The product going through the valves is aluminium oxide or steel shot, at ambient temperature and 1 BAR pressure. The valves are kept normally closed. The machines run for 17 hours per day, 4 times per hour, which produces 68 cycles per day. The pinch valves for aluminium oxide are operating with a control box that is situated out of the site.
The engineer on site confirmed that these pinch valves have been operating for over 10 years so there are no problems. In the 10 years that AKO products have been an important part for the application, only one sleeve has failed. The engineer would now like to keep spare sleeves on the shelf in case any of the other valves need replacing. (Sleeve part code M020.03X)
Every 6 months, a maintenance schedule takes place where the rubber sleeve is taken out of the pinch valve to check for any wear or damage. The sleeves are then re-fitted back into the pinch valves. This is a process that the company have carried out for years and AKO Pinch Valves have been working perfectly.
Overall, the aerostructure company are very happy with the design and performance of the AKO VM series pinch valves for aluminium oxide.
Many engineers use the term ‘fit and forget’ with Pinch Valves. The valve is fitted in-line and often forgotten about because of its reliability and exceptional performance. For more application examples where Pinch Valves can be used, please see Pinch Valve Applications.