Rotork’s New Smart Positioner Valve With ATEX Certification

April 27, 2020 by Robin Mitchell

Rotork released a new line of smart valves, with an enhanced diagnostics package and ATEX certification.

Valves are critical components in any pneumatic or hydraulic systems, as they regulate and control the flow of fluid. In a world where automation is critical, smart valves pave the way for the future. What is a smart valve, and what are companies like Rotork developing to redefine the future of valves?


The Humble Valve

Valves are critical in any industrial system allowing engineers to mix chemicals in specific quantities, provide coolant, transport fluids, and integrate safety systems that can provide pressure relief in dangerous scenarios.

Traditional valves are controlled by hand, but more advanced ones can behave like transistors whereby a smaller hydraulic force, from a control line, can control a large valve (such as a pressure relief gate on a dam). 

Often, these valves incorporate stepper motors or servo motors that provide positioning capabilities on valves that can be adjusted numerically and thus are arguably easier to interact with when compared to older systems which were analog in nature. 

But the advantages of an electronically controlled valve go far beyond automation; it has the ability to be smart. The advancements of microcontroller technology combined with AI hardware gives such devices the possibility to have a level of autonomy and perform maintenance tasks that would often be done by engineers.

The inclusion of wireless technologies also allows these devices to be accessed remotely and easily interacted with using mobile devices and remote interfaces allowing engineers to access them from anywhere. 


The Rotork Smart Positioner Valve

Rotork announced their latest valve range; the YT-3700 and YT-3750. The smart positioner valves provide users with a graphical representation of the valve's status including the valve position, setpoint target, and internal temperature over time.


rotork new smart valves

Rotork's new YT-3700 and YT-3750 smart valves. Image used courtesy of Rotork


The range of valves offers both single and double-acting configurations which makes them ideal for use in both pneumatic linear and rotary systems. Diagnostic information from the valves can be accessed using the proprietary Hart7 communication protocol and commissioning of the valves can be done locally with no additional hardware required.


New Enhanced Diagnostic Package

Interacting with the valve is made simpler with the use of clear information and four interaction buttons. However, what makes these valves smart is the Enhanced Diagnostic Package which provides continual position/time monitoring and graphical visualization of the device description and device type manager files. The package also allows for valve signature, advanced step tests, and partial stroke testing to be performed either locally or remotely.

But the valves also incorporate a level of intelligence with the use of steady-state deviation whereby sensory data about the valve is continuously monitored and checked. From here, any deviation from the norm can be identified, which includes friction in the valve, leakage in a pneumatic or hydraulic line, and instances of low pressure.

A deviation time out alarm is also integrated which alerts engineers when the target position does not meet the actual position after a specified time frame. The YT-3700 and the YT-3750 are certified to ATEX and LEXIEX standards and able to operate in temperatures as low as -55°C.


rotork valves

Smart positions from Rotork. Image used courtesy of Rotork.


The YT-3700 and YT-3750 are very similar products with identical linearity of ±0.5%, hysteresis or ±0.5%, the sensitivity of ±0.2%, and repeatability of ±0.3%. However, the YT-3750 is housed in a stainless steel 316 casing whereas the YT-3700 is housed in an aluminum die-casting.

Both are IP66 rated, have linear output characteristics, use the industrial standard 4mA – 20mA signal level, and have the same linear/rotary control characteristics with the linear actuator having a 10mm to 150mm stroke and the rotary having a 55° to 110° stroke.

Rotork's new line of smart valves has remote control capabilities, self-diagnostics, and the ability to learn from their environment. The ability to recognize friction in the valve and line leakages means that any industrial system incorporating them not only becomes more intelligent but also more reliable. Their ATEX certification makes them ideal for explosive environments while their wide temperature operating range from -55°C to +85°C makes them ideal for most industrial applications. 



Do you use smart valves?