Global valves industry poised for expansion amid demand for smart valves

McIlvaine Company has boosted its forecast for growth in the industrial valve industry over the next five years, citing higher anticipated revenues from the sales of smart valves, the market research company said on Thursday.

The current forecast is for 5 percent growth, but McIlvaine said it is revising this figure to 5.5% CAGR for the 2013-2017 period.

McIlvaine noted that the valve forecasts are defined to match the individual valve supplier revenues, so they include smart valve technology where it is sold by the valve supplier but not by an independent automation supplier.

The biggest growth will occur in Asia, including the Middle East and two BRIC countries (China and India), as the oil and gas sector is leading the way toward smart valves.

For sub-sea oil and gas, the use of intelligent control systems for valve trees is becoming a defining factor of intelligent well development, the research company said. 

All electric subsea production control systems are replacing industry standard electro-hydraulic control systems, with the aim of making them more reliable, more responsive and more cost effective.

The oil and gas industry is moving toward valve technology with embedded processor and networking capability to work alongside sophisticated monitoring technology coordinated through a central control station.

The goal has been to link control valves to an extended data network, coordinating control valve operation with the increasingly detailed data available on flow rates and operating conditions.

Connecting valves to a network allows distributed control, which can enable operators to reconfigure piping and networking systems so that a field can continue producing even if there is a blockage in, or damage to, the pipeline network.

Another goal is to develop valves that consume less power to create systems that can be deployed in applications where conventional valves cannot be used due to the lack of power.

One manufacturer leading the way in smart valve development is Emerson Process Management, according to McIlvaine officials. The company's range of high-performance Fisher digital valves enabled the implementation of customized valve designs to cope with the pressure, flow capacity and temperature demands of the world's first twin-mega-train LNG plant.

Meanwhile, the Yokogawa Exaquantum/SSP provides continuously updated subsea valve information from FMC Technologies SSH (subsea historian). This timely information enables users to take appropriate action if problems are detected, avoiding lost production.

For more information on the report, visit McIlvaine's website.

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