Have you ever wished that you could simplify your valve maintenance procedure? Reduce the time and effort involved so that it was a task that got done, rather than always about to be done? And what if you could actuate all the valves during everyday procedures much faster and more safely.
Well, with a portable valve actuator your wish can come true. This simple four-part tool can be adapted to all sorts of valves to meet specific user requirements. A light, hand-held tool, the portable actuator can actuate a valve hand-wheel up to 10 times faster than by manual rotation and can open a stuck or blocked valve without any danger of damaging material or harming personnel.
1. The technology
A portable actuator consists of four parts:
- A handle for controlling the speed, maximum torque and power
- The motor – powered either by compressed air, electricity or gas
- The head – a straight head for actuating a face-on valve; a right-angled head for horizontally-placed valves: and a “Banjo” head (which has a hole in the centre) for valves with a rising stem in the centre of the hand-wheel
- The adaptor fixed on to the head of the portable actuator (as opposed to the hand-wheel), resulting in better ergonomics and substantial cost savings
2. Energy choice
A pneumatic portable actuator is powered by compressed air and is ideal for use in industries which have a ready supply of compressed air. Pneumatic actuators are usually the best option when working in explosive environments and for operations requiring high torques.
Electric portable actuators are useful for actuating valves found in more remote areas because the battery can be easily transported on your back, therefore offering greater energy autonomy.
Gas powered portable actuators are also a good choice for actuating valves situated in remote areas as fuel is an easily accessible energy supply – just pop to the nearest petrol station to fill up! It cannot, however, be used indoor or in potentially explosive environments.
3. Why use a portable actuator?
Operators love this tool because it saves them time and effort.
When employees have to actuate heavy duty valves with larger hand-wheels by hand, they need to apply significant force which can be tiring and risk causing them physical harm over the longer term. With a heavy-duty portable actuator, just plug the actuator to the hand-wheel and hey presto! There are also torque reaction systems available so that the torque applied is not carried out by operators.
When it comes to more regular valves, the advantage of the easy-duty portable actuator is that it can rotate the hand-wheel on average 10 times faster than by hand, and at the same time control the rotation process. Again, the operator just has to plug and play the tool and sit back, rather than carry out hundreds of wrist-aching small rotations.
Of course, when it’s that simple, no-one minds doing it. So the job – in particular the all-important maintenance tasks – are done today, rather than put off to tomorrow!