ICI's Actuator & Valve Industry Blog

What does SIL stand for in safety?

Posted on Mon, Feb 12, 2018

Nowadays safety systems saturate the industrial substructure, spreading protective influence all the way to an industry’s end result. Modern safety structures minimize risk with effective enhancements that commonly increase dependability, proficiency and viability.SIL - Probability of Failure Risk - Reduction Factor.png

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How to Choose the Right Fuse for your Electric Actuator

Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2017

Although safeguards are implemented numerous times over while constructing electrically automated flow systems, overcurrent can still be crippling if fuses are inaccurately rated for the application. In this editorial I will offer you the information necessary to prevent a potential halt of production or in some applications catastrophic failure. The job of a fuse is to shield not only the equipment itself but also employees from severe impairment resulting in repairing or replacing equipment and more importantly injury to operators once an overcurrent circumstance takes place.

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Troubleshooting Electric Actuators Motor Failure

Posted on Tue, Jan 03, 2017

The likelihood of a motor failure without external causes is very rare. Motor failure rates from our experience are less than 1 in 10,000 motors. 

Based on the statistical likelihood of an actual faulty motor you need to be skeptical of all claims in regards to a “faulty motor” especially when the actuator is still under the factory warranty.  Even if the motor has failed, odds are that there is some other underlying issue or external cause that has led to a motor failure. 

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Anodized Materials for Food Manufacturing / Preparation Equipment

Posted on Mon, Oct 31, 2016

Due to the nature and physical properties of anodic coatings, anodized aluminum products and components are used in thousands of commercial and consumer food processing applications, including:

  • Automatic Icemakers
  • Display Cases
  • Pans
  • Coolers
  • Grills
  • Traditional and Deep-Dish Pizza Pans
  • Bake Ware
  • Gourmet Cookware
  • Automated Packaging Equipment
  • Food Processing Equipment

This is just a small sample of food-related products made, in whole or part, of anodized aluminum.

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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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