ARI starts local manufacture
In 1999, an Israeli-based valves company, ARI, embarked on a joint venture agreement with South African valves manufacturer Floquip Valves, and Lomsin’s Johan Barnard, to target a new range of air-release valves at the local market. With distributors across the globe in Australia, much of Asia, the UK and Europe, Canada, the US and South America, ARI was well positioned to fill the gap in the South African market.
Having already begun selling its products in South Africa, ARI felt that the country could become one of their most important markets, and even then they could see the possibility of a manufacturing facility in South Africa. Now, over a decade on, major stockholding has resulted in significant market penetration, with all major users now specifying the A.R.I air valve range.
An article in Engineering News in 2014 highlights the status ARI has achieved in the supply of valves to the South African market:
Engineering supplies specialist, Incledon, has completed supplying its range of ARI valves to the Sekuruwe to Fothane bulk pipeline project, in Limpopo, which aims to ensure a sustainable water supply for the communities in the area. “It is also the greatest-value air valve project in Limpopo to date,” states Incledon civil representative Alan Taylor.
“The Mokgalakwena Municipality published the tender in November 2011 and, in June 2012, announced construction company L&R Civil subsidiary of Raubex Group, as the successful bidder to complete the 15km steel bulk pipeline”, he adds. Following the announcement, L&R approached Incledon for valve specifications and prices and, as the company was able to meet all the requirements, it was successful in obtaining the order and delivered ARI air valves in February 2013.
Air-release valve manufacturer ARI Flow Control Africa product manager Dawid Deysel notes that the valve sizes supplied vary from 100mm to 300mm, with nominal pressure ratings of PN16 and PN25.
“The valves release air while the pipeline is filled with water and reduce water hammer during operation. They also allow air into the pipeline during negative pressures, which prevents the pipes from collapsing and ensure a constant safe water supply to the community”. He explains.
Taylor points out that supplying the valves on time was a challenge the company faced: to meet and ensure timeous project deadlines while most of these valves had to be imported.” We had to ensure that delivery was on time to prevent any possible project delays.”
He notes however that the valves, having arrived according to plan and supplied by Incledon have not yet been installed on the pipeline, owing to a delay in the supply of the steel fittings and pipes. The bulk pipeline project will ensure that water is supplied to the local community and Incledon has gained exposure for its range of ARI air valves in the local market, Deysel states.
Further, Taylor notes that there is increased awareness among contractors and engineers across the valves industry regarding the need for air valves in pipelines, which confirmed by the increased demand for these products. He adds that Incledon provides valve training and issues certificates to course attendees, which helps to alleviate skills challenge experienced across all local industries sectors and within government.
“The training provides a basic understanding of how air valves function in a pipeline and why they are necessary.” Deysel explains, adding that the company also provides much needed informal training onsite. Taylor notes that the valves market is buoyant, with Incledon pricing tenders every day for different products, pipes and fittings.
“The growing demand for valves is experienced locally as government is investigating in infrastructure to provide water for citizens.”
As world leader in air valve design and manufacture, ARI has decided now is the time to invest in the South African water market, and is ready to start local manufacture of its own range of air valves. This process is already well advanced, and should be in place by the middle of 2015. It builds on the previously instituted local coating and assembly of ARI components in South Africa, and will now entail complete production, including local castings and machining of components.
ARI Flow Control Africa supports the South African market by providing an air valve sizing program free of charge, as well as guidance with surge analysis and solutions. Prof Srinivasa, a partner in the development of globally distributed water hammer software, is hosted by ARI Africa annually, to hold a 3 day seminar, which is attended by a large contingent of consulting engineers. This software package uses the ARI non-slam anti surge air valve extensively, as it produces better and cheaper results in water hammer solutions than any other air valve in the world.
For more information on the complete range of ARI products offered in South Africa visit http://www.ariafrica.co.za