ICI's Actuator & Valve Industry Blog

The Evolution of Actuator Design

Posted on Thu, Sep 01, 2016

Based on the power source used, actuators can be divided into two main categories:
  • Electric actuators: using either one-phase or three-phase power (depending on the size of the application and the availability in site) to energized a set of gears, operating any type of valve.
  • Pneumatic or hydraulic actuators: using either a rack & pinion or a scotch yoke device for moving a rotary valve.
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Cost vs. cost of ownership: what to consider when buying electric actuators

Posted on Fri, Nov 20, 2015

Plant engineers are tasked with a vital job: equipping their plants with the most reliable, high quality and cost-effective electric actuators for their applications within their assigned budget. But picking the right electric actuator can be a difficult procedure that can have a big influence on plant production and therefore revenue.

If an electric actuator fails in process applications, end users lose valuable time and money to replace this electric actuator. In some circumstances, complete section of a plant may need to be shut down for the repair, and unforeseen stoppage is always expensive. That’s why many engineers and purchasing agents choose electric actuators based on specification, performance (past and actual), quality and of course cost. When making a selection, decision makers must be able to evaluate all options for the plant and consider both short-and long-term effects.

This decision will only get more difficult as the industry changes so fast. Estimations by VMA and other industry organizations forecast that demand for industrial electric actuators in the US will rise over the next years with the increase for control valves.

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Upstream Oil and Gas Equipment - Markets Report  

Posted on Fri, Jul 24, 2015

Significant global energy demand growth and rising living standards in China, India, and the Middle East, coupled with technological breakthroughs continue to alter the fundamentals of oil & gas production, creating unprecedented opportunities for U.S. oil & gas equipment exporters in the near-term. New technologies have allowed the development of oil & gas resources that were previously considered uneconomic. The dramatic changes in the sector offer new commercial opportunities for U.S. oil & gas equipment manufacturers to penetrate new markets, gain share in existing markets, and revisit previously declining or over-regulated markets despite declining global oil and gas prices. These fast-developing trends also present an important opportunity for U.S. oil & gas equipment sales, especially valves and actuators, through focused export promotion efforts.

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Heavy Oil vs. Oil Sands

Posted on Tue, Jun 16, 2015

Oil is a popular topic in the world we live in. For many industries, oil is a subject that is heavily relied upon. The challenge with oil has always been extracting the oil. This process constitutes mining into the heavy crude where the oil can be found. Many producers have taken this opportunity to develop new technologies that allow for efficiency on the market aspect. It can be said that when the market becomes stable there is a high potential for heavy oil assets to generate a surplus of cash flow for many years. The downside to this is when the market becomes unstable, the oil industry as well as heavy oil becomes questionable as far as the economic stability of the market itself. No matter the situation of stability, heavy oil meets global energy needs and is an attractable solution as well as an excellent market for the automation industry, especially when valves and actuators are involved.
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Earth Day: Why it Matters

Posted on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

Over the years and across the globe, Earth Day has become one of the most widely celebrated environmental events. The day is about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet and the phenomenal biodiversity it offers to us. This year Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22nd, 2015. On this day people all over the country, and globe, will be participating in events that ensure our globe is kept sustainable and our environment is clean. Actions such as planting trees and saplings, removing and collecting garbage, encouraging recycling, cleaning roads, cleaning up parks and streams, and even educating others are things that occur on this very day.

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Pros & Cons: How Current Oil Prices Affect the Industry

Posted on Thu, Mar 19, 2015

It is increasingly evident the importance actuators have in the oil and gas industry. Actuators play a vital role in virtually every aspect of operations at every refinery. With the recent decline of gas prices in the United States, it is important to understand what this means for the oil and gas industry as well as for other flourishing American industries depending on the oil and gas.

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Powder Coating: a Vital Element of Actuators Manufacturing

Posted on Mon, Mar 02, 2015

Powder coating uses finely ground particles of pigment and resin that are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto electrically grounded parts using a dry finish process. There are two types of powder coating including thermoplastic and thermosetting. Indelac Controls, Inc uses the thermosetting process. We will later learn the unique color Indelac Controls uses.
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Control Valves vs. Regulators in Control Applications

Posted on Mon, Feb 02, 2015

Understanding the differences between regulators and control valves is crucial in the automation industry. Each of these holds equal importance but have different functions and also operate in a different way. It is important to be knowledgeable about both solutions so that control process designers do not engage in major problems or waste money and resources.
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UPs and DOWNs in the Nuclear Industry & Impact on the Actuator Demand

Posted on Tue, Jan 20, 2015

Nuclear power is extremely political. The discussions as well as overcoming obstacles to reach the goal require large amounts of money and consume a lot of time. In terms of cost, energy policy often intersects with politics.
Many countries are using nuclear power and have been for many years. A few countries resolutely committed to nuclear power include Russia, the Middle East, and Eastern Asia. Nuclear power can be defined as motive or electric power generated by a nuclear reactor. Nuclear power can also be defined by a country that has nuclear weapons. In regard to dependability, nuclear power is still widely seen as a reliable, clean base load provider that can complement the production from renewables.
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Technical Selling: The Clear Actuator Solution

Posted on Thu, Jan 08, 2015

There is a surplus of important roles in the automation industry. Each role plays a vital part in the success of an automation business. Teamwork and knowledge are essential when customer relations are involved. Technical selling is the key. Finally, having a close relationship with your customer base allows you to fully understand their needs and wants.
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