Monday, September 16, 2019

Oil Refinery Chooses Kinetrol for Fast Closing 6" Ball Valve

Fast Closing 6" Ball Valve
6" ball valve with failing actuator.
A Midwestern oil refinery was using a 6" ball valve with a cylinder actuator in a fast closing application. The ball valve was required to close in under 1 second with a duty cycle of 8 operations per day. Unfortunately, the cylinder actuator response became increasingly sluggish over time due to internal component wear. The customer tried replacing the cylinder actuator with the same model, but it too developed the problem in under a year.

Actuator for Fast Closing 6" Ball Valve
The specified Kinetrol actuator and
high Cv solenoid valve.
The local Kinetrol Distributor Sales Representative and Kinetrol Regional Sales Manager worked together to engineer a better solution. They knew the Kinetrol rotary spring unit would provide enough torque to close the valve quickly, but the concern was with the actuator exhaust venting.

After calculating the air flow characteristics of the actuator and  the response time of the spring, they knew the critical element was finding a high flow capacity solenoid valve. It needed to be capable of dumping the actuator air quickly enough to close the actuator in under 1 second.

The result was a recommendation to use a Kinetrol model 147-120-4900L spring return actuator with a third party, high Cv (9.7), solenoid valve.

Once installed the 6" ball valve and Kinetrol assembly worked perfectly and, at the time of this writing, has been in service for 3.5 years, operating with no downtime and maintaining the under 1 second closing requirement.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA. Call 972-447-9443 or visit https://kinetrolusa.com.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Top Five Reasons Why Kinetrol is a Better Choice Than Rack and Pinion Actuators


1. Rotary vane actuators do not convert linear motion to rotary motion, unlike rack and pinion actuators. 


No additional gearing is required and no side loading is transferred to the actuator housing.

2. Vane actuator lip seals are the key for long life. 

The double opposing lip seal design, with stainless steel expanders, provides unmatched service life by using air pressure to improve the actuators seal-to-enclosure contact, and provide a “self cleaning” effect on the epoxy or PTFE internal finish.

3. The elimination of pressure bearing o-ring shaft seals. 

Rack and pinion actuators require shaft sealing o-rings that are exposed to the full supply air pressure used to operate the actuator. These o-rings wear, causing leaks, a drop in efficiency, and wasted energy through air consumption. Vane actuators' double opposing lip seals isolate the supply air pressure from the actuator shaft, requiring only a low friction bearing on the shaft.

4. Rotary vane actuators provide superior modulating accuracy. 

Because of the integral vane and shaft (machine from a single casting), lost motion or hysteresis is reduced dramatically which intern provides much tighter modulation and control. The vane actuators inherent low friction also reduces hunting and sticking.

5. Rotary vane actuator spring return units are designed to be virtually indestructible. 

Using low stress, clock springs reduces spring tension loss and metal fatigue. The housing for vane a actuator springs are sealed from the atmosphere, preventing corrosion of internal parts. Most importantly, these type of spring units provide the lowest torque loss which enables the section of smaller (less expensive) actuators.

Kinetrol USA
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443

Monday, August 19, 2019

Kinetrol Blueline Pneumatic Actuators for Foodservice Applications

Kinetrol Blueline actuator

"Blueline" series of pneumatic vane actuators from Kinetrol are designed for use in food service and beverage processing.  The actuators are intended to be installed in areas requiring harsh chemical washing-down. These areas are very tough on most pneumatic actuator types because the actuator is very often adversely affected by the caustic or acidic chemicals used in cleaning.

The Kinetrol Blueline actuator has an applied coating that meets the FDA allowance whereby "Resinous and polymeric coatings may be safely used as the food-contact surface of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food ...".

Kinetrol's rotary design is based upon a single moving part which eliminates additional parts required to convert linear motion to rotary motion. This simple and innovative design provides a highly accurate and extremely reliable actuator for operating foodservice and beverage industry valves, providing outstanding cycle life, smooth and precise movement.

