Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Inductive Proximity Sensor Options for Ball Valve Position Sensing

Posted by David Fink on Tue, Oct 23, 2012

Ball valves are ubiquitous in process applications. Using inductive proximity sensors to monitor their position should be as well.
inductive proximity sensors for ball valves
Inductive proximity sensors are highly accurate, reliable noncontact electronic switches that are easily applied to ball valves or for that matter, any rotary travel-style valve. Sensors require a metallic target for actuation and they too are easily mounted to your valve assembly.

Inductive proximity sensors are wear-free and have high switching frequencies.  Signal echoes due to rapid cycling or welded electrical contacts are eliminated. So is metal fatigue.

Sensors for enclosures that can be mounted onto a pneumatic actuator or manually operated valve include V3-style packaging, slot style, or small diameter cylindrical sensors.

Modular dual-position valve sensors can be directly mounted to a standard pneumatic actuator to monitor discrete valve position without the need for a costly, bulky  enclosure.

Ball valves are quarter-turn valves which normally rotate 90 degrees from fully closed to fully open. In some instances, you may want a valve travel of other than 90 degrees.  Adjustable travel range targets simplify adjustments to accommodate the travel requirements of the valve assembly. This is especially useful on high-performance or triple-offset butterfly valves which by design travel slightly more than 90 degrees.

If you have a 3-way valve and are having difficulty trying to mount a discrete valve position sensor to it,  don’t worry, there are low-profile modular, direct mount sensors that can monitor three valve positions anywhere within a 360 degree range of travel. Programming the set points is easy and tamper-resistant by engaging a simple lock programming sequence.

Want more options?  How about a discrete valve position sensor that provides user-selectable set points and provides a continuous analog output of valve position  as well?

Do you want to control your valves with a bus network such as Actuator Sensor Interface?  Modular direct mount sensors that communicate with an AS-Interface network and provide a solenoid driver output is the answer.

Are your valves installed  in a hazardous  location?  NAMUR-compliant Intrinsically Safe sensors for use in hazardous locations provide a current- and voltage-limited protection solution. NAMUR and NAMUR safety-rated sensors provide SIL (Safety Integrity Level) products meeting SIL 2 and SIL 3 respectively.  

Inductive proximity sensors—ubiquitous indeed.

Questions about Inductive Sensors?  Get the Quick Select Product Guide

Topics: Inductive Sensors, AS-Interface

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