Autodesk Fusion 360TM plugin for Control Valve Performer

Introduction to Control Valve Performer app

What is control valve performance curve?

Every process plant consists of four main components, 1) devices which generates the flow 2) devices which carry the fluid from one location to other, 3) devices which control the quantity of fluid flow and 4) devices which combines different fluids and generates the required product. The most common control element in the process control industries is the control valve. The control valve manipulates a flowing fluid to compensate for the load disturbance and keep the regulated process variable as close as possible to the desired set point. Control valves are playing a vital role in modern manufacturing process industries around the world to generate quality products.

The flow rate through a valve is controlled by manipulating the amount of open passage available for fluid flow. The amount of available fluid passage varies from 0 % (fully closed) to 100 % (fully open). The flow passage variations are achieved by a set of fixed and moving elements (also referred as valve trim) in control valve.

The relationship between valve stem (moving parts) position and the flow rate through a control valve is described by a curve called the valve's flow characteristic curve, or simply the valve characteristic. Typically, these characteristics are plotted on a curve where the horizontal axis is labeled in percent travel and the vertical axis is labeled as percent flow.

Control valve trim design and performance curve

The synergy between what is demanded and what is supplied by the valve can be achieved by re-shaping the valve trim to get desired valve characteristics. The operating parts of a valve which are normally exposed to the process fluid are referred to as 'valve trim'. Usually parts like stem, plug, disc, seating surface etc. are called as valve trim. Valve trim is the physical shape of the plug and seat arrangement. The shape of the valve plug determines the flow characteristics of the valve.

Different valve characterizations may be achieved by re-shaping the valve trim. For instance, the plug profiles of a stem-guided globe valve may be modified to achieve the common quick-opening, linear, and equal-percentage characteristics. The inherent characteristic curve is a plot of the percent of valve opening vs. the percent of maximum flow coefficient (CV). This is determined by measuring the flow rate at various positions of valve travel with a fixed differential pressure across the valve. The CV value is calculated at each valve position using a form of the generalized Control Valve CV equation.

Quick Open : A quick opening valve plug produces a large increase in flow for a small initial change in stem travel. Near maximum flow is reached at a relatively low percentage of maximum stem lift. Quick open plugs are used for on-off applications designed to produce maximum flow quickly.

Linear : The equal percentage valve plug produces the same percentage change in flow per fixed increment of valve stroke at any location on its characteristic curve. The equal percentage is the characteristic most commonly used in process control.

Equal Percentage : An inherently linear characteristic produces equal changes in flow per unit of valve stroke regardless of plug position. Linear plugs are used on those systems where the valve pressure drop is a major portion of the total system pressure drop.

Need for different trim design and characteristic curves

A control valve is a part of the complete fluid flow system. The fluid flow system may include other components like a pump, heat exchanger, reactor, piping etc. Considering all other components in the system, it is necessary to achieve desired flow characteristic curve. This is referred as installed valve characteristics.

Imagine that the process needs a linear increase in the flow rate. As pressure drop is the function of flow rate, the system pressure drop might be linear or non-linear depending on various components in the complete flow system. In case if system pressure drop is also linear, a linear characteristic curve will satisfy the purpose. But in case if the system pressure drop is non-linear, we may need to go for quick opening or equal percentage control valve.

Hence, control valve trim is designed and manufactured in a variety of different characteristics to provide the desired installed behavior.

Computational Fluid Dynamics and performance curve

In order to select an appropriate control valve for process control, it is necessary to estimate the characteristic curve of each valve. The control valve design starts with a required maximum value of valve coefficient and its variation with the percentage of opening. Every valve design goes through design variation to satisfy required performance curve. Performance curve can be evaluated by measuring a flow rate vs. valve opening in a physical test setup. Doing such studies for each design variation is very time consuming and costly. Computational Fluid Dynamics is an effective alternative to evaluate performance curve during design stage for the control valve.

Computational Fluid Dynamics or simply CFD is an art/method/science/technique of solving mathematical equations governing different physics including a flow of fluid, a flow of heat, chemical reactions, phase change and many other phenomena. When applied to control valve performance curves estimation, it's about the solution of water flow equations in a control valve at various opening conditions. It helps valve designers to quickly calculate the valve coefficient, understand flow behavior inside the valve and to optimize the design for required valve characteristics.

Traditionally, CFD is considered as three step processes, viz. pre-processing, solving and post-processing the results. In case of control valve performance curve evaluation, pre-processing involves creating 3D CAD model of a control valve, preparing CAD model for CFD meshing, creating a mesh inside a valve, creating solution setup and solution of flow equations. After the solution of flow equations, flow rate across inlet and outlet of a valve is calculated to get valve coefficient. This process is then repeated for different opening position to get a performance curve.

