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AKO Pinch Valves Overview



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 Freeman.

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 3 years.

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

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