Manufacturing and processing businesses often use a wide range of equipment and you might have hundreds of different valves in your operation. In fact, in food and beverage processing, you may require very small, medium and perhaps extremely large sanitry valves. It’s not possible to operate all this equipment manually and this is why they require some kind of actuation. But which is best, electric or pneumatic? Let’s check out both types to give you a better idea.
What is an Actuator?
A valve actuator makes it possible to open and close the device automatically. In other words, someone does not have to be there to operate it. They are used to:
* Automate many processes
* Open and close very large valves
* Operate emergency valves
* Regulate systems which require constant adjustments
* Pneumatic Actuated Sanitary Valves
These valves are sometimes called air actuated because they work on compressed air. The valve utilizes a cylinder containing a piston and diaphragm mechanism. Air systems can work on automatic or semi automatic basis. Air valves are the simplest devices and they are the most cost effective and widely used today. They also offer these benefits:
* Low risk for fires
Since pressurized air can be stored in tanks, pneumatic actuators will work even when there is a power outage.
There are a few disadvantages of air actuators. They do not work well at low speeds and precise control is not possible. They can form condensation and freeze in very low temperatures.
Electric Sanitary Valves
Electric actuators use motors and solenoids. They can provide a great deal of torque and work well in cold conditions. Electric actuators are more expensive, slower than pneumatic actuators and can produce a fire hazard.
Determining the right actuator will depend on your process and equipment. Your valve supplier can help you make the right choices.