Fail-Safe Systems: Do More With Less

spring return actuator alternative

Spring-return actuators are a great mechanical solution to fail-close or fail-open process valve requirements. Over the years, we’ve made some as large as 24 feet long. However, just because we can do it doesn’t always mean it’s practical; sometimes there are weight or space constraints.

An alternative to spring-return actuators is Cowan’s FCS systems. Think of these systems as an “air-spring”. The air pressure stored inside the reservoir is on standby.

Once the fail condition is triggered the reservoir will “spring in to action” and supply the pressure to the actuator to close or open the process valve. We take this approach one step further by adding our A2A pneumatic air-to-air booster. These systems are designed for applications in which the available air pressure is too low and/or floor space is limited. Significantly smaller and lighter than a conventional air tank system or spring-return, the FCS with A2A booster provides a more economical solution.

The A2A booster is available in 2:1, 3:1 and 4:1 ratios. It intensifies the pressure of the available air supply without the need for additional mechanical or electrical input. Boosting the operating pressure allows users to reduce the actuator size and reduce the footprint of the entire fail-safe system.

The boosted fail-safe system can be up to 85% smaller, 45% lighter, and offer up to 40% cost savings when compared to a conventional system. These systems allow you to use a much smaller double-acting actuator while still achieving the fail condition requirements

Written by Cowan Dynamics

December 2, 2019

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