Case Study #5 - Glass Production
Maintenance-Free AKO Pinch Valves
Help Quality Glass Production
AKO Pinch Valves are being used in the most physically
aggressive environment with continuous exposure to sand
at L&T. The AKO pinch valve has solved the problem
in this abrasive application and assisted with the glass
quality for L&T over the past several years.
L&T manufactures top quality glass containers used
for beverage, liqueur and pharmaceuticals. For each
mold exactly 350 pounds of sand is gravity fed from
a hopper, through the AKO pinch valve, and into weighing
scales. It is critical for the process that the pinch
valve shuts off quickly as for every 350 pounds of sand
there is only a maximum tolerance of only a few ounces.
“The quick operation of the pinch valve ensures
the process and in turn quality of the glass is correct
every time”, said Maintenance Manager Phillip
The valves are being used for between 100-120 batches
every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The abrasive
friction of the recycled sand will wear out most traditional
valves far too quickly. When setting up the system,
butterfly valves and knifegate valves were rejected.
Pinch valves have been used for years in all abrasive
applications. Due to the advanced AKO 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 AKO pinch valves are fitted
with abrasion resistant natural rubber sleeves, which,
for this application, are replaced approximately every
With a valve passing over 25 tons of sand per day this
maintenance record is “second to none and has
helped L&T continue to produce with maximum output
without any maintenance for the last several years”,
said site manager David Egan.
For the application the AKO fail-safe pinch valve was
selected, using air to open instead of air to close
the valve. The valve will fail closed using a spring
cylinder which, when closed, will withstand pressures
of up to 90 psi on the product line pressure. The fail
safe aspect with the new pinch valve is essential to
this and many other applications.
AKO has also given L&T full technical back up with
over 23 years experience. New valves and replacement
parts can be supplied on a same day or next day service
directly from AKO stock.
The beauty of the Pinch Valve is in its’ simplicity.
Minimal parts of which only the sleeve is a wear item
mean low cost maintenance. The valve has no mechanical
parts, features a completely open and true bore and
does not need an actuator.
Simplicity and reliability were the two main reasons
L&T originally selected pinch valves, backed up
with the AKO service. No knives, gates, balls or bearings
to plug 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 L&T maintain
the best possible production, output and quality with
their full range of glass bottles.
For more information on AKO pinch valves and accessories
please call +614.873.8995