Smith Flow Control Appoints new US Distributor

12 December 2014

Smith Flow Control (SFC), specialists in mechanical valve control equipment and valve management systems, is pleased to add ACE Controls & Equipment Inc to its distributor network in the USA.

Located in Bakersfield, California, ACE Controls serves the oil, gas, water and processing industries, offering a complete suite of services, including start-up and commissioning, valve actuator adaptation and mounting, certified calibration and repairs.

Mike Fynes, SFC’s Sales and Marketing Director, comments, “We’re delighted to add ACE Controls to our sales channel in the USA. The company is a perfect fit for our mechanical valve control equipment and valve management systems and will help cement our growing reputation in the important US market.”

ACE Controls Appointment

Interlocking in Harsh Environments is Easy with Smith Flow Control’s New Ellis Key

1 December 2014

Discontinuation of Ellis interlocks

Sofis has discontinued the Ellis line of interlocks effective in December of 2018. The Ellis chain lock will continue to be produced, as well as spare keys.

The Sofis brands, Smith Flow control, and Netherlocks are our leading interlock lines that include the latest developments to suit all interlock requirements.

Please consult a Sofis representative to understand how we can replace your current Ellis locks with a Sofis interlock system.

Smith Flow Control Exhibiting at Valve World 2014

30 October 2014

Valve World Preview

Smith Flow Control (SFC), global leader in the design and manufacture of mechanical interlocks and valve management systems, is exhibiting at Valve World Expo, taking place in Düsseldorf from 2-4 December.

Visitors can find SFC in Hall 3, Stand 3H85, which will be staffed by Sander Van Den Bos, our European Regional Business Manager, and Ben Townsend, our Business Development Manager. We will also be joined by representatives from our European distribution network, including Chemie-u. Energie. Armaturen GmbH (CEA) from Germany and PNE Technik from Denmark.

Our products greatly enhance safety and efficiency and are specified by the world’s biggest oil, gas and petrochemical companies. Valve World attracts visitors from across the globe and offers the perfect framework to meet and discuss our clients’ valve operating problems.

On display will be our comprehensive range of process safety products, which reduce the scope for operator error and ensure safe continuous plant operation. Our comprehensive range of key operated interlocks can also be customized to implement a safe sequence of events in any process activity.

Visitors to the stand can also see our latest innovations:
• SmartTrap+, a product which incorporates signals from sensors into the interlocking sequence
• TorkDrive, the ultimate valve protector, which safeguards a valve from excessive torque
• SmartKey+, an intelligent key cabinet, which records the movement of interlocking keys in real-time

The booth will also feature Valve Management Systems: The EasiDrive portable valve actuator and the FlexiDrive remote valve operator.

Visitors to our exhibit can have valuable one-to-one discussions with experts on all aspects of process safety, valve interlocking and valve management. Please email for more information.

Smith Flow Control tells all about its appearance at ADIPEC

8 October 2014

We are at Adipec, 10-13th Nov

Smith Flow Control (SFC) is exhibiting at the ADIPEC Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, which takes place in Abu Dhabi from 10-13 November.

To help prospective visitors, the company has put together some commonly asked questions about its attendance and what it will be showing. Mike Fynes, SFC’s Sales and Marketing Director, tells all.

  • What does Smith Flow Control do?

Mike Fynes (MF): We specialise in valve safety interlocks (valve control equipment) and valve management systems (EasiDrive, FlexiDrive and TorkDrive). Our products eliminate operator error and ensure safe and continuous plant operation in hazardous processes.

  • What are SFC’s aims at ADIPEC?

MF: We aim to showcase both new and existing products, which greatly enhance valve safety and efficiency and offer visitors the opportunity to discuss their requirements directly with our senior management team, who will also provide product demonstrations. We’ll be extending our stay in the region by calling on end-users to discuss specific requirements and provide product presentations if appropriate. We encourage visitors to come to our stand to request an onsite presentation/demonstration.

  • Is this the first time SFC has exhibited at ADIPEC?

MF: No, we’ve attended and exhibited at the show before and always found the level of interest by both new and existing clients to be extremely positive.

  • Is the company launching any new products or services?

