For most powder bulk solids applications, an automated full port valve with a retractable sleeve is an economical and effective method of resolving the problems of safe and effective containment and transfer of materials. Valve and retractable sleeve combinations can eliminate the need for expensive dust collector systems, increased productivity and reduced worker exposure, material loss, and cleaning and maintenance costs. “The rise in our international customer base has led to an increase in our customized retractable sleeve valve business,” said Jim Lenihan, Gemco Valve President. “Our new customers deal with a wide variety of powder bulk solids and have some very specific production issues they are trying to resolve.”
Gemco Valve recently shipped a sanitary valve and sleeve with local control panel to Pfizer Guayama. Located in Puerto Rico, the facility is a state of the art, pharmaceutical dosage form manufacturing site. The plant encompasses a variety of manufacturing capabilities, including products requiring high containment. The new valve and sleeve will be used to transfer material between a high shear granulator and a conical bin mounted on load cells. The valve and sleeve are interlocked through the control panel to prevent discharge if the sleeve is not engaged with the receiving bin. The force exerted by the air cylinders is regulated so the bin can be “tared” to zero before loading thus allowing for accurate product weighing by the load cells.