Demand for valves to soar as political and economic conditions stabilise in emerging economies!

08/09/2014
Emerging Regions Prove Increasingly Profitable for the Industrial Valves and Actuators Market

The increase in oil exploration activities, investments in new refineries, and modernisation of existing facilities will spur the uptake of valves and actuators, particularly in emerging markets such as Africa and Latin America. Demand from the offshore oil and gas industry in Latin America, in particular, is expected to fuel the valves and actuators market. In addition to the demand from the emerging economies, control valve manufacturers will find growth opportunities in North America and Europe due to end-user preference for greater process automation.

1024px-ValveNew analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Global Industrial Valves and Actuators Market, finds that the market earned revenues of €14.86 billion (US$19.51 billion) in 2013 and estimates this to reach €19.76 billion (US$25.95 billion) in 2018. The study covers the oil and gas, power generation, chemical processing, mining and metallurgy, and water and wastewater end-user industries.

“The water and wastewater industry will offer significant growth potential for valve and actuator manufacturers in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Niranjan Paul. “Due to the burgeoning population and rapid urbanisation in these regions, water scarcity and the need to provide purified and portable water for human consumption have led to the setting up of desalination plants, boosting the use of valves and actuators.”

Despite this demand, valve and actuator manufacturers are likely to witness a loss of potential revenues due to the political situation in countries such as Iran, Sudan and Syria. In addition, the global financial downturn has compelled end users to defer projects and focus on the maintenance of existing equipment rather than the purchase of new valves and actuators.

The adoption of aggressive pricing strategies in Asia-Pacific too will reduce the sale of new valves. Vendors must enhance their aftermarket capability to sustain profits as well as meet wide-ranging consumer requirements.

“Valve and actuator manufacturers need to invest in R&D to deliver a comprehensive solution complete with wireless monitoring and advanced valve-condition monitoring capabilities,” recommended Paul. “With subsea exploration in Europe and Latin America projected to rise, widening product portfolios to include double-expanding gate valves will help vendors appeal to a larger consumer base in this high-potential market.”


Oil & Gas to power Industrial valves & actuators

10/04/2013
Political instability in key growth regions threatens to dampen revenue generation

valvecontrolThe oil and gas industry is the largest revenue generator for the industrial valves and actuators market, globally. As a result, the exploration of new oil and gas fields, with the corresponding increase in investments in refineries and pipelines in key growth regions, is likely to have a high impact on market prospects. The market will also benefit from the rising demand for automation and infrastructure modernisation.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the Global Industrial Valves and Actuators Market, finds that the market earned revenues of €14.23 billion ($18.37b) in 2012 (€13.67 0r $17.65 billion in 2011 the base year for the report) and estimates this to reach #17.12 billion ($ 22.10b) in 2016.

“Currently, significant oil exploration activity is taking place in Africa, South America, the Middle East and Russia,” noted Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Associate Niranjan Paul. “These regions will, therefore, be the focus of industrial valve and actuator manufacturers and provide sustainable growth opportunities.”

In the Middle East, Iraq is emerging as a prime market for major oil companies. The country is also projected to spend nearly €20.91 billion ($27.00b) on new power generation, distribution and transmission projects between 2012 and 2017. These trends mark out Iraq as a significant market for industrial valves and actuators.

However, political uncertainty in North Africa and the Middle East is affecting the oil and gas industry. This, together with sanctions imposed on Iran and Syria – major markets for the oil and gas and power generation industries – has the potential to dampen revenues of industrial valve and actuators manufacturers.

In the more developed regions of North America and Europe, environmental legislations are playing an important role in shaping the course of the market. Here, stringent regulations are likely to have an impact across end-user industries.

“In the oil and gas industry, regulations are in place to reduce air pollution by targeting a reduction of smog forming volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions,” explained Paul. “The design of process equipment such as valves and actuators will be instrumental in achieving lowered plant emissions.”

Even as major industrial valves and actuators manufacturers look to leverage growth opportunities, their profit margins are being squeezed by high price sensitivity across end-user industries. As a result, companies are being forced to adopt aggressive pricing strategies.

“The market is likely to experience increased demand for custom solutions that suit particular end-user industry applications,” concluded Paul. “Market participants need to meet such needs and also address other key customer requirements such as high-quality after-sales service and shorter delivery time.”


Three hundred years of valves!

