Valves and instrumentation specialist Operational Marketing South Africa (OMSA) hopes to implement a new distribution model, after it was acquired by industrial consumables and engineering firm BMG earlier this year, says OMSA valves divisional manager Greg Hopton.
The company will distribute several consumable valves directly to BMG branches throughout the country, from where the valves will be distributed to the public and end-users.
“Another development we are working on is ensuring that regional stock is available in various regions, which is specifically suited to the industries in those areas. “For example, if there is a mining concern in the Northern Cape, we will keep a tailor-made package for that specific industry,” he explains.
Hopton adds that the third option the company is considering, is direct distribution to the end-user.
Meanwhile, OMSA has developed new technology to serve the sugar industry.
Hopton says the company has had positive feedback from its customers in that sector this year.
“The latest development in the sugar industry is an upgrade to the high-temperature ethylene propylene diene monomer (HT-EPDM) elastomer liner of the OMSA butterfly valve.
“This technology has been developed to provide higher temperature control capabilities, without an increase in price,” he states.
Hopton adds that the butterfly valve is manufactured in Europe and is aimed at maximising plant availability, as it has been designed for demanding industrial applications.
“This is the same valve that has been used successfully at various sugar mills and many other industrial applications, including mining, metallurgical refining, food production, as well as water treatment and seawater desalination, but with an upgraded liner,” he says.
Hopton states that the valve has an ISO 5752/20-compliant face-to-face dimension, enabling installation in existing pipework without any modifications.
“The valves are available with a manual lever, manual gearbox and electric and pneu- matic actuators, with all the necessary accessories. “It has an ISO 5211-accredited top mount flange, allowing for any actuator to be mounted,” notes Hopton.
He further explains that the body has an extended valve neck, which allows for the insulation of the actuator in higher-temperature applications. The one-piece blowout-proof shaft has a position indicator cut onto the top, ensuring that the position of the disc can be seen when the actuator is removed. This avoids confusion when the actuator is remounted.
“The external shaft-sealing ensures that no external contamination occurs and the retaining ring offers blow-out protection to the shaft,” he says.
Hopton states that one of the many advantages of the butterfly valve is the advanced liner.
“We offer the HT-EPDM liner at the same price as standard EPDM liners. “The HT-EPDM liner offers many advantages compared to the standard EPDM liner currently available on the market. Standard EPDM should only be put into applications that operate below 95 °C,” he explains.
Hopton notes that many suppliers claim that standard EPDM can handle short exposure to higher temperatures, but this is known to reduce the life span of the valve.
“HT-EPDM is designed to function at a constant working temperature of 130 °C. “To get a higher temperature rating from the liner, they would have to change the liner material to Viton that can handle temperatures of up to 150 °C.
“This automatically doubles the price of the valve. “Viton does not react well to steam and the liners tend to swell, causing them to jam and tear when the valve opens and closes,” he adds.
He states that OMSA’s liner has a 4° camber towards the sealing surface so that the disc only seals in the closed position. This reduces wear on the liner and the torque required to actuate the valve.
“The liner is held in position by means of a clutching profile, which eliminates the possibility of lateral movement. The liner is thicker in the sealing area, where it is necessary to combat potential wear during the opening and closing stages.
“The raised multigroove profile of the liner’s face compresses evenly across the liner surface when tightened, eliminating the possibility of overtorquing the liner,” states Hopton.
He adds that when liners that have the external seal ring on the surface are overtightened, the elastomer is displaced to the centre of the liner where there is less resistance. This causes a bulge, which results in the liner being ejected when the disc moves between the open and closed position.
Preventing Valve Failures
Hopton states that OMSA has grown from a niche supplier in the corrosion chemicals industry to a company that supplies solutions to general industry, as well as to the mining, sugar and pulp and paper sectors.
“We have grown because end-users have asked us to look at other parts of plants to solve problems regarding valve failure they have been experiencing. “This has helped us move into more abrasive applications,” he says.
He adds that most valves fail not because they are of poor quality, but because they are installed incorrectly or used in the wrong applications.
“We provide on-site training not only on the products we sell but also the reasons for applying the product to specific applications and how to install and carry out preventive maintenance on the product.
“This is important, as it extends the longevity of the valve. This is why customers come to us – to help keep their plants running without failure. We know the industry and we know which valves should be used in the different applications,” Hopton adds.
He says that the company is active throughout the continent.
“We have developed a strong footprint in Africa and are active in various mines and projects from South Africa to Mauritania,” says Hopton.