Few of the major obstacles for using CFD in control valve performance calculation includes the complexity of valve geometry, compute power and time required for multiple opening conditions.

What is Control Valve Performer app?

In a traditional way, calculating control valve performance curve using CFD involves the following process.

  1. For each opening position, creating 3D CAD model of control valve, extracting fluid domain and creating a CFD mesh.
  2. Doing required CFD setup and conducting analysis for number of opening conditions (typically between 5 to 10 depending on the accuracy of performance curve required).
  3. Combining a valve coefficient value and generating a performance curve

The process needs CFD expertise, its compute-intensive and typically takes days to complete.

Control Valve Performer (CVP) is a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) from simulationHub, that uses CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) as a tool to simulate and plot the flow characteristic curve of a control valve. CVP is developed specially for design engineers and manufacturers to help them simulate the performance of their design, without having any knowledge of CFD. The app only needs a control valve geometry, number of opening conditions and flow direction. All CFD setup, calculation, and result extracted is automated using specifically written algorithms for control valve performance evaluation.

All CFD computations are done using cloud computing. The app does not need any high-end local machine and even can be used from mobile / tablet devices. Once the setup is submitted from computation, ready-to-use valve performance PDF report is generated within minutes. The report includes all setup information, a valve characteristic curve, and more detailed CFD results. CVP application supports performance evaluation of rotary, lift and on/off type valves.

Are you using Autodesk Fusion 360 plugin?

In case if you are using Autodesk Fusion 360 plugin, this user interface is applicable for 3D results only. For all other steps, refer to Autodesk Fusion 360 plugin section of this guide.

User interface

Following are the major components of Pedestrian Comfort Analysis app interface.

Simulation details and help toggle button : Access the simulation details, help and support menu. This allows opening the simulation details page. A quick link to help items like getting started guide, video library and forum is given. You can also raise the support ticket for opened simulation.
Simulation stage navigation toggle button : This button toggles the stage navigation menu of left.
Navigation menu for an individual stage : A typical simulation includes a number of main stages. Each main stage includes a number of sub-stages. For example, the location and wind condition stage has two sub-stages, location & wind rose and wind conditions for simulation. Navigation menu for an individual stage is available in the left navigation panel. Individual stage menus will change depending on the stage you have opened. For example, in result stage, you can view comfort plot, flow lines, surface pressure, contour plots etc. Clicking on each sub-stage will open the respective sub stage options. This menu follows stage dependency and color coding.
Previous & next stage access : A quick access link is given to go to previous or next simulation stage. The access to the next stage is deactivated until the current stage is completed. This menu follows stage dependency.
Stage quick access : Stage quick access is available at bottom of stage navigation panel. This quick access helps to navigate between main simulation stages. This menu follows stage dependency and color coding.
View cube : Use the View cube to orbit your design or view the design from standard view positions. If you hover on the view cube, you can see a drop-down icon at a bottom right corner with more view options.
Model view controls and settings : The model view controls contain commands used to zoom, pan, and orbit your design. The display settings control the appearance of the interface and how a model is displayed in the graphics window. You can also take the snapshot of what is displayed in the graphics window.
Model click menu : Left-click to select the object in the graphics window. Right-click to access the model menu. The model menu contains commands like to isolate, hide selected, show all objects. Left click anywhere in the graphics window to hide the model menu.
Results quick access menu : Results quick access menu is available when you open the result stage of simulation. This quick access menu helps to navigate to different results without using left navigation panel. Quick access menu contains commands to go to results like comfort plot, flow lines, contour plots etc.
Profile and help : In profile, you can control your profile and account settings, or use the help menu to continue your learning or get help in troubleshooting. This menu also contains a quick link to the dashboard. Use full-screen icon if you wish to use the app in full-screen mode.

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Mobile device modifications

View cube 6 and result quick access 9 menus are not available on mobile and tablet. A profile and help menu 10 is modified for mobile and tablet devices. You will see raise ticket and sign out buttons in the profile and help menu. Model view control and settings 7 menus are also modified and available with fewer options.

Autodesk Fusion 360TM and Control Valve Performer subscription

To use Control Valve Performer plugin for Autodesk Fusion 360, you need to have a valid subscription for both simulationHub Control Valve Performer app and Autodesk Fusion 360. View Fusion 360 subscription plans and Control Valve Performer subscription plans

Download and install Autodesk Fusion 360 plugin

Autodesk Fusion 360TM is a cloud-based CAD/CAM/CAE tool for collaborative product development. Fusion 360 combines fast and easy organic modeling with precise solid modeling, allowing you to make your designs manufacturable. To know more details, visit Autodesk Fusion 360 website

Control Valve Performer is available as a plugin in Fusion 360. This helps designers to use CFD simulation based valve performance evaluation without leaving their existing workspace. A seamless integration between Fusion 360 and Control Valve Performer allows designers to do quick design modification and see its impact on the performance curve.

