A brewery in the UK are using AKO Pinch Valves within their hygienic system. The brewery first contacted AKO UK after needing to replace some Pinch Valves (VMC80-02X-50F-50) that were already installed on their machines.
Product: KeiselGuhr (powder) – Scientific name is Diatomaceous Earth.
Pressure: 500milliBar vacuum
Position of valves: Both horizontal & vertical (see pics)
Normally Closed, each valve is open for approx 2 minutes each time.
Amount of cycles per day: All brewery valves are used at different frequencies. Most frequent is approx 15 cycles per day. Least frequent is approx 20 cycles per week. (Demand dependent and subject to change)
Amount of air being used to close the brewery Valves: 5 Bar
The plant is active 24/7.
Solenoid valves are positioned approx 20 feet away from the Pinch Valves.
The kieselguhr is mixed with water to produce a slurry. This slurry is pumped within the plate filter and the beer is passed through this slurry which filters out anything suspended in the beer. Kieselguhr is the filter cake in the diagram to the right:
Outside, the 4 x 100mm bore Pinch Valves (VMC100-02X-50F-50) are used on a fill line. A tanker comes in, connects flexible hoses to the pipelines of the silo and pumps the product in up the 4 lines, where it is then held in a silo. On the inside of the plant, one of the 4 lines is opened and the product is sucked through.
The overall experience with these brewery valves from AKO seems to be very positive at this stage. The valves are performing with lightening fast open/closing times, and there is no build up of product to cause clogging which can happen with conventional style valves such as Ball Valves, Butterfly Valves or Slide Valves.