A-T Controls: Valve Manufacturing for the Future

FEATURED STORY A-T Controls: Valve Manufacturing for the Future

Since its inception, A-T Controls has established an enviable reputation for its engineering expertise, quality service, and delivery of manual and automated engineered valves. Its focus on providing automation products through solution-oriented selling, and dedication to manufacturing with responsive communication, has made it a globally recognized leader of valve and actuator solutions.

Valve World Americas had the opportunity to speak with President and CEO, Brian Wright, about A-T Controls’ dedication to actively working on innovative and automated products for the next generation, and its impeccable solution-focused services.

By Angelica Pajkovic

Progressive History

Established in 1994, A-T Controls set out to provide end users with automated valves, actuation, and quarter turn valve accessories. In 1997, the company elevated its product offerings by designing and manufacturing its own valve line. Since then, A-T Controls has consistently added new valve products, and improved previous designs, to meet the needs of modernized systems.

Currently operating from its 122,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and 98,000 sq. ft. facility in Stafford, Texas, the company offers efficient and conve­nient packages to end users in several industrial sectors. Its focus on providing problem solving and solution-oriented services for quarter turn valves has dis­tinguished it from other suppliers, as a go-to source for any valve need.

“We are a one-stop-shop,” explained Wright. “Customers can look to us for solutions about any quarter-turn appli­cation and we are not afraid of bespoke products and modification requests.” Due to its broad product range, A-T Controls can address many markets, including oil & gas, pharmaceutical binding, power, food & beverage, water & wastewater, as well as pulp & paper industries. This versatility has given the company greater opportunities to excel.

“I think our longevity can be attributed to the immense breadth of products we offer, our loyalty to our distribution net­work, and the consistency in our prod­ucts. We are a leader in terms of our offerings in the quarter turn valve and automation business,” he continued.

Immense Breadth of Products

While its product portfolios range from flanged valves, and three-ways, to high-performance butterfly valves, the com­pany’s primary focus has continuously been on automation and quarter turn valve solutions.

A-T Controls offers complete automation services for quarter turn valves through its Triac brand of actuators and accessories; these are well-known within the industry as quality quarter turn products. It also manufactures precision mounting kits to automate other manufacturers’ ball, but­terfly, and plug valves. “In the last couple of years, for example, we have introduced a spring return electric actuator, with dif­ferent pressures and designs of our trun­nion ball valve offering. This has been steadily gaining market share,” stated Wright.

Its wide line of products is complement­ed by a broad accessory line which in­cludes solenoid valves, filter regulators, limit switches, proximity sensors, posi­tioners, manual overrides, and customer valve mounting hardware. “Our assem­blies are calibrated, tested, and prop­erly packaged to ensure that the user receives the exact product required for their application,” he added.

“Every actuator and actuated assembly is provided with a serial number upon completion, which allows for easy trace­ability.” As specific distribution require­ments are one of the many aspects that drive the innovation at A-T Controls, its engineers and distribution team are diligent in gathering information that corresponds to the current market’s pain points. Using this intel, innovations can be built from the ground up or can be added as a variation to an existing product with newly added features and benefits.

The Complete Package

To modernize its systems and processes, and exceed its customers expectations, A-T Controls regularly reevaluates its products and distribution systems.

“We are constantly asking our distribu­tors what they want to see next. This can be in terms of product features, internal and external communications, integra­tion, as well as services and solution-oriented improvements or adjustments,” said Wright.

The company takes great pride in receiv­ing and implementing customer feedback to create solution-oriented answers. “We have a team of engineers that respond to specific customer issues, because not every application is cookie-cutter. People come to us for solutions for abra­sion, high-pressure, material compatibil­ity, or end connections that need to be customized,” explained Wright. “We are equipped to react quickly and efficiently to help when customers require applica­tion assistance, and we know that if we can solve a client’s difficult problems, they will know they can also come to us with the easy ones.”

Upon acquiring a small company from Houston, Texas, A-T Controls was able to further expand its offerings to include an innovative controller, the Mighty Con­troller, which operates the company’s system group.

The Mighty Controller is an innovative computing device targeted at OEMs and system integrators who want to modernize existing approaches to lo­cal system controls. “We sell manual and automated quarter turn valves, and with applications like the Mighty Controller, we also provide a complete system to our customers.

The Mighty Controller pro­vides information such as temperature, torque signatures, and vibration measurements giv­ing the end user useable data that can be used to mitigate the risks of failures,” stated Wright. “Ultimately it can optimize the actuator and valve po­sitions to increase efficient flow through the wellhead.”

A-T Controls has built trust with industry wide clients, apply­ing its strengths, and taking the initiative towards unwavering efforts and creative solutions.

“We are dedicated to being a leader –we do not want to fall behind and follow other companies as technology progresses. We are known for our high quality, high standards, and dedication to solution focused service.”

President and CEO, Brian Wright.

Leading the Way

A-T Controls believes there are two kinds of company cul­tures: leading or following. “We are dedicated to being a leader –we do not want to fall behind and follow other companies as technology progresses. We want to be known for our high quality, high standards, and dedication to solu­tion focused service,” Wright commented.

To ensure it is providing its customers with the best products, the company sends valves to an independent third party for testing to ensure nothing is overlooked. The distribution depart­ment is therefore heavily involved in the production side of the business. “By conducting everything from ISO 9000 to API audits, the team continues to ensure production and operations are following the comprehensive quality mandates.”

The company’s commitment to being available, responsive, and innovative, along with a broad offering of qual­ity products, has allowed it to truly put the cus­tomer first. “Our response to the needs of distribu­tion, customers, and end users is paramount,” stated Wright. “From the mo­ment a customer picks up the phone for their inquiry, A-T Controls guar­antees that the client is speaking to a knowledge­able representative.”

Its highly experienced engineering and sales staff, coupled with its extensive inventory, there­fore provide the customer with so­lutions needed to fulfill most valve and actuator requirements, while offering a competitive price and fast turn­around. “If someone comes to us with an ap­plication, wanting to know whether they need to vent the ball, or if they have an inquiry about materials and flow, we have the expertise to guide them towards applications that best fit their needs. We want to make sure that we pro­vide the best outcome to our clients, as it is important to stay transparent and build trust,” said Wright. “A-T Controls’ respon­siveness is driven towards getting the cli­ent’s question answered, not just a short answer, but the right answer.”


What is Next for A-T Controls?

A-T Controls is excited for what is to come next within the valve market. It will continue to grow with its custom­ers and introduce new products and automations which will broaden its of­ferings even further. While the current supply chain issues created challenging obstacles, the company recognizes that it is still in the early stages of the pro­cess and will need to continue to adapt and innovate. “To account for these on­going challenges, we have taken proac­tive measures, such as getting ahead of blanket orders, raw materials, and in­creasing foundry capacities. Although this is not a simple process, A-T Controls prides itself with its ability to successful­ly manage the troubleshoot processes,” commented Wright.

With new standards came the require­ment for fugitive emissions bonnets, a double set of packing, bellow seals, and much more for the rotary valve market. These changes and investments allow the company to provide preventive safe­ty measures for the products that are be­ing distributed, continuing to keep the best possible solutions for the end user and the industry.

“We will continue to see interest in connectivity and monitoring for pro­cesses. The systems group and some of the product features speak to this,” said Wright. Data driven initiatives will continue to be a larger part of what the company offers. “Our success is de­termined by the quality of people who work diligently and honestly in the com­pany. Whether it is our sales department, engineering, production, or quality as­surance, all the people at A-T Controls that touch the process, care about the customer’s needs,” he concluded.

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