To install Control Valve Performer plugin for Fusion 360:

  1. Go to Control Valve Performer plugin page on Autodesk app store. You will see details of the app
  2. Click on "Download" button available at the top of right sidebar. You need to sign in with Autodesk account to download the app.
  3. It will download the plugin installer (Control_Valve_Performer*.msi) to your computer.
  4. Click the installer file and run the installer. This will install Control Valve Performer app for Fusion 360

Once the plugin is installed, start Fusion 360. You will see Control Valve Performer workspace under workspace drop-down.

In case of Fusion 360 is not able to run the Control Valve Performer plugin at the start even after using the installer, you can use the following process to start the plugin:

Go to ADD-INS Scripts and Add-Ins Add-Ins. Click a icon in front of My Add-Ins. Select Control_Valve_Performer and Click Run. You will be able to see the app in the workspace drop-down.


Once you log into the simulationHub account, you can go to your dashboard using a link in top navigation bar. The dashboard provides an at-a-glance view of all your simulations. The dashboard contains main components like top navbar, side navigation, simulation quick-view tile and other important information about your account and subscription.

Simulation quick-view tile on the dashboard has following components:

Simulation image : The simulation image on dashboard tile gives a quick visual view of simulation. This image is automatically updated based on the recently opened / completed simulation stage. You can also set this image using "Set simulation image" button available in 3D viewer. Click on the simulation image will open simulation in 3D viewer.
Simulation details : Simulation details section in quick-view tile contains information link simulation name, simulation app and last opened / edit information. But default all the simulations are arranged in descending order of its last access time.
Simulation status : Simulation status is the dynamic content of quick-view tile. The progress percentage, status and progress bar will change based on the current state of the simulation. Appropriate color coding is used to give the visual representation of simulation status.
Quick links : Quick links are provided to open details page or 3D viewer for simulation.

Simulation details

Simulation details page contains all the information either entered by you or generated during the simulation process. We have written app specific algorithms to extract all the simulation information and presented in a report ready format.

Following are the major components of simulation details page.

Name and details : Simulation name and details are provided at the top
Simulation image : The image slider contains all the simulation images. These images are automatically updated based on the recently opened / completed simulation stage. You can also set this image using "Set simulation image" button available in 3D viewer.
Simulation details : The simulation details section contains all input information including name, description and site location. The details section also includes information about weather data, comfort criteria and wind conditions selected for simulation. The simulation results information is arranged in different sections. It includes image sliders for specific output like comfort plot, flow lines, contour plots etc. You can collapse the view of each section using the arrow provided at the top right corner of each section.
Simulation actions : Simulation action section provides buttons to preform different actions on the simulation. You can open 3D simulation, copy, edit or delete the simulation using these buttons.
Quick glance : Quick glance section contains some important information about simulation. It includes simulation details, overall simulation status, simulation images and important notifications about the app.
Left navigation toggle button : This button toggles the left navigation menu. Left navigation menu contains simulation filter (recently opened / filter by app / simulation gallery), help and support section and account section. You can access app specific help or raise a support ticket for your simulation.
Profile and help : In profile, you can control your profile and account settings, or use the help menu to continue your learning or get help in troubleshooting. This menu also contains a quick link to the dashboard. Use full-screen icon if you wish to use the app in full-screen mode.

simulationHub Apps Anywhere
Mobile device modifications

A profile and help menu 7 is modified for mobile and tablet devices. You will see raise ticket and sign out buttons in the profile and help menu.

Subscription Plans

You have periodic design requirements or you work in an organization with heavy design load, we have subscription plans to suit all requirements. Take low-budget month-on-month subscription or high-credit yearly subscription.


Get Access to Control Valve Performer app

Subscription Plans

You have periodic design requirements or you work in an organization with heavy design load, we have subscription plans to suit all requirements. Take low-budget month-on-month subscription or high-credit yearly subscription.



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simulationHub App Get Started - Blogs


Read about an application of Control Valve Performer for valve design. Learn about latest app features, tips, tutorials. Find out the views and opinions on design trends in control valve industry.

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simulationHub App Get Started - Case Studies

Case Studies

Control Valve Performer app is used to design, develop and optimize control valve performance. Read the real-life industrial case studies about how the app is used to improve control valve performance.

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