Float switches are used in many types of foodservice equipment including ice machines, beverage systems, and dishwashers. A simple example of a liquid level "float" is seen in coffee brewing systems where they are used to indicate the amount of coffee or water in the brewer or dispenser. Liquid level floats, also known as float balls, are spherical, cylindrical, oblong or similarly shaped objects, made from either rigid or flexible material, that are buoyant in water and other liquids. They are non-electrical hardware frequently used as visual sight-indicators for surface demarcation and level measurement. They may also be incorporated into switch mechanisms or translucent fluid-tubes as a component in monitoring or controlling liquid level.
Liquid level floats, or float switches commonly used in Ice making equipment use the principle of material buoyancy (differential densities) to follow fluid levels. Solid floats are often made of plastics with a density less than water or other application liquid, and so they float. Hollow floats filled with air are much less dense than water or other liquids, and are appropriate for applications such as auto-fill and flow control systems.
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases, steam, liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries) by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category. In an open valve, fluid flows in a direction from higher pressure to lower pressure.
Valves may be operated manually, either by a handle, lever, pedal or wheel. Valves may also be automatic, driven by changes in pressure, temperature, or flow. These changes may act upon a diaphragm or a piston which in turn activates the valve. More complex control systems using valves requiring automatic control based on an external input (i.e., regulating flow through a pipe to a changing set point) require an actuator. They can be electromechanical actuators such as an electric motor or solenoid, pneumatic actuators which are controlled by air pressure, or hydraulic actuators which are controlled by the pressure of a liquid such as oil or water. An actuator will stroke the valve depending on its input and set-up, allowing the valve to be positioned accurately, and allowing control over a variety of requirements.
Since its inception in 1964, Manitowoc, Inc. has been on the cutting edge of product innovation, food safety and environmental stewardship. From the first automated cleaning system for ice machines, to the first ice machine with a touch screen display and offering the widest selection of ENERGY STAR®ice machines in the market, Manitowoc continues to be the industry leader and the trusted partner for businesses just starting out, to businesses with billions served.
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