Valves are essential in the accurate and efficient flow regulation of gases, liquids and liquidized solids. They are a valuable asset in pipelines and many other processes, utilized in many fields and industries. Chemical companies, as well as oil, gas, power and metal works, have all shown increased demand for valves, and the more innovative, the better. The need to meet industry requirements has led to significant demand causing valve suppliers to reduce production costs and time as well as keeping up with innovative trends.
Industry changes are therefore putting pressure on valve companies to meet demands, which has led to the development of these seven trends.
1. Control Valves
As one of the main design trends control valves production is increased due to the influence of the oil and gas industries. Automation and controlling needs have increased across refineries, and there is now an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.6%. These valves also have value in the deep-sea exploration field, further supporting the increase in their need. When it comes to the design of control valves, all categories are included; the sliding stem valve used by oil and gas companies and the rotating shaft valve used mostly in power generation, water and chemical processing facilities.
2. Smart Valves
For subsea oil and gas operations, it is becoming imperative that more intelligent systems are used with embedded processors and networking ability. As one of the most powerful trends in valve design, this increased reliability and response time allows systems to perform at a high standard. They are the preferred choice over electro-hydraulic control systems because they provide a central control station. The ability to reconfigure pipelines and networking systems allows for the prevention of damages and blockages, giving smart valves an even bigger advantage.
3. Automatic Valve Demand
When choosing a valve type to use there is a lot to consider; leakage rate, nature and components of the matter in the pipes, safety, acceptable flow rates and scale of the operation. Both categories of the valve, standard and automatic, have enough variety that all these considerations can be accounted for. Variations in price and versatility help to differentiate between the available options.
Standard valves are typically leak-free and meet all emission and safety requirements. They are easy to convert to automatic actuation and can then be sued with an automatic actuator, adding to their versatility.
Automatic valves are advancing regarding popularity, however, because of their ability to provide precise flow modulation without the need for an operator. This type of valve includes solenoid, electric, pneumatic and hydraulic and each of these offer advanced preventative capabilities. By doing so, the risks of shut down are eliminated which is a clear advantage over standard valves.
Automatic valves are gaining importance and value in the global market due to the desire for computer-generated systems that are part of the technological changes sweeping the industry.
4. Integrated Electronics
Regarding servo and proportional valves, there is an increasing trend for electronic integration. Currently integrated circuits have powerful processors and digital components which allow for decentralized intelligence. Hydraulic valves are currently being improved with newer mechanical designs. Given that these hold a significant share of valves used the market, these advances are beneficial and give them a direct edge. Digital systems and on-board electronics are featured and can connect to field-bus systems, allowing for more precise results.
http://cgis.ca/valves/control-valves/ shows how valve automation has advanced in this informative video:
5. High Performance Globe Valves
The conventional globe valve has had several performance problems such as noise, pressure drops, difficult operation, reduced capacity flow, cavitation issues to name a few. In response to this designers have been developing high-performance versions. Using CFD and FEA simulation tools, they were able to figure out the best way to optimize the valves. New features in CGIS valves will include non-rotating stem design, in-suite seat arrangement and seal-welding of the threaded seat ring, which improves sealing performance and reduces hand wheel effort.
6. Butterfly and Ball Valves
As the most prominent version of quarter-turn valves, butterfly and ball valves are the growing trends. Ball valves can be used in pipelines, gas storage applications, tank farms, offshore production as well as specialized LNG applications. Also a popular choice for offshore installations, the triple offset butterfly valve has diverse applications and supplier trends show that they will target the market further.
7. Increased Usage of Simulation Software
In our technologically driven society, simulation is part of another trend in valve design, given the vast difference it makes in manufacturing. Fabrication costs and development times can be significantly reduced using simulation software. There is no longer a demand for non-standard customized products and there is an increase in requirements, which make simulation a perfect fit for streamlining the design process. 3-D simulation can analyze and test possible solutions without the costs of physically building, testing and changing prototypes.