MF: Our booth (8350) will feature a full array of process safety products, including demo units of our mechanical key interlocks fitted to a range of different valves. Our valve management systems will also be on display – they proved incredibly popular last year. We’re pleased to announce the global launch of SmartTrap, which is designed to ensure that vessel closure doors can only be opened when particular process conditions have been met. So, for example, this could mean that the key for opening the door will only be released when the pressure inside the vessel is released and no dangerous gasses or residue are detected.  This is achieved by permissive signalling, which can include (but is not limited to) pressure detection, gas detection, flow/level and pig detection. We are launching other new products at the show, including TorkDrive, a valve torque limiting device, and SmartKey+, a key management system which records the movement of keys in real-time using RFID technology.

  • Are these products of specific interest to the Middle East?

MF: Definitely. Our sales to the Middle East have almost quadrupled in the last few years due to increasing demand for SFC’s valve safety and valve management products. Our presence in the region is vital for the company and we’re continuing to develop relationships with local partners who have the knowledge and expertise to help consolidate our position.

  • Where are SFC’s key markets?

MF: Our markets are truly global. Through direct sales and our extensive network of agents and distributors, our products can be found on projects right across the world, from the Niger delta to the Arabian desert and the Russian arctic. Our products are designed for the oil and gas, petrochemical, power, nuclear and water industries.

  • Is the company looking for partners and distributors in the Middle East?

MF: Following last year’s event, we set up distributor relationships for Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Egypt and Iran. We’re always keen to establish new relationships where partners can promote our products in their region. We have positioned ourselves to be a preferred supplier to several of the major operating companies and welcome discussions with new contacts.

Smith Flow Control joins the Energy Industries Council (EIC)

1 October 2014

Smith Flow Control joins EICSmith Flow Control (SFC), specialist in mechanical valve control equipment and valve management systems, has joined the Energy Industries Council (EIC), the leading trade association for UK companies that supply capital goods and services to the energy industries worldwide.

The EIC has a membership base of more than 700 UK companies across the energy supply chain. Its mission is to support members in marketing and selling their energy products and services in the UK and overseas. It provides business intelligence, networking opportunities (including exhibitions and trade missions), training, consultancy and business support services that are designed to help companies capitalise on International opportunities while reducing some of the associated risk, for example through the use of the EIC’s International office infrastructure.

Mike Fynes, SFC Sales and Marketing Director, commented: “We are pleased to be joining the EIC and look forward to unlocking opportunities and identifying new prospective business over the coming year. We believe that the EIC’s DataStream project tracking database and network of support globally will be extremely valuable in helping us to increase our market share in what is an increasingly challenging marketplace.”

Claire Miller, CEO of the EIC, added: “We are delighted to welcome Smith Flow Control as a member of the EIC and look forward to supporting their short and long-term business goals through the comprehensive range of services we offer.”

Going to ADIPEC? Need advice about valve operations? Don’t spend hours looking for the answer!

18 September 2014

Is this you?

1. You’re going to ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi this November
2. You’re looking for a simpler way to operate your valves

The first part is easy – just book your ticket and turn up at the show.

The second part is more tricky. With over 1,600 exhibitors, finding one that offers the right solution to your valve operation problems could take hours – and a lot of walking. Unless, of course, you pay a visit to Smith Flow Control at booth number 8350.

What’s so special about Smith Flow Control (or SFC, as the company likes to call itself)? Well, it makes products which simplify valve operations:

• Do your workers operate valves with many handwheel turns, high torque or in challenging climatic conditions? EasiDrive is the answer
• Do you have remote or inaccessible valves? FlexiDrive can help
• Is over-torqueing a problem? TorkDrive prevents excessive torque being applied
• Do you just need enhanced process safety? Then SFCs vast range of interlocks, operating panels and key cabinets and specials ensure compliance

So, instead of walking around for hours with a bag full of brochures, just call past SFC’s booth and talk to our friendly, helpful and – above all – knowledgeable staff. They will solve your valve operating problems on the spot. Then you can treat yourself to a well-earned early lunch.

Adipec - Your fast track code for entry




Key Interlock Commissioning Made Simple

1 September 2014

ComKey at Plant

Installing mechanical key interlocks is often one of the last tasks before commissioning and handover of a project. Occasionally, interlocks can impede this process by preventing the valve settings needed to create the process conditions (hydro-testing) for commissioning of piping systems.

One solution is to defer fitting the interlocks until all mechanical commissioning tasks are concluded. This is not ideal as there may be a number of different contractors involved in the final commissioning programme. Commissioning of interlock systems should ideally be done and completed by one responsible party – particularly when it comes to management of the operating keys.

Smith Flow Control’s ComKey is a simple, effective solution to this problem. It defers the need to fit the interlocks until all mechanical commissioning tasks are accomplished, saving time and simplifying operational logistics.

