From the Central African Copperbelt to South America, The ARVALV® through-port knife-gate valve range from AR Controls has proven its worth in challenging abrasive and scaling applications in minerals-processing plants. Over time, this has made the range an industry mainstay for over 25 years, says head of engineering Ockert Jacobus (OJ) Labuschagne.
“Extended lifespan and reduced maintenance are critical for productivity and cost-effectiveness in the mining industry, which is where ARVALV® has really stood the test of time,” highlights Labuschagne. The range is manufactured, stocked, and serviced by AR Controls, a leading importer and manufacturer of a comprehensive range of internationally recognised valves and instrumentation.
AR Controls has been manufacturing ARVALV® since 1999 at its Vanderbijlpark factory. The range has achieved significant market penetration in critical process applications in the mining industry as the OEM continues to expand its footprint in key mining regions globally.
Unlike traditional push-through knife-gate valves, the partially energised seats remain in their natural state when the gate is retracted. “This design feature is due to the unique through-port gate, which makes permanent contact with the polyurethane sleeves, even when fully open,” reveals Labuschagne.
Slurry knife-gate valves with fully energised sleeves that need to expand sufficiently to form a seal with the gate retracted are prone to premature wear due to entrapped solids that damage the seat when the gate is next closed. “A through-port gate eliminates the problem, not only extending service life, but increasing plant availability significantly,” adds Labuschagne.
The ARVALV® range has been tried, tested and proven to deliver superior performance in diverse applications, including dewatering slurries (such as ferrosilicon), cyclone suction/feed applications, dense media separation, concentrate transfer, booster and storage facility tailings, pump isolation applications, wet and dry hopper applications and pulp and paper feedstock.
Labuschagne, who has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from North West University, began working at AR Controls directly upon completing his studies. He is the Head of Department for Engineering at AR Controls’ South African head office, where the engineering and draughting departments report to him.
His main role is to oversee and manage product and service development and optimisation and to provide engineering support to the sales and production functions within the South African context, while also forming part of the greater engineering team that ensures global alignment of products and services across AR Controls’ multinational platform. These functions fall under the close supervision of AR Controls CEO Julien van Niekerk.
Paying regular visits to client sites is what continues to differentiate AR Controls in terms of its customer support and backup, stresses Labuschagne. “This allows us to enter into long-term relationships with our customers. We are able to advise them on correct valve selection and installation and identify all areas of their plant where improvements can be effected,” explains Labuschagne.
The range of valves and actuation accessories from AR Controls is ideal for harsh mining environments. Its core product lines are knife gate valves, concentric and high-performance butterfly valves, ball valves, non-return valves, control valves, actuation, and automation.
Another key product line is pneumatic enclosures supplied in various materials to house and protect-critical instrumentation. These ensure that valves installed in hard-to-reach or hazardous areas can be operated with ease from an easily accessible and clearly marked safe remote area.
AR Controls was present at Electra Mining Africa 2022 from 5 to 9 September at the Johannesburg Expo Centre. The OEM made sure to showcase its full manufacturing and distribution capabilities and growing international reach. “Our significant presence will communicate clearly that we are a major contender and the partner of choice when it comes to premium valve and actuation products and back-up support and service for the mining industry,” concludes van Niekerk.