DescriptionFeaturesHow It WorkDocumentation

Valve position indicatorsValve position indicators

Alfa Laval valve indication units provide basic information about the position of valves used in hygienic applications. Based on proven technology, this range of valve position indicators offers safe, reliable and economical operation.

Safe, reliable and economical indication

Alfa Laval indication units are cost-effective digital devices with up to two feedback signals that are mounted directly on the valve yoke, which provide feedback on the valve’s open/closed position. These valve position indicators (Side indicater and brackets) may be used on any Alfa Laval valve, but are especially competitive solutions for Alfa Laval SRC/ARC Single seat valves,and mixproof valves (brackets), and butterfly valves.

Four types of valve indications

Alfa Laval offers these standard valve position indicators for hygienic industries:

Micro-switch

This lightweight, electromechanical device offers precision operation and long service life. Hermetically sealed within a corrosion-resistant housing, the micro-switch provides high durability and may be directly manipulated, which means only limited operational safety can be provided compared to newer, more advanced technologies.

Inductive proximity sensor

Based on principles of electromagnetic conductivity and metallic detection, this non-contact electronic sensor is inherently resistant to dust, humidity and oil in industrial environments. This increases operational safety and reliability.

Hall proximity sensor

Based on principles of electromagnetic conductivity and magnetic detection, this non-contact electronic sensor provides safe and accurate detection of valve position compared to conventional proximity sensors. It provides enhanced reliability and longer service life for valve position sensing in any operating environment.

Namur sensor

This inductive proximity sensor, complete with bracket for butterfly valves, requires minimal energy to operate. It is an ATEX-certified device designed for intrinsically safe applications and may be used in hazardous and potentially explosive environments.

Individual brackets and inductive sensors

Alfa Laval offers an extensive portfolio of brackets and inductive sensors for use with any Alfa Laval valve that requires special support or an alternate sensing interface.

Operating principles

Micro-switch

Mechanically activated by a roller leaf, this electromechanical device requires physical contact to engage and sends an electrical signal to indicate valve positions as an on/off digital signal. The Micro-switch is distinguished from other sensor principles because the electrical circuit can operate at higher voltages that exceed 24VDC, or work with AC alternating voltages.

Inductive proximity sensor

This non-contact proximity sensor consists of an oscillator, which creates high-frequency electromagnetic fields that radiate from the sensing face. Each time a conductive metal (damping target) approaches the sensor, it reduces the electromagnetic field, thus changing the voltage of the oscillator. A trigger circuit converts this analog signal into an on/off digital signal and amplifies the output to 24VDC.

Hall proximity sensor

This non-contact proximity sensor consists of a Hall transistor, convert this Hall sensing into an on/off digital signal and amplifies  the output to 24VDC . The sensor indicates the valve position by using a magnetic field (North Pole) to measure the distance from the relative position of the  indication pin on the valve stem.

Namur sensor

NAMUR is most associated with two wire DC proximity sensors. Such sensors must be wired to isolator barriers or intrinsically safe devices in order to be used in hazardous environments. The NAMUR proximity sensor’s operation is similar to that of a variable resistor. As a metal target approaches the face of the NAMUR sensor, a change in impedance in the sensor occurs and, therefore, the current draw of the sensor is reduced. This triggers the galvanic isolator’s amplifier, which activates the isolator’s switch and thereby into an on/off digital output signal to the PLC system.

Options

Sensors with and without fixed cable and side indicators with M12, 5-pin plug connectors, including the plug counterpart, are available for connection to AC/DC power supply.

 Ball valve handle and bracket

Sanitary Ball valve with handle and bracket for inductive proximity switches

DescriptionFeaturesHow It WorkDocumentation

IndiTop valve position indicatorIndiTop valve position indicator

Straightforward and easy to use, IndiTop provides accurate and reliable information about the status of most standard sanitary valves used in the dairy, food and beverage, and biopharm industries.

Accurate valve indication

For straightforward real-time monitoring, the IndiTop provides accurate visual indication of valve position and status as well as power-supply status through the use of light-emitting diodes. Its universal fit makes it a natural choice for valve indication of any Alfa Laval air-actuated sanitary valve.

With its streamlined, low-maintenance design, IndiTop is ideal for use in new and existing plants. IndiTop does not use any solenoid valves, but relies on the use of basic  indication signals. Compatibility with all major PLC system having a digital PNP/NPN interface.

Valve cluster illustration caption: Combining the use of automated ThinkTop control heads and IndiTop valve position indicators provides a smart solution for cost-effective control of your plant.

