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Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist

  • Motor-operated valve actuators are essential components in industrial process control systems. 
  • They automate the opening and closing of valves, improving efficiency, safety, and remote control capabilities. 
  • This document outlines a comprehensive procedure for installing a motor-operated valve actuator, ensuring safe and proper integration into your process pipeline.
Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist 1
  • Lockout/Tagout (LOTO): Identify all potential energy sources (electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, fluid pressure) that could activate the valve or actuator during installation. Follow established LOTO procedures to isolate the valve and ensure no accidental operation occurs.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE based on the specific hazards of the process fluid and environment. This may include safety glasses, gloves, respirators, and hearing protection.
  • Emergency Procedures: Be familiar with emergency shutdown procedures for the process system and have the necessary equipment readily available (e.g., eyewash stations, fire extinguishers).
  • Block Valves: Locate and close upstream and downstream block valves to isolate the target valve from the process stream. Ensure a double block and bleed procedure is followed if hazardous fluids are present.
  • Bypass Line: If a bypass line exists, consider utilizing it to maintain process flow while the valve is isolated.
  • Depressurization: Vent or drain any remaining pressure or fluid from the valve section to prevent unexpected discharge during installation.
  • Manufacturer’s Instructions: Obtain and thoroughly review the installation manuals and technical specifications for both the valve and the actuator. These documents provide essential details for proper mounting, wiring, and calibration procedures specific to your equipment models.
  • Wiring Diagrams: Carefully study the provided electrical wiring diagrams to understand the proper connection sequence for power supply and control signals.
  • Valve: Visually inspect the valve for any damage or wear that might affect its operation. Ensure the stem moves freely and without binding.
  • Actuator: Inspect the actuator for any shipping damage, loose components, or missing parts. Verify the actuator matches the valve specifications (flange type, torque output).
  • Handwheel Removal: If the valve features a handwheel, remove it to allow connection to the actuator output shaft.
  • Manual Actuation: Manually operate the valve using the stem nut or another designated mechanism. This verifies the valve’s internal functionality and ensures it’s not seized.
  • Open/Close Reference: Identify the valve stem position corresponding to fully open and fully closed states. This will be crucial for aligning the actuator travel with the valve’s operation.
  • Marking: Consider marking the stem and bonnet with reference points for open and closed positions to aid in later calibration.
  • Assess the operating environment for potential hazards such as extreme temperatures, corrosive chemicals, or hazardous atmospheres. Choose materials and coatings resistant to these conditions for longevity and safety.
  • Ensure the motor-operated valve actuator enclosure meets or exceeds the required environmental protection standards (e.g., NEMA, IP ratings) to safeguard internal components from dust, moisture, and other contaminants.
  • Provide adequate ventilation around the actuator to prevent overheating, especially in enclosed spaces or high-temperature environments. Consider installing ventilation fans or heat dissipation systems if necessary.
Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist 2
  • Flange Alignment: Align the actuator mounting flange with the corresponding flange on the valve bonnet or yoke. Ensure proper alignment to prevent stress on the valve body or binding during operation. Shims may be necessary to achieve precise alignment.
  • Use the manufacturer-specified bolts, washers, and nuts for secure mounting. Tighten the bolts gradually and in a crisscross pattern to achieve even pressure on the flanges. 
  • Refer to the torque specifications provided in the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overtightening.
  • Coupling Selection: Choose the appropriate coupling type (flexible, direct) based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and valve stem configuration.
  • Alignment: Precise alignment between the actuator output shaft and the valve stem is critical to ensure smooth operation and prevent binding. Utilize alignment tools if necessary.
  • Connection Method: Secure the coupling to the valve stem and actuator shaft using the designated method (screws, pins, etc.), adhering to manufacturer’s torque specifications.
  • Pre-travel Settings: Some actuators may have pre-travel limit switches that can be adjusted to account for valve travel limitations or mechanical stops.
  • Consult Manual: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for proper adjustment procedures for limit switches.
  • Disconnect Power: Before any electrical connections, ensure the power supply to the actuator is completely disconnected and locked out from the electrical room.
  • Conduit Installation: Install a suitable electrical conduit from the power source to the actuator’s electrical enclosure, following local electrical codes and regulations.
  • Proper grounding is crucial for electrical safety and prevents malfunctions due to stray currents.
  • Locate the designated grounding point on the actuator enclosure and connect it to the plant grounding system using an appropriately sized grounding wire.
Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist 3
Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist 4
  • Wiring Diagram: Follow the manufacturer’s wiring diagram meticulously to ensure proper connection of power supply, control signals, torque limit switches and any feedback devices (e.g., position sensors like limit switches and position transmitter).
  • Cable Selection: Choose the appropriate electrical cable based on voltage rating, current requirements, and environmental conditions.
  • Terminations: Terminate the cable ends using the recommended connectors (e.g., crimp terminals, lugs) following proper electrical practices. Double-check all connections for tightness and secure them within the enclosure using cable ties or straps to prevent strain.
Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist 5
  • Ingress Protection: Seal the entry point of the electrical conduit into the enclosure using appropriate grommets or sealing fittings to maintain the actuator’s ingress protection (IP) rating.
  • Visual Inspection: Perform a final visual inspection to ensure all connections (electrical, mechanical) are secure and no loose parts or debris are present within the actuator enclosure.
  • Manual Movement: If possible, manually move the actuator output shaft through its travel range to verify smooth operation and no binding occurs.
  • After confirming all safety precautions are in place, slowly energize the actuator power supply.
  • Calibration: Following the manufacturer’s instructions, calibrate the limit switches and travel stops. This ensures the valve reaches the fully open and closed positions within the intended travel range of the actuator. This may involve adjusting limit switch positions and travel stop settings.
  • Use the Infrared Setting Tool for setting and configuring the motor-operated valve actuator
  • Configure open/close feedback, torque values, and other parameters as needed for proper operation.

