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Turning Up the Heat on Valve Train Safety

By Robert Sanderson, Rockford Systems |

Despite their nearly universal use in industrial combustion processes, valve trains are not widely understood. Here are some guidelines to help ensure their safe and effective operation Does your manufacturing facility have a smoke stack? If it does, it also likely contains a valve train, commonly known in industrial circles as a fuel train. This complicated series of piping and components needs regular inspections, accurate record-keeping and preventative maintenance to avert very serious safety and productivity issues (Figure 1). FIGURE 1. A valve train consists of piping and several essential components that help to facilitate industrial combustion[/caption] If you aren’t sure what a valve train is, you’re not alone. It is one of the most misunderstood pieces of equipment in a plant, even by those conducting work on it. As a result, it rarely receives the consideration it should from plant managers and safety professionals. While it is not necessary for engineers to know every engineered component of a valve train, they should be aware of what it does and why it demands attention. Essentially, a valve train controls the flow of pressurized gases into fuel-fired industrial equipment (Figure 2). For safe and proper combustion,…
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