The average salary for an engineer is over $50,000. Earning this salary requires them to know more than just their job description. They must also understand how each component affects another.

Valve automation is one of those elements that every engineer should know. Learning this concept early in your career will help you achieve success later on. If you’ve ever wondered what valve automation is and how it works, keep reading.

What Is Valve Automation?

Valve automation is when an actuator is used to open or close a valve. An actuator is a mechanical device that converts energy into motion. When an actuator receives instructions from an electronic controller, it moves the valve into position and holds it there until instructed otherwise.

Valve automation can help you save money on labor costs. It also improves safety by making sure applications are operating correctly all day long. You can shop for actuators here to use them on your own projects.

Automated Ball Valve

Ball valves are the most common type of valve. They use a pivoting ball to control flow or isolate a system.

Normally closed ball valves don’t allow fluid flow unless pressure from another source forces it open. Use these valves when you want to stop the flow between two systems.

Normally open ball valves let fluid flow and close when pressure is applied.

Automated Block Valves

You can use block valves in place of ball valves. They prevent flow through a pipe by closing off one end of it.

Automated Needle Valves

Needle valves control flow in high-pressure systems. You can add them to systems that need strong precision. They’re one of the smallest valve types, so they’re ideal for tight spaces.

Automated Diaphragm Valves

Air pressure controls these valves. Because diaphragm valves have few moving parts, they’re easier to clean and maintain than other types.

There’s a flexible diaphragm that acts like a rubber stopper between two ports of the valve. When you press one port open, it pulls away from the other. When this happens, liquid may flow through the system.

Automated Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are great for systems with large pipe sizes. These valves use a disk to control the flow of liquid or gas through them. The disk moves back and forth, which allows the valve to open or close quickly when needed.

Automated Check Valves

Check valves prevent backflow and equipment damage. They allow flow in one direction only.

The check valve requires a minimum pressure to open. It’s important that the pressure is higher than the fumes entering your system. The required pressure varies according to the design and size of the valve.

Learn Engineering Basics

Valve automation is a great way to improve your efficiency and save time, but only if you choose the right valve for your application.

Valves are an important part of your vehicle’s engine, but many other parts come together to make it run. Explore our car tech section to learn more about how you can make your car more efficient.