Kinetrol's Blueline Series offers a very economical option for use in foodservice wash-down environments and are in compliance with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDA) regulations, including 21 CR 175.300 (Code of Federal Regulations). The combination of Kinetrol's superior actuator design, coupled with the wash-down approved coating, makes a very compelling case to specify the Blueline actuator for your next food and beverage industry actuation requirement.

For more information, contact:
Kinetrol USA
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

How To Install and Remove a Kinetrol Actuator Spring Unit

This video demonstrates how to install and removed a spring unit for a Kinetrol vane actuator. Spring units are available for either clockwise or counter clockwise spring action. They are mounted, as standard, between the actuator and what it drives. With spring units alone, direction is determined by looking at the unit from the end which interfaces with the actuator.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kinetrol Actuator in 60 Deg. Rotation, Continuous Cycling Application on Permanent Mold Casting Machine

hydraulic cylinder
Hydraulic cylinder (shaded in yellow) and it's associated rods and
yokes. Note the difficult access and adjustability.
Permanent mold casting (PMC) is a metal casting process that employs reusable molds, usually made from metal. Common permanent mold casting casting metals are aluminum, magnesium, and copper alloys. Other materials include tin, zinc, and lead alloys and iron and steel are also cast in graphite molds. The permanent mold process has a number of advantages over other casting techniques. Benefits of permanent mold casting are:
  • No waste from the mold
  • Reusable mold
  • Good surface finish
  • Good dimensional accuracy
  • High production rates
  • Higher conductivity levels
Kinetrol actuator
Kinetrol actuator replacement. The actuator mounts directly to equipment,
connected directly to the shaft eliminating the need for rods and yokes.
A foundry in the North Central USA was using a hydraulic cylinder to continuously position an armature on each side of a piece of foundry equipment. The movement of the cylinder and associated hardware was limited to 60 degrees of rotation for the application. The mounting style and location of the hydraulic cylinder made it very difficult to access and adjust. To make things worse, the cylinder design and it's associated rods and yokes compounded the need for adjustment due to wear.

The local Kinetrol Distributor was called in and immediately saw the opportunity to replace the hydraulic cylinder, rods, and scotch-yokes with a Kinetrol actuator and simple mounting.

The Kinetrol actuators have been working for several years now, moving continuously without problem and eliminating the need for frequent adjustments.

For more information, contact:
Kinetrol USA
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443

Sunday, June 30, 2019

New Hacking Risk for US Power Grids and Oil & Gas Industries

A report released in June, from the security firm Dragos, describes a worrisome development by a hacker group named, “Xenotime” and at least two dangerous oil and gas intrusions and ongoing reconnaissance on United States power grids.

Multiple ICS (Industrial Control Sectors) sectors now face the XENOTIME threat; this means individual verticals – such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or electric – cannot ignore threats to other ICS entities because they are not specifically targeted.


The Dragos researchers have termed this threat proliferation as the world’s most dangerous cyberthreat since an event in 2017 where Xenotime had caused a serious operational outage at a crucial site in the Middle East. 

The fact that concerns cybersecurity experts the most is that this hacking attack was a malware that chose to target the facility safety processes (SIS – safety instrumentation system).

For example, when temperatures in a reactor increase to an unsafe level, an SIS will automatically start a cooling process or immediately close a valve to prevent a safety accident. The SIS safety stems are both hardware and software that combine to protect facilities from life threatening accidents.

At this point, no one is sure who is behind Xenotime. Russia has been connected to one of the critical infrastructure attacks in the Ukraine.  That attack was viewed to be the first hacker related power grid outage.

This is a “Cause for Concern” post that was published by Dragos on June 14, 2019

“While none of the electric utility targeting events has resulted in a known, successful intrusion into victim organizations to date, the persistent attempts, and expansion in scope is cause for definite concern. XENOTIME has successfully compromised several oil and gas environments which demonstrates its ability to do so in other verticals. Specifically, XENOTIME remains one of only four threats (along with ELECTRUM, Sandworm, and the entities responsible for Stuxnet) to execute a deliberate disruptive or destructive attack.