21/03/2013

Now process valves that can ‘think’ for themselves

Amazingly the modern process valve has been with us for over 300 years, regulating the flow of liquids under pressure. Since then, the basic process valve has remained the same in principle, but with the ever growing automation of drinks, food and confectionary production the control of process valves has inevitably become more complex.

PR1450_32610The general trends in factory automation have been heading towards more precise control and more information being gathered at device level, in order to provide feedback for control loops and better information for increasingly sophisticated plant visualisation, management and reporting software.

Better control has also paved the way for continuous processes, reduced waste, improved hygiene and greater efficiency. However, in some applications the tide is now turning back towards a focus on the valve itself; increasingly intelligent and robust field control devices are allowing valves to talk to each other and work independently to an increasingly complex set of rules and parameters.

So, when is centralised control still desirable and how can de-centralised control be employed to improve process systems?

Automated process valves, depending on their size and design can either be ‘piloted’ i.e. a pressurised air supply or pressure from the medium being controlled is used to actuate the valve, or, an external actuator is used (typically an electric ball screw or pneumatic / hydraulic cylinder on larger valves), or, an electric solenoid is used.

These items are usually connected to a PLC or other electronic controller, one which uses a software program or routine in order to keep the sequence and operation of the process valves in synchronisation with the desired pressure, flow and mixing required of the fluid being controlled.

If a compressed air supply is available, then piloting the valves may be the right option and there are some innovative solutions on the market to connect large numbers of pneumatic control air lines to a control valve manifold block in a hygienic environment.

One example is Bürkert’s new AirLINE Quick interface that offers a reliable, compact and time-saving solution for the direct mounting of valve islands and automation equipment into a stainless steel control cabinet, suitable for food grade wash down environments. Eliminating the need for individual bulkhead connections, and internal piping, it has rows of push-fit connectors and exhaust valves integrated into one stainless steel interface plate. It allows for an altogether smaller design of control cabinet for hygienic process actuation in the food, beverage or pharmaceutical industries.

When connecting larger numbers of process valves, which are often required in high densities for continuous process applications – typically supplying fluids such as ingredients or for CIP processes in confectionary production – then a distributed control approach may be more suitable. Using fieldbus protocols such as ASi, Profibus and DeviceNet allows individual valves to be connected using just one or two cables.

There is an excellent solution, again pioneered by Bürkert, that allows process valves from a wide variety of manufacturers to be controlled centrally, or indeed given a level of independence; Bürkert’s new Type 8681 control head offers the key advantage of universal fitment onto third- party hygienic valves: single seat valves, double seat, mix proof, and also quarter turn ball and butterfly valves that have linear stainless steel actuators. The 8681 is compatible with a full range of fieldbus communication networks, and is enclosed in a robust housing that is rated up to IP67 enabling it to be washed down and cleaned safely.

For the final layer of distributed control, many process valve automation applications can now dispense entirely with the control cabinet, bringing true process automation down to valve level. Bürkert’s type 8793 controllers are essentially designed to cut costs in processing applications by allowing a systems engineer to replace an entire control cabinet with one neat controller with a built-in backlit display and keypad.

The relative costs of a separate enclosure, rack mounted plc, I/O, cabling, power supply, HMI etc. can effectively be replaced with just one small control unit that can be mounted either on or very near to the process valve.

The key to finding the best possible automation solution is ultimately through an analysis of each individual part of the plant or installation. In this way, the question of where plant intelligence should rest can be answered: i.e. does the nature of the application require centralised control interfacing to non-intelligent nodes, or does the physical size of the system mean that control has to be decentralised – using a fieldbus system and intelligent valves and actuators, or, can smaller machines or areas be controlled by one localised but powerful process controller – the answer could a mixture of all the options, but the advantage today is that there are new and innovative solutions available for each


Control elements in India

15/03/2013

Control valves, actuators, and positioners market in India driven by domestic demand

Tionscna hIndeThe control valves, actuators, and positioners market in India is largely driven by process industries, which are under multiple pressures: to improve energy management; adhere to standards and regulations; streamline production processes; and reduce costs. Economic instability and exchange rate fluctuations caused some uncertainty in 2011 but the market is still growing. India’s domestic demand driven market propels rapid industrialization and economic growth. Growth is further regulated by monetary and fiscal policies. While the economy of India has slowed down due to weakening external demand, the robust domestic demand continues to remain strong. Due to its domestic-demand-driven economy, India has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

According to ARC Advisory Group’s research, the total control valve, actuator, and positioner market in India will register CAGR of over 7.5 percent by 2016. ARC’s latest study, “Control Valves for India Market Research Study”   provides an in-depth analysis of the control valve, actuator, and positioner business in India. In addition to market analysis and forecasts, the study also covers the current market nuances, strategic issues, and the future outlook. The report also highlights the factors that influence the control valve market in India and its dynamics.