Effective valve indicator

Reliable valve indication based on proven ThinkTop design contribute to process safety:

  • No-touch, set-and-forget sensor system.Detects both the condition and position of the valve stem with an accuracy of ± 1 mm. Set-up parameters are stored but, for greater flexibility and ease of operation, can easily be re-programmed.
  • Pre-set tolerance band. No manual adjustment of feedback sensors is required. Valve tolerance bands with preconfigured default setting of ±5mm ensure operational reliability on any Alfa Laval sanitary valve.
  • Two PNP/NPN feedback signals offer basic functionality to indicate energized and de-energized main valve positions. The PNP/NPN interface are selected by connecting one appointed wire to either the plus or minus terminal.

Sturdy and durable

With its hardy hygienic design, IndiTop ensures the effects of physical impact, pollution, frost, UV radiation and temperatures up to 80°C while supporting continuous production.

Completely watertight and IP66/IP67-compliant, IndiTop prevents water condensation and the penetration of dust, water and other particles into the unit. The unit can be hosed down with water or cleaning fluid without putting important settings at risk. This contributes to maximum hygiene and effectively eliminates problems associated with corrosion and external contamination.

Construction

IndiTop consists of a valve indication housing, proven no-touch, set-and-forget sensor system with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and valve control sensor board for connection to the PLC (Programming Logic Controller) system.

Operating principle

The sensor system calculates the angle between the axial magnetic field produced by an indication pin mounted on the valve stem. This provides indication with an accuracy of ± 1mm of the position of the valve at any given time through the use of microchip sensors.

The IndiTop unit transmits status and condition to any PLC system using one of two DC/AC or PNP/NPN digital feedback signals. LEDs display the current main valve position and on/off power status at all times.

Options

Three versions based on fixed cable lengths are available for connection: 5 m, 10 m or 0.5 m with an M12, 5-pin stainless steel plug connector including the plug counterpart.

Ease of installation

Installation is straightforward; no special expertise, adapters or tools are required. IndiTop fits onto all Alfa Laval sanitary actuators equipped with mushrooms. Simply press a five-button startup sequence to initiate foolproof manual setup. Or facilitate setup using the optional remote control wire function in combination with the PLC system. No dismantling is required.

IndiTop - How it works

DescriptionFeaturesHow It WorkDocumentation

ThinkTop valve sensing and control unitThinkTop valve sensing and control unit 

Designed for use in the dairy, food and beverage, and biopharm industries, ThinkTop provides real-time information about valve operating status 24/7 while helping to improve production performance and secure traceability

The premium valve control unit

ThinkTop is an automated, valve-top pneumatic valve sensing and control unit that provides exceptional surveillance and control of the fluid handling process. Cost-effective and flexible, ThinkTop offers a single sensor solution for Alfa Laval butterfly, single-seat and mixproof valves. 

Proven safe and effective

The inherently safe, automated design of the ThinkTop reduces human error and increases production efficiencies – no matter how tough the operating environment. These features contribute to process safety:

  • No-touch, set-and-forget sensor system with up to three solenoid valves. Detects both the condition and position of the valve stem with an accuracy of ± 0.1 mm. Set-up parameters are stored but, for greater flexibility and ease of operation, can easily be re-programmed. Because the microchip sensors are moulded directly into the control head, they are less sensitive to the effects of temperature, vibration and pressure shock.
  • Individual pre-set tolerance bands. No manual adjustment of feedback sensors is required; individual preset valve tolerance bands eliminate self-adjustment and ensure optimum operational reliability on any Alfa Laval sanitary air-operated valve. This helps prevent contamination and production failure as well as contributes to increased productivity, longer valve service life and more uptime.
  • Five feedback signals increase the versatility of the valve sensing and control system and enable comprehensive valve record management data. ThinkTop features four feedback signals: for open position, for closed position, and for up to two integrated seat lifts or two external signals as well as one status signal for a total of five digital PNP/NPN feedback signals.

500 000 valve control units

Engineered for operation in virtually any environment, ThinkTop features a robust, durable and reliable valve sensing and control assembly. Its hygienic design withstands the effects of physical impact, pollution, frost, UV radiation and temperatures up to 85°C. Over the past decade, more than 500,000 units have provided continuous operation in processing plants around the world.

Completely watertight and IP66/IP67-compliant, ThinkTop features the superior GORE™ protective venting technology, which prevents water condensation and the penetration of dust, water and other particles into the control head. The control head can therefore be hosed down with water or cleaning fluid without putting important settings at risk. This contributes to maximum hygiene and effectively eliminates problems associated with corrosion and external contamination.