Click here for Calibration Procedure for Motorized Control Valve

Motor-Operated Valve Actuator Installation Procedure with Checklist 6

Position feedback transmitters are essential components of motor-operated valve (MOV) actuators, providing real-time feedback on the valve’s position to the control system. Proper adjustment ensures accurate monitoring and control of the valve position. 

  • Locate the position feedback transmitter on the actuator assembly. It is typically mounted near the actuator shaft or gearbox to detect the valve position accurately.
  • Ensure proper alignment between the position feedback transmitter and the valve stem. Misalignment can lead to inaccurate position readings. Utilize alignment tools if necessary to achieve precise alignment.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the position feedback transmitter. This may involve calibration procedures to set the transmitter’s zero and span values. 
  • Typically, adjustments are made using trim pots or digital interfaces provided with the transmitter. Follow the specified adjustment steps carefully to avoid errors.
  • After adjustment, test the position feedback transmitter by manually moving the valve through its full range of motion. Verify that the transmitter accurately reflects the valve’s position at all points.

Torque switches are safety features integrated into motor-operated valve actuators to detect excessive torque during valve operation. They help prevent damage to the valve and actuator components. 

  • Identify the torque switches installed on the actuator assembly. There may be separate switches for detecting excessive torque during valve opening (open torque switch) and closing (close torque switch).
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the torque switches. This typically involves setting the torque trip point to a value appropriate for the valve and actuator combination.
  • Adjustment may be done using adjustable torque settings provided on the switches or through digital interfaces if available.
  • After adjustment, perform functional tests by operating the valve in both open and close directions. Ensure that the torque switches trip at the specified torque levels, preventing further actuator movement when exceeded.

Feedback switches are used to provide confirmation of valve position during operation. They indicate when the valve reaches fully open or fully closed positions, allowing for accurate control and monitoring.

  • Locate Feedback Switches: Identify the feedback switches installed on the actuator assembly. These switches are typically activated by cams or levers attached to the valve stem, signaling when the valve reaches specific positions.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the feedback switches. This may involve setting the switch activation points to align with the fully open and fully closed positions of the valve.
  • Adjustment may be done by repositioning the switch contacts or adjusting actuator components to ensure proper switch actuation.
  • After adjustment, test the feedback switches by operating the valve through its full range of motion. Verify that the switches activate reliably at the designated open and close positions, providing accurate feedback to the control system.
  • Test Operation: Cautiously initiate control signals to the actuator to operate the valve in both open and closed directions. Observe the valve stem movement and verify it corresponds to the desired positions.
  • Leakage Check: After completing operational testing, visually inspect the valve and actuator connection for any leaks or signs of abnormal operation.
  • Test the electrical interlocks in the control circuit to ensure they function as intended.
  • Verify the fail-safe action of the actuator by removing power and checking if the valve moves to the desired safe position.

Click here for How to do loop checking of Motor operated valve?

  • If the actuator has communication capabilities, configure the PLC/SCADA interface and test the remote control and monitoring functions
  • Ensure the actuator can be controlled and monitored from the control room as required
  • Document the installation process, including notes on any adjustments made during calibration or testing. 
  • Establish a system for maintaining records related to the motor-operated valve actuator, including installation documents, calibration reports, maintenance logs, and any modifications or repairs performed over time.
  • This information will be valuable for future reference and troubleshooting.

Post-Installation Considerations

  • Start-Up Procedures: Follow established plant procedures for system startup and ensure proper integration of the actuated valve into the process control loop.
  • Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain the actuator following the manufacturer’s recommendations. This may involve lubrication, limit switch checks, and overall performance verification.
  • Troubleshooting: In case of malfunctions, refer to the actuator’s troubleshooting guide and consult the manufacturer’s support resources for assistance.

Click here for Step By Step Troubleshooting Guide for Motorized Control Valve (MOV)

Installation Checklist for Motor-Operated Valve Actuator - Downloadable

Here’s a simple table in Excel format that you can download and use as an installation checklist for a motor-operated valve actuator:

This Excel sheet contains the checklist with checkboxes for each step of the installation process. You can print it out or use it digitally to track the progress of your installation.

Sundareswaran Iyalunaidu

With over 24 years of dedicated experience, I am a seasoned professional specializing in the commissioning, maintenance, and installation of Electrical, Instrumentation and Control systems. My expertise extends across a spectrum of industries, including Power stations, Oil and Gas, Aluminium, Utilities, Steel and Continuous process industries. Tweet me @sundareshinfohe

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