Expanding Economy Drives the Market for Control Valves in India
According to G. Ganapathiraman, Country Manager, ARC Advisory Group, and co-author of this study, “Process industries, such as chemical, oil and gas, power, refining, and others, which extensively use control valves, are expanding in India and this provides the impetus for the growth of the control valves market. India is emerging as an important market for control valve suppliers seeking sustainable long-term growth oriented markets.”

India Attracts Global Control Valves Suppliers
According to the principal author of ARC’s study, Ritika Agrawal , “Global suppliers are attracted not only by the country’s demand for control valves, but also by the advantages that the country offers, such as the low cost arbitrage, availability of design and engineering capabilities, and world-class casting and forging facilities, and such others.”

The country not only acts as a good demand-centric market, but also as an excellent manufacturing base that can serve the growing markets in the region. While the market offers opportunities, the suppliers’ strategies ultimately contribute to success in the marketplace. Suppliers should understand the market nuances, identify emerging opportunities aligning with the overall corporate objectives, and develop their growth strategies.

 


Control valves in Europe

13/02/2012
“Prospect of reduced maintenance costs to promote uptake of new control valves in europe! Focus on innovative, high quality yet cost-effective products will be critical to promoting long-term growth. (Frost & Sullivan)

Steady growth in the European control valves market was derailed by the global economic recession, resulting in a significant decline in sales in 2009. Fears of a double-dip recession caused sales to slump in 2010 as well.

The market has experienced a sluggish recovery in 2011, powered by demand from the food and beverage and power generation sectors. Promisingly, however, projects that had been put on hold during the recession are back on track. These, together with newly initiated projects, are expected to drive growth.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Strategic Analysis of Control Valves in the European Market,” finds that the market earned revenues of €496.5 million ($659m) in 2010 and estimates this to reach €676.3 million ($897m) in 2017. Rotating shaft and sliding stem-type control valves are the product segments covered in the research.

An increased focus on reducing maintenance costs and tighter pro-environment regulations are the two factors poised to boost market prospects.

“There is heightened emphasis on incorporating a diagnostic tool within the control valve, which would eliminate the need for periodic services as well as downtime due to maintenance problems,” explains Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Ashwin Annareddy. “This would also result in a revamping of the basic design of control valves, leading to a significant increase in sales.”

Regulations regarding environmental pollution are poised to become tougher in the coming years. This will impact the design of control valves and boost the sales of valves that promote environmentally sustainable practices across various end-user industries.

Investments in the food and beverage as well as the power generation industries are also set to fuel the uptake of control valves. At the same time, Central and Eastern Europe are anticipated to emerge as the primary geographical markets.

“Manufacturers should develop broad product portfolios that would satisfy the requirements of these end-user and geographical segments. This strategy would enable them to broaden their market reach as well as increase their penetration of these emerging geographical markets.”

A key challenge for European market participants has been pricing due to intensifying competition from Asian low-cost alternatives. This situation has been aggravated by budgetary limitations that have affected R&D initiatives.

“To assert their competitive dominance, European control valve manufacturers have to focus on developing innovative, high-quality yet cost-effective designs that meet end-user requirements,” advises Annareddy. “Value added services that would generate valuable income and enable companies to differentiate themselves from the competition would also be critical to long-term success.”


Valves to meet food and beverage challenges

06/02/2012
Burkert meets challenges of food and beverage industries head on with new stainless steel element control valve

Rust, corrosion, dirt, flaking paint, water ingress and external integrity impaired by aggressive products, would all be high up on any process engineer’s list of typical application problems for valves in the food and beverage industries. Many would say that these industries have, for too long, been plagued by these problems, to the extent that companies have learned to live with them.

Now, however, the limitations of conventional control valve solutions in the control of steam, fluids, gases and aggressive media that play a central role in the processing of food and beverages, have been thoroughly and systematically analysed by Bürkert. The result of this evaluation is the ELEMENT series of control valves. The innovative features of these attractive, clean line, stainless steel valves meet the challenges of process industries – including hygienic processing sectors – and offer solutions to problems that many users have hitherto accepted as system-intrinsic. In addition, as an added benefit, the valves also satisfy the pressing industry need to reduce energy use. Thanks to intelligent internal design, the air consumption to actuate ELEMENT valves is up to 40% lower in comparison with conventional process valve systems.