XENOTIME is the only known entity to specifically target safety instrumented systems (SIS) for disruptive or destructive purposes. Electric utility environments are significantly different from oil and gas operations in several aspects, but electric operations still have safety and protection equipment that could be targeted with similar tradecraft. XENOTIME expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary’s willingness to compromise process safety – and thus integrity – to fulfill its mission.

XENOTIME’s expansion to another industry vertical is emblematic of an increasingly hostile industrial threat landscape. Most observed XENOTIME activity focuses on initial information gathering and access operations necessary for follow-on ICS intrusion operations. As seen in long-running state-sponsored intrusions into US, UK, and other electric infrastructure, entities are increasingly interested in the fundamentals of ICS operations and displaying all the hallmarks associated with information and access acquisition necessary to conduct future attacks. While Dragos sees no evidence at this time indicating that XENOTIME (or any other activity group, such as ELECTRUM or ALLANITE) is capable of executing a prolonged disruptive or destructive event on electric utility operations, observed activity strongly signals adversary interest in meeting the prerequisites for doing so.”

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Kinetrol Vane Actuators in Sugar Production: Suger Cane Processing

First in a 2-part series on the use of Kinetrol pneumatic vane actuators in the production of sugar.  The first part focusses on sugar cane processing. The second focusses on sugar beet processing.

Suger Kane Processing


Suger Kane ProcessingSugar is produced in over 130 countries worldwide. Around 80 percent of sugar is produced from cane, which is grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The remaining 20 percent is manufactured from beet grown in more temperate climates. Refined sugar is both chemically and functionally identical whether it is produced from cane or beet.

Transportation – Cane is loaded into lorries or rail trucks and taken to the mills for processing. On arrival the cane is washed to remove rocks and leaves.

Suger Kane ProcessingShredder – The shredder shreds the cane and reduces it into fibrous material to expose the sucrose bearing cells. This allows for the extraction (milling) process to maximize the removal of the sugar juice from the cane.

Milling – This is the extraction process whereby the sugar is removed from the cane. The shredded cane is crushed between heavy, grooved metal rollers to separate the juice from the fibre. The milling process involves a number of mills which are made up of three rollers arranged in a triangular formation. As the cane is crushed in the mills hot water (or recovered impure juice) is sprayed onto the crushed cane. The resultant dark green juice (sometimes called vesou) is then sent to a mixed juice tank for storage before clarification.

The cane fiber (called bagasse) is recycled as a fuel for the mill’s boiler furnaces. Importantly, milling must take place within 36 hours of the cane being cut.

Kinetrol units are used to control the flow of water to the spray system. It is necessary to ensure that sufficient water is used to remove the sugar content without flooding the cane.

Suger Kane ProcessingClarification and Filtering – Clarification is where soluble and insoluble impurities (sand, soil, etc.) are removed. The vesou is heated and then lime is added to the juice. Clear sugar juice is run off from the top of the clarifier. The muddy juice, extracted from the bottom of the clarifier, is mixed with fine bagasse and filtered to recover more sugar. This process can be repeated to ensure maximum recovery of sugar. The final recovered mud & bagasse mix is used as a soil treatment on the cane farms.

Kinetrol units are used to control the flow of the vesou to the clarifier. Controlled flow reduces turbulence which allows for quicker settling times. Kinetrol's are also be used to control the recirculation flow of the sugar juice to the clarifier.

Suger Kane ProcessingEvaporation – The clear juice from the clarifier is concentrated into a syrup by boiling it under vacuum in evaporators. Around two-thirds of water in the juice is removed in the evaporation process leaving an end syrup with approximately 65-70 percent sugar content.

Kinetrol actuators are used to control the flow of steam to the evaporation tanks. In addition they control the flow of the juice through the evaporators. This is because of their reliability in the higher ambient temperatures in the process area.

Vacuum Pans – The syrup is concentrated further by boiling it in vacuum pans. Here it is ‘seeded’ with small sugar crystals to allow crystallization to take place. When the the sucrose concentration reaches the desired level the mixture of crystals and syrup, called massecuite, is sent to the centrifuges.

