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I've got some swagelok valves I'm looking to control with actuators. Each valve has multiple output positions. Any suggestions on how to approach automating these valves?
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I've got some swagelok valves I'm looking to control with actuators. Each valve has multiple output positions. Any suggestions on how to approach automating these valves?

Have you contacted swagelok for a quote on their actuators? If they don't have the control parameters you desire, then you need to look for a valve vendor that has a product that meets your needs. Lots of commercial process control valves available with technical too if needed.

http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/WebCatalogs/EN/MS-02-337.pdf
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I'm going to have to sell my first born if I go with the swagelok solution. Looking for something that doesn't break the bank.
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Holy actuators Batman, they are huge for that little valve.

Trouble is you need a lot of torque for even a small valve if it's a good one. What about adding a lever to the valve and using a linear actuator or even just a threaded rod and a motor.

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A linear actuator won't work, as there are multiple outputs. I need to be able to switch between 3 outputs on two of the valves and 4 outputs on the other two valves. A DC motor on a threaded rod sounds like an inexpensive way to go, but too darn inaccurate. Perhaps if I went with a stepper motor, I could make my own actuator. I was hoping somebody had experience with a particular actuator that may fit the build and the budget.
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I was hoping somebody had experience with a particular actuator that may fit the build and the budget.

You blew off using a hobby grade servo (some of which are quite strong), so you options are limited, or $$$, or both. Unless you can unless you design your own or find some magic pixie dust, you are probably out of options.
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Keep in mind that the primary customer for swagelok values and actuators is the industrial process control world and most often used in petrochemical and other industrial plants. Such values have to work 24/7/365 in exposed environment and meet the many NEC electrical safety area classifications. So while expensive from a home hobbyist point of view they are competitively priced for the market they serve.

I too would have you re-look at using large R/C hobby servos. They are avalible in high torque versions and are probably the most cost effective method short of possibly looking for used industrial equipment on E-bay and such. I would think trying to home build a actuator would be very time consuming with a high risk of failure.

Lefty

 
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As the valves are the 45 series, based on the following tech sheet, I believe I need ~95 lb/in torque to turn the valve. Is that right? It seems really high -- the valves are pretty easy to turn by hand. Most of the "hi-torque" hobby servos seem to be in the 80 oz/in range. As in 5 lb/in.

http://ventil.by/catalog/pdf_en/02136.pdf
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