Lightweight, taking up less space, quick to fit and multipurpose – these requirements are becoming increasingly important for valve system components. Complex control of liquids and gases is generally carried out by means of numerous individual valves, connected to one another by fittings and piping. But this takes up a lot of space, and assembly is time-consuming because of the higher number of individual parts. Also, every assembly point and pipe connection is a potential leak, which increases the safety risk.
Compact plastic multi-port valve blocks are the ideal components here, as they can perform various functions while saving space. GEMÜ’s experience with producing thousands of versions within the pharmaceutical industry is now being transferred to other industrial sectors. The bodies of plastic multi-port valves are made as standard of PVC-U, PP, PP natural, PVDF, PEEK and PTFE, but designs are also possible using other materials.
Multi-port valve blocks can also fulfil safety functions, double shut-off (double block and bleed), cross connections and control functions. These individual functions serve very specific purposes in individual situations, such as the taking of samples, the distribution of chemicals, the connection of cleaning media (CIP) and ensuring a minimum flow rate. There are also numerous more complex functions in connection with process automation: pressure or temperature sensors can be integrated for example. Intelligently designed, multi-port valve blocks can be developed into compact system components with a high degree of functionality.
Application example – dosing installations for detergent in industrial laundries
The Seitz company in Germany produces both a wide variety of detergents for industrial laundry applications, and automated systems for dosing these detergents. Compact multi-port valve blocks from GEMÜ are the key element of these systems as they make the corresponding dosing, distribution and flushing functions possible.
Operation of detergent dosing installations
Automated detergent dosing installations provide industrial laundries with flexibility, allowing them to adjust the required detergent composition individually to each specific cleaning program. Depending on the hardness of the water and the type and level of soiling, the cleaning agents, special additives and care products can be dosed to match the type of textile being washed.
In the case of conventional dosing installation designs, a separate dosing pump is required for each washing machine and medium. The resulting large number of pumps, hoses, unions and distribution components, makes extensive maintenance and calibration work necessary.
Compact design improves plant reliability
The use of GEMÜ multi-port valve blocks allows the number of pumps, hoses and fittings to be kept to a minimum on modern dosing installations. Here, only one pump is required per medium and multiple washing machines can be supplied with one dosing installation. Fewer welded and solvent cemented joints improve plant reliability because fewer leaks can occur as a result. Quick and easy assembly of the customised units also reduces the assembly time required and saves costs.
Multiple functions in one multi-port valve block
In order to achieve a more compact design, all dosing, distribution and flushing functions are combined in one multi-port valve block. The dosing pump for each medium is connected to a variable area flowmeter which are each connected directly to the multi-port valve block. The valve block consists of three rows of pneumatically actuated diaphragm valves. Here, the first valve row at the bottom is used to dose the medium. Depending on the requirements, quantities of 10-200 ml are metered out. The valves in the second row control which washing machine the medium is sent to and the upper, third row of the valve block is used to flush the unit with water after every dosing process.
Expandability of existing plants
Multi-port valve blocks can be extended. If an industrial laundry adds washing machines to its plant, the existing dosing unit can be extended by the required number of valves with just a few simple modifications without the need for additional piping, solvent cemented joints or welds.
Generally speaking, multi-port valve block technology by GEMÜ can be applied on all kinds of industrial processes, wherever mixing, dividing, diverting, draining, feeding and other processes are occurring.
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