Anywhere there are pipes, there will be control valves to increase or decrease the flow of the liquid or gas being transported. Thus, in essence, a simple domestic-use water tap is a control valve, since it regulates the flow of water. However, industries utilize specialized control valves, since how much liquid or gas is flowing through a channel is absolutely vital here. Thus, with the growth in various industries around the world, the demand for these simple yet advanced components is only going to increase.
The demand for electricity and automotive fuels is growing on account of the booming population. Since oil and gas, along with coal, still occupy a substantial share in the global energy mix, 67%, combined, in 2017, as per the International Energy Agency (IEA), exploration and production (E&P) activities continue to surge, though at a slower pace than 10–15 years ago. Till the world transitions completely to a hydrocarbon-free economy, oil and gas E&P activities can be expected to rise. Apart from on land, a large number of oil wells are being dug into the ocean floor, which is ultimately driving the demand for control valves.
In the oil and gas and any other industry, various types of such devices are utilized, including ball, butterfly, cryogenic, globe, plug, diaphragm, and gate valves. Among these, butterfly valves are the most common in industrial units on account of their small size, quick opening and closing capability, and higher efficiency in terms of controlling the amount of the gas and liquid flowing through. In addition, butterfly valves are more reliable than other types, and they also require lesser maintenance effort, which leads to operational expenditure reduction for users.
With time and technological advancements, particularly the advent of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) concept, control valves are being equipped with sensors. This is being done to obtain real-time data on the efficiency of these devices, so that predictive maintenance becomes easier. Regular predictive maintenance, in turn, allows companies to keep the risk of an unplanned shutdown of machinery at bay and avoid losing precious time due to stagnant operations.
Till now, Asia-Pacific (APAC) has been the largest control valves market, as it is the largest region in terms of industrial output. Additionally, the rapid economic growth in India, China, and other regional developing countries, rising demand for electricity, and large-scale infrastructure development here are leading to the increasing requirement for control valves. Another important end-use industry for control valves in the region is water and wastewater management. With the high levels of water pollution, new sewage and industrial effluent plants are being constructed, thereby pushing up the sales of control valves.
Hence, with growth in industries, the demand for control valves will keep rising.