Even with mechanical fish, your timing must be just right to get the biggest bite.
The eyes of more than a quarter of the world were on Melbourne, Australia, as the 2006 Commonwealth Games commenced with an Opening Ceremony incorporating a river event extravaganza centred on the city’s iconic Yarra River.
The focus of the river-borne event was thirty-six pontoons, each of which featured a water creature representing the competing nations of the Commonwealth.
The fish, each approximately 6m in length and 4m high, were the centrepoint of the colourful light, music and water-feature show on the Yarra River which brought the Opening & Closing Ceremony to the entire city in a synchronised performance.
Mr Neville Crocker, Director of Neville Crocker Australia Pty Ltd, worked in conjunction with a team of more than thirty-five designers, artists, fabricators and engineers to construct the fish models for the Games.
The fish pontoons each incorporated five water-features – a fifteen meter high candle-style fountain at the head and tail end, a 140° degree vertical central fan-style fountain and two flanking fan-style side 90° display jets positioned at 55º to the vertical.
Each of the five fountains passed 1,000 litres of water per minute. To supply this flow the pontoons were fitted with 3.7 kilo-watt submersible pumps, drawing water directly from the Yarra River and through a 3mm mesh pump strainer to the jets.
Mr Crocker said that his team tested and evaluated valves from numerous organisations prior to choosing work with fluid control technology expert Bürkert Fluid Control Systems.
Bürkert’s Type 2000 process valve, coupled with the Type 6014 pneumatic pilot valve, was selected to control the water flow through each of the fountains, with Bürkert’s tough Type 5281 diaphragm solenoid valve installed on the river-water inflow line on each pontoon. Bürkert additionally supplied fittings and accessories for the valve system.
The on/off Type 2000 process valve is particularly robust and suited to controlling non-pure fluids, such as water from a major metropolitan river. The valve has high flow characteristics and is designed for ease of installation and commissioning. Actuated via the Type 6014 pneumatic pilot valve, the Type 2000 offers precision control of fluid flow and high responsiveness with rapid switching periods of less than half a second.
Mr Crocker said that the timeline for build of the fish models and pontoons, including all integrated effects and systems, was tight; allowing only three months for completion of all pontoons.
The stainless steel or gun metal Type 2000 valve is operated with a single or double-acting piston actuator. Available with threaded or weld end body, the process valve is extremely robust and offers trouble-free operation.
The 2000 series has excellent sealing integrity and long cycle life, with the Angle Seat body featuring especially high flow characteristics. Operating at pressures to 16 bar, the valve carries fluids at temperatures -10ºC to +180ºC and is deliverable with flow direction below or above the seat.
Bürkert’s compact Type 5281 waterhammer-free servo solenoid valve is based on a modular concept with three basic elements; the valve assembly, push-over coil and cable plug. The unit is low noise, and offers high flow rates with minimal process pressure requirements, from 0.2 bar.
The valve body is available in brass with a wide selection of pipe and orifice sizes from ½ to 2½ inches, with threaded ports. The easily replaced solenoid coil is available in a range of sizes and power ratings for all applications, and designed to lock in four 90º positions or moved freely between as required. Cable plugs are IP65.
With a global network spanning offices in more than 40 countries and operational outposts in an additional 80, Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is an established and mature global organisation celebrating its 60th Global Anniversary, and 26 years in Australia and New Zealand, in 2006.