Flow Control – forward towards fluent flowing

Sep 12, 2022

The merger of Valmet Oyj and Neles Corporation was completed on April 1, 2022, and Neles became Valmet’s fifth business line known as Flow Control. What does the Flow Control business line manufacture and supply to its customers? Where can these products be used? Let’s find out.

The Flow Control business line produces valves and offers valve automation solutions and related services. The customer base covers a wide range of process industries globally. For example, pulp, paper and bio, oil, industrial gases and chemicals are big customer industries. The valve offering is extremely versatile and includes many different solutions for our customers’ needs. Annually, the Flow Control business line delivers approximately 400,000 valves and approximately 160,000 actuators and positioners/valve controllers.

Valves can be categorized either by their application or by their type.

Valves classified by application

When categorized by applications, three types of valves can be identified. The first category is called control valves. Control valves are the most important part of any process control loop, and they are vital in stabilizing processes. They offer reliability, productivity, and sustainability, making it easier for our customers to maximize their output and profitability. The control valves’ utility is based on their ability to vary the size of the flow passage as directed by a signal from a valve controller. This enables our customers to directly control flow rates and, consequently, control process quantities such as pressure, gas and liquid flow, and temperature.

The second application category is on-off valves. Flow Control business line’s on-off valve solutions enable long lasting tight shut-off with fast and safe operation together with reduced fugitive emissions. Combined with intelligent valve controllers, they provide diagnostic capabilities and increase plant safety. Valmet offers both automated and manual on-off valves.

The third category includes emergency shutdown (ESD) valves and actuators. These are actuated valves designed to stop a hazardous flow immediately when systems observe a dangerous event. We have combined our know-how of valves, actuators, safety standards (IEC61508/61511), applications, system operability and partial stroke test devices with intelligent prediction tools. Diagnostic information is presented understandably to enable planned maintenance of potentially failing valve assemblies before they have a chance to impact the process or safety.

Valves classified by type

When categorized by type, we can identify six main parent types of Flow Control business line’s valves. These are ball valves, butterfly valves, globe valves, segment valves, pinch valves, and eccentric rotary valves. Different valve types can be used in different applications. For example, ball valves have several subtypes of which some can be used in control processes, some in shut-off, some in ESD context and some in all the pre-mentioned processes.

Valve automation and services

Valmet’s offering also includes several valve automation solutions and services. The automation solutions deliver safe and reliable performance and provide a competitive and sustainable total cost of ownership (TCO) across entire lifecycle. Valmet offers different types of actuators for valve motion producing, and limit switches for valve monitoring. In addition, Valmet offers valve controllers and valve positioners, which combined with automation allow for superior utilization of real-time performance data and remote optimization of processes. Valmet also offers pumps which are specifically designed for demanding processes involving abrasive, corrosive, highly viscous or crystallizing media with high solids content.

Actuators are devices which actuate the physical movement responsible for opening and closing the valves. There are three common types of actuators. Firstly, there are pneumatic actuators, which typically convert energy from compressed air into the mechanical rotary or linear motion that operates the valve. Secondly, electric actuators convert electrical current into the mechanical energy used to operate the valve. Thirdly, customers can choose manual actuators which are operated by turning a handwheel. Positioners/valve controllers, in turn, are smart field devices that receive commands and control the valve actuators.

Valve services are needed to keep our customers’ valves in excellent condition. It is obvious that reliability is at the core of operations at every successful process plant. It leads to higher availability, safety – and profitability. With Valmet’s help, our customers taking a proactive approach can stay ahead and gain deeper understanding of their plant and equipment. We help our customers to transform plant data into valuable information. These insights enable our customers to make the best decisions on which devices to monitor, which to repair, and which to replace. Valmet supplies parts for valves, valve maintenance and repairs, plant maintenance and lifecycle services as well as PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative) tuning and process control services.

Flow Control business line’s nearly 3,000 industry professionals in around 40 countries are ready to bring our customers performance forward. With its distinguished valves, valve automation processes and services and over 600 million euros of annual net sales, Flow Control is a strong addition to Valmet.

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