Process plant manufacturer, Jacquet Weston Engineering, has completed the installation of a new electro-chemical stripping cell that is now providing significant benefits for specialist valve manufacturer, BEL Valves. The facility, at the company’s Newcastle upon Tyne premises, is playing a dual role – both as part of the ongoing manufacturing process and also as a highly effective element at the heart of the company’s servicing procedures.
“The installation comprises two 80 litre tanks – one for the stripping process and the other as a wash and rinse facility – alongside a 1,000 amp rectifier,” explains Andy Jones, Jacquet Weston’s engineering director. “The prime requirement is to aid the stripping of hard facing coating on the internal sealing surfaces of a range of valves manufactured by the company to return the substrate back to its base metal ahead of re-coating. The stripping tank contains a sodium carbonate/tartaric acid solution which attacks the binder used in the tungsten-carbide coating. The products are then transferred manually into the wash solution ahead of assessment and the re-coating process.”
The installation provides the versatility to focus on either one or a number of valve components per operation depending on the size of each unit. This is assessed via a measure of amps per square inch – clearly the smaller the valve construction, the more units that can be handled by each process cycle.
“Before the Jacquet Weston installation we used a time consuming grinding process for this operation,” comments Karl Brown, group laboratory technician at BEL Valves. “Although this was effective and fulfilled the requirement, clearly we are now able to undertake the operation with a high degree of consistency and, importantly, more quickly.
“The dual role sees the installation fulfilling a key function as part of our manufacturing process, whereby we can regularly check the depth of coatings that are applied, and also as a means of stripping components as part of our service offer to customers,” he adds.