Happy Holidays from Automatic Controls of Virginia

Happy Holidays from Automatic Controls of Virginia

Electric Valve Actuators in Municipal Water Facilities and Industrial Process Plants

Electric Valve Actuators in Municipal Water Facilities and Industrial Process Plants

Electric valve actuators are devices that are used to open and close valves in water treatment plants and industrial process plants. These actuators are typically powered by electricity and can be controlled manually or automatically using electrical signals.

In municipal water treatment plants, valve actuators are used to control the flow of water through various stages of treatment. For example, they may be used to open and close valves that control the flow of raw water into the treatment plant, the flow of treated water out of the plant, and the flow of water between different stages of treatment.

In industrial process plants, valve actuators are used to control the flow of fluids and gases in a variety of process applications. For example, they may be used to control the flow of steam in a power plant, the flow of oil in a refinery, or the flow of chemicals in a chemical processing plant.

There are several types of electric valve actuators, including linear actuators and rotary actuators. Linear actuators operate by moving a rod or a piston in a linear direction to open or close a valve. Rotary actuators operate by rotating a shaft or a cam to open or close a valve.

The importance of electric valve actuators in municipal water facilities and industrial process plants lies in their ability to control the flow of fluids and gases accurately and efficiently. By using electric valve actuators, these facilities are able to automate their processes, reduce the risk of human error, and maintain a high level of control over the flow of fluids and gases. This is important for the safe and efficient operation of these facilities, as well as for the quality of the products and services they provide.

For more information, contact:
Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000

Automatic Turbine Water Induction Prevention from Questtec Solutions

Automatic Turbine Water Induction Prevention

All normally operating steam turbines carry the inherent risk of water ingress. Small amounts of condensate can enter from any connection to the turbine, sometimes arising rapidly from the condensation of steam. This almost always results in catastrophic damage to the turbine, even in low pressure situations. Human operators are rarely able to recognize and prevent these problems as quickly as they occur. 

The cost of turbine water induction problem is not just about the money spent on repairs or replacements. It also includes the time and effort that goes into correcting the issue.  The cost of turbine water induction problem can be defined as the total cost of repairing or replacing a turbine. This includes the costs for labor, materials and equipment, and other expenses. 

Therefore, automatic turbine water induction prevention (TWIP) systems must be used to safeguard turbines from this danger. They save significant costs through quick detection and prevention of water ingress into the steam turbine.

Automatic turbine water induction prevention systems are a critical component of the operation of power plants. These devices are used to detect and prevent condenser tubes from being flooded with water in the event of a turbine trip. The TWIP system can detect if there is water in the condenser tubes before it enters the turbine. This will allow operators to take corrective action before it causes damage to the equipment.

Questtec offers a range of products to safeguard your system with TWIP. Safe  plant operation begins with a 12 Probe Level-Trac LT-220 system installed on the boiler drum with high alarms and high trips set and continues with the LT-310 on Heater Drains, Superheat and Reheat Main Drains, and on Drip Pots downstream of Attemperators. This will monitor all potential areas for turbine water induction and automatically detect it. Our products fulfill ASME recommendations for safe steam turbine operation made in the TDP-1-2006 Standard. 

The LT-310 Series’ works on the same principles as the high integrity LT- 210 Series Resistivity and is selected where 1–6 probe channels are required. A single probe can be utilized to provide a control signal or several can be paired and validated against each other where greater reliability is demanded. It offers a sensitivity that is reliably able to detect condensate down to 0.5 mS/cm2 instantly.The circuits are in a continual state of test, with any faults reported through relay contacts and a visual indicator mounted on the front panel. The system can be set up such that no failed individual probe or component can cause a false signal, thereby always maintaining the critical functionality of the probes.


Questtec includes a number of standard features in all TWIP products to ensure easy operation and maintenance. Standard features include: Alarms & Validated Tripping Relays, Normally Energized or Deenergized Relays, Time Delays, Sensitivities Settings, LED flash. All are easily set with solder pads in the field or by Questtec before delivery. Products also include an electronics integrity test button that tests the entire system’s operation.

For more information, contact:
Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000

Why You Should Choose Double Offset Butterfly Valves Over Single Offset

Isolation valves are a critical part of any piping system, but they're not given much thought until it's time to operate them.

They can remain open for weeks or even years, but they must provide a reliable seal when you close them.

Single offset butterfly valves seal with 360 degrees of contact between the resilient seat and the seating surface. However, when open, the seat and mating surface remain in contact at two points. Over time this continuous contact can cause the seat to become compressed and distorted, resulting in two potential points of leakage when the valve is closed, wasting water and compromising your piping system.

Thankfully, Val-Matic has the double offset butterfly valve, a version of our time-tested American butterfly valve that provides reliable isolation service without needing maintenance.

Here's how it works.

In addition to the offset from the body, the center line of the valve shaft has a slight second offset from the pipe center line. This allows the resilient rubber seat to completely lift off the metal mating surface when the valve is fully opened, eliminating rubber seat compression and two potential leakage points.

