Benoni-based valve manufacturer Dynamic Fluid Control (DFC) has completed the acquisition of US valve company RF Technologies. Negotiations started midway through last year and the acquisition became effective on February 1, this year.
The inclusion of RF Technologies’ valves in the DFC portfolio will have a number of benefits for the South African, North American and European markets, says DFC group MD Henry Smith.
RF Technologies has an established distribution network in North America and Europe with its headquarters in Maryland, in the US, and a subsidiary in Lappeenranta, in Finland.
Smith says that market penetration into the North American and European regions for other DFC products, significantly its minerals processing valves, can be further accelerated through RF Technologies’ existing network.
Further, the valves manufactured by RF Technologies will be readily available to the local market, with plans in place to begin local production of these patented valves, which will also contribute positively to DFC’s plans to reduce the cost of the valves, says Smith.
He adds that there is a need for high-quality pinch valves in the local mining industry and that the quality of RF Technologies’ products will contribute positively to the valve options available.
The inclusion of RF Technologies’ pinch valves in DFC’s portfolio enables the company to offer a comprehensive valve package range to customers where they are able to find the best-suited valve for an application from one supplier, rather than having to source valves from several different suppliers and manufacturers.
The newly acquired company designs, engineers and manufactures pinch valves between 25 mm and 1 500 mm and offers manual and automatic valves. The two valve ranges produced are the RF Valve and the aiRFlex ranges, used mostly for abrasive, corrosive, scaling and plugging slurry, and powder applications.
The main feature of these valves is the elastomer tube folds that prevent the normal stretching that wears the rubber in pinch valves and which, Smith says, significantly extend the life of a valve.
The company reports that, in most pinch valves, 95% of the wear on the rubber sleeve occurs during the last 10% of the valve’s closure, when the stress velocity and abrasion are the highest. The elastomer tube folds allow for extra expansion space that reduces stress on the sleeve.
The valves also have a standard face-to-face length, which enables customers to use them as a replacement alternative in existing valve applications.
Further, tube replacements and repairs in these valves can be done when the valve is still in line, which is a significant advantage for customers as it can reduce down time for valve repairs, says Smith.
The acquisition will also increase the company’s skills pool. Cross-training programmes between South African, European and American staff are scheduled for the first half of this year and will contribute to an increased service offering capability for all divisions of the company, concludes Smith.