The bodies of the ELEMENT control valves are manufactured exclusively from high-quality stainless steel, a material that not only saves on weight, but also considerably enhances the aesthetics of the valves. In comparison with other materials, stainless steel is a convincing choice, as its cast integrity is high. This means that the walls of the ELEMENT valves can be optimised, reducing their overall weight and size envelope. Moreover, the impact resistance of stainless steel can be up to 25 times higher than other materials. What all this means for the ELEMENT valve user is more lightweight, compact and robust valve bodies.

The use of stainless steel offers longer term advantages, too. When the finish on most conventional valves has been damaged by exposure to harsh process environments, the ELEMENT valves still retain their original attractive appearance.

Designed to IP 65/67 protection class, the ELEMENT control valves, with their heat and chemical resistant design, easily withstand the rinsing and cleaning processes required in food and beverage plants. The clean, sleek external lines ensure the valves are easy to clean and also stay cleaner for longer.

The interior of ELEMENT control valves proves that outer appearance and inner values are not mutually exclusive. There are a number of innovative key operating areas.

Firstly, high-gloss polished valve stems minimise friction and maximise the service life of the automatic self-adjusting seals.

Secondly, the valve stroke position feedback transducer is not only integrated within the valve, but is also contact-less. Consequently, it never blocks or wears out, and always remains accurate because it measures the linear stroke motion directly without conversion.

Thirdly, because the feedback transducer is fully protected inside the valve, the requirement for external linkages, nuts, bolts and connections is eliminated. This innovation dramatically reduces the areas where product can accumulate and cause contamination.

Fourthly, the control air is also routed internally, without the need for awkward external hoses.

A further innovation on the ELEMENT units is valve actuator control, which is achieved by means of the integrated pilot valves that can also be actuated manually for easy local operation. For each operation, clean and dry control air is deliberately flushed into all areas of the actuator. This ensures that, unlike traditional solutions, ambient air is never drawn into the spring chambers and surrounding voids, extending the valve’s reliability and life, at the same time maximising process availability for the valve user. In addition, as no impurities or moisture are drawn into the actuator, there can be no corrosion of the springs inside the actuator. The same feature also prevents the risk of biological growth, which could result in contamination of the process environment as a whole.

Burkert has also deployed new design thinking to provide protection against moisture ingress into the electronics of the control heads on the ELEMENT valves. Protection is required because small but naturally occurring changes in the control head pressure can lead to the penetration of moisture, particularly after a wash down cleaning process.
Defence against this ingress is provided by diverting a small amount of clean control air into the control head, maintaining a slight positive pressure, thus achieving a simple, innovative and class-leading solution.

In addition to their many operational benefits, the ELEMENT valves offer optimised interactiveness with the user. The valves integrate a modern operator concept that is intuitive and user-friendly, despite the extensive range of relevant functions provided. To prevent data overload, additional functions are displayed only as required, and the configuration of positioners and process controllers is seamless and automatic. Local communication is achieved at a glance via a high-performance and highly visible, multicoloured LED display that illuminates the surrounding area, passing on immediate user information regarding the valve status. Finally, all important data logging information is displayed on a backlit graphic display.

The integrated intelligence in the ELEMENT units also means that communication outside of the local sphere is easy to achieve. With the ELEMENT control valves series, Bürkert offers a complete automation concept for integration into most commonly used control systems. Employing options, such as Profibus DPV1, ASI and Device NET, possible applications range from monitoring simple control tasks and the integration into complex field bus solutions, through to the complete decentralisation of a plant-wide automation system.

About Burkert’s ELEMENT System
The new ELEMENT control valves are part of Burkert’s ELEMENT system, which has set a higher benchmark in process measurement and control. ELEMENT provides a complete systems approach, linking clean line valves, sensors, positioners and valve actuators in a simple architecture to solve total control loop processes. With unlimited modularity, ELEMENT saves processing time by offering total control solutions for media from slurries to steam, and from de-ionised water to hydrochloric acid.

In Ireland contact Petrochem Pipeline Supplies.


