News

Smith Flow Control Exhibiting at SPE Offshore Europe

28 August 2015

Smith Flow Control (SFC), global leader in the design and manufacture of mechanical interlocks and valve management systems, is exhibiting for the first time at SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen from 8-11 September, 2015.

SFC’s products greatly enhance safety and efficiency and are specified by the world’s biggest oil, gas and petrochemical companies. Its comprehensive range of process safety products reduce the scope for operator error and ensure safe continuous plant operation. Its line of key operated interlocks can also be customised to implement a safe sequence of events in any process activity.

SPE Offshore Europe offers the perfect framework for visitors to meet and discuss their valve operating problems; SFC is offering valuable one-to-one discussions with its experts on all aspects of process safety, valve interlocking and valve management.

Visitors can find SFC at Stand 3D210, which will be managed by Senior Project Manager, Simon Read.   SFC will also be joined by representatives from Aberdeen distribution network, Triton Engineering. Triton is a specialist provider of engineering consultancy services to the upstream oil and gas industry, with its core business being pipelines and risers. The company’s expertise ranges from Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies, including risk-based decision making, through to delivery management, integrity management and ongoing operational support and related site services.

Visitors to the stand can also see our latest innovations:

  • SmartTrap+, a product which incorporates signals from sensors into the interlocking sequence
  • EasiDrive, portable valve actuator, providing easy operation of multiple high-torque or high-turn valves

Process Safety at Offshore Europe

Smith Flow Control Appoints International Business Development Manager

21 August 2015

Safety engineering company Smith Flow Control (SFC) has promoted Sander van den Bos to the position of International Business Development Manager.

Sander joined SFC in 2010 as Country Manager at the Dutch satellite office before being promoted to Business Area Manager. He has extensive experience in international sales, totalling over 18 years.

Sander said: “My new responsibilities involve working on developing market, product and application opportunities for Smith Flow Control worldwide. I am very excited about the opportunity to contribute to SFC’s success in the global marketplace.”

Mike D’Anzieri, Smith Flow Control’s Managing Director commented: “I am delighted that Sander has accepted this pivotal and challenging role of which, I have no doubt, he will make a success.  It is especially pleasing to me that we are able to fill senior positions from the existing talent pool within our organisation.”

In his new role, Sander will continue to oversee the business unit in the Netherlands, which is responsible for sales and technical support in several European countries, in addition to his global responsibility.

Smith Flow Control Appoints International Business Development Manager

Bajolock® couplers from Smith Flow Control Protect Workers Operating Systems under Pressure

14 July 2015

To prevent accidents when opening couplings under pressure, Smith Flow Control has introduced Bajolock® patented couplers to its product portfolio.

Bajolock® couplers are ideal for use in a wide range of industries where it is common for pipes and systems to be under pressure when couplings are opened. It is often hard to determine the residual pressure in the system, and using conventional coupling can be dangerous. With Bajolock, pressure is caught and automatically equalised; any potential harmful residue material is discharged away from the operator. Bajolock can then be uncoupled easily and safely with a simple twist. It is interchangeable with existing, similar couplers, enabling seamless integration in plant processes.

Smith Flow Control’s Bajolock coupler is designed for use in transfer systems for pressures up to 10 bar (145 psi). It is ideal for a wide range of applications including oil & gas, petrochemical, shipping, pipe, bulk, medical and the food and beverage industry, in addition to road transportation applications.

The Bajolock coupler is manufactured according to the Pressure Equipment Directive and bears the CE mark. It is constructed from high quality 316L stainless steel and incorporates market-leading gaskets.

Bajolock patented coupler

New Torque-Limiting Valve Protector from Smith Flow Control at Valve World Expo

10 July 2015

New Torque-Limiting Valve Protector from Smith Flow Control at Valve World Expo

Erlanger, Ky. (Enter Date) – Smith Flow Control will demonstrate its new TorkDrive valve protector at the Valve World Expo, booth 556. The show takes place from July 15-16 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

TorkDrive is custom engineered to suit a host valve. Mounted to the valve input handwheel or directly to the input shaft, the device uses a series of clutch plates with calibrated compression springs to limit the amount of torque an operator can apply to a valve. During valve operation, if the predetermined maximum torque limit is reached, the TorkDrive will slip, protecting the valve from damage.