SFC Interlocks are usually supplied with one key trapped and one key free as standard. However, in situations where any of the above issues are relevant, they can be supplied with a factory-fitted ComKey that allows random operation of the installed interlock irrespective of the coded logic of the interlock system.

The ComKey is a ‘one-time-only’ product – once the key is removed after all testing/commissioning tasks are completed, it can’t be re-used. The installed interlock will only then accept its dedicated coded key for normal operations.

Commissioning is complicated enough without having to worry about interlocks – ComKey simplifies the process.

Smith Flow Control Announces new Distributor Agreement in Iran

20 August 2014

Smith Flow Control (SFC), specialists in mechanical valve control equipment and valve management systems, is pleased to announce the appointment of Arsam Energy Pars as its distributor in Iran, providing technical and commercial support.

Siavash Barkhordar, Arsam Energy’s Sales and Marketing Director, commented, “Following an introduction to Smith Flow Control at Adipec, we immediately saw the benefit of being associated with the company; their products and services are of significant interest in Iran and are a good fit for our business. We look forward to developing a mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship.”

With a multi-disciplined and talented engineering team, Arsam Energy is recognised as a leading supplier to the Iranian oil and gas market. The company has been operational for over 20 years, developing partnerships between local and international companies.

Siavash continued, “We are very excited to incorporate valve interlocks and valve management systems in to our existing portfolio of products.”

Mike Fynes, SFC’s Sales and Marketing Director, added, “Following discussions at Adipec, we are thrilled to appoint Arsam Energy as our official distributor in Iran to help support growing demand for our technology in the country. With their commitment to quality and professionalism, we can see this developing into a very successful and exciting relationship.”

New Iranian Distributor Arsam Energy Pars

Arsam Energy Pars_edited-2

TorkDrive – a torque limiting device which prevents valve damage

5 August 2014

Smith Flow Control’s TorkDrive is a unique device which prevents manual valves from being damaged due to excessive torque application during valve operation. It can be customised to suit most manufacturer’s handwheel operated valves (Ball, Gear, Gate & Globe, etc) where valves require a torque monitoring of over 80Nm.

 The device is set to a predetermined maximum torque and if, during the operation of the valve, the operating torque increases above the pre-set limit, the TorkDrive will slip, indicating an irregular valve condition. Following over-torque, the TorkDrive unit will automatically reset to the predetermined torque.

TorkDrive is a customisable add-on tool which minimises the risk associated with unavoidable plant/process shutdown and unnecessary repair costs through valve over-torque.  It can be specified as a simple, standalone unit mounted on either the valve input handwheel or directly to the valve input shaft; or it can be used in conjunction with SFC’s EasiDrive portable valve actuator, a non-impacting, air driven power tool designed to simplify valve operations.

In most circumstances, manual adjustment of the power source (air or electric) restricts or limits the output torque and speed (RPM) of the EasiDrive. However, if the use of the portable actuator is not restricted to larger valves and is used on a wide range of valves with differing sizes and operating torques, the TorkDrive would be the ideal solution. TorkDrive limits or restricts the operator from applying excessive force and protects the valve and valve seat from the over-torque that could be generated via the tool.

Features of the TorkDrive include unique clutch plates that are controlled by a series of calibrated compression springs. Two spring set configurations are available: a low range TorkDrive unit offering a maximum torque output range between 80Nm – 280Nm and a high range unit offering 250Nm – 420Nm. Each unit is factory set before installation and the unit can be adjusted to suit the host equipment’s torque requirements using a calibrated setting scale within the body of the device. Each spring set has a unique colour code, ensuring that the correct torque range is always used.

TorkDrive with EasiDrive adaption

Clean-In-Place, Actuated Valves… and Keeping Things Flowing

29 July 2014

Smith Flow Control’s IML lock is a safety device that prevents injury or product loss in the food and beverage processing industries. Specifically designed to replace an actuator mounting kit, it locks the actuator in a desired position, both remotely and locally.

Under normal conditions in the food and beverage industries, actuated valves respond to process commands in a largely automated, predetermined way. During planned maintenance or clean-in-place, however, the system managing the valves may still need to be live while work is carried out. It may therefore be necessary that a valve is deliberately held, so even if a remote signal requests the valve to change position, it will remain in a locked condition to enable work to be done safely.

The IML Lock covers F05 to F16 ISO 5211 actuator mounting dimensions and can be operated up to a maximum torque of 1500Nm.

Clean-In-Place, Actuated Valves… and Keeping Things Flowing