Reliable valves key to updating hazardous processes
21 Dec 2021
Chemical manufacturing involves hazardous fluids, making it imperative that equipment promotes efficiency and safety. So, when a major UK chemicals manufacturer updated its plant, Bürkert valves and switch boxes ensured reliability
Control valves are a vital component of any modern chemical manufacturing plant. Open and closing to various degrees, the valves help to control flow, levels, temperature and pressure. Control valves play a crucial role in achieving the desired end product.
A control valve usually consists of the valve body, an actuator and a positioner. Of course, control valves in the chemical industry must reach exacting safety and quality standards to ensure they are ready to take on substances that are potentially hazardous.
To one chemical manufacturer, it was clear that the valves at its Eastern England facility were at the end of their service life. Outdated equipment provided only basic safety systems in place to prevent solvents travelling into the incorrect tank.
This was compromising confidence in the chemical delivery system and overall efficiency at the plant, not least because it was processing potentially flammable and volatile substances. Therefore, plant operators decided to completely overhaul the facility, to ensure that rigorous chemical industry health and safety measures were maintained.
The plant approached Process Instrument Sales to source new equipment for the overhaul, with the provision of new control valves a priority. It recommended two Bürkert solutions.
Updating the valves
Bürkert’s Type 2651 flanged ball valves were selected to replace the outdated valves. Produced from stainless-steel, the Type 2651 offers an innately high resistance to chemicals, which unlocks an extended service life. Suitable for shut-off or distributing medium flows, a mechanical interface allows easy connection of pneumatic or electrical rotary actuators. All valves and actuators now fitted at the plant are SIL Safety certified.
To ensure the correct opening and closing of the valves, Bürkert Type 1061 ATEX switch boxes with integral pilot solenoids were fitted. Suitable for use in potentially explosive application areas, the Type 1061 combines the function of a position feedback and a solenoid valve in one box. It is incredibly versatile, with multiple versions available and an adjustable bracket allowing it to be used with actuators of various sizes.
Once the central system was fitted by Lark Technology, risks of leakage and spillage had been successfully minimised. Compliancy with stringent health and safety standards and insurance requirements was also achieved. Plant operators now had efficient safety applications in place for the delivery system of volatile and flammable substances,ensuring increased efficiency and reduced environmental risk.
“The total replacement and modernisation of our plant valves, solenoids and actuators has given us the reassurance that we now have the best safety applications in place,” judged a plant operator at the UK chemical manufacturer’s site.