Monday, September 9, 2019

Let Automatic Controls of Virginia Do Your "Valve Automation Heavy Lifting"

Automatic Controls of Virginia has the experience, facilities, and field service capabilities to handle any valve automation project.  When it comes to design, fabrication, assembly, and installation, Automatic Controls of Virginia is a solid choice. With five decades of solving some of the toughest valve automation challenges in industrial control and municipal water treatment, Automatic Controls is ready to do the "heavy lifting" with your next valve automation requirement.

Automatic Controls of Virginia

Monday, August 26, 2019

Wafer Knife Gate Pinch Valve for the Toughest Slurries and Abrasive Applications

The Flowrox Slurry Wafer Knife Gate Valve (SKW) is designed for heavy duty purposes to isolate flow, even in the most demanding process conditions. The complete valve is built around an ease of maintenance concept and it contains only two service parts: ring sleeves and secondary seal.

  • Improved performance - Integrated load distribution ring
  • Ease of maintenance  - Universal tower design
  • Simple installation - One peace body with lockout pins

Bi-directional flow

Bi-directional flow tolerates backflow. 100% isolation.

Free flow

Full bore enables free flow of process medium.

Wear resistant

Only the ring sleeves in contact with the process medium.

Simple to install and service

Face-to-face according to industry standards. Contains only two service parts; ring sleeves and upper seal.

Typical installations:

  • Tailings slurry lines
  • Slurry pump isolation
  • Thickener feed and discharge lines
  • Flotation isolation
For more information about the Flowrox pinch valves, contact Automatic Controls of VA by visiting or by calling (804) 752-1000.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How EIM Actuators Improve Delayed Coker Operational Uptime

A Refinery’s delayed coking unit is not new technology, but is the most common process to upgrade the residual hydrocarbons remaining after upstream processing to remove water and soluble salts in the crude desalter; production of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and atmospheric reduced crude through atmospheric distillation; and the production of heavy vacuum gas oil (HVGO) during vacuum distillation. The vacuum reduced crude remaining after these three stages becomes the principal feedstock for the next process stage – delayed coking.

Read this white paper to find out how EIM actuators helped this US refinery improve uptime and reduce cost.

Automatic Controls of VA
(804) 752-1000

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Questtec Solutions Liquid Level Measurement Products

Questtec Solutions specializes in the development and engineering magnetic level indicators, liquid level gauges and valve product lines. Product lines include:
  • Glass-Trac Liquid Level Gauges and Valves (formally Daniel Level Gauge & Valve)
  • Steam-Trac Steam and Water Gauges
  • Level-Trac Steam and Water Level Indicators and Alarms
  • Magne-Trac Magnetic Gauges
  • Armored Tubular
  • Sight Flow Indicators
  • Guided Wave Radar
  • LED Illuminators
  • Gauge Valves & Steam Valves
For more information, contact Automatic Controls of VA.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Protecting Drinking Water Pipelines with Inflow Prevention

Protecting Drinking Water Pipelines with Inflow PreventionProtecting Drinking Water Pipelines with Inflow Prevention was written to assist water distribution system design engineers in reducing the risk to public health from contaminated drinking water by understanding the use of inflow preventer assemblies in water distribution systems.

This paper is not intended to provide all of the information necessary for specifying these devices, but rather to explain their function and performance criteria along with common engineering parameters associated with the application of air valves and cross connection control devices. Successful system design should consider the functions of the air valves and vents together with the need to protect the system from contamination and loss of efficiency.

With this knowledge, the design engineer can better apply American Water Works Standard C514 and American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) Standard 1063 Inflow Preventers and understand the application, sizing, installation guidelines and code applications that affect their use. The rating information provided is based on generally accepted products and standards which offer valuable information for predicting performance.

For more information about the proper application of pressure instrumentation, contact Automatic Controls of VA by visiting or by calling (804) 752-1000.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

US Power Grids, Oil and Gas Industries, and Risk of Hacking

A report released in June, from the security firm Dragos, describes a worrisome development by a hacker group named, “Xenotime” and at least two dangerous oil and gas intrusions and ongoing reconnaissance on United States power grids.

Multiple ICS (Industrial Control Sectors) sectors now face the XENOTIME threat; this means individual verticals – such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or electric – cannot ignore threats to other ICS entities because they are not specifically targeted.

The Dragos researchers have termed this threat proliferation as the world’s most dangerous cyberthreat since an event in 2017 where Xenotime had caused a serious operational outage at a crucial site in the Middle East. 

The fact that concerns cybersecurity experts the most is that this hacking attack was a malware that chose to target the facility safety processes (SIS – safety instrumentation system).

For example, when temperatures in a reactor increase to an unsafe level, an SIS will automatically start a cooling process or immediately close a valve to prevent a safety accident. The SIS safety stems are both hardware and software that combine to protect facilities from life threatening accidents.

At this point, no one is sure who is behind Xenotime. Russia has been connected to one of the critical infrastructure attacks in the Ukraine.  That attack was viewed to be the first hacker related power grid outage.

This is a “Cause for Concern” post that was published by Dragos on June 14, 2019

“While none of the electric utility targeting events has resulted in a known, successful intrusion into victim organizations to date, the persistent attempts, and expansion in scope is cause for definite concern. XENOTIME has successfully compromised several oil and gas environments which demonstrates its ability to do so in other verticals. Specifically, XENOTIME remains one of only four threats (along with ELECTRUM, Sandworm, and the entities responsible for Stuxnet) to execute a deliberate disruptive or destructive attack.

XENOTIME is the only known entity to specifically target safety instrumented systems (SIS) for disruptive or destructive purposes. Electric utility environments are significantly different from oil and gas operations in several aspects, but electric operations still have safety and protection equipment that could be targeted with similar tradecraft. XENOTIME expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary’s willingness to compromise process safety – and thus integrity – to fulfill its mission.

XENOTIME’s expansion to another industry vertical is emblematic of an increasingly hostile industrial threat landscape. Most observed XENOTIME activity focuses on initial information gathering and access operations necessary for follow-on ICS intrusion operations. As seen in long-running state-sponsored intrusions into US, UK, and other electric infrastructure, entities are increasingly interested in the fundamentals of ICS operations and displaying all the hallmarks associated with information and access acquisition necessary to conduct future attacks. While Dragos sees no evidence at this time indicating that XENOTIME (or any other activity group, such as ELECTRUM or ALLANITE) is capable of executing a prolonged disruptive or destructive event on electric utility operations, observed activity strongly signals adversary interest in meeting the prerequisites for doing so.”