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High-precision actuation for multiport valves

Added - 13.11.2019

AUMA offers a new high precision automation solution for multiport valves based on SAVEx electric actuators with adjustable motor speed. The actuators support up to 16 ports with a combination of short operating times and excellent precision, thanks to their variable speed motors. Positioning accuracy is better than 0.3°, making the actuators suitable for the most challenging applications in this market. Switch valves with lift plug design are also supported.

Multiport valves find application in the oil and gas industry in sampling systems for multiple wellheads. Fluids from each well in turn can be directed to a single sampling system, allowing operators to monitor current production in detail. The positioning accuracy required makes this a challenging application for actuators.

AUMA’s SAVEx variable-speed actuators are ideal for this task. For rapid switching, the actuator motor runs at high speed over most of its travel. Just before the valve plug reaches the target port position, however, the speed is considerably reduced. By virtually eliminating overrun, this allows extremely precise positioning.

Switch valves with lift plug design require an even more demanding actuation solution since two different movements have to be coordinated: before the plug can rotate to the desired outlet it has to be lifted from its seat. This requires a second actuator. AUMA’s clever and simple solution is to use two actuators in a master-slave configuration that appears to the DCS as a single actuator. The intelligent actuator controls handle the complete sequence of movements and the safety interlock.

AUMA has also expanded its list of communication protocols supporting multiport and switch valve functionality: Foundation Fieldbus is now also available, in addition to Profibus DP, Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP/IP

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Smart end position monitoring, even for manually operated valves

Added - 04.07.2019

AUMA offers a new sensor system for signalling valve end positions which can be mounted to the company’s GS .3 part-turn gearboxes. The new solution allows plant operators to monitor the position of manually operated valves, and hence to collect crucial valve position information from all the valves in their plants – not just from motor-operated valves, which mostly use the integral limit switching within the actuators to signal valve position. 

The new sensor system adds intelligence to valves at a time when collecting and processing data from smart field devices is at the core of a rising number of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications in process automation.

The sensor system can also be used in combination with electric valve actuators when redundant valve end position feedback is required in addition to the actuator-embedded functionality. 

AUMA’s new sensor system uses inductive sensor elements which ensure contactless monitoring of the end position for 90° part-turn valves. In contrast to mechanical limit switches, AUMA’s electronic sensor system is wear-free and not subject to corrosion. It combines high switching accuracy with robustness.

GS .3 gearboxes can be ordered with the integral sensor system as of now. Thanks to its modular design, the sensor system can also be easily retrofitted to existing GS .3 gearboxes in the field. 

The sensor system is available in two versions: a cost-efficient basic version and a fully-sealed premium version with aluminium housing offering enhanced IP69K protection. The premium version is particularly suitable for outdoor installation. Both versions are also available with ATEX approval for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

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AUMA actuators support Ethernet/IP

Added - 03.07.2019

AUMA actuators are now available with an Ethernet/IP interface as AUMA continues to invest in pioneering Industrial Ethernet communication. Ethernet/IP is the third Industrial Ethernet standard that AUMA supports, in addition to Profinet and Modbus TCP/IP.

Ethernet/IP offers superior connectivity and enhanced network flexibility. With bandwidths up to 100 Mbit/s, AUMA actuators with Ethernet/IP provide reliable and rapid exchange of both cyclic process data and acyclic diagnostic data from the actuators.

49 AUMA actuators with Ethernet/IP communications are already proving their performance in the Santan Vista water treatment plant near Phoenix, Arizona. The SA multi-turn and SQ part-turn actuators with AC intelligent controls were supplied as part of an expansion project. Commissioning of the actuators was completed in April 2018. The expansion doubles the plant’s capacity to 48 million gallons (180 000 cubic metres) per day, catering for rising demand in this rapidly growing metropolitan area.

Ethernet/IP communications was specified in the tender for the project. AUMA was the only actuator manufacturer in the bid who met this requirement.

“Integrating the actuators into the Ethernet/IP system proved to be easy and straightforward,” says Lido Flores, Regional Sales Manager at AUMA Actuators, Inc., USA. “Many of our customers already use Ethernet/IP for their sensors and meter devices. We are very happy to now also provide electric actuators that use this future-proof technology.”

For more information, please refer to;

https://www.auma.com/en/products/communication-systems/industrial-ethernet/

Caption: AUMA electric actuators at the Santan Vista treatment plant use Ethernet/IP Industrial Ethernet for reliable and rapid communication.

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