New Nigeria branch for valves manufacturer

12th May 2006 By: Laura Tyrer

Manufacturing a variety of ball, butterfly and check valves, Enserve Engineering, of Vanderbijlpark, is in the process of establishing a branch in Nigeria’s Port Harcourt. Enserve MD Steve Bannister says that instead of merely appointing an agent in Nigeria, the company decided to establish an office and fully-fledged repair centre. He says that this is an effort to offer “full technical support” from Enserve’s Nigeria office. He adds that the company has identified suitable premises and is in the process of sending equipment and stock to its Nigeria office.

In addition to fulfilling black economic-empowerment requirements, with 51% of the company owned by Malose Ledwaba, Enserve recently acquired ISO 9000 accreditation.

The company was audited by TUV in April this year and certified as ISO compliant. Bannister says that the process involved revisiting all of the company’s systems and processes to ensure that Enserve met with ISO standards.

With branches in Sasolburg, Durban and Secunda, Enserve offers full manufacturing and refurbishment services. The company’s Sasolburg branch specialises in the refurbishment of safety and control valves, while Enserve’s general repair centre is in Durban.

Additionally, Enserve offers a 24-hour repair service with over R2-million of stocked spare parts for the IPV range, which it oversees since IPV was incorporated into Enserve.

Employing 73 people, the company manufactures full-bore and reduced-bore fire-safe ball valves, butterfly valves and check valves for the petrochemicals, paper, sugar, iron and steel industries.

The products are manufactured from raw castings supplied by local foundries. These are machined to drawing prior to being assembled and are individually pressure tested.

Enserve has supplied its products to a number of key South African projects. Last year, the company supplied its low-emission ball valves to the Richards Bay Foskor project to the value of between R300 000 and R400 000.

Besides this project, Enserve has a supply contract with Impala pla- tinum to supply and repair reduced bore ball valves as well as a similar contract with Highveld Steel to supply reduced-bore ball valves.

Although the company predo- minantly supplies to these major projects through agents, Enserve supplies catalyst ball valves to Petro SA, in Mossel Bay, on an ongoing basis. Bannister says that this contract is valued at about R1-million yearly.

Enserve regularly develops new products, working according to the sizes and pressure ratings that are called for by customers. At present, the company is in the process of developing metal seated ball valves for high-temperature applications, low-emission valves for hazardous products and specially-engineered valves for slurry applications. “We’re constantly designing new products,” enthuses Bannister, adding that Enserve is one of the few companies with design capacity for ball valves.

The company recently launched its new range of low-emission valves. Bannister says that the valves have been very well received by industry with a number of key customers making the valves stock items.

The new range offers double bearing support of the stem to minimise the effect of radial forces, the main cause of stem leaks. It also offers a full packed gland-stem sealing arrangement, energised by a live loaded gland follower.

Bannister says that the test results have exceeded the requirements of all current specifications. The new valves have been tested in excess of 30 000 cycles without any signs of leakage.

Enserve is so confident of the valves’ capabilities that it offers a five-year warranty on the gland-sealing arrangement.

Bannister says that the company also has the capacity to design speciality products for customers and often carries out design changes to standard products to suit specific applications. Enserve specialises in valve pro- ducts for use in the presence of highly corrosive or toxic substances. This is particularly relevant in the chemicals industry or where ammonia, chlorine, caustic soda and sulphuric acid are present.

To tackle these substances, compon- ents are constructed from robust materials, such as carbon steel, alloy 20, Monel as well as stainless steel.

Bannister says that Enserve’s locally-designed and -manufactured product range offers an advantage to end users as they are low maintenance, have extremely low emission levels and a robust stem-support bearing design.