At the end of 2006 we supplied approximately £50,000 worth of special actuated high pressure ball valves ranging in sizes from 50mm to 300mm complete with filter regulators, control solenoids, switchboxes for remote indication for use in a hazardous area. What made these even more unique is that the actuators were powered by the gas passing through the valve. This required high pressure reducing valves and regulators that were set to convert 50 bar mains pressure to the 7 bar required to operate the actuators. On top of that was a requirement to close in less than 3 seconds. This was another instance of a customer so happy with the items supplied that we have recently secured a new order from the international arm of their business for identical items.
Whilst it was for only two valves, they are out and out specials. What seems like a standard water industry gate valve fitted with a hand wheel is unique, as it has our extended stem fitted and an ATEX approved hazardous area switchbox complete with local position indication.
When a customer had a requirement to automate a change over assembly this seemed easy enough, a three-way ball valve fitted with an electric actuator seemed the obvious answer, but when we found out that the line size was 200mm and an assembly like that would be several thousand pounds, our sales engineers proposed using two fully lugged butterfly valve fitted to a fabricated "T" piece and linked to a single electric actuator. This actuator drives one valve closed as the other opens at the same rate. This is another example of an engineered solution providing a customer not only an assembly that is suitable for the application, but at a price that makes it feasible for them to carry out the work.
One customer who takes a range on pneumatically controlled quarter turn valve packages liked the control unit so much that we were asked if we could fit this to their pneumatically operated knife gate valves. Our design team worked out a way of using levers to convert the linear movement to a quarter turn action and to pipe up the actuators. This customer now has the same positioner fitted to all their valve packages, providing a level of control that could not be achieved on the knife gate valves before and having the additional benefit of reducing the costs of spares needed to be carried on site. All the valves are used in the processing of sugar beet and are used either on the raw product or on the water used in processing.