Valve and actuators are designed for an extended life cycle but, at some point, they will need to be refurbished for re-installation or replaced with new products. Service life depends on several factors including the operating conditions, environments with temperature extremes, and corrosion, liquid flow characteristics, and frequency of opening/ closing/modulating. Without proper design followed by an appropriately planned and executed maintenance program, any of these factors can result in premature valve automation failure.
While it is often prudent to replace a valve actuator and control package after what appears to be a sufficient service life, sometimes it is more cost effective to have the actuator overhauled and re-installed. This decision can be impacted by the time required for completion of the repairs and whether or not the actuator is to be immediately reused or stored as a backup for emergency use.
In addition to actuator installation, ATI FrontLine Services has built an industry reputation for its expertise in repair and refurbishment, complementing ATI’s manufacturing of quality valve automation products for more than two decades. The FrontLine Services approach is both comprehensive and responsive.
The FrontLine Services’ repair process can be completed at a customer’s facility, or in our ISO-certified Houston facility, and typically begins with a complete visual inspection, as well as functional test if possible. After our initial examination has been completed, our technicians will complete the below as required:
- completely disassemble the actuator
- thoroughly clean and re-inspect it for possible corrosion or other damage
- replace seals, gaskets and other worn parts
- machine or replace critical internal components as needed
- re-grease and add necessary fluids, when required
- replace control components as necessary
- conduct pressure and operation testing
- touch up the exterior paint, sandblasting and re-paint as needed
We routinely replace control packages with retrofit kits that can be installed by our technicians without service being interrupted. ATI engineered and preassembled panels for Shafer, EIM and other valve actuator brands are stocked and readily available for field installation by ATI FrontLine Services. We regularly provide field retrofits for hydraulic, pneumatic, gas motor and gas-over-oil actuator types.
Additional field services provided by our team include:
- preventive maintenance inspections on a scheduled basis
- safety instrument calibration services
- operator training
- station failure simulations
All of the many dependable FrontLine Services offerings are completed within a scheduled facility turnaround timetable and are designed to help avoid unexpected shutdowns and costly expenditures. To involve us in your next turnaround or preventive maintenance program, contact ATI at email@example.com or 713/934-1071.
1. What causes an actuator to go bad?
In most cases, actuator failure is a result of errors in the application including but not limited to –
- Side Loading
- Improper Wiring
- Inappropriate Mounting Fixity
- Disproportionate Loading
- Surpassing Duty Cycle
2. Why is preventative maintenance of actuators important?
Some of the most prominent reasons why preventative maintenance of actuators is a must include –
- It helps in enhancing the reliability of actuators
- Preventative maintenance helps identify problems beforehand, thereby helping in averting any damage to the actuator
- It helps in reducing overall maintenance costs
- It ensures timely repairs, thereby reducing the likelihood of major shutdowns at later stages
- Preventative maintenance helps in scheduling crucial repairs at convenient times
- It helps predict and control repair and maintenance costs, hence ensuring realistic budgeting
3. Which type of actuator requires minimum maintenance?
Pneumatic actuators ace the list when it comes to functioning flawlessly with minimal maintenance. Moreover, they’re lightweight, equipped with durable components and prove to be rather cost-effective in the long run. That said, they do suffer from pressure losses, which may make them somewhat less efficient, as compared to other linear actuators.
4. What is meant by periodic preventive maintenance for a control valve?
Preventative maintenance of a control valve refers to the regular inspection of all valve parts to ensure that the auxiliary pipe fittings are in good condition and that the pneumatic inlet pressure of the valve is at the required level.