Home > Upwey Valve develops new borescope inspection ports on its valves

Upwey Valve develops new borescope inspection ports on its valves

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article image Upwey MAXI-Check I valve

Upwey Valve & Engineering (UVE) has introduced a new borescope inspection port on most of its Australian manufactured valves.

UVE’s new borescope inspection ports allow initial valve inspections to be conducted without the need to remove the valve from the piping system or strip the valve down, saving time and money.

Borescopes have been used extensively in the aviation industry for many years to inspect jet engines without the need for removal, an advantage, which is now available in UVE valves.

Routine or annual inspections can be reduced to a few minutes with problems quickly identified using the borescope inspection port to allow the maintenance crew to focus on other areas of the piping system or proceed with a service of the valve if required. 

With the purchase cost of borescopes coming down dramatically over recent years, these handy devices are becoming a must-have tool for inspecting inaccessible areas in various equipment.

Prior to the advent of the Upwey MAXI-Check I combination ball check and isolation valves, plant designers and operators had few options to choose from, when it came to selecting commercially available abrasion and corrosion resistant check valves and isolation valves for relatively high (20, 50, 100 or 150 bar) pressures associated with pumping of turbid water from open-cut or underground mines.

Conventionally, to allow pump maintenance to be performed safely in any situation, the connected pipework is either emptied of fluid or provided with positive isolation in the form of gate valves, one adjacent to the pump discharge and in the usual case, where the pump is fed from an elevated tank or reservoir, another gate valve is also installed upstream of the pump intake connection. 

It is also common practice to install a self-actuating swing disc check valve between the pump discharge connection and the discharge isolating valve to prevent any backflow of liquid following a pump stoppage, and to allow unattended and/or automated pump starting and stopping.

The Upwey approach 

The Upwey MAXI-Check I valve combines the backflow prevention function of a ball check valve, with a hand-wheel operated or auto-actuated spindle and ball retaining yoke mechanism. The twin functions of an isolating valve and a check valve are therefore provided in one single product.

Although the conventional approach is the cheapest solution initially, it’s also the most costly in the longer term, especially when pumping clean or dirty water from deep underground to the surface. In such situations, whenever a fixed speed pump is stopped, the inertia of the check valve disc prevents it from closing until reverse flow slams the valve closed.

Although this takes place in a split-second, the slamming of the valve disc sets up severe pressure transients (water hammer), which at best cause premature failure of the valve, and at worst, result in flooding and costly damage to other equipment or injury to personnel.

To prevent this situation, a leading Australian underground miner has over the last decade replaced scores of check/gate valve installations with Upwey MAXI-Check I valves.

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