In March, the Abrasive Flow Solutions (AFS) team celebrated the company’s first year in business by hosting a two-day launch function at its manufacturing plant in Benoni, Gauteng. AFS, which specialises in the design and manufacture of slurry-related valves, was established by the Engineering Solutions Group (ESG) of Invicta Holdings as part of its strategy to expand its fluid technology services in Africa.
“The AFS team works closely with our sister company, BMG, to extend specialist services through the design, distribution, supply and support of a broad range of slurry-related valves, including Klep diaphragm and wedge gate valves,” said Donald Morrison, the company’s general manager. “Our specialists successfully achieved their first challenge, which they set for themselves when the company was established: to improve the quality of diaphragm valves by extending service life and reducing the maintenance requirements of this range. This goal was achieved through hard work and the implementation of advanced design technologies, materials and coatings, and is a great tribute to our team.”
Morrison went on to highlight some important milestones achieved over the last year, such as the establishment of a new rubber lining facility with the installation of autoclaves that have capacities of up to 10 m in length. In the rubber industry, autoclaves are used to vulcanise rubber products, which are not yet dimensionally stable, by elevating heat and pressure. An autoclave is similar to a huge oven, with extremely high temperature and pressure ratings to make rubber parts stable and solid in size and shape.
Another advancement was a new pinch valve sleeve manufacturing area within the new facility. “We are now able to manufacture all pinch sleeves, including high-pressure and pneumatic sleeves. AFS pinch sleeves are manufactured from the highest-quality rubber products, supplied by Rema Tip Top,” he continued. “We have also made a significant investment to extend our hydraulic pressing facility and through our new design and process, we are able to manufacture high-pressure diaphragms capable of pressures in excess of 20 bar.”
AFS has enhanced the design and production of its slurry knife gate valve range, with dimensions ranging in diameter from a 50 mm unit to 1,5 m valves. The range includes flanged, wafer, lugged, urethane-lined and high-pressure knife gate valves.
Morrison pointed out that BMG also distributes a locally-manufactured range of abrasion-resistant valves for Dual Products International. These products include pinch valves, new water/air release valves, resilient seated gate (RSV) valves and rotary disc sleeve valves. AFS recently manufactured and factory-tested some larger DN 700 hydraulically operated, 20 bar valves for a customer in Europe.
“Recently launched dual rotary disc sleeve valves comprise an advanced rotating gate valve with sleeve design, developed specifically for heavy abrasive and corrosive slurries, and water and wastewater installations. This patented design allows the valve to cycle through heavy slurries without sticking. Wafer, flanged and high-pressure variants are available.
“Our highly skilled team has a thorough understanding of the processes where valves are installed, and is able to specify the correct valves required for every application. We also assist customers in solving the problems of difficult installations and applications. To ensure optimum safety, efficiency and the extended service life of each system, the selection of the correct industrial slurry valve is critical. Valve selection is based on various factors, including the size and shape of particles, pressure, temperatures and chemical content.”
This AFS portfolio is particularly well suited for use in harsh conditions in diverse industries, including mining, chemical and petrochemical, water and wastewater, energy production and agri-food industries. Important installations recently have been in mining slurry, tailings dams and acid pumping applications, which rely on plant availability and the safe operation of valves.
Another achievement for AFS was ESG’s recent recognition as a Level 2 contributor to broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE), which means customers can claim BEE procurement recognition of 125% against all purchases.
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