Kinetrol actuators control the input of heating steam into the pans as well as the flow of the massecuite through the process.

Centrifuges – High speed centrifuges separate the massecuite into sugar crystals and by-products (molasses).

Kinetrol actuators control the massecuite feeding system into the centrifuges. Accurate control of the valves feeding the centrifuges is necessary to prevent overloading and leakage of the centrifuges.

Suger Kane ProcessingKinetrol actuators also control the water inlets of the automated wash system for the centrifuges.


Dryers – Damp sugar crystals are dried in heated dryers before being sorted in sizes and either packed or stored.

Kinetrol's reliability, especially under hot, humid conditions, are crucial factors for our units being used within the sugar industry. Depending on the plant and location the actual ‘processing’ season varies from around four months for sugar beet to six months for sugar cane. During this short time it is essential that plants have no production issues as this will have a dramatic effect on the productivity and therefore competitiveness of the plant. The reliability and robustness of the Kinetrol units means they continue to function through each production season year after year.

Kinetrol’s ability to maintain an unchanged torque rating even with wear of the lip seals, means critical valves continue to function correctly over time. This is especially true with a product that is highly viscous in the later stage of production (e.g. thick juice, molasses).

With some plants being non-operational for many months of the year there does exist time for service & maintenance or replacement of rack & pinion actuators. However as margins within the sugar industry are low, the total cost of ownership for Kinetrol units over a number of production seasons makes them a more cost effective solution.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA by calling 972-447-9443 or by visiting https://kinetrolusa.com.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Changes to the Kinetrol VLS Limit Switch Box: KUSA-TSB123

After a decade since the launch of the Kinetrol Universal Limit Switch Box it has become necessary to replace the tooling. As a result, we have taken the opportunity to make some improvements to the design.

With the continued pressure for modularization and commonality the new precision die cast switch box will offer some positive improvements over the current model, more internal space for future developments and will be known as the VLS Limit Switch Box.


For more information, contact Kinetrol USA by calling 972-447-9443 or visit https://kinetrolusa.com.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Kinetrol Vane Actuators

Kinetrol Vane Actuators


Kinetrol manufactures the most comprehensive range of high performance pneumatic double-acting and spring-return rotary vane actuators in the world.

In addition, Kinetrol also manufactures a full range of positioners, limit switch boxes, fail-safe and fire fail-safe spring units, I to P transducers, spring-to-center 90° and 180° actuators, gearboxes and other engineered products from foundry to finished goods in our own ISO 9001-2008 certified factories.

Kinetrol is the inventor of the quarter turn pneumatic vane actuator and manufactures 16 sizes with torque outputs ranging from 8 lb inches to 168,000 lb inches when supplied with 100 psig.

Kinetrol’s exclusive direct-mount modular concept eliminates expensive and unnecessary tubing, fittings, brackets and couplings, which provides virtually hysteresis-free and extremely compact, automated assemblies. Unlike cylinder actuators, Kinetrol’s one piece vane and shaft design move as one resulting in extremely precise modulating and on/off control. Kinetrol actuators use double opposed polyurethane lip seals instead of O-ring seals typically used in quarter turn actuators. Kinetrol’s lip seal design isolates the shaft seal from plant air pressure and also acts as wiper for any foreign material which dramatically extends the service life of these actuators in all applications.

Knock off and copy attempts have come and gone over Kinetrol’s 60 plus year history, but none have come close to Kinetrol’s stellar track record of quality and reliability. Truth is in the performance and Kinetrol actuators have developed the reputation as the most reliable severe service, high cycle actuators the world over since 1958.

Kinetrol USA
972-447-9443

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Kinetrol Vane Actuators Lower Cost of Filter Operation at Power Plant

A Monoscour® filter is a heavy duty, high-rate, gravity filter. It is designed for filtering high turbidity media and sticky particulates, and is commonly used in polymer chemical treatment, cooling tower side-stream filtration, and industrial wastewater filtering. This kind of filter is designed to be fully automatic and includes all piping and valves needed to change from filter mode to cleaning mode. Inexpensive rack and pinion actuators are installed as OEM components to divert flow between cycles. The actuators are mounted on 4" lug style butterfly valves.

