Alfa Laval's new Thinktop V20 hygienic valve-sensing unit is driving the digital transformation in the process industry. The transition of valve position monitoring to Industry 4.0-sets new standards in process control with automation, digitalization and real-time communication, making it more reliable, more accurate and at the same time saving time and money in installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance.
The Thinktop V20 is the first pure valve-sensing unit that is maintenance-free and requires no manual adjustment or programming. It provides 360-degree LED status indication from all directions. It also provides convenient monitoring of the real-time status of Alfa Laval process valves used in the pharmaceutical, biotech, or food and beverage industries, for example.
Designed specifically to digitize critical open/close valve monitoring, the valve-sensing unit offers a pragmatic approach to improving the reliability of valve status and position. This new addition to the V-Series paves the way to a higher level of process control for manufacturers who rely on visual and signal feedback of open or closed valve positions. “The intuitive ThinkTop V20 is a faster, more intelligent valve indication unit than what is available today,” says Ebbe Bundesen, Portfolio Manager, Valves and Automation, Alfa Laval. “It brings reliable process control to a higher level with fast, accurate, intuitive live setup, the convenience of real-time valve position monitoring, and access to real-time and historical data from the control room. Overall, it is an invaluable time- and money-saver considering the efficiency demand factories are facing.”
Commissioning takes just seconds by simply installing and activating the device. Live setup is quick and intuitive. The sensors automatically detect the valve type and size, calibrate and record the valve's opening and closing distances, and complete the setup without requiring manual intervention. In addition, replacement, i.e., hot-swapping, of the valve bonnet is simple and can be done without interrupting production. No expertise, training, adapters or special tools are required. Practically anyone can install the valve-sensing unit correctly or replace an existing feedback unit, optimizing hygiene, productivity and availability, and saving time and money.
The new unit features the same look, maintenance-free housing and enhanced 360-degree LED status display as the Thinktop V-Series already on the market. Its compact, rugged design makes it suitable for tight installations. Process managers choose the communication protocol - digital, AS-Interface or IO-Link - that best fits their process requirements. The V20 is hermetically sealed to ensure reliable reading of the valve position and to prevent the risk of water, dust and other unwanted substances entering the device. The use of the IO-Link point-to-point communication protocol allows sensors to be connected to automation systems. IO-Link also facilitates access to meaningful real-time data, improves diagnostics, and simplifies configurability and control while supporting Industry 4.0.
The real-time visibility and remote monitoring capabilities of the valve sensor unit provide a competitive advantage for those who depend on hygienic valve status data. The V20 goes beyond what users of conventional valve position indicators thought possible by reducing setup time and making process control more reliable.