Posted on October 19, 2020
Knife Gate Valve maintenance and repair on mine sites can be extremely costly and time-consuming. From isolating the valve within the system to removing electrical or air connections and dismantling the valve for repair, the process can take hours, resulting in an operational slowdown and revenue loss. Though knife gate valve maintenance is required due to the abrasive nature of the slurry systems they’re installed on, a more efficient way of servicing these valves could generate substantial savings, and in turn significant profit.
The Cost of Maintenance
Canadian Mining Journal published an article in their October 2020 edition highlighting the struggles associated with knife gate valve maintenance on flanged systems. Within the article, they highlight that 30-50% of mines’ total operating costs are dedicated to maintenance stoppage time, a figure that can equate to millions of dollars per year. Yet these expenses are generally considered to be the cost of doing business, as regularly scheduled maintenance is done to avoid inevitable valve failure.
The current flanged knife gate valve maintenance process involves the entire valve being removed from the system for inspection, followed by a full valve replacement if damage is found. This process forces the mines to have extra valves readily available on site, and in remote locations where space is of the essence, storage can be costly. Along with this, flanged valves are extremely heavy, and valve maintenance, in turn, requires rigging equipment and multiple crew members dedicated their time to maintenance operations.
The article discusses how operators have requested lighter, easier to maintain, and less expensive alternatives to these traditional valves, and in 2017 Victaulic launched the solution they’d been looking for.
The In-Line Solution to Knife Gate Valve Maintenance
The Series 795 and Series 906 Knife Gate Valves are Victaulic’s answer to the high cost and difficult process associated with maintenance. These innovative solutions, available for use on steel or HDPE pipe, are designed specifically for the mining market, streamlining maintenance by allowing valves to be serviced in line, without the need for disassembly or full valve replacement. The valves’ wear-parts are all contained in a single-seat cartridge kit, enabling maintenance crews to isolate the line, remove the wear part cartridge, and replace it with a new cartridge, without the need for full valve removal. The full maintenance process requires only a few simple steps and can be completed in as little as 12 minutes. Victaulic’s in-line approach to knife gate valve maintenance can reduce downtime by up to 95% while generating up to 60% savings on annual valve maintenance costs.
These innovative valves do more than deliver cost savings and streamline workflows. Victaulic knife gate valves eliminate excess inventory and the storage of additional valves and are safer to install and maintain due to their lightweight components.
Victaulic answered the call for an innovative solution to an age-old problem. Click here to read the full article in the Canadian Mining Journal and see how Victaulic is working to streamline knife gate valve maintenance.