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What Is a Water Control Valve?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 11 March 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A water control valve regulates the amount of water distributed by a certain water line or outlet valve. The flow of water must be adjusted so that a specific amount of pressure is maintained at the outlet for many manufacturing needs. The water control valve is variable from off to full on and any fraction in between. This allows the water regulation to be adjusted to fulfill any and all requirements of the manufacturing process.

Some Computer Numerical Control or CNC machines use water mixed with other chemicals to act as a coolant for the machine's cutter heads. The amount of water or the pressure is controlled by the water control valve. The CNC operator adjusts the valve to regulate the desired amount of water, ensuring the coolant level stays at the desired level within the machine. Failure to maintain the proper amount of coolant could cause flooding or the machine to run dry.

Often, the water pressure on the main water line is much greater than required to operate a machine on that line. This is intentional and ensures that all machines on the line will receive optimum water pressure. The water control valve positioned on the individual machines allows the operator to set each station to the correct water pressure. By operating the system with individual water control valve features, the main control pump is able to maintain maximum pressure without pressure spikes or drops.

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While many water control valve settings are accomplished by hand, some machines utilize a hydraulic valve. The hydraulic water control valve is operated by sensors located within the machine. These sensors monitor the coolant level and viscosity, as well as the temperature. They automatically open and close the valves as needed to maintain the optimum coolant mix and level. On this type of machine, an operator programs the coolant information into the machine and the computer takes command of the settings and operation.

Individual water control valve installations also make repair and maintenance much easier. By allowing each machine to be cut off at the water line, the remainder of the machines may continue to operate while one part is serviced. A machine can even be replaced without disruption to the rest of the line. Machines may be set up to manufacture different parts or brought online to produce identical parts, all without disrupting the other machines. The water control valve is an invaluable instrument in the machining process at many manufacturing plants.

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