Retrofitting boosts performance

Upgrading older valve automation systems with advanced valve sensing and control technology can significantly lower investment, boost plant performance and cut operating costs. In many cases, the air-operated valve remains the same; only the replacement of the control head interfaces is required. Should upgrading require control head replacement, ThinkTop offers fast return on investment and long-term savings on operating and maintenance costs.

Caption: Upgrading increases reliability while lowering operating costs.

Construction

The ThinkTop sensing and control unit is a uniform modular control head that consists of a proven no-touch, set-and-forget sensor system with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solenoid valves and valve control sensor board for connection to any PLC (Programming Logic Controller) system.

Operating principle

Inside the ThinkTop control head, the sensor system accurately detects valve stem movement, the valve position at any given time, with an accuracy of ± 0.1mm through the use of microchip sensors. To locate the current valve position, sensor chips inside the sensor board calculate the angle between the axial magnetic field produced by an indication pin mounted on the valve stem.

The sensor system receives signals from the PLC system to open or close the valve and transmits feedback signals on the main valve or seat lift position and condition back to the PLC system.

Up to three solenoid valves convert the sensor signals from electrical current into mechanical energy to open or close the air-operated valve, using the physical stimulus of an indication pin mounted on the valve stem.

Manual hold override enables valve operation during commissioning or maintenance without requiring assistance from plant operators and plant automation. Air throttling of the inlet/outlet makes it possible to slow the opening or closing of the valve thereby preventing pressure shocks and water hammer.

Possibility to customize each control head with an individual tolerance band to detect any deviation in the opening/closing of the valve and seat lift. This boosts productivity and effectively prevents operating errors.

LEDs conveniently display main valve, seat lift position, solenoid activation, setup and local fault indication and maintenance on the control head.

Integrated communications

Three types of interfaces can connect ThinkTop to any PLC system and may be used in any combination:

  • Digital interfaces
  • AS-Interface (with 31 nodes or 62 nodes)
  • DeviceNet interface (with 63 nodes)

Ease of installation

ThinkTop fits onto all Alfa Laval sanitary actuators equipped with mushrooms. Installation is straightforward; no special expertise, adapters or tools are required. To initiate manual setup, simply press the push-button startup sequence. Or set up without dismantling the control head using the optional IR keypad for remote control.

ThinkTop AS Interface

AS-Interface

DescriptionFeaturesHow It WorkDocumentation

ThinkTop Basic valve sensing and control unitThinkTop Basic valve sensing and control unit 

ThinkTop Basic offers simplicity of operation, standard functionality and reliable, cost-effective operation for general applications in the dairy, food and beverage, and biopharm industries.

The standard valve control

ThinkTop Basic combines Alfa Laval quality with standard functionality for automated sensing and control of sanitary valves. Like the premiumThinkTop unit, ThinkTop Basic offers a durable watertight design, a proven and inherently safe design and low total cost of ownership. Simplicity of operation, however, is the main focus for ThinkTop Basic so this valve sensing and control head is optimized with fewer options and fewer digital connections. ThinkTop Basic is available in Digital, AS-Interface and ATEX versions.

Tough and effective valve automation

The reliable and automated design of the ThinkTop Basic contributes to process safety:

  • No-touch, set-and-forget sensor system with up to three solenoid valves. Detects both the condition and position of the valve stem with an accuracy of ± 0.1 mm. Set-up parameters are stored but, for greater flexibility and ease of operation, can easily be re-programmed. Because the microchip sensors are moulded directly into the control head, they are less sensitive to the effects of temperature, vibration and pressure shock.
  • Pre-set tolerance band. No manual adjustment of the feedback sensors is required. Valve tolerance bands with a preconfigured default setting of ±5mm for the set-up parameters ensure operational reliability on any Alfa Laval sanitary air-operated valve.
  • Two PNP/NPN feedback signals controlled by a jumper on the sensor board offer basic indication functionality for energized and de-energized main valve positions.

Sturdy and durable

Engineered for operation in virtually any environment, ThinkTop Basic features a robust, durable and reliable valve sensing and control assembly. Its hygienic design withstands the effects of physical impact, pollution, frost, UV radiation and temperatures up to 85°C while supporting continuous production.

Completely watertight and IP66/IP67-compliant, ThinkTop Basic features the superior GORE™ protective venting technology, which prevents water condensation and the penetration of dust, water and other particles into the control head. The control head can therefore be hosed down with water or cleaning fluid without putting important settings at risk. This contributes to maximum hygiene and effectively eliminates problems associated with corrosion and external contamination.

