ICI's Actuator & Valve Industry Blog

8 Questions Manufacturers Want to Ask their Workforce

Posted on Fri, Sep 26, 2014

With Baby Boomers coming close to retiring or already retired, manufacturers must do all they can to keep employees and knowledge inside the company. Labor turnover can be costly and is very negative to manufacturing businesses, which depend on well-trained personnel and steady production. Here’s what you, we manufacturers, need to ask the workforce.

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Industrial Valves and Actuators Market Analysis

Posted on Mon, Sep 08, 2014

A growth in oil exploration activities, investments in new refineries, and modernization of existing facilities will stimulate the use of valves and actuators, particularly in emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa. In Latin America, demand from the offshore oil and gas industry is expected to fuel the valves and actuators market. In addition to demand from emerging economies, control valve manufacturers will find growth opportunities in North America and Europe due to end-user preference for greater process automation.

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New Pipeline Supplying Marcellus Natural Gas

Posted on Wed, Sep 03, 2014

PennEast Pipeline Company publicized their plan to build a 100-mile pipeline to bring natural gas extracted in the Marcellus Shale region to the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Indelac Controls Wins KPPC 2013 Environmental Sustainability Award

Posted on Wed, Aug 13, 2014

To help recognize National Pollution Prevention Week, KPPC presented its 2013 Environmental Sustainability (ES) award to Indelac Controls in Florence Kentucky on September 10. KPPC has presented the ES awards in conjunction with National Pollution Prevention (P2) Week since 2009 to recognize Kentucky companies that have demonstrated a commitment to the principles of sustainability.

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Introduction to Oil & Gas Offshore Drilling

Posted on Tue, Jun 24, 2014

In the search for oil and natural gas under the ocean, three general types of drilling rigs are used. A “jackup” drilling rig is a floating barge with drilling equipment on its deck and long support legs, and is used in shallow waters up to 300 feet (90 meters). A semi-submersible is the most common type of offshore drilling rig, used for drilling in waters more than 300 feet (90 meters) deep. Semi-submersibles are floating vessels supported on large pontoon-like structures submerged below the sea surface. Semisubmersibles are attached to the ocean floor using strong chains or wire cables. Farther offshore, specially designed rigs mounted on ships can drill a well in waters over 10,000 feet (3050 meters) deep. These rigs float and can be attached to the ocean bottom using traditional mooring and anchoring systems or they maintain their position by using thrusters to counteract winds, waves and currents.

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Pipelines: Safest Option for Oil & Gas Transportation in the US

Posted on Mon, Jun 16, 2014

There are more than 180,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines across the United States. They connect extracting areas to refineries and petrochemical plants as well as delivering the refined product to American consumers for personal and business uses. 

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How Electric Rotary Valve Actuators can Optimize Ethanol/Gasoline Blending at Truck Terminals

Posted on Tue, Jun 10, 2014

The ethanol blending process is a critical part of a gasoline terminal operation and has a significant impact on product quality, meeting environmental regulations and profitability. Optimizing the process is very important, but does present some control challenges. For example, thermal expansion of gasoline and ethanol do not occur at the same rate, and the blended mixture has to be isolated from water due ethanol’s miscibility in water. For these reasons, many terminals blend in real-time while loading directly into the tanker trucks, but, the required control strategy doesn't allow much room for problems or inconsistencies. Getting the needed control begins with accurate, consistent and reliable valve actuation.

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Fail-safe Actuators: When Failure Is Not an Option

Posted on Mon, Jun 02, 2014

Actuators are a small part relative to the overall systems they live in. Many of these devices weigh in at only ten or twenty pounds. But they are a small component that plays a crucial role: When it’s time for a valve or damper to close, for a flow to stop, or for a system to shut down, the actuator absolutely must work, to prevent catastrophe. Failure is not an option.

Developing a new actuator product can easily take two years and over a million dollars. Actuators are designed and manufactured to the most exact tolerances possible, and every product must be tested and produced with the utmost care. A failure could result in a catastrophic spill, explosion, chemical release, environmental contamination, power loss, property damage, injury, or even loss of life. Actuators trigger immediate shutdown and containment in case of an incident.

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Valve Actuators and Positioners Go Digital

Posted on Tue, May 27, 2014

"Digital Fieldbus Technologies Catch Up to Valve Actuators and Positioners"

Fieldbus is the name of a family of industrial computer network protocols used for real-time distributed control, standardized as IEC 61158.

Advanced digital fieldbus technology has been successfully used in oil and gas, petrochemical, pulp and paper, and other industries. This technology has also been implemented increasingly in the fossil fuel power industry.

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When are Manual Actuators a Good Fit?

Posted on Mon, May 19, 2014

Actuators can have many different sizes, shapes and functions, but all of them require some sort of input power to move the valve or the damper they are mounted on. On this blog, we have talked about many different input sources in the past, from compressed air for pneumatic actuators to electricity for electric actuators but rarely about the first source ever used: manual input.  Nowadays this source of power is not as used as before but it can still be a viable option in some specific situations.

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