Smooth Operators

Aug. 6, 2003
Duck Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant notices improvements due to use of electric actuators

About the author: For further information, phone Emerson Process Management at 314/553-2000.

When the Garland, Texas-based Duck Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant experienced a problem with erratic pressure control in their aeration blower system, they relied upon modulating electric operators to smooth out the process excursions.

Because the Duck Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is a trickling filter/solids contact facility, it is permitted to treat 30 million gallons per day. Consequently, it is essential that the plant operators maintain a high level of plant performance--a critical parameter.

Lonnie White, instrument specialist at the Duck Creek facility, contacted The Eads Company when it came time to upgrade the automation of a number of existing 10-in., high-performance butterfly valves.

After reviewing products eligible for the upgrade, White elected to use the Bettis EM800 quarter-turn, 110-volt AC electric actuator manufactured by Emerson Process Management of St. Louis, Mo.

Flat liners

In years past, other operators at the Duck Creek facility had struggled to get consistent control of their waste activated sludge system. It is well known within the industry that maintaining a "flat line" flow control is dependent on both accurate pressure control at the inlet air blowers, as well as precision at the flow control valves to the basins.

As the Garland plant personnel struggled with sensitive "smart" pneumatic positioners on their vane-style actuators--due to moisture problems in the air system and on the local keypad--the Bettis electric actuators with integral electronic positioned were installed and hooked up to the existing 4-20 mA DC control signal. These packages included an integral mechanical brake that ensures the valves stay in their demand position when the signal is unchanging.

Since their installation, the performance of the actuators has allowed for maintenance-free operation for over three years.

Based on this past performance, the plant recently purchased three identical electrical actuator packages to replace cumbersome 480 V.A.C. electric actuators that are currently on their 8-in. and 10-in. flow control butterfly valves.

Prior to the decision to upgrade, operators had been running this particular system in the manual mode because the old actuators have poor control characteristics and high downtime due to undependable motor starters, which are relied upon to start, stop and reverse the 480 V.A.C. actuator motors.

This problem may be eliminated as the new actuators' 100% duty cycle motors allow the customer to feed a constantly changing control signal without fear of overheated motors, circuits and starters. The integral on-board heater and thermostat help ensure no moisture is accumulated within the housing, prolonging actuator life.

It is no coincidence that the Duck Creek Treatment Plant has received EPA recognition for "Excellence in Operations and Maintenance."

By incorporating innovative solutions, the Duck Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is able to operate effectively, efficiently and safely.

Sponsored Recommendations

Meeting the Demands of Wastewater Treatment Plants

May 24, 2024
KAESER understands the important requirements wastewater treatment plant designers and operators consider when evaluating and selecting blowers and compressed air equipment. In...

Modernize OT Cybersecurity to Mitigate Risk

April 25, 2024
Rockwell Automation supports industry-leading Consumer Packaged Goods company, Church & Dwight, along their industrial cybersecurity journey.

2024 Manufacturing Trends Unpacking AI, Workforce, and Cybersecurity

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

State of Smart Manufacturing Report Series

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...