Stone Fabrication Machinery

A company that develops and manufactures compact machinery to reduce cost and increase productivity for companies in the stone industry are involved in the milling, engraving, and polishing of stone of all types and sizes.

The machines are used to make accurate cutting out of granite, marble and engineered stone for sink bowls and cooking worktops, making it easy and cost effective for the stone worker. Some of the machines are also suitable for handling the polishing and engraving of large monuments and memorials.

The company have been using Pinch Valves from AKO UK on their machines to seal the vacuum system.

How the Valve Assists with Stone Processing

The Pinch Valves are used on machines that are utilised in the stone processing industry. Typically, customers will have two or three machines that use Pinch Valves. In the UK, there are 75 machines. Within Europe and the rest of the world, there are around 100-125 machines.

Vacuum suction is used to hold the stone in place. The Pinch Valve is used to create a vacuum seal at the end of the water separator. The vacuum produced is typically -0.8 – -1.0 bar.

Sealing the vacuum system, the Pinch Valve allows the vacuum to be sustained. The vacuum is used in conjunction with special pads that suck to the base of the machine and underside of the stone, allowing sufficient work holding without movement while the stone is cut and polished.

The blue arrows on the image above show the vacuum tube/water separator, and the Pinch Valve at the end.

valve for vacuum seal on stone processing
stone cutting
Hose Valve for vacuum
Pinch Valve used within this application: VMP010.03XK.72

VMP model, air operated, black POM plastic body, black POM plastic BSP threaded ends, natural rubber sleeve.

The valve for vacuum is normally open. Usually, the vacuum is actuated 5 or 6 times a day and remains activated around 1-1.5 hours per usage.

End User Experience with Pinch Valves for Vacuum Sealing

This company have been using Pinch Valves for 15 years. They were originally using Pinch Valves from an alternative manufacturer, which failed between 3-6 months. The end user confirmed that AKO Pinch Valves are much more resilient, with some valves being in operation for 6 or 7 years.

They use diaphragm valves for water on/off, and ball valves for air and water. However, in the wet and dusty environments, the biggest issue is corrosion, especially with ball valve handles.

The Pinch Valve is a much better solution for this application because of it’s design. The company confirmed that their overall satisfaction with the AKO Pinch Valve is very good, with the valves being hard wearing and long lasting. They have not yet needed to replace any of the rubber sleeves inside the valves.

Experts in Valves with Vacuum and for Stone Processing

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