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Robust Valves and Actuation Accessories for the Mining Industry
12 March 2018
Robust Valves and Actuation Accessories for the Mining Industry

The range of valves and actuation accessories from AR Controls of Vanderbijlpark is very robust and extremely well-suited for typically harsh mining environments.

Here valves and accessories often suffer environmental attack and can perish as a result. AR Controls provides pneumatic enclosures in various materials to house and protect valve instrumentation, and to ensure that valves installed in hard-to-reach areas can be operated with ease from an accessible and clearly-marked remote area.

AR Controls stocks ball, butterfly, knife gate, and check valves, as well as a range of actuators and actuation accessories. It also supplies a range of gate, globe, and air valves. Common materials of construction include carbon steel, ductile iron, 316 stainless steel, 2205 duplex stainless steel, 17-4 stainless steel, CD4MCuN stainless steel, and various super alloys.

“Mining customers can rest assured that AR Controls has a valve in the correct material and of the correct design for even the most challenging corrosive or abrasive applications,” Director Julien van Niekerk explains. “We deliver premium valve and engineered products, with an unrivalled level of service and support that increases productivity and reduces the total cost of ownership.”

He adds: “Our reputation for engineering excellence is earned through our commitment to invest in skills, development, and sharing knowledge and experience in order to inspire innovation. With a range of premium trusted brands and strong local manufacturing capabilities, we help our customers address their main issues of longevity, productivity, and efficiency of their operations. Superiority of design and robust research and development underpin the strength of AR Controls in the mining industry.”

The company’s strength lies in the high quality of its valve designs, and the use of high-quality corrosion- and abrasion-resistant materials. Premium brands such as DeZURIK and ARVALV™ have become a standard on a number of mines, and have also been introduced to mineral industries beyond South Africa’s borders, with resounding success.
“We are expanding and improving our range of valves constantly with the latest materials, product design, engineering, and manufacturing technologies to ensure minimal downtime and reduced risk of disruption during operation,” van Niekerk stresses.

For over the last 20 years, AR Controls has manufactured its in-house ARVALV™ ported knife gate valve, which has become a standard in various sectors in the mining industry. “In order to add value to our supply chain, it imports the full range of DeZURIK premium valve products exclusively, which is a market leader in various industries such as mining and pulp and paper.

AR Controls also owns IncoValve & Controls, a brand-new range of butterfly and ball valves and actuators. This combination of locally-manufactured products and premium imports places AR Controls in a unique position to service the mining industry. “Local manufacture affords us the opportunity to perfect our processes and technology, improve quality, monitor control costs, and even discover new applications.

“Using third-party solutions to manufacture all of our innovations can diminish these opportunities. Taking the decision to remain primarily in-house focuses on longevity and maximises the long-term value that we offer to our customers. The biggest advantage in keeping our production in-house is the continuous product improvement it offers.

“This makes it possible for our manufacturing team to send feedback to the research and development team during each step of the development and production cycle, which allows us to see what works and what doesn’t in a time-efficient manner. Having such feedback available immediately allows us to make improvements in product design, raw materials, process optimisations, and even packaging and delivery,” van Niekerk elaborates.

Although market conditions are challenging, with a decline in demand for certain minerals such as platinum, and an overall slump in commodity prices, there are signs that the general state of the market is improving, van Niekerk notes.

“It has also forced many mining houses and mining operations to rethink their long-term strategy, and enforce a robust cost exercise to overcome the various challenges that the mining industry is facing globally. We see that overall the mining industry is picking up slowly, and that new investments are being directed at certain sectors.”

Van Niekerk concludes that AR Controls has managed to keep pace with its customer demands, which has enabled it to grow in spite of the challenging market conditions. “Various departments within AR Controls have managed to reduce their overheads and improve their efficiencies. That is one of the main reasons we have managed to grow our footprint in the mining industry over the last 12 months.”

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