metal. Although metal is a robust material, it can have number of drawbacks. Depending on the application, it is susceptible to corrosion which can result in damage to the piping system and high maintenance costs – in addition to the loss of valuable resources. At the same time, metal valves tend to be heavy which raises logistical costs as well as the physical strain during installation and maintenance. Plastic valves, on the other hand, have proven to be a lightweight, corrosion-free, and cost-effective alternative with a prolonged service life in many applications.
Complete Solutions by GF Piping Systems
As a leading flow solutions provider, Swiss company GF Piping Systems offers both plastic piping systems and modular solutions for cutting-edge process automation. Here, lightweight and long-lasting valves such as the Butterfly Valve 565 for water and wastewater applications or the Ball Valve 543 Pro for applications in the water treatment and process industry are combined with standardized interfaces.
The pneumatic actuator by GF Piping Systems made of glass fiber reinforced polypropylene (PP-GF) is maintenance-free and has a lifetime as long as the entire piping system. Due to a variety of combination possibilities with a wide range of valves, it can be implemented in many different applications. At the same time, its lightweight and compact construction simplifies both plant design and installation.
Thanks to integrated NAMUR interfaces, end-users can further widen the functionality and automation level with additional equipment such as the electro-pneumatic positioner. With communication interfaces such as PROFINET and EtherNet/IP, as well as analog and binary feedback, it not only connects the actuator to the process but also ensures modern integration standards. Combining the pneumatic actuator and the electro-pneumatic positioner creates complete and compatible solutions that can be configured for numerous applications.