Both low and high torque range configurations are available for applications requiring between 80Nm-280Nm, or 250Nm-420Nm. Each unit is factory set before installation and includes a calibrated setting scale within the device, which allows users to adjust torque requirements for their specific application.

Visitors can also see Smith Flow Control’s full range of mechanical interlocks and drive management technologies, including the EasiDrive portable valve actuator and the FlexiDrive remote valve operator. For more information, visit booth 556 at the Valve World Expo, call 859-578-2395, email d.kelly@smithflowcontrol.com or visit the company’s website at www.smithflowcontrol.com.

TorkDrive valve torque protector

Smith Flow Control celebrates 30th anniversary

10 April 2015

Valve safety interlocking specialist Smith Flow Control (SFC) has celebrated 30 years of protecting people and assets at process plants worldwide.

SFC was formed in April 1985 by Malcolm Brown, Mike Smith and current managing director Mike D’Anzieri. The company now employs a total of 78 staff, mostly at its headquarters in Witham, Essex, but also in regional offices in Australia, China, India, the Netherlands and the United States. A third of all staff have been with the business for more than 10 years.

SFC introduced the coded card linear key concept to interlocking technology, and the concept has achieved widespread adoption on a global scale. The firm’s product range has evolved considerably over the past 30 years to include a full suite of mechanical interlocks for a wide range of applications and valve management products. More recently, new product development has diversified into electronics and RFID technology.

“Our product range is constantly evolving and we pride ourselves on delivering customised solutions that our clients need,” explained Adrian Brown, SFC’s R&D manager and son of founder Malcolm. “For the last three decades, SFC has offered a precise and personal service. We appreciate and value the importance of supplying suitable products to our customers, and so adapt our product range to meet individual requirements. The continuous quest for new product development and ongoing product improvement requires a high level of energy and commitment, which can only come from a collective dedication to being the best in the industry.”

Managing director Mike D’Anzieri added: “The business continues to grow at a tremendously fast pace. I am incredibly proud of our achievements to date, and I am especially grateful to all the employees for helping to make it happen.”

Smith Flow Control, mechanical valve interlock specilaists turns 30

Smith Flow Control Hires Regional Sales Manager for India

18 March 2015

Sunil Verma joins Smith Flow Control as Regional Sales Manager for India. Mr.Verma’s appointment supports SFC’s strategic investment in the region, with Sunil responsible for driving sales and marketing efforts.

Sunil Verma comes to Smith Flow Control with a B.Tech degree in Instrumentation and Control from USIC, Kurukshetra and MBA in Finance & Marketing from MDI, Gurgaon. Mr. Verma has a strong background in promoting advanced technology in the oil & gas, energy and process industries, having worked with Emerson for over 8 years.

While the Indian markets offer many opportunities for Smith Flow Control’s unique mechanical interlocks and valve management systems, Mr.Verma’s is also responsible for supporting SFC’s international clients who have a significant presence in the region. Incidentally, Sunil joins Smith Flow Control at a momentous time in its history. This year, the organization is celebrating 30 years in operation, providing market leading and innovative process safety solutions to its customers. For further information, please visit our web-site at www.smithflowcontrol.com.

Sunil Verma, the new Regional Sales Manager will be based out of Delhi and can be contacted on
T: +91 98106 04307 or E-mail:s.verma@smithflowcontrol.com

Sunil Verma Regional Sales Manager

SFC’s Interlocks Withstand Temperatures of 1000°C

10 March 2015

Smith Flow Control’s GL and QL interlocks withstood temperatures of up to 1000°C in recent tests. Performed by Score Group plc, the tests found the QL and GL to be compliant with the temperatures and conditions specified in API Standard 607 Sixth Edition – 2010 and ISO 10497:2010.

The interlocks were exposed to a 30 minute burn, with temperatures maintained above 750°C at all times. This verified that, in the event of a fire, the hardware will continue to function and the integrity of the locking mechanism will be maintained.

During the test the lock had one key inserted and one free; following cool-down, the lock remained secure on the valve. Only when the other key was inserted could the lock be moved to the open/closed position, as should happen.

The test and temperature was witnessed by Lloyds Register.

Interlocks compliant with API and ISO Standards

Interlocking Small Diaphragm Valves

3 March 2015

For manufacturers in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care industries, locking off diaphragm sampling valves can be problematic. Usually located in wash-down areas, these small valves commonly control the flow of high purity water in closed loop systems. Because of the valves’ small size, conventional stainless steel interlocks are usually too big and heavy.

