Efficient Plant November 2017 - 23

feature | controlling flow

Move to Automated
Water-Processing
Operations

Regardless of application, the right
initial decisions are crucial to the
successful operation and maintenance
of automated-valve systems.
Jane Alexander
Managing Editor

WHEN CONSIDERING whether a water-processing operation is a
candidate for automation, it's important to understand why. Automation can reduce labor costs, control devices in remote areas, engage
a sequence of operations, or increase the safety measures. One of the
best ways to add automation to an existing system is to use an actuator instead of a hand-wheel and operate the valve through a control
cabinet (Fig. 1 on p. 24).
According to automation experts with Festo (festo.com, Hauppauge, NY), choosing the right level of technology and implementing a control cabinet for water applications begins with an audit of
the current system. Making a detailed list of valves and equipment

NOVEMBER 2017

that control the process is essential when planning to upgrade a system. Consider common equipment such as pumps, valves, sensors,
and the presence of a compressor.
Other important considerations are whether the installation is
indoors or outdoors and if hazardous systems or environments exist.
Planning for automation must also consider the type of media that
flows through the pipes (media other than water may dictate the
type of components and control panels to be specified).
Additional considerations include sensors and valve assemblies.
Selecting the right types is key when automating a water-processing
operation. Festo's experts offered the following advice. Consider the
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