Benefits of Upgrading from Pneumatic to Digital Positioners


In the valve industry, pneumatic positioners have long been the go-to solution for controlling valve positions. These devices operate by converting a pneumatic control signal into a valve stem position, relying on air pressure to adjust and maintain valve settings. While they have been a reliable choice for decades, pneumatic positioners come with several drawbacks. Their reliance on mechanical parts makes them susceptible to wear and tear, leading to frequent maintenance and potential downtime. Additionally, pneumatic positioners lack the advanced diagnostics and precise control capabilities of modern digital positioners, limiting their effectiveness in today’s high-demand industrial environments. As the industry shifts towards more efficient and reliable technologies, upgrading from pneumatic to digital positioners offers a host of benefits that can significantly enhance plant performance and operational efficiency.

At Westlock Controls, we understand the critical role valve positioners play in optimizing plant performance. Here’s why upgrading from pneumatic to digital positioners is a smart move for your plant.


Enhanced Accuracy and Precision

Digital positioners provide superior accuracy and precision compared to their pneumatic counterparts. They leverage advanced electronics to precisely control valve positions, ensuring optimal performance even in the most demanding conditions. This heightened precision translates to better process control, reducing variability and improving product quality.


Advanced Diagnostics and Predictive Maintenance

One of the standout features of digital positioners is their ability to provide comprehensive diagnostics. Unlike pneumatic positioners, digital models like Westlock’s K20 smart positioner and ICoT digital positioner can monitor a wide range of parameters, offering real-time insights into valve performance. This data can be used to predict maintenance needs before failures occur, reducing downtime and extending the lifespan of your equipment.


Improved Reliability and Durability

Digital positioners are designed to withstand harsh industrial environments. With fewer moving parts and advanced materials, they are less prone to wear and tear compared to pneumatic systems. The K20 and ICoT for instance, feature a frictionless spool valve manifold and non-contact hall effect sensors, ensuring long-term reliability and reducing the need for frequent maintenance.


Ease of Use and Integration

Digital positioners offer user-friendly interfaces that simplify setup, calibration, and operation. The K20 smart positioner’s touch-start auto-calibration can be completed in just over a minute, making it easy for operators to get up and running quickly. Furthermore, the ICoT digital positioner is compatible with industry-standard protocols such as HART, FOUNDATION Fieldbus, and Profibus PA, facilitating seamless integration into existing control systems.


Energy Efficiency

Digital positioners are generally more energy-efficient than pneumatic systems. They require less air consumption and can operate at lower pressures, leading to significant energy savings over time. This efficiency not only reduces operational costs but also supports sustainability initiatives by lowering your plant’s carbon footprint.

Better Control and Flexibility

With digital positioners, you gain enhanced control over your processes. They offer more precise valve positioning and can handle complex control algorithms that are beyond the capabilities of pneumatic positioners. This flexibility allows you to fine-tune your operations for maximum efficiency and responsiveness.


Upgrade Your Valve Control

Upgrading from pneumatic to digital positioners is a strategic investment that offers numerous benefits, from enhanced accuracy and reliability to advanced diagnostics and energy efficiency. At Westlock Controls, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art valve monitoring and control solutions that empower industries to achieve optimal performance. Embrace the future of valve control with our K20 smart positioner and ICoT digital positioner and experience the transformative impact of valve technology on your operations.


For more information on our products and how they can benefit your facility, visit our website, or contact our team of experts today at





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