How Motorized Valve Operation Assistance Protects Operators from Accidents

16 mai 2024

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In various industries such as water, food processing, transportation, energy, chemical, and petrochemical, there are numerous manual valves.

These valves need to be operated regularly during production or maintenance phases. Depending on the effort and number of turns required, these operations can become dangerous for operators.

Several risks have been identified as causes of accidents: falls due to hard-to-reach valves, back injuries due to valves requiring significant effort to operate, and musculoskeletal disorders of the shoulders and elbows caused by repetitive movements required by certain valves with long strokes or equipped with reducers.

torque reaction
Why Motorized Assistance Alone Is Not Sufficient to Protect Operators from Valve Operation Risks? 

Motorized assists, commonly known as Portable actuators or motorized keys, generally develop significant torque up to 1000Nm.

The torque limiter equipped with motorized assists protects equipment by limiting the torque applied to a valve based on its characteristics.

However, this does not protect the operator, who must still overcome the effort of holding the actuator. In case of a hard spot or at the end of the valve stroke, the operator may be surprised by the jerks this generates. The solution lies in torque reaction systems that must be implemented when using a portable valve actuator.

Different types of torque feedback are available to address various situations.

For example, single and double torque arms come standard with actuators, allowing for safe torque control. 


💡If no standard solution fits, custom torque feedbacks can be developed in collaboration with the engineering department.

How a Torque Reaction System Works

The goal is to eliminate all reaction forces generated by the actuator during operation. These forces oppose the direction of the actuator's rotation.

The reaction system must be designed to transfer the forces to a fixed point in the valve's environment. This could be the pipeline, a structure, the ground, a service vehicle, etc.

Modec Offers Several Torque Reaction Solutions:

➡️All our portable valve actuators come with a simple and versatile torque reaction system, suitable for diverse applications.

➡️Depending on the valve's environment, we also offer modular and adjustable bipods to transfer forces to the ground.

➡️A hitch-mounted torque reaction system, dedicated to buried valves, is available in modec's offerings.

➡️A compact torque reaction system has been designed for valves that are not equipped with a handwheel.


Finally, we offer custom-designed solutions for the most specific cases.
Modec's valve operation assist solutions are designed specifically for this application. They integrate all necessary elements to protect both the equipment and operators with torque reaction systems.


💡Before using an actuator, take all necessary precautions described in this video:



In summary, safety is a major concern in the use of portable valve actuators. Using appropriate torque reaction system ensures operator protection and accident prevention during valve maneuvers. Our torque solutions are designed to offer maximum flexibility and adapt to various configurations.

Whether for buried valves or high-altitude operations, we have the torque reaction device that will meet your needs.

And for cases where our standard solutions are not sufficient, our engineering department is ready to develop custom torque reaction system and flanges to ensure that you always work under the best safety conditions.


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Sandra Noël
Sandra Noël

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