Bürkert Robolux valve reduces wastage
In hygienic production processes, there are several factors that can make or break the right environment. One of which is having a valve that is easily cleanable, has a low internal volume, minimal connections and excellent control abilities. In Robolux, Bürkert has created just such a valve, as PIF discovered when we spoke to Ian Webster, Field Segment Manager .hygienic – Pharmaceutical at Bürkert UK.
Manufacturing processes that operate under hygienic conditions are arguably under more pressures to increase efficiency and reduce waste due to high relative operating costs. However, this specialist area is required to prioritise cleanliness and precision ahead of other considerations, which can lead to some cost saving opportunities being missed.
One of the principal ways of improving production efficiency is to design a manufacturing process that occupies the minimum amount of floor space. A compact installation also offers reduced installation costs for the control equipment by reducing the distances between valves and sensors and the central control point.
Bürkert Robolux valves
One key advancement in this area has been the development of the patented Bürkert Robolux valve design, which is capable of switching two independent process functions with one membrane. This reduces the installation space requirement, eliminates T-adapters and minimises the overall number of valves and membranes required. These multi-port Bürkert diaphragm valves have been designed for high-purity installations and make it possible to design complex systems that are considerably more compact than those using conventional fluid control valves.
Welding valves together results in an internal volume of 90 millilitres. Adopting the block solution cuts it down to 53 millilitres. Robolux has an internal volume of just 22 millilitres. The smaller internal volume means there is physically less material to clean and less water, chemicals and energy are needed. This results in multiple benefits: manufacturers reduce their use of three consumables that can add significantly to costs while also furthering their sustainability initiatives. Forward-thinking manufacturers are pushing hard to reduce the environmental footprint of their plants.
This technology makes it possible to replace two traditional shut-off diaphragm valves and, at the same time, eliminate all dead legs and one tee-piece with one single valve. When combined with reduced installation and commissioning costs, the Robolux valve delivers a number of crucial advantages to process control within hygienic applications. In addition, the valves can provide a "double block and bleed function" to prevent steam used for sterilisation of the parallel line from contaminating the product and vice versa.
Benefits of Robolux
Many of the benefits of Robolux valves derive directly from their size. Being smaller causes the stainless steel body to heat up faster than traditional valves. This cuts the time and energy taken to reach the temperature needed to kill micro-organisms during sterilisation. Robolux valves' smaller internal volume also enable faster cleaning times and a host of related cost savings and efficiency gains.
These savings can also be realised when selecting the control device for the Robolux valves. Compatibility with Bürkert's ELEMENT series of control heads allows the valves to be controlled by a decentralised system. This significantly reduces the amount of cabling and pneumatic pipework as well as reducing the overall consumption of compressed air.
Improved flow with less wastage
The design of the Robolux valve minimises the internal volume and produces no dead flow zones, which produces a number of advantages: In addition to improved flow and evacuation properties, both cleaning and changeover of the interfaces for the manufacture of other products is easier and faster, with less wastage of expensive chemicals and ingredients.
Working in an industry in which media can be worth up to €100,000 per litre means every cubic millimetre matters and even small reductions in wastage can have a notable impact on a plant's profitability. Robolux has been designed with this crucial aspect in mind and the draining process is quick, simple and wastes as little of the media as is currently possible.
For more information, please visit Bürkert.
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