Step-wise Guide to Prevent Rotary Airlock Valve Downtime

Rotary valves basically flow control equipment, which is used in several industrial applications like production engines, automotive stroke engines, pneumatic conveying systems, etc. Since these valves are responsible for fluid and airflow regulation in the massive and complex operations, it is very important to maintain them for optimum output. Rotary valves are simple devices, unless and until they are maintained properly.  Generally, the maintenance of the rotary valves is about the prevention of valve downtime and airflow control. This article provides a step-by-step guideline -to prevent rotary airlock valve downtime.

rotary airlock valve

How to Prevent Rotary Airlock Valve Downtime?

The purpose of using rotary valves in any industrial system is to keep the system performance smooth and safe. Here, the purpose of air valve maintenance is to keep the valve safe itself. The need for repair and downtime are two very common challenges faced by most airlock valve users. The following are 7 easy-to-follow steps to prevent rotary valve downtime.

  1. Valve Inspection: Since the rotary valves are all processing fluid or powdered material during material processing, often the insides of the valve gets clogged. It is a type of visual inspection only. One must check for clogging at valve opening, rotors, blades, housings, and seals. Clogging can cause hurdles and sudden shutting of the valve. Therefore, the operator can check is there is clogging via access doors or by partially dismantling the valve assembly.
  2. Shaft and Bearing Tests: Worn out bearings can affect the allocation of the rotor and rotor shaft. The misaligned shaft can cause vibrations during operation and speed reduction. Therefore, the operator must check for the bearing and shaft conditions. In case the material is worn out, the seals must be changed periodically.
  3. Check Rotor Tip Clearance: Rotor tip clearance can be one of the main reasons for a valve leakage. It causes air lag and fluid pass out from the valve which may lead to a sudden suction lockdown of the valve. The clearance can be checked by measuring the distance between the end of the rotor vane and the head plate. It should be matched with the OEM clearance value. The feeler gauges are used to measure this distance. Clearance is greater than 0.001″can be checked.
  4. Drive Component Lubrication: With so many mechanical components assembled together in the rotary valve, lubrication is a mandatory precaution. Lubrication must be done to prevent component wear and tear through excessive friction. The drive components like rotor shaft, drive chain, speed reducer, shaft seals, and bearings are important to be lubricated regularly.
  5. Drive Chain and Sprocket Adjustments: The drive chain alignment and sprocket location can make a huge difference in the performance. Excessive tension is the chain that can cause vibrations or speed drop where sag in the drive chain can interrupt drive operation anytime. Therefore, tension adjustment must be done prior to operation. This step must be performed as part of daily check and maintenance.
  6. Install a Contact Detection Mechanism: To avoid sudden turndown of the rotary valve, a contact detection sensor mechanism can be implemented. This basically detects the rotor’s contact with the housing components. During high-speed operations, the rotor’s contacts may be affected. Therefore, a contact detection system can alert the operator as soon as the contact discontinuation occurs.
  7. Perform Regular Repair and Technical Maintenance: Rotary valves come in various specifications and functionality traits. Therefore, the operator must be trained for technical considerations of the specific rotary valves. In order to prevent rotary airlock valve downtime, the operator must be skilled and well-educated with performance parameters and operational conditions of the rotary valve. During daily maintenance, the operator must tune all the parameters to expected values, so that optimum performance of the rotary valve can be achieved.

 Tip: You must shut down the feeder and valve system.

Now that you know how to prevent airlock valve downtime, you still must buy quality used and surplus valves from trusted suppliers. Quality of the valve can easily add lifespan, Therefore you can buy from trusted suppliers like J & M Industrial. They have been supplying, new, used and surplus rotary valves for several years to industries like material processing, mineral, and plastic, etc.