Valves to bounce back this year

26/09/2011

It appears 2010 will represent the low-point for control valve shipments when we look back on the most recent global economic crisis.  Although orders increased for many control valve suppliers over the course of 2010, shipments were still down on the whole.  This dichotomy between increasing orders and decreasing shipments is attributable to a number of factors.  Much of the growth in new orders came from new projects in developing countries.  As a result of the long time-frame of new projects, there is often a lag of 6 to 12 months between a control valve supplier receiving an order and actually shipping the valve.  As a result of this lag, many control valve suppliers could not fully recognize the revenues associated with their new orders received during 2010 according to a Control Valves: Five Year Market Analysis and Technology Forecast through 2015,  a new ARC Advisory Group study.

Another factor contributing to the dichotomy is the fact that most control valve suppliers entered 2009 with a strong backlog of outstanding valve orders.  For much of 2009, control valve suppliers were able to continue shipping valve orders and recognizing the revenues for these orders.  Consequently, 2009 was not nearly as bad as one would expect from the precipitous drop-off of new valve orders.  However, by the beginning of 2010, many control valve suppliers had worked their way through their pre-existing backlog and were left to depend largely on their aftermarket business for valve shipments.

“Despite the downturn in control valve shipments, the majority of suppliers enjoyed a rebound in new orders over the course of 2010, with a corresponding increase in order backlogs.  Based on the growth in incoming orders for new project business, ARC expects a rebound to double-digit growth for control valve shipments to many of the ‘hot’ developing countries in 2011.  ARC also expects many of the developed regions to rebound back to healthy growth in 2011 as many suppliers have seen their aftermarket business come back on-line,” according to Senior Analyst David Clayton, the principal author of  the study.

Long Term Supply and Demand Issue for Oil Is Critical
The price, availability, and demand for oil remain key factors in the overall health of the global control valve market.  Many major oil companies have announced plans to increase capital spending in 2011.  Chevron plans to increase spending by $4.4 billion over 2010.  Chevron is investing €16.8 ($22.6) billion in exploration and production activities, particularly in natural gas and LNG projects and deepwater Gulf of Mexico production.  The company’s planned downstream investments are smaller, at €2.15 ($2.9) billion, but nonetheless represent a healthy expenditure.  Many other large energy companies are also predicting big increases in capital spending.  According to Barclay’s survey of capital expenditures in the oil & gas industry, global exploration and production spending is expected to rise 11 percent in 2011, based on the 402 companies polled.  According to the survey, the biggest increases will be in regions, such as Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.  Unlike previous years, when national oil companies dominated spending, private energy companies are expected to show the greatest increase in expenditures, such as Chevron.

Oil prices continued their rapid rise until a 15 percent correction occurred in May 2011.  Both IEA and OPEC forecast that demand will increase in 2011 and with the current political turmoil in the Middle East, it is a fair bet that prices will tend to stay where they are post-correction or begin to increase again as the year goes on.  Higher prices also mean more investment in non-conventional energy sources, such as the tar sands.  Production and capital investment in the Canadian oil sands is expected to increase substantially in 2011, as the financial justification remains even post-correction.

Demand for Additional Electric Power Generation in Emerging Countries Is Also Key
Capital spending for power generation has grown substantially in the developing countries in recent years, especially in China, with high growth in India expected in the near future.  The rapid expansion of the Chinese economy, especially in manufacturing, is in some cases limited by the availability of power, so pressure to develop more generation capacity is intense.  This problem is magnified in India, where unreliable power infrastructure often times affects manufacturing and has caused many companies to build their own power generation facilities, creating substantial demand from both public and private sources.  Similar, but less intense pressures are being felt in other emerging economies.

Developing Economies Remain the Engine for Growth
Developing economies, such as the Middle East and China, are still the primary growth engine for the global control valve marketplace.  Emerging economies, such as those in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries, and the Middle East will continue to prop up the global control valve market with increasing consumer demand from the growing global middle class, a healthy lending environment for capital investments that project solid returns, and the need for producing and saving energy to cope with rapidly rising energy demands and costs across the globe.

The Electric Power Industry in China, in particular, is investing heavily, creating a lot of opportunities for control valve suppliers.  India is still investing heavily in basic infrastructure, particularly in the electric power sector.  Brazil will benefit from the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, and Rio de Janeiro was elected host city for the 2016 Olympic Games, both of which will require tremendous infrastructure investments in roads, buildings, facilities, water & wastewater, and power.