Automated Monitoring, Performance Diagnosis, and Configuration of Industrial Valves

Valve Monitoring

As corporations worldwide are increasingly concentrating on their bottom-line margins, there is an increased drive towards efficiency and productivity in industrial operations. Operators are also looking to respond to industry concerns about aging assets. All manufacturing activities are continually motivated to improve performance and productivity to boost profit margins and optimize bottom-line returns. This drive takes place in many industry sectors against a backdrop of increased health, safety, and environmental issues and the need to make changes to old assets that can sometimes run beyond their original design lifespan.

Reducing the number of unscheduled plant shutdowns is an essential way of fulfilling these targets. Unplanned shutdowns are mostly related to worn-out machinery and are attributable to exceeding process equipment's longevity in many instances. Operators may avoid expensive shutdowns and increase production uptime with a regular maintenance schedule and a condition monitoring solution that minimizes maintenance spending and improves plant safety. Asset tracking, asset management, and predictive maintenance solutions are, therefore, becoming increasingly common.

Valve Condition Monitoring's goal is to detect and prevent possible failures before causing unsafe conditions and unplanned downtimes.

Since valves are a critical component of any flow-based operation, valve efficiency is an essential factor to check when trying to avoid unplanned maintenance, or worse, shutdowns of plants and the resulting loss of batch output.

Although some operators already deploy condition monitoring on control valves and critical valves, many valves are often left unmonitored, particularly those used for on / off and shutdown applications. Although the technology for controlling these valves is available, operators are discouraged from such an investment because of the prohibitive hardware and installation cost. 

Although some valve manufacturers have touted various valve testing and monitoring systems, many proposed solutions can pose operational, financial, and technical implementation problems. This is because they are usually considerably more expensive than conventional methods or require new electrical systems and hardware to accommodate and enhance the monitoring software. Suppose automation is fundamental, such as that needed with on/off valves. In that case, the transformation is relatively low in value. This way, the time and resources involved in implementing a useful monitoring solution can be challenging to justify. However, the consequence is that vast numbers of on/off valves are not supervised and pose a significant risk of valve failure.

By implementing this technology cost-effectively on all automatic valves, a plant will provide production efficiency and avoid unspecified delays and unsafe conditions. Valve Condition Monitoring is useful to all operating phases of the plant and thus provides the ability to increase all current and future installations' performance and safety.

If you are considering updating your plant's valve monitoring strategy, contact a local expert who can guide you through all the ups and downs. The information they provide is truly invaluable. 

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000 

Extremely Rugged, Hazardous Area Pressure Switch - The 6900GE from Custom Control Sensors (CCS DualSnap)

The Custom Control Sensors hazardous location 6900GE Series is the most popular, all-around, all-aluminum gage pressure switch. The series is UL/CSA explosion proof, Class I, Groups A, B, C and D, and Class II Groups E, F and G certified. NEMA 4X and IP66 rating is optimum for wet conditions.

It is designed with high vibration and shock resistance utilizing Dual Snap® disc spring technology ensuring high accuracy and repeatability. It comes with high over-pressure capabilities and still relatively compact in size to conveniently mount on panels. It meets the demand for all applications commercial, industrial and otherwise. 

6900GE Industrial Applications Include:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Power Generation
  • Fluid Management
  • Chemical Refining and Processing
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Utilities, Water Treatment and Waste
  • Safety Systems

For more information about CCS DualSnap products, contact Automatic Controls of Virginia. Call them at 804-752-1000 or visit their website at

SmartStep™ Precision Electric Actuators

SmartStep™ Precision Electric Actuators
SmartStep™, by USI, are AC or DC powered precision electric actuators rated for Class 1, Division II, Group A, B, C, and D hazardous areas. They are used for applications requiring 100% modulation and/or open/close operation.

SmartStep™ actuators incorporate non-contact position sensing increases reliability, eliminating wear failure from mechanical switches or contacts.

SmartStep™ is available in four torque outputs, 500, 1200, 2500, or 5000 in-lbs torque. All models include a bright four-line LCD display shows an extensive list of valve states and service advisories, including: valve position, cycle count, back-up power charge statues, current/max temperature values, system faults, and many others.

Get the SmartStep™Brochure Here

SmartStep™ Precision Electric Actuators

SmartStep™ Actuator Features:

  • Robust design engineered for 100% Modulation and Open/Close operation
  • UL/CUL and CE approved with Class 1, Division II, Group A, B, C, and D Hazardous Location Rating.
  • Electronic Power Backup option powers actuator enabling it to return to pre-programmed safe position in the event of loss of control signal or power.
  • Life Expectancy of Power Backup option is greater than 10 years due to super capacitor technology.
  • ISO 5211 direct mounting for F07 and F10 compatible valves.

SmartStep™ Actuator Certifications:

  • CE Certified
  • UL/CUL Certified
  • UL Class 1, Div 2, Groups A, B, C, D Hazardous Location Rated

For more information about SmartStep™ actuators, contact Automatic Controls of Virginia. Call them at 804-752-1000 or visit their website at

XOMOX® Cavity-free, Sleeved Plug Valves

XOMOX® sleeved plug valves are are non-lubricated quarter-turn valves that achieve sealing through the use of a compressible sleeve as a sealing member. They provide maintenance-free and cavity-less design benefits, namely no costly lubrication required and no accumulation or contamination of process media. Sleeved plug valves are used for on/off and throttling service in demanding process applications with media temperatures ranging from -20°F to 600°F.

For more information about XOMOX plug valves, contact Automatic Controls of Virginia. Call them at 804-752-1000 or visit their website at

White Paper: Theory, Application, and Sizing of Air Valves in Water and Wastewater System Pipelines

Sizing of Air Valves

One of the most misunderstood aspects of the water and wastewater industry is the presence of air in a pipeline and its impact on operations. Many operational problems, especially at the time of initial start-up, including damaged equipment, as well as faulty instrumentation readings, are blamed on inadequate thrust blocking, improper pipeline bedding, etc. But in reality, many of these problems are not caused by improper installation of the line, but by failure to de-aerate the line. Properly de-aerating the pipeline with the use of automatic air valves will safeguard it from air-related problems.


  • Introduction
  • Three Basic Types of Air Valves
  • Air Release Valves
  • Air/Vacuum Valves
  • Combination Air Valves
  • Air Valve Locations Along a Pipeline
  • Air/Vacuum Valve Sizing
  • Air Release Valve Sizing
  • Summary
  • References


For more information about Val-Matic products, contact Automatic Controls of Virginia. Call them at 804-752-1000 or visit their website at