ATEX-certified valve control

For use in potentially explosive environments, there’s ThinkTop Basic Intrinsically Safe (IS) equipped with ATEX-compliant solenoid valves and feedback sensors. Durable, accurate and easy to install, ThinkTop Basic IS complies with the ATEX equipment Directive 94/9/EC, Group II, Categories 2 Gas and dust.

Retrofitting boosts performance

Upgrading older valve automation systems with advanced valve sensing and control technology can significantly lower investment, boost plant performance and cut operating costs. In many cases, the air-operated valve remains the same; only the replacement of the control head interfaces is required. Should upgrading require control head replacement, ThinkTop Basic offers fast return on investment and long-term savings on operating and maintenance costs.

Caption: Upgrading increases reliability while lowering operating costs.

Construction

The ThinkTop Basic sensing and control unit is a uniform modular control head that consists of a proven no-touch, set-and-forget sensor system with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solenoid valves and valve control sensor board for connection to any PLC (Programming Logic Controller) system.

Operating principle

The sensor system accurately detects valve stem movement, the position of the valve at any given time, with an accuracy of ± 0.1mm through the use of microchip sensors. To locate the current valve position, sensor chips inside the sensor board calculate the angle between the axial magnetic field produced by an indication pin mounted on the valve stem.

The sensor system receives signals from the PLC system to energize or de-energize the air-operated valve. It then transmits feedback signals indicating the main valve position and condition back to the PLC system.

Up to three solenoid valves convert the sensor signals from electrical current into mechanical energy to energize or de-energize the air-operated valve, using the physical stimulus of an indication pin mounted on the valve stem.

Each control head fits any Alfa Laval sanitary valve and has a valve tolerance band with a default tolerance. This boosts eliminates the need to re-adjust the sensors, boosts productivity and effectively prevents operating errors.

LEDs conveniently display the main valve position, solenoid activation, setup and local fault indication on the control head.

Integrated communications

Two types of interfaces can connect ThinkTop Basic to any PLC system and may be used in any combination:

• Digital interfaces
• AS-Interface (with 62 nodes)

For more information, please refer to Documentation.

Ease of installation

ThinkTop Basic fits onto all Alfa Laval sanitary actuators equipped with mushrooms. Installation is straightforward; no special expertise, adapters or tools are required. Simply press a five-button startup sequence to initiate foolproof manual setup.

ThinkTop

AS-I ThinkTop Basic

AS-Interface
DescriptionFeaturesHow It WorkDocumentation

ThinkTop D30ThinkTop D30

Compact and intelligent, ThinkTop® D30 is an easy-to-install integrated control unit for sanitary applications. It is a cost-effective alternative for use where space is limited and operational simplicity and reliability is important.

A plug ‘n play solution, Alfa Laval ThinkTop D30 offers a no-hassle intuitive control unit with simple functionality. For automated control of sanitary valves, it can be used in standard food, dairy and brewery installations and for general applications where non-critical valves are used.

Like the premium ThinkTop and standard ThinkTop Basic units, ThinkTop D30 offers a durable watertight design, proven safety and low total cost of ownership. This reliable control unit offers an economical alternative to conventional valve monitoring and control solutions as well as a smart, affordable alternative to panels with external solenoid valves.

The ThinkTop D30 features a digital interface, which makes it possible to enhance monitoring of air loss or leakage, and a 360-degree visual status indicator. This contributes to more stable operation of hygienic processes, enhanced product quality and more uptime.

Compact, easy-to-install valve control

Installation and commissioning is quick and easy due to few termination points. With its compact 75mm-high, 105mm-in-diameter profile, the ThinkTop D30 easily fits into most installations, and its 60mm stroke length fits most actuators. This cuts both the time and costs associated with valve control for hygienic installations as well as installation using bracket, inductive sensors and external solenoid valves.

Simply position the unit directly on top of the valve actuator, connect the air and then connect the cable to the PLC system. No special expertise, adapters or tools is required. The pre-set tolerance band eliminates the need to adjust the feedback position at regular intervals.

Reliable and hygienic valve control

The ThinkTop D30 withstands the effects of physical impact, vibration, water hammer, thermal variation and pressure shock. Because it is watertight and IP66- and IP67-compliant, the ThinkTop D30 prevents condensation and the penetration of dust, water and other particles into the control head.

The control head can therefore be hosed down with water or cleaning fluid without affecting the preconfigured settings. This contributes to maximum hygiene and effectively eliminates problems associated with corrosion and external contamination.

Construction

The ThinkTop D30 is a basic valve control unit that consists of a proven no-touch sensor system with 360-degree LED visual status indicator, an integrated 3/2-way solenoid valve for spring-loaded actuator, and valve control sensor board for connection to any PLC (Programming Logic Controller) system.

