“Since mid-May 2014, AVK Valves Southern Africa became my preferred supplier of all valves for compressed air, portable water and service water applications. I would recommend any of their products because I’ve commissioned their valves with no failures to date.” The letter continues by inviting interested parties to visit the mine and “witness a product that works and will save you money, time and resources.” The letter was signed by the Senior Mechanical Foreman from a mine plant in the Limpopo Province.
The ever-expanding 30+ year old mine, which operates under a mining right that covers a total area of 31km², produces around 160 000 ounces of platinum a year. It has estimated reserves of approximately 24.6 million ounces of platinum and also produces palladium, rhodium and gold. During the course of 2014, AVK was contracted to replace some of the mine’s valves. Based on the valves’ operating performance; the fact that they remained leak-free in severe applications; and that no maintenance was required, the mine made the decision to replace all damaged and obsolete valves with only the AVK product family.
“The valves are used to manage the flow of liquid and air through a spider web of piping inside the shaft, which has operating depths of between 30 and 1 250 metres, and a network of pipes to and from the shafts,” says Riaan Kloppers, Director – Industrial, AVK Southern Africa.” Locally manufactured AVK isolating valves and non-return valves, and Wouter Witzel butterfly valves, part of the AVK stable, are used within the mine’s infrastructure. They are used for numerous applications including ventilation, potable and process water, as well as hydrant lines.
Each of the AVK range of valves used on the mine has a standard 10-year warranty and the Wouter Witzel butterfly valves a five-year warranty. “Our typical warrantees exceed the industry norm of a one-year product warrantee by far,” Kloppers points out. “In addition to standard cover, our warranty includes our “zero leakage, zero maintenance” declaration. When one takes this into account, along with the facts that no spare parts are ever required and no downtime is incurred due to our valves, the overall cost benefit compared to competitor products is obvious.”
The letter of endorsement was penned in September 2017, and in 2019 AVK reports that all its valves installed on site continue to function optimally, with zero replacements required. “The author of the letter is now overseas,” says Kloppers, “but the mine is continuing with his legacy of converting all valves to AVK valves on an as-and-when required basis.”
“Bragging about product durability and its ultimate longevity is something most manufacturers do,” Kloppers comments in conclusion. “Proving the accuracy of these claims using SANS and ISO measurement standards is one thing. Having your client quantify these statements is another.”
AVK Southern Africa offers a wide range of products and services for all industrial sectors, having acquired and invested in well-known South African brands, Premier Valves, Gunric Valves, Baker Valves, Cementation Engineering and IPV (Industrial Petroleum Valves).