Swanson Flo: The Low Flow Experts

Low Flow Experts

It's challenging to apply low-flow meters and control valves to monitor and control extremely low flow rates. Many industries depend on low-flow measurement and control to maintain correct liquid flow rates in batching, water separation, paint circulation, fuel metering, and chemical injection operations. 

Low-flow meters are used in chemical injection systems to determine the correct quantity of chemicals delivered to a process. Chemical dosage accuracy is crucial for efficiency and production. Adding too much chemical leads to increased expenses, while underdosing may result in premature maintenance and poor process outcomes.

Because of the modest, incremental liquid flow measurement, low-flow measurement brings about unique issues. Users must be aware of potential factors that might impair flowmeter performance and longevity, such as noise, vibration, resolution, accuracy, blockage, leakage, K factor, and pressure, and how to deal with them. Swanson Flo, fortunately, offers expertise and a wide range of low-flow meters and control valves. 

Low-flow valves and controls are essential for guaranteeing cost-effective and efficient process operation. Swanson Flo Sales Engineers have years of experience dealing with the most challenging low-flow applications. To discuss your low flow demand, please contact Swanson now using the form below or by calling 800-288-7926.

Swanson Flo
800-288-7926

Actuators and Valve Automation

Actuators and Valve Automation

Industrial valves manage flow in pipelines and industrial facilities. The valve acts as a tap, controlling the pipeline flow by opening or shutting it. Automation of a valve involves installing an actuator and control system. Powering actuators may be done by hand, electricity, pneumatics, or hydraulic. Automating valves is beneficial for flow management in pipe systems that need precise control or fail-safe emergency cutoff. Improved output control through automated valves contributes to cost savings associated with product waste. Automated valves operate in all industrial settings, including wastewater treatment facilities, power plants, mines, nuclear operations, food and beverage companies, refineries, and pipelines.

Actuated valves contribute to operator safety by enabling constant operating levels and ensuring safety in areas where high temperatures, pressure levels, unpleasant or dangerous odors, combustible materials, or other conditions might result in catastrophic failures. In an emergency, automatic valve actuators return to their fail-safe settings, avoiding accidents, environment pollution, equipment or building damage, and other devastating outcomes. 

Additionally, automated valves enable remote access to valves that are difficult or impossible to reach securely to restore them to a safe position manually.

TYPES OF VALVE ACTUATORS


Manual valves are manipulated by hand, utilizing handwheels, levers, and gears. Although less costly and easier to use than other solutions, this isn't always practical or desirable. Larger valves need tremendous force to operate manually, and some are in isolated or dangerous locations. It might also be a safety hazard if the valve has to be closed quickly. 

Pneumatic valve actuators get their power from air pressure or another gas. Their simple design requires less maintenance and is a good fit in temperature extremes situations. 

Hydraulic actuators, like pneumatic actuators, translate fluid pressure into motion. In this case, the motive force comes from hydraulic fluids. They can generate forces larger than a pneumatic actuator of the same size. In some instances, the process fluid itself might supply the hydraulic pressure. 

The electric actuator uses motor torque to activate the valve. Electric actuators are also silent, non-toxic, and energy-efficient. Their opening and closing times are relatively slow and unsuitable for high-speed position change applications. 

Valve automation has made significant strides in recent years, with the addition of application-specific standards, certifications, safety integrity level (SIL), and digital protocols. Intelligent and digital valve positioners now include a digital communication protocol and advanced capabilities. Advances in device diagnostics are critical because they enable the move from conventional corrective and scheduled maintenance to predictive maintenance. Diagnostics using valve positioners are becoming more complex, allowing for the testing of valves to identify whether maintenance or replacement is necessary.

Valve actuators are essential in process automation. Valve automation enables firms of all types to continuously increase process efficiency and product quality while ensuring the safety of employees, facilities, and the environment. The current generation of valve automation technology allows industrial enterprises to conduct additional diagnostics on-site and better understand overall valve performance at a lower cost. Automated valve applications must include oversite by a competent and experienced valve professional who can advise on the best technology and crucial installation techniques for optimal results.

For more information, or to discuss your valve automation requirement, contact:

Swanson Flo
800-288-7926

Demonstration of Ultra Low Flow Control Loop Combining the Equilibar Precision Valve and the Bronkhorst Mini CORI-FLOW™ Meter


This video shows an ultra-low flow control closed-loop incorporating the Equilibar precision flow control valve with the Bronkhorst mini CORI-FLOW™ series and built-in PID software. The flow rate is adjustable from 0 to 1000 ml/hour, and the system controls flow at a rate of less than one cc per minute.

The mini CORI-FLOW™ sends a 0 to 5 VDC drive signal to an Equilibar QPV electronic pressure regulator, which converts the signal to a pilot pressure for the Equilibar FDO4 valve. The CORI-FLOW monitors the flow rate with its built-in Coriolis flow sensor. The internal PID loop adjusts the signal to the electronic pressure regulator, adjusting the pilot pressure to the FDO4 control valve and changing the flow rate.

The CORI-FLOW™ flowmeter integrates the control software, and a PC or PLC is not required (one shown in the video for demonstration purposes.) The CORI-FLOW™ connects via the Bronkhorst DDE and FlowPlot software (available as a download) to view the live data on the laptop screen. FlowPlot allows the user to adjust the PID control loop and modify various other loop parameters. 

This demonstration uses a calibration of 0 to 1 liter per hour full scale. By leveraging the wide turndown ratio of the Equilibar FDO4 sanitary flow control valve, this setup allows for well over 100:1 flow turndown ratio. This control system is excellent for product blending or mixing applications or injection into bioreactors in biopharmaceutical process applications.


For more information about low flow and ultra-low flow control applications, contact Swanson Flo. Call 800-288-7926 or visit https://swansonflo.com.

Fractional Flow Control Valves from Swanson Flo

Mark 708

For Critical Fractional Flow Control of Liquid, Gas, or Steam


LowFlow control valves have applications in OEM, laboratory, and pilot plant applications. Installations such as these frequently require valve trim changes to meet varying flow requirements for a given application. Monel,  Hastelloy, Alloy 20, Titanium, Kynar, and Inconel are just a few of the materials LowFlow offers to address your material compatibility challenges.

LowFlow control valves require no special tools for trim changes. Their bolted body design means you don’t even have to take the valve out of line for trim changes or maintenance.

LowFlow Valve provides products across an incredibly diverse range of industries and applications, from operating in cryogenic applications down to -425°F (-254°C)  to temperatures above 1000°F (538°C).

The Mark 708 valve provides accurate control on fractional flow applications. It is a complete line of pneumatic and electrically actuated control valves designed to enhance performance to ensure precision control on your most critical microflow applications. 

Swanson Flo is your low flow control valve and instrumentation expert. Call us with any challenging low flow application, and our engineers will be pleased to assist you. Call 800-288-7926 or visit https://swansonflo.com.