To solve this problem, Smith Flow Control, a specialist in valve interlocking equipment, has developed a new interlock for use with diaphragm valves in these and other hygiene-critical applications.

The new interlock uses a simple, rotational Ellis lock mechanism that is ideal for this application due to its compact design. It has an Acetal plastic body, which is lightweight and well suited for use with small diaphragm valves. It is also highly resistant to moisture, solvents and many other neutral chemicals. Despite this, it is tough, hardwearing and has a high resistance to repeated impacts. The Ellis key has a spring-loaded rubber seal, preventing water ingress during washdown or sterilisation procedures.

“Smith Flow Control is renowned for its heavy duty mechanical interlocks for the oil and gas industries, but this new lock design demonstrates our ability to provide interlocks for specialist applications, such as small diaphragm locks,” commented Dan Kelly, the company’s North American General Manager.

Valve interlocking of small diaphragm valves

Smith Flow Control Appoints Triton as Aberdeen Distributor

9 February 2015

Smith Flow Control (SFC), specialists in mechanical valve control equipment and valve management systems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Triton Engineering as its distributor in Aberdeen.

Triton is a specialist provider of engineering consultancy services to the upstream oil and gas industry, with its core business being pipelines and risers. The company’s expertise ranges from Front End Engineering Design (FEED) studies, including risk-based decision making, through to delivery management, integrity management and ongoing operational support and related site services.

Commenting on the appointment, Triton’s Operations Director Michael Styan said: “I have worked closely with SFC in a number of different capacities over the last few years and have built up a great working relationship with the company. Because SFC’s interlocking and valve control products are used primarily on pipelines and pig trap systems, this relationship is beneficial to both companies and we’re very proud to have the opportunity to represent such an innovative, market leading organisation.”

Mike Fynes, SFC’s Sales and Marketing Director, added: “We’re just as pleased to have found such a strong partner in Triton Engineering. Due to the importance of the North Sea to the UK’s oil and gas industry, it is important for us to have representation in Aberdeen, the city that services the region and which is a global centre of oil industry expertise.”

Triton Engineering New Appointment

Combining Mechanical Interlocks with Process Safety Sensors

29 January 2015

In the process industry, mechanical interlocks guarantee strict adherence to procedures and help avoid human error. They are particularly useful for highly dangerous operations such as pigging and valve changeover procedures.

SmartTrap+ Unit

While interlocks ensure extremely high safety levels, they usually function as stand-alone safety systems. New digital technologies are now emerging that enable traditional interlocking to be combined with digital process control and instrumentation systems.

Smith Flow Control is the first company to combine these mutually beneficial technologies in the development of the SmartTrap+, which incorporates signals from sensors into the interlocking sequence.

During a pigging operation certain safety conditions need to be met: the vessel pressure should be at a safe level and all dangerous gases and residue must be removed before opening the pig door. Mechanical interlocking guarantees that all required valve operations are performed, but cannot guarantee the outcomes of these operations.

For example, opening and closing a vent valve does not give real time information that the vessel pressure has actually reached a safe level; while opening and closing a drain valve does not guarantee that all residue has been removed.

By incorporating signals from other field devices like pressure or H2S/ CO2 sensors into the interlocking sequence, the SmartTrap+ ensures interlock keys can only be released if particular process conditions have been met. So, for example, this could mean that the key for opening the vessel closure door will only be released when the pressure inside the vessel is acceptable and no dangerous gasses or residue are detected.

SmartTrap+ incorporates permissive signals and a door lock proximity switch (4-20mA) as standard. The signals can include (but are not limited to) pressure detection, gas detection, flow/ level and pig detection.

Some of the factors contributing to pipeline pigging incidents include:
• Lack of training or complacency
• Lack of hazard awareness
• False sense of security and reliance only on pressure gauges

SmartTrap+ effectively deals with these factors, making pigging a safer operation and grants full traceability in real time.

The process industry’s standard preventive actions include:
• Hazard identification and risk assessment including management of changes
• Awareness, training and competencies of personnel
• Procedures that address normal and upset conditions

SmartTrap+ reinforces these actions and implements genuine physical control on any pigging operation.

For operators needing to ensure higher levels of process safety, the SmartTrap+ is an ideal solution. By incorporating the best of traditional mechanical interlocking with process sensor information to ensure all vessels are safe to access, it will help to reduce accidents and reduce downtime.