Ball Valves: A Long-Term, Cost-Effective Solution


In the industrial world, valves are used to isolate or shut off systems. There are ball, gate, globe and plug valves, which are used for the majority of services. Other valve types, such as knife gate and pinch valves, have a much more specific application. For this discussion I will focus on the ball valve and why it is preferred.

Ball Valve Functionality

The ball valve is a simple device. It has a 90 degree operation and is easy to determine which position the valve is in: when the handle is cross line, the valve is closed; when the handle is in line, the valve is open. The 90 degree operation means there is no stem that rises and descends through rings of packing, which often drags whatever product is in the pipe up with the stem. The valve’s 90 degree operation allows for ease of automation with either electric or pneumatic actuators. Ball valves also have an inherent low pressure drop and offer bubble-tight shutoff. While primarily considered as on/off valves, ball valves can be used in throttling service by using coated balls and hard seats. Ball valves are also considered to be downstream sealing, as they utilize the system pressure to push the ball into the downstream seat to achieve their shutoff. There are exceptions to this, but generally this is the case.

Basic Ball Valve Designs

There are three basic ball valve designs . . .

Continue reading at

Omron Honors OTP Industrial Solutions as the Company’s 2014 New Distributor of the Year

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—September 18, 2014—Today at the Omron Distributor Management Meeting in Chicago, IL, Omron Automation and Safety recognized OTP Industrial Solutions as Omron’s 2014 New Distributor of the Year. A valued Omron distributor serving Ohio, and southeast Michigan, OTP earned 2014 New Distributor of the Year honors as a result of its sales growth, its commitment to the ideals of Omron’s distribution program and, most importantly, its superior communication with and service to its customers.

“OTP Industrial Solutions has exhibited exceptional success introducing and applying automation technology such as sensors, PLCs and motion control that help machine builders and users improve safety and maximize machine productivity,” says Nigel Blakeway, Omron CEO. “OTP has demonstrated a commitment to superior service by listening to their customers’ needs and helping them apply innovative solutions to gain and maintain a competitive marketplace advantage. The bottom line is OTP has shown that it shares Omron’s commitment to excellence and leadership in global automation and safety, and we are thrilled to recognize them for their efforts.”

“We are proud and honored to receive the 2014 New Distributor of the Year award from Omron,” says Rob Webb, President, OTP Industrial Solutions. “The OTP team is passionate about helping customers solve application challenges, improve productivity and differentiate themselves from the competition by helping them rightly apply superior performing automation and safety solutions. Receiving this recognition from Omron validates our team’s commitment to OTP customers.”

About Omron Automation and Safety

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a multi-billion-dollar, diversified company with business units producing industrial automation products, electronic components, healthcare equipment and ticketing systems. Omron Automation and Safety is a global leader providing complete automation solutions for industrial applications. The Pan-American headquarters is located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA.

In USA, Tel.: 866-88-OMRON. E-mail:

In Canada, Tel.: 866-98-OMRON. E-mail:

In Mexico, Tel: 81 1156 9910. E-mail: