Valves of all kinds are used for the specific requirement to direct the flow of the liquid through the system concerned. In the case of the hydraulic system it is naturally the oil that runs through the system. Valves are an essential part of any system whether it is used for liquids or gases and they are used in diverse industries. Some of these include Oil and Gas, Metal Working, Power and the Chemical Industry. Irrespective of the kind of industry where the valve is used, it is absolutely indispensable. Prominent hydraulic valve manufacturers are continuously in search of improved designs in valves. The basic purpose served in an improved design generally refers to the improvement in the efficiency of the valve.
Intelligent or Smart Valves
Some intelligent or smart valves have been introduced in the field of subsea oil & gas. These systems have an integrated and embedded processor besides the capability of networking. This undoubtedly is among the most powerful of trends in the design of valves. Such valves have excellent responsiveness and reliability, the most important advantage being the prevention of the consequences that may follow either a damaged pipeline or a pipeline with a blockage. The automatic valves can be found in several industries such as the electric and the hydraulic as well as the solenoid and the pneumatic besides digital mechanisms. These are now very popular in different manufacturing plants which may need operations that are unmanned but where the flow modulation needs to be precise.
Automatic and Standard Valves
Automatic valves are very advantageous as these have the capability of preventive maintenance and also do not suffer from the need to be shut down frequently as is the case with the standard valves. The automatic valves go very well with control systems that are computer generated. The standard valves, on the other hand, are free from leaks and meet all the requirements of both emission and safety. Most of these, such as the rotary shafts, may easily be converted to automatic actuation and these may readily be used in conjunction with the automatic actuator.
One of the Major Trends in Valve Design- Control Valves
The manufacture of control valves has registered “an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate or CAGR of about 6.6% between 2014 and 2018”. These are used by the Oil and Gas industry to meet its automation and controlling requirements in refineries. These valves are also used in diverse deep water exploration related activities.
However, the sliding stem control valve finds considerable application in the Oil & Gas Industry while the rotating shaft kind of control valve is extensively used in the power generation industry as well as the chemical processing industry and the water and wastewater industry.
Valves with Integrated Electronics
Today there is a trend to integrate electronics with a valve such as the servo valve or the proportional valve. The hydraulic valves that have a significant presence in the valves market are constantly undergoing mechanical improvements in their design. Such improvements are subsequently integrated with digital electronics.
Using Simulation Software
Simulation is a powerful tool that is being used in the field of improving valve design. Since there are diverse requirements in the field of valve design and manufacturing, it is now possible for a hydraulic valve manufacturers to cut the cost of fabrication as well as the time taken for development with the help of good simulation software.
There are excellent 3 dimension simulation software which may be used for the analysis and testing of various solutions while doing away with the need of either building or testing different designs and their prototypes. CFD and FEA simulation tools are being used extensively.