Valves, steam and combustion system solutions provider Heaton Valves Africa (HVA), states that its extensive range of German-made Albrecht-Automatik safety shut-off systems and components, significantly improve combustion system operational safety in the industries it serves.
HVA combustion division product manager Grant Douglas tells Engineering News that gas and oil leaks are serious potential combustion concerns for these industries. Unchecked valve flow and leakages can result in combustive residue that may cause explosions and fires at plant sites, putting employees in these sectors at risk, he adds. This can also result in operational downtime and costly repairs.
Douglas, however, states that these eventualities can be prevented through the installation of Albrecht safety shut-off systems and components, designed in-house at mechanical engineering company Albrecht-Automatik’s factory, in Germany, and exclusively distributed by HVA in Southern Africa.
Each valve is specifically designed to be compact and robust to suit strenuous, safety- critical operations in power stations and industrial plants. Douglas states that the Albrecht automatic shut-off function design distinguishes the range of valves from competitors.
“The automatic shut-off function really ensures that dangerous operating conditions are avoided and plant systems and people are protected.”
Douglas explains that, should a plant’s auxiliary power source fail, the safety quick-closing shut-off valves are closed through a manual spring force, further ensuring system protection. He enthuses that, whether relying on the plant’s axillary power source or the manual spring mechanism, all Albrecht safety shut-off systems have a closing time of between one and five seconds during control function. This prevents the leakage of combustible or harmful substances during processing.
Further, Douglas assures that each valve in the series undergoes rigorous safety and standards testing.
“HVA and Albrecht-Automatik attach a lot of importance to safety and quality, particularly in the high-risk industries to which we supply,” he avers.
He adds that, as a result, each valve is subjected to an in-house and external leakage check to the German DIN 3230 national standard, a pressure check to EN 13480-5 Chapter 9.3.3, and a functional check in-house. Valve stations are also subjected to a leak and pressure check, if requested.
HVA states that, as the exclusive distributor of Albrecht’s range of safety shut-off valves, it offers industry an extensive range to ensure the safe processing of hazardous materials. HVA offers electro-pneumatically, electro-hydraulically and own-medium controlled safety quick-closing valves, safety quick-closing valves for gas turbines, control valves for oil- and gas-fired plants, dirt traps, hand valves specifically designed for oil and gas applications, air suction valves for glycol in plants for gas drying, speciality valves for extreme operating conditions, electro- pneumatic burner process devices for oil and ignition burner lances and drum gate valves, as well as complete valve stations for oil- and gas-fired plants.
HVA also offers Albrecht’s intelligent digital maintenance solution, Safeguard, to the South African market. Safeguard is an automatic digital reminder that uses a flexible user interface to identify system components that require maintenance and helps users set target maintenance intervals for their equipment. Douglas enthuses that Safeguard helps prevent operational failure and costly associated plant downtime, thus improving productivity and profit margins for its clients while further enhancing plant safety and processing reliability.
The Safeguard application is located on a permanently mounted Android tablet, which indicates the number of days remaining until the next scheduled maintenance for a system component, along with a visual traffic light indicator in green and red, and language selections in either English or German. All maintenance types and maintenance intervals are configured according to the type of valve or medium.
Trained company staff members can reset the maintenance period of the controls at any time by entering a password. This enables employees to perform a monthly routine check at any time, while authorised service technicians can be called out to perform complete system maintenance and overhauls.
Douglas states that HVA boasts the petrochemicals, process and engineered-products technical divisions. Each division includes technically qualified and experienced personnel, ensuring that the company’s client base across Africa is provided with a full-service delivery and consultation process from three large-scale operations in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town. HVA assures that its service team will perform installation and maintenance work on installed components.
“Safety is a matter of trust. HVA and Albrecht ensure that your plant data is always up to date, so the right original-equipment manufacturer’s spare parts are stocked and available for any maintenance requirements at all times,” concludes Douglas.