Festo, suppliers of automation equipment, has identified that many fluid control valve users are wasting money
Festo has developed a set of top tips to enable specifiers achieve significant cost savings by more closely matching valves and actuators to their specific requirements.
The top tips are aimed at guiding specifiers through key considerations like process media, operating pressure and environmental factors to select the most appropriate product.
Kai Feller, Festo’s Product Manager for Process Automation, said: “There is significant potential to drive down costs in fluid control through more intelligent selection of equipment like valves and actuators.”
Savings start with consideration of the process media, which will affect the choice of material for the valve. “If the media is aggressive or corrosive, then stainless steel is likely to be the best option,” said Feller.
“But in many common applications – supply of cooling water in a machine for example – a brass ball valve or butterfly valve with polyamide coated discs are perfectly adequate and cost far less.”
In addition to matching the valve material to the media, the choice of operating pressure can also have significant cost and energy implications.
Festo advises specifiers to look for opportunities to select lower media pressure ratings. This can be achieved without affecting the connection norm or the burst pressure rating of the valve and a lower pressure rated disc means a smaller, lower cost actuator.
Environmental conditions are also an important consideration, particularly for actuator selection. Specifiers should consider factors such as chemical dosing and cleaning regimes, in addition to immediate environmental factors.
“There is little point in paying a premium for stainless steel actuators if they are not necessary,” said Feller. “If a standard aluminium actuator is not suitable, epoxy-coated actuators are cost-competitive and resistant to most chemicals, making them a great choice for corrosive environments unless the actuator actually needs to be fully submerged.”
Festo’s DFPD quarter turn actuators can be ordered with coating options as well as different shaft materials, to help customers tailor the product to match specific operating requirements and keep costs under control.
Pneumatic valves and actuators featuring lifetime lubrication are available. Eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance checks and top-up lubricating oils, these modern products reduce lifetime and environmental costs of safe storage/disposal of lubricants.
“Savings of more than 50% have been achieved using just these three tips,” claimed Feller.