Case Study #4 - Automotive
Automotive Foundry Changing to
AKO Pinch Valves to Gain Longer Life
Regular aluminum-body AKO pinch valves are used throughout
a well know automotive foundry on their core machines.
With foundry sand the valves have continuous exposure
to the most physically-aggressive environment possible
to imagine. Supplied in standard form with a polyester
powder-coated finish, the new AKO valves have so far
lasts 12 times longer than the competitors’ valve
that AKO replaced. Right away the AKO valves, in addition
to giving longer life expectancy, represented huge cost
savings to the customer.
In their sand foundry the customer produces various
chemically bonded sand molds to cast various parts including,
cam shafts, brake drums and brake disks. The core machines
are supplied with sand piped through 1 inch diameter
AKO pinch valves.
The abrasive friction of the recycled sand will wear
out most conventional valves. Pinch valves, however,
have been used for many years in all kinds of abrasive
applications. Due to the advanced sleeve technology
clear bore and simplicity of the pinch valve, the life
in certain applications can be up to 6 times longer
than a butterfly valve.
The beauty of the AKO pinch valve is in its simplicity.
Minimal parts of which only the sleeve is a wear part
mean low cost maintenance. The valve has no mechanical
parts, does not need an actuator and features a full
bore without protruding obstructions.
The AKO pinch valve is operated by an air solenoid valve
using compressed air at 30 psi higher than product line
pressure. When control pressure is applied the fabric
reinforced elastomer sleeve will close, giving a bubble
tight shutoff. Pinch valve technology is that simple.
The AKO pinch valves are equipped with abrasion resistant
natural rubber sleeves, and for this particular application
are replaced approximately every 9 months.
Simple and clear instructions complete with photos allow
users of the AKO pinch valve to complete replacement
of sleeves in about 10 minutes for the 1 inch valve.
Only replacing the sleeve and saving on all this time
means a fraction of the maintenance cost compared with
other valves on the market.
The secrets of the sleeve surprisingly are also in the
elliptical body shape of the AKO Pinch Valve. The body
shape ensures the sleeve folds in the same place every
time it closes, this results in a better mechanical
memory ensuring longer life. This feature is unique
to the AKO pinch valve meaning longer life expectancy
than competitive valves as well as a very important
saving of up to 40% less air consumption when in operation.
This particular customer originally selected pinch valves
because of their utter simplicity and reliability. No
knives, gates, balls or bearings to plug up with sand.
In this hostile environment most valves, regardless
of type, will need frequent repair or replacement –
and AKO pinch valves offer greatly reduced costs in
the single and most important fact, that it keeps working
where other valves will need replacing. Sand transfer
and mixing can therefore be carried out on a more consistent
basis helping maintain the best possible production
For more information on AKO pinch valves and accessories
please call +614.873.8995