Add a precision nickel welded seat, and you have the peace of mind of a valve that seals reliably every time.

Contact Automatic Controls of Virginia for more information about the Val-Matic double offset butterfly valve. Call 804-752-1000 or visit https://www.acva.com.

Your Valve Automation Experts

Valve Automation Experts

Automatic Controls of Virginia (ACVA) is a provider of valve automation that offers a complete range of services and has facilities that can automate practically any size quarter-turn or linear actuated valve. ACVA can meet even the most complex automated valve requirements, whether you need small ball valves with pneumatic actuators or massive valves, such as those used on municipal pipelines. 

ACVA has a significant competitive advantage over other valve companies in the design, fabrication, assembly, and installation of any valve actuation or automation project. This competitive advantage combines the industry's best pneumatic, electric, and hydraulic valve actuators with its on-premise machine shop and fabrication division. This advantage, along with Automatic Controls' fifty years of expertise, makes them the superior choice as your partner in valve automation.

The technicians at ACVA who work on valve automation are highly knowledgeable in pneumatic rack and pinion and scotch-yoke systems, electric quarter-turn and linear systems, and valve communications. ACVA can handle even the most challenging actuation need, including bus communications, limit switches, fail-safe devices, and solenoid valves.

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000

Basics of Electric Valve Actuators

This video provides the basic operation of electric valve actuators, including supply voltage, control signal, how torque & speed are created, power, gear ratio, and size and weight.

Attribution to Emerson and their electric actuator brands EIM and Bettis.

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000

The Val-Matic American-BFV® Butterfly Valve

The Val-Matic American-BFV® Butterfly Valves are the butterfly valve of choice for shut-off service in water systems. The American-BFV® Butterfly Valve line is designed to provide long life, low headloss and trouble-free performance.

The valve is available in 3 inch to 144 inch Flanged connections, Mechanical joint end connections from 4 inch to 48 inches, and 4 inch to 12 inch Wafer design.

If maintenance becomes necessary, the valve is also designed for easy field service. Adjustment of the resilient seat is easily performed with a torque wrench, as compared to epoxy filled seats that require special equipment and materials or bonded seats that cannot be replaced or adjusted in the field. 

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000 

Opening and Closing Solutions for the Most Demanding Valve Torque and Thrust Applications

Opening and Closing Solutions for the Most Demanding Valve Torque and Thrust Applications

Every industrial valve requires a mechanism of opening and closing it for the process to continue. Using worm gear actuators, you can operate most quarter-turn butterfly, ball, and plug valves as well as quarter- and multi-turn dampers with your hand's thanks to the mechanical advantage of the worm gear. When an operator opens and closes a valve, the gears provide a mechanical advantage by reducing the required force. When the handwheel changes in size, the torque can be raised or lowered. Worm gear operators that operate manually are relatively affordable, and they require little involvement beyond their position in the production line. 

WEDGEROCK delivers solutions for the most demanding torque and thrust applications by taking a robust approach to the problem. Whether you need to operate valves thousands of meters below the ocean surface or a purpose-made gear operator for your valve line, WedgeRock is the partner you need to provide a solution.

WedgeRock Product Capabilities
  • Standard Efficiency and High Efficiency
  • Extends Size and Class of Manual Valves
  • Fewer Turns to Close/Lower Input Torque
  • External Anti-Back Drive - Configurable to Application
  • Designed for Submerged Service - Surpasses IP68
  • Nearly Zero Backlash for High Resolution Control
  • Standard Gear Operators from 5,000 in-lbs. to 16,000,000 in-lbs.
Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000 

Valves for Municipal Water Distribution, Storage, and Wastewater Treatment

Valves for Municipal Water

Most of the operations in the water and wastewater industries, from treatment to storage, to distribution, rely heavily on pipeline infrastructure. Pipeline infrastructure and dependable control systems are critical to the sector's success. Any systemic flaws or weaknesses could lead to significant losses, dangerous spills, and environmental disasters. 

The safe operation of municipal water systems relies heavily on industrial valves. Among other things, they are in charge of flow management and ensuring the integrity of supply lines. The following is a listing to understand better the performance and applications of the different industrial valves applied in municipal water systems. 

In systems that require precise flow control, globe valves often regulate and control liquid flow. They're also suitable for cutoff, but they're usually more expensive than gate valves. 

The most commonly encountered type of valve is the gate valve. Gate valves are employed to start and stop the flow of liquid. These valves are either completely open or completely closed in reality. These are fantastic shut-off valves. Gate valves come in various forms to suit a wide range of applications. 

Butterfly Valves regulate and stop the flow of water. These valves are small and light, taking up less room than valves that perform equivalent duties. 

A quarter-turn valve used in shutdown applications is a ball valve. The valve uses an embedded ball that spins within the valve body to control fluid flow. Because ball valves are lighter and more compact than gate valves, they are preferred for on-off applications.

In a pipeline system, check valves are responsible for preventing backflow. A check valve opens when fluid travels through a line; however, when the flow reverses, the valve closes. 

