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Abrasion-Resistant Rotary Valves Keep Humming Along

February 18, 2020
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Figure 1: Packaging automation line
Figure 1: Packaging automation line
Figure 2: Cavity air purge diagram
Figure 2: Cavity air purge diagram
Figure 3: First Type-8 rotary valve with SAP installed in 2014
Figure 3: First Type-8 rotary valve with SAP installed in 2014
Figure 4: First Type-8 rotary valve with CAP installed in 2017
Figure 4: First Type-8 rotary valve with CAP installed in 2017
Figure 5: Showing install date of rotary valves in permanent marker
Figure 5: Showing install date of rotary valves in permanent marker

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Magnum Systems started its relationship with GLC Minerals, a manufacturer of calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, and calcium sulfate products, a little over a decade ago. Magnum Systems had designed and manufactured a 45,000 lb/hr, 50-lb bag packaging automation line that was installed in 2009. The system features two valve bag packaging stations with three fillers per station, integrated with a single conveying line, complete with check weigh station to confirm bag is within the target weight. Bags are then sent to a robotic palletizing station complete with pallet dispenser, slip sheet placer, and controls. Additionally, Magnum Systems’ IBC3000 bulk bag filling station was added just last year (see Figure 1).

As with a lot of calcium product producers, equipment wear is a big problem with this abrasive material. During a routine site visit to the plant a few years after the packaging system had been in operation, the topic of rotary valves came up as GLC Minerals was dealing with frequent replacement and valves wearing out in its systems that were not Magnum Systems rotary valves.  

Magnum Systems manufactures three different types of abrasion-resistant rotary valves:

* The Type 2 is a cast iron, closed-end rotor design with the abrasion-resistance modifications of coating the inside bore of the housing with an industrial hard chrome and adding AR400 hardened steel tips to the rotor. 

* The Type 6 is hard chrome cast housing with a closed-end rotor that has the tips and shrouds impregnated with a material called Stellite.

* The Type 8 is the most recent addition to the line of abrasion-resistant valves, which have the bore of the housing coated with ceramic tiles, and the tips and shrouds of the rotor with tungsten carbide tiles

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All the abrasion-resistant designs come with shaft air purge kits (SAP) to provide a compressed air purge into the seals and cavity between the endplate and rotor shroud as standard. When an abrasion-resistant rotary valve is installed into a pressure convey line, it can be upgraded with a cavity air purge (CAP) kit that replaces the compressed air purge with air tapped off the blower package to provide the purge air between the rotor shroud and endplates (see Figure 2).

Justifiably skeptical of rotary valve life, GLC purchased its first Magnum Systems rotary valve, a Type-8 with shaft air purge, and installed it under a process dust collector feeding into a screw conveyor. This valve was installed in July 2014 and is still in operation today (see Figure 3).

The plant had an additional location within the process involving wear issues in a pressure pneumatic conveying system. The client was replacing a competitor’s rotary valve every few months. “If you put in one of our Type 8’s with the cavity air purge kit in that application, it will be so long before you need to replace it, you will forget when it was installed,” Brad Schultz, Magnum Systems’ regional sales manager, told the customer. Even though it was in a different application, since the Type-8 installed on the screw conveyor was outlasting all the other ones, GLC production supervisor, Kevin Fye, was willing to give the Magnum Systems rotary valve a shot.

Late in 2019, during a phone conversation about the repair status of a Magnum Systems’ slide diverter valve, Fye had Lori Fields, customer service professional at Magnum Systems, look up when the valve that went under PL1 (the Type 8 with cavity air purge; see Figure 4) was shipped. After finding out when it shipped, Fye’s comment to Lori was, “Tell Brad he was right: That Type-8 valve has lasted, and I forgot when we installed it.”

Out of curiosity, Fye did a little digging on his end and shared that “from 1-1-2016 until 9-11-2017, we went through six airlocks at a cost of $4,200 each or total of $25,200. We also installed and tried a double dump valve at a cost of $9,000. So, the Type-8 with CAP provided us an ROI within 10 months of being installed and we still haven’t had to touch it since.”

As the first Type-8 valve proved its worth in the dust collection application, and the additional one in the pneumatic application, Fye has continued to replace competitor valves with Type-8 and Type-2 model rotary valves throughout the plant. GLC Minerals installed a new pressure convey system last year and it was an easy decision to select a Type-8 rotary valve from Magnum Systems from the start. Not to be outdone, Fye now writes the install date on all the Magnum Systems rotary valves, so he won’t forget when they were put into service (see Figure 5).

“Magnum Systems’ rotary valves are a quality component that last,” said Fye.

For more information on Magnum Systems (Lenexa, KS), call 913) 362-1710 or visit www.magnumsystems.com.

Here are more articles that may interest you:

A Complete Guide to Rotary Valve Safety

The Ultimate Guide to NFPA Rotary Valve Compliance

 

Magnum Systems