A Midwestern power plant was experiencing failures with their filter's OEM rack and pinion actuators. The actuator cycle rate was moderate-to-high, approximately (1) cycle per hour, continuous.

While the cost of rack and pinion actuator replacement was relatively low, the cost of filter downtime and labor was very high for the utility. As part of an ongoing, long term cost savings effort, a more reliable and robust solution was required.

The local Kinetrol Distributor Salesperson was called in and immediately saw that replacing the rack and pinion actuators with Kinetrol vane actuators was the answer. Based on the countless applications around the world, where Kinetrol actuators perform reliably in the most challenging circumstances, this particular application was comparatively easy and straightforward.

The new Kinetrol actuators were retro-fitted to the existing valves with new mounting hardware and have been operating flawlessly for over a year now. Its expected the valves will wear out long before the actuators ever need service.

For more information about using Kinetrol vane actuators on filtration towers, contact Kinetrol USA by visiting https://kinetrolusa.com or by calling 972-447-9443.


Monoscour® is a registered trademark of Graver Water Systems.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Even In the Hot Seat, Kinetrol Actuators Perform

melted Kinetrol actuator housing
This picture is of what used to be a Kinetrol
097-120 and the valve it secured.
Liquid-phase oxidation of hydrocarbons is used in the production of  terephthalic acid (TPA).  Air is the source of oxygen gas in the oxidation processes. The air for the reaction is supplied by large compressors.

A chemical manufacturer in the southeastern USA experienced a catastrophic fire in their compressor house 2014. The fire caused extensive damage to the facility and equipment, and shut down production for months. The compressor alone cost $30 million.

As part of the compressor safety shutdown system, two 6" Class 150 high performance butterfly valves with Kinetrol 097-120 actuators were installed on the process air lines. In the the event of an emergency, these valves needed to quickly close, and then stay closed, under any - and all - conditions.

melted Kinetrol actuator housing
Close-up view of the Kinetrol
Actuator. A melted ball of metal.





Immediately upon activation of the emergency alarm, the two Kinetrol actuated assemblies received their signal and closed the valves quickly and tightly. As the fire raged, the actuators kept the valves secure, even after the extreme heat from the fire completely melted the actuator housings and internals.

As you can see from the pictures, the actuators were completely destroyed, but the valves stayed closed and and escalation of the emergency was prevented.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA by calling 972-447-9443 or visit https://kinetrolusa.com.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Kinetrol Solves Scotch Yoke Actuator Reliability Issues on Top Entry Ball Valves


A southeastern chemical company had reliability issues with the leading brand of scotch yoke actuators. The actuators were mounted on 12" top entry ball valves that sent process reactor off-gas to a dryer for processing. The actuators cycle the valves every two minutes.

Top entry ball valve automation is challenging because the adjustable ball stops on top entry ball valves can increase torque values, and undersized actuators are common. In this application, the scotch yoke actuators were also unreliable due to seal leaks, sticking, and lock up, which dramatically affected the plants production of PTA (purified terephthalic acid).

The first Kinetrol actuator installation for this application, a 187-100, was installed at the chemical plant 1997, and it is still in service today. By our calculations, that actuator has cycled 5,148,000 since then, considering it strokes every two minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 325 days a year.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA.
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Upgrade in Steam Balancing Valve Actuators at Combined-cycle Power Plant Lead to Kinetrol

The customer for this application note is an electrical power station with a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired generating unit with two combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine. The output of combustion turbines can vary at different times throughout the year. The nominal output for this facility is 577 megawatts. The station burns natural gas.

A combined-cycle power plant uses a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50% more generated electricity, using the same fuel, when compared to a traditional simple-cycle plant. The gas turbine waste heat is routed to the nearby steam turbine which, in turn, generates the extra power.

