ENGINEERING: New Prospects In Water Treatment
Recent Western Cape Business News
FESTO has been actively involved in the municipal water and wastewater treatment arena over the past year and is experiencing growing demand for its advanced process automation equipment. Following the successful completion of its first automation project for the large Kleinbrak River municipal water treatment works in Mossel Bay in 2009, Festo is now moving forward as new prospects in this field emerge countrywide.
Compared to equivalent electrically operated systems, the pneumatic control system commissioned by Festo for the Kleinbrak River water treatment works equated to a saving of more than half a million rand for the Mossel Bay Municipality.
Based in Cape Town, Intaka Tech is a major supplier of package water treatment plants into sub-Saharan Africa, as far a field as Angola and the DRC.
The locally manufactured plants are fully automated and equipped with pneumatic-based filter control systems. Due to harsh weather conditions however, the existing actuator-mounted solenoid valves, constructed from different materials with varying thermal expansion properties, were seizing regularly. Attending to minor plant repairs in remote areas was proving to be a costly exercise for Intaka Tech.
After close consultation with Festo engineers, the MPA valve terminal, offering simple technology and complete solenoid valve protection, proved to be a practical solution. The MPA valve terminal is easy to retrofit to existing plants. It is mounted within the main control panel, where it is amply protected from water ingression and internal panel temperatures that can often reach as high as 65°C. Since 2008, Intaka Tech has commissioned 32 units - 20 in Angola and 12 in KwaZulu-Natal – all equipped with the Festo MPA valve terminal. To Intaka Tech’s satisfaction, no valve failures in any of the units have occurred to date, according to Festo.
Earlier this year, Festo was contracted to assist with the refurbishment of both the Delkor dewatering units at Paarl and the Andritz dewatering press at Caledon. At the plant in Paarl, the existing belt tracking and tensioning cylinders were badly corroded and continually losing air.
Instead of refurbishing, Festo supplied new corrosion resistant DLP linear cylinders, which were successfully installed and commissioned by FIAB Mechanicals.
All the existing pneumatic tubing and fittings at the plant in Caledon were replaced to eliminate the possibility of any compressed air leaks around the belt press.
Both clients are now enjoying increased energy savings, with their compressor units operating satisfactorily again.
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