Mechanical piping systems supplier Victaulic is installing the first of its Installation-Ready Series 795 knife gate valve in South Africa at African Rainbow Minerals’ Modikwa mine, near Burgersfort, in Limpopo.
The Series 795 knife gate valve is a new technology and the installation will also see Victaulic introducing grooved valves to the South African mining industry.
Victaulic Africa regional manager Barry van Jaarsveld says the grooved Victaulic system is much faster to install than those most mines are currently using.
“Traditional knife gate valves must be removed from the pipeline to be maintained or repaired, which can take up to four hours. Victaulic’s Series 795 knife gate valve uses an advanced technology that encloses all wear parts in a single seat cartridge kit, which can be easily replaced in about 20 minutes.”
Victaulic will first identify high-wear places at Modikwa where valves regularly need to be replaced out of standard maintenance schedules.
Van Jaarsveld notes that reducing downtime, owing to unplanned maintenance, is an important priority for mines as they are under more production pressure than ever before. “Standing time during unplanned maintenance can cost some mines up to R750 000 an hour. This valve takes only 5% to 10% of the time usually needed during valve replacement. This brings about significant cost savings.”
He says the use of grooved valves further increases the speed of installation, because valves are designed with a flanged system which takes longer to install.
“Innovation is very important to Victaulic. Our US-based head office’s engineering department continuously develops new products and improvements to keep us at the forefront of mechanical joining solutions, internationally.”
The Series 795 knife gate valves come with options of pneumatic, hydraulic or manual actuators, depending on the application. It is used in high-wear applications and fluid lines containing solids and abrasive materials, and operates up to ten bars of pressure.
“Innovation is critical at a time when most industries are under economic pressure. Everyone is pressured to work faster and with less people to install and maintain piping systems.”
He adds that Victaulic helps to relieve some of this pressure. “You cannot do today’s job with yesterday’s skill and equipment, and expect to be in business tomorrow.”