Valve Automation The Strengths of Electric Actuators in the Water Industry

Author / Editor: Michael Herbstritt / Dr. Jörg Kempf

The water resources management safeguards the basic water supply for society — and the actuator specialists of Auma safeguard the smooth operation. Irrespective of the type of application — water supply companies, water treatment, locks or desalination plants — electric actuators control water flows all around the globe. But, what exactly are their strengths? An overview …

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Open water is a potential target for lightning strikes.
Open water is a potential target for lightning strikes.
(Picture: Auma)

In most process plants signal transmission between actors and the DCS is implemented via cables. This method ensures fast data exchange, promises safety and cost efficiency, is maintenance-free and has proven over the last 120 years. This also applies if the actors are electrically powered. Viewed from this angle, electric actuators show significant advantages compared with their pneumatic or hydraulic counterparts.

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All within a Single Housing

Electric actuators are scalable in terms of their functionality. They are perfectly suited for simple applications requiring Open/Close operations right through to the actuator assuming process control while requesting immediate maintenance measures with the DCS, considering the requirements to be met. Irrespective of their equipment, electric actuators combine all functions within one housing which is designed in enclosure protection IP68 offering optimal protection against ingress of dust and humidity.

High Corrosion Protection

Effective and perfect corrosion protection is provided by the completely hermetic housing. Since electric actuators are required to reliably fulfil their mission in all climatic atmospheres, manufacturers have intensified research in past years and achieved great progress in this field. The sophisticated standards of the oil & gas industry were spearheading these claims and now, all other application fields benefit from these achievements.

Two-layer powder coating has proven particularly adapted. Besides their high resistance to weathering, the devices are capable of withstanding adverse mechanical impacts. In contrast to classical wet painting during which the finished and assembled products are spray-painted, powder coating is applied to the individual housing parts prior to assembly. Should the actuator housing require opening for local installation or maintenance, the coating remains unharmed. Consequently, corrosion at potential weak spots is avoided. Connection surfaces between housing cover and housing are also coated to optimally protect against corrosion.