Valve and positioner provide test rig coolant control

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Burkert's versatile, high-precision 2712 stainless steel globe valve and integrated 8630 Top Control positioner are being used in a new test rig for developing a special lubricant to suit an award-winning turbocharged engine.

Valve and positioner provide test rig coolant controlCastrol, which today is part of Lubricants UK, is described as a world leader in "providing lubrication solutions for every application." The company carries out its own research and development in laboratories around the world, co-ordinated from its principal Technology Centre located at Pangbourne in the UK.

One of the recent projects that the Technology Centre has been tasked with is producing a new automotive test rig, the primary function of which is the development of a new high-performance oil for an award-winning turbocharged engine.

Critical to the development process on the new rig is the engine coolant control system, as stable control aids accurate data logging. However, this initially proved to be a problem area for the Castrol engineers developing the rig. The process valves employed were not producing the highly accurate increments required during testing, resulting in spurious data being sent to the rig's remote data logging system.

In an effort top resolve the problem, Burkert UK was called in. Following an evaluation of the system an integrated system was recommended, based on Burkert's highly flexible 2712 system.

Accuracy paramount

This system has been specifically engineered for reliable control in applications where control accuracy is paramount. It comprises an in-line 2712 stainless steel globe valve, combined with Burkert's new-generation Top Control 8630 universal pneumatic actuator. This arrangement is extremely compact and has excellent control characteristics, providing an innovative control valve system that can be operated as either a simple accurate positioner or an auto-tune PlD process controller for flow, temperature or pressure.

The 2712 system has already proven itself in a number of critical applications including precision distillation apparatus, fine control of pressure and flow control in chemical applications, SIP and auxiliary processes with steam, high-accuracy test bench equipment and food, beverage and pharmaceutical CIPI.

Richard Butcher, a Senior Engineer at the BP Castrol Technology Centre, comments: "What we liked about the 2712 system was its size, flexibility and precision. The flexibility enables us to operate the valve control either remotely, from the test bed computer, or just employ simple local control. It also allows the 2712 system to operate across a wide range of temperatures, and enables us to configure the relationship between demand temperature and valve position; a feature we rate very highly."

A total of seven 2712 systems are now in use on the engine test rig; they are providing accurate and independent control of coolant levels to maintain desired demand temperatures on all areas of the engine under test, including engine coolant, intercooler, oil, fuel, process water and conditioning air.

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29 September 2009

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