High-pressure events or vacuums can harm a pipeline system; thus, the installation of relief valves protect it. The pipeline pressure is not fully released because the valves only release the pressure to a predefined point. Relief valves come in various shapes and sizes to suit a variety of purposes. 

Pinch valves are linear motion valves utilized in piping systems that handle solids, slurries, and thick fluids for throttling and shutdown. A pinch valve uses a pinch tube to control the flow. 

Automatic Controls of Virginia, based in Ashland, Virginia, is a significant distributor of municipal water system valves. 

Automatic Controls assists customers with application, design, product start-up help, product service training, and support and works with some of the most well-known and forward-thinking valve manufacturers on the market today.

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000 

Hydraulic Press Safety and the Role of Pressure Switches

Hydraulic Press Safety and  the Role of Pressure Switches

Hydraulic systems have various functions and applications, from industrial manufacturing to robotics and steel processing. They are analogous to pneumatics, which easily compressible gas to perform tasks. Hydraulic systems, on the other hand, use incompressible liquids as their fluid rather than compressible gases. Repetition–hydraulic systems are industry preferred low-cost, efficient ways to generate movement. 

To use these systems effectively, workers must understand the risks and potential hazards associated with hydraulics. Your employees could be in danger if they are unaware of the extreme fluid pressure, maintenance, and heavy workload. Fortunately, various safety precautions reduce the risk of injury or death significantly. 

Our hydraulics safety precautions guide will cover common hazards and precautions to keep you and your employees safe.

How Does A Hydraulic Press Work? 

Hydraulic press systems use a pump that pushes fluid throughout the machine to create energy in its simplest form. The fluid then enters a set of valves and flows to the cylinder, where hydraulic power changes back to mechanical energy. When necessary, these valves also help control the liquid’s movement and relieve pressure.

There are several types of hydraulic press systems on the market. Depending on your application or industrial setting, you will most likely use one of the following: 

  • An Arbor press uses a narrow range to support the disposal, seating stamping, manufacturing, and repairing of equipment.
  • An H Frame press (or four-column) is the standard in many businesses for its versatility. They are used to straighten, bend, shape, stamp, or cut metal objects.
  • C Frame press systems are relatively smaller than H frames but maintain similar utility and flexibility in a light yet compact build.
  • Custom presses provide solutions for a company’s personal needs and specifications.
  • Press brakes clamp and bend sheet metal and plate material.
Although these machines make work easy and productive, they are still highly dangerous and can break down if not properly maintained.

The Most Common Reasons for Hydraulic System Failure 

Hydraulic systems can fail, whether with a custom press or a four-column frame. After a while, presses may begin to show wear and tear in critical areas. Many damages, however, can be avoided with regular maintenance checks and care. 

Let's look at five common causes of hydraulic system failure and electric and hydraulic tool safety practices. 

1. Poor Maintenance 

Maintenance is essential for keeping your hydraulic press operating at peak efficiency. Here are some components and functions to consider during the evaluation:

  • Hoses 
  • Oil leaks
  • Ram Speed
  • Wire tightness
  • Oil temperature
  • Electrical Fuses
  • Solenoids and relays
  • Oil level and particle count
  • Hydraulic fittings for tightness
  • Coupling and insert for tightness
  • Pressure adjustment for the full range

If these functions are not maintained, presses will fail at a high cost. Daily inspection and standard maintenance will extend its service life and, most importantly, keep workers safe. 

2. Leaks through pinholes 

Pinhole leaks can cause toxic fluid leakage at speeds of up to 600 feet per second. Although they may be difficult to spot at first, pressure switch technology will alert the user of a leak before any visible signs appear. To ensure proper utility, it is still necessary to inspect your hoses during the inspection process. 

3. Inadequate Couplings 

Improper coupling of low- and high-pressure systems is another dangerous hazard. It is never a good idea for you or your employees to connect a high-pressure pump to a low-pressure system because component, hose, or fitting ruptures can occur. 

4. Removal or modification of a component 

Servicing a hydraulic system while the machine engine is running is very likely to result in bodily harm or death. Remove no components while the working units are resting on the ground, safety stands, or blocks; always turn off the engine when doing so. 

5. A Low and High-Pressure Warning 

Workers may be exposed to three types of hazards when removing or adjusting components without first releasing the pressure:

  • Burns from hot, high-pressure fluid
  • Bruises, cuts, or abrasions from flailing hydraulic lines
  • Hydraulic injection of fluid into the skin 

To avoid these common mistakes, educate yourself on hydraulic press systems and carefully follow instructions. 

With CCS pressure switches, you can protect your hydraulic equipment, personnel and operations. 

You and your team can improve productivity, quality, and employee morale by learning more about hydraulic safety precautions. CCS strives to provide high-quality pressure or temperature switches, cutoff switches, and emergency shutdown switches for those working in industrial hydraulics. The pressure switches in the 604P and 6900P series cater specifically to hydraulic applications.

For more information on CCS pressure and temperature switches in Virginia, contact Automatic Controls of Virginia.

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000