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A Comparison of Mechanical Regulators vs. Electronic Regulators

How does mechanical regulation compare to electronic regulation? What kinds of applications are best for one over the other? Product Manager Scott Lamb explains the advantages and disadvantages of each in this quick video.

Video filmed at Clippard in Cincinnati, Ohio

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Scott Lamb, Product Manager for Control Valves here at Clippard. Today we want to compare precision mechanical regulation with precision electronic pressure control. Let’s break it down into four categories:

1. Controllability
2. Accuracy
3. Dynamic Performance
4. Cost

Controllability

First, controllability. Electronic pressure regulators can do circles around mechanical regulators when it comes to controllability. Breaking this down
to the most basic level, an electronic pressure regulator is controlled electronically, which brings a lot more flexibility in what you might want to control and how often you want to control it. Whereas a mechanical regulator, it’s just an adjustment screw. Where you set it is where you
leave it.

Accuracy

Now, let’s talk about accuracy—no, let’s talk about your expectations of accuracy with a mechanical regulator. You will know the specifications from the catalog pages you’ve read, so it’s really up to you to pick the proper regulator for the accuracy you desire. This is set by the diaphragm and internal orifice sizes. A mechanical regulator’s performance is fixed based on it’s design; kind of like, what you see is what you get. However, mechanical regulators can be designed to be very accurate.

Now, let’s talk about accuracy—no, let’s talk about your expectations of accuracy with a mechanical regulator. You will know the specifications from the catalog pages you’ve read, so it’s really up to you to pick the proper regulator for the accuracy you desire. This is set by the diaphragm and internal orifice sizes. A mechanical regulator’s performance is fixed based on it’s design; kind of like, what you see is what you get. However, mechanical regulators can be designed to be very accurate.

Electronic pressure controllers such as the Cordis can be a bit more versatile as they have an internal pressure sensor that relays information back to its internal processor. That tells proportional valves what dynamic orifice is needed to maintain a pressure. This inherently can be more accurate and responsive.

Dynamic Performance

So if you’re inlet pressure to your regulator is all over the place, and your downstream requirements are also fluctuating, an electronic pressure regulator is probably going to be your first choice. However, in static situations, when you need to set it and forget it, a precision mechanical regulator will do the job.

Cost

Electronic regulators can offer higher controllability with the ability to integrate and communicate to a system. However, that comes with a price. Depending on the application, you may not need all the bells and whistles. A mechanical precision regulator may be all you need.

Clippard has a large selection of pressure regulators, both electronic and mechanical. We also offer multiple size ports and different pressure ranges. We have a plethora of regulator videos on our YouTube Channel that you’re about to subscribe to. I’m Scott Lamb, and thank you for watching.



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DR-2 Series Precision Regulator

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