Operating principle

Installed directly onto the top of the valve actuator, the ThinkTop D30 is an easy-to-use valve control unit with integrated intelligence to monitor the status of the operating air pressure, identifying air loss or leakage. The integrated solenoid valve enables control of the processing valve.

The ThinkTop D30 receives signals from a PLC system to control the solenoid valve and transmits air pressure signals to the PLC system indicating whether the valve actuator is energized and de-energized or if an air pressure alarm occurs. ThinkTop D30 has a 360-degree visual status indicator, which can be seen at a distance and at any angle.

Integrated communications made easy

The ThinkTop D30 provides communications with any PLC system using two feedback signals, one air surveillance signal and one solenoid valve signal with any of the 24 VDC digital interfaces available.

  
DescriptionFeaturesHow It WorkDocumentation

Unique Control for LKB Butterfly valvesUnique Control for LKB Butterfly valves 

The Unique Control LKB automation unit with built-in actuator offers intelligent control for LKB butterfly valves used in all applications. This straightforward all-in-one actuator offers superior flow control, hygiene, durability and reliability.

Intelligent reliability and control for butterfly valves

The Alfa Laval Unique Control LKB is an integrated valve control unit and actuator with an enhanced hygienic one-piece design. Tested to over a million strokes without service, Unique Control LKB is the most durable actuator available today. Its well-built design with tough composite casing withstands most harsh environments.

IP66/IP67-approved, the Unique Control LKB features superior technology, shape and material, which prevent condensation and the penetration of dust, water and other particles into the unit. This contributes to maximum hygiene and effectively eliminates problems associated with corrosion, external contamination and the effects of physical impact, including vibration, pressure shock, frost, heat, UV radiation and environments polluted with grease, oil and chemicals, without disrupting production.

In addition, the Unique Control LKB provides integrated automation with a clear 360° visible indication and an air surveillance system for reliable real-time monitoring of the operating air pressure. Instead of being controlled by a conventional mechanical spring like most butterfly valve actuators, an air spring controls the actuator of the Unique Control LKB. This, combined with the intelligent capabilities of the sensing and control unit, enables operation at a lower air pressure and delivers significant benefits in terms of durability, reliability and more system uptime.

Simplified setup for butterfly valve control

Push n’ Play self-configuration gets the Unique Control LKB up and running five times faster than conventional solutions. Simply press one button and the Unique Control, which is compatible with both digital and AS interfaces, configures and calibrates itself to ensure the best possible mode of operation. This convenient one-button process saves time and money.

One size actuator fits all LKB butterfly valves

For ultimate convenience, a single actuator is suitable for most valve solutions thanks to the high torque, which enables the unit to fit any valve size. In addition, it is easy to switch from normally open (NO) to normally closed (NC) and vice versa onsite. This one-size-fits-every-valve design makes engineering, ordering, installation, onsite configuration and stock keeping easy.

Easy upgrade for butterfly valve actuators

The Unique Control fits all manual and actuated butterfly valves in the Alfa Laval LKB range. Existing installations are easy to upgrade to Unique Control LKB; all that is required is a new bracket. Simply order the optional bracket kit for that particular LKB valve size in order to mount the Unique Control unit easily onto any of the 1” to 4” and DN25 – DN100 valves in the LKB valve range.

Valve control and automation range

The Unique Control LKB offers intelligent automation and control of Alfa Laval LKB butterfly valves and complements our broad range of valve control and automation solutions.

Operating principle

The Unique Control LKB uses an air spring, which enables the unit to be operated at a significantly lower air pressure compared to control units using a conventional mechanical spring. This reduces wear thereby eliminating the need for maintenance.

When air enters the Unique Control LKB, the built-in solenoid valve diverts the flow either above or below the piston. The helix inside the piston transfers the vertical movement into a rotation ensuring smooth valve operation. The design enables the Unique Control LKB to operate at an air pressure of only 3 bar.

Integrated air surveillance system

A built-in pressure sensor monitors the air supply. In the event of a critical drop in air pressure, the actuator sends a warning signal, but continues to operate. In the event that the supply of air is cut off, the actuator also sends a warning signal, maintains its position and continues to operate after resolving the problem.

Switching from NC to NO

Changing the normally closed contact to normally open position is easy. Simply open the top cover, loosen the screws, lift up and rotate the top 180°, then re-assemble it.

Options

Communication interface: AS-interface v.2.1, 31 nodes; AS-interface v.3.0, 62 nodes; and digital interface.

Bracket kit: 1″ to 4″ and DN 25 – DN 100:

Bracket sizes: DN25-50, DN65, DN80 and DN100