The South African division of global manufacturer KSB Pumps and Valves has embarked on a modernisation programme and revamp of its valves division to reassert its capabilities in the mining sector, and other market sectors, in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
The updated valves division will encompass manufacture, sales, service, refurbishing and research and development, as part of the company’s strategy to offer the full package to its valves clients.
“Many clients know KSB for its pumps capabilities. We feel that this programme will confirm the valves division as a participant in the mining sector, specialising in supplying Nori high-pressure steam valves,” says KSB Pumps and Valves training and special projects specialist Stefano Testi.
KSB Pumps and Valves has historically imported all its valves, but in acknowledging the requirement, and importance, of local content for the South African market, has implemented a strategy to achieve above 70% local content on its high-pressure steam valves.
Testi adds that, although some components of the valves will still need to be imported, more than three-quarters of the composition will be sourced, manufactured and assembled in South Africa.
The KSB Valves Service and Manufacturing division is situated at the new SupremeServ Service facility building in Jet Park, Johannesburg. The assembly line will be fully operational in the last quarter of this year to achieve its target of 70% local-content manufacturing capability.
The company’s Nori 500 high-pressure steam valve, one of three valves in the Nori range, will be one of the first valves produced on the assembly line. The range is suited to South Africa’s minerals processing and industrial plant environments. The Nori 500 valve can handle pressures of between 250 bar and 500 bar.
KSB Pumps and Valves business development manager and GIW slurry pumps head Rob Bond describes the Nori range of valves as being suited to use in high-pressure and -temperature applications.
“The highest pressure tolerance on the Nori range is up to 700 bar, which definitely gives us the competitive edge over other valves manufacturers.”
Further, the new modernisation programme will also host new service facilities where a new hydrostatic testing machine has been acquired to conduct hydrostatic testing of up to 700 bar, which will be crucial where testing of the Nori 500 is concerned.
“The new testing equipment is one of the highest known scope of pressure testing in South Africa,” boasts KSB Valves service engineer Koos Taljaard.
He adds that, once the facility is complete, the company will offer a substantially reduced turnaround time for a valve ordered by a client. “We would normally wait 8 to 12 weeks for these specialised valves to be imported, but now we can supply a valve to clients within one week, depending on where they are.”
KSB Valves will also be able to repair and certify valves in accordance with SANS 347 pressure equipment regulations. Taljaard adds that KSB Pumps and Valves takes pride in their quality and assurance, and offer the option to refurbish valves as an alternative to buying newer, more expensive valves.
“Our quality and assurance department can refurbish a valve and guarantee that it is up to standard.”
Leadership and Training
Newly appointed KSB Valves business unit manager Jonas Moloto will be responsible for the South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa regions.
Moloto is excited about heading up the valves division with its fresh sales team and technical support staff.
“I have, along with fellow colleague Taljaard, travelled abroad to complete a one-week product refresher course, and a new product and technologies course,” he enthuses.
The training involved will be offered to the entire sales and support staff contingent at the various international facilities. The next people to benefit from the training offering will be valve sales engineers Martina Terblanche, Sherwyn Grootboom and Johnny Tjie.
With refreshed, updated knowledge, newly implemented integrated systems, applications and a products enterprise resources planning software system, KSB Valves can offer its clients a streamlined and efficient all-round service, Moloto concludes.