One of the most common components for managing high-pressure steam in a combined-cycle plant is the HRH bypass valve (HRH stands for "hot reheat"). Since the valve actuator controls the valve’s ability to reliably and accurately respond to system demands, it can be argued it is one of the most important elements in the steam bypass system, and therefore the entire combined-cycle plant.

In this application, the customer had two 18" steam balancing valves using large, high torque, scotch-yoke actuators that had to cycle 20 times a day. These actuators presented significant performance issues (they were failing), plus they were very large which presented maintenance difficulties.

The customer approached the local Kinetrol USA Distributor and inquired if they could suggest a better alternative. The goal was to provide replacement actuators that provide very high torque, be highly reliable, and save space.

The Distributor recommended Kinetrol Model 30 pneumatic rotary actuators. The Model 30 provides 168000 lbf ins (19140 Nm) at 100 psi (7 bar) of torque and were significantly smaller and lighter than the legacy scotch-yoke actuators. Most importantly, they carried the world-renowned Kinetrol reputation for outstanding reliability, long life, and maintenance-free operation.

Kinetrol USA
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Trouble-free Pneumatic Valve and Damper Actuators


A rugged, corrosion-resistant pneumatic vane actuator with only a single moving part, the Kinetrol vane actuator is warranted to operate trouble-free for millions of cycles.

With millions of actuators performing reliably around the world, the Kinetrol vane actuator's outstanding cycle life, smooth and precise movement, and environmentally rugged design makes it the best choice for all of your automated valve requirements.

Kinetrol USA
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Proven Dependability: Kinetrol Vane Actuators

Kinetrol actuators provide years of reliable and dependable performance in the toughest environments and application. When you plan your next valve automation requirement, choose Kinetrol vane actuators.

Kinetrol USA
https://kinetrolusa.com
972-447-9443


Monday, January 21, 2019

Demonstration of NAMUR Mount Solenoid Valve with Manual Bypass Option on Kinetrol Actuator

This video demonstrates a very helpful solenoid valve option, the manual bypass feature. The technician uses a NAMUR mounted solenoid valve with built-in bypass on a Kinetrol vane actuator to show you exactly how the option works.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

How to Install the Optional 4-20 mA Feedback Mechanism on the the Kinetrol AP Pneumatic Positioner


This video describes how to install the optional angle retransmit circuit  (4-20 mA feedback mechanism) on the Kinetrol AP pneumatic positioner.

The angle retransmit circuit is an externally powered (8–30v DC) linear 4-20mA feedback module, rangeable down to 30 deg. for full 4-20mA span. The module's retransmit pot is a high quality conductive plastic servo–type with ball bearings, coupled with a zero-backlash feedback pot drive. The combination provides long life and high precision.

The Kinetrol AP positioner moves an actuator to a position set by a 3-15 psi control signal and holds it there. It is designed to drive a rotary or linear actuator to a position set by a 3-15 psi (0.2 to 1.0 bar) signal and hold it there until the signal changes.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA by calling 972-447-9443 or visiting https://kinetrolusa.com.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

How to Install the Kinetrol AP Pneumatic Positioner


This video describes how to install a Kinetrol AP pneumatic positioner on a Kinetrol vane actuator.

The Kinetrol AP positioner moves an actuator to a position set by a 3-15 psi control signal and holds it there. It is designed to drive a rotary or linear actuator to a position set by a 3-15 psi (0.2 to 1.0 bar) signal and hold it there until the signal changes.

When a signal pressure is applied to the diaphragm it moves the force balance lever clockwise against the tension of the feedback spring. This moves the spool valve, supplying air pressure to one side of the actuator while exhausting trapped air from the other side.

The feedback shaft follows the movement of the actuator and turns the cam counter clockwise, pushing the cam follower and increasing the tension on the feedback spring until it balances the forces on the diaphragm and moves the spool valve to its hold position.

The input signal and desired position is determined by the cam profile. A cam giving 0-90° output movement linearly proportional to a 3-15 psi (0.2-1.0 bar) signal is standard, and almost any desired characteristic can be supplied to order; if it cannot be found in the list of existing options contact Kinetrol.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA by calling 972-447-9443 or visiting https://kinetrolusa.com.