Modular Actuation Aids Water Industry

A new Generation .2 AUMA actuator and wastewater scheme

In this report for Valve User, AUMA Actuators Ltd, an established member of the BVAA and a leading force in valve control, provides a definition of actuators and their role in water industry applications.

As part of the global AUMA organisation, the company has a 48 year track record providing electric actuation solutions for a range of industrial applications – a strong legacy supporting the water industry is offered. The increased adoption of bus technology is highlighted and a view presented that the good supplier considers the bigger management picture.

For over a century, actuation has played an essential role across water treatment plants, pumping stations, water pipelines, dams, sluice gates and sewage works. As members of the BVAA will be aware, actuators consist of a motor driving onto a worm gearbox which provides the output torque to move a valve. The electronically powered devices convert a control signal into a rotary or linear movement which, via a valve, changes the flow of a fluid.

Integrated into control systems and converting signals into mechanical motion, actuators are linked to control centres or monitoring consoles. Alternatively, electric actuators rely on their own intelligent electronics to perform their primary function of controlling valves: in water sector applications, these valves link to treatment plants or filtering systems.

Increasing adoption of fieldbus technology in water sector applications has substantially increased the amount of process information. Providing almost unlimited data feedback, precise information can be provided regarding processes. Fieldbus has been embraced by water utilities on an international scale and the technology is widely adopted for potable treatment, filtration and wastewater treatment plants.

Modular design makes its mark

Heavy investment is made into R&D by AUMA, particularly at the company’s German manufacturing facilities – this commitment to advancing electric actuation resulted in taking a pioneering modular approach to valve control. AUMA advises that a key benefit of modular actuation technology is the ability to customise the product to meet exact specifications in a mass production environment. Maintenance and upgrades are therefore possible without having to remove the actuator from site. Generation .2 AUMA actuators introduced in 2010 retain the modular design concept and, as a result, are fully compatible with previous products.

Demand for modular actuation is confirmed via UK utility installations and orders for AUMA actuators around the world, including an application for a water conveyance system in Jordan. The scheme, which runs from Mudawarra to Amman, will be supported by 400 of AUMA’s new Generation .2 range modular actuators.

In conclusion, AUMA reports that recognising the challenges of managing automation is central to the actuator supplier / customer relationship - and this is true whether the application is water, power or oil & gas. The forward looking actuator organisation works in partnership with its customers responding to wider business issues. For example, at AUMA every component and completed actuator commissioning number is unique: this helps significantly with asset management and tracking.

AUMA Actuators Ltd
Tel: 01275 871141

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 20

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