Manifolds: bespoke solutions
Manifolds are collectors comprising a set number of valves to control and regulate the flow of different fluids moving around a production plant.
The manifolds manage these flows by simultaneously opening and closing the valves to enable or stop the flow of different products along different lines.
This means different actions can take place at the same time, i.e. one tank can be filling with a product, while another product can be emptying from another tank along a different line, and a third tank can be undergoing CIP cleaning.
As this intersection of lines and different products make this a critical point in the plant, any valves regulating this traffic have to prevent the potential contamination of products prepared with other products or cleaning solutions (CIP), using a specific design, double seats and double gaskets to prevent any mixing.
These valves with special characteristics are classified as “mixproof” valves. The design, with double seats and double gaskets, creates a so-called intermediate “leak detection” chamber, which connects to the exterior along the inside of the shaft.
Should either of the gaskets become worn, and given the pressure difference between inside and outside the pipes, any leaks would occur through this chamber and move towards the exterior. These can be detected visually, checked and repaired, avoiding the contamination and mixture of products from both lines.
The size of the manifolds and the number of valves they comprise is determined by the number of simultaneous operations required, with one line needed for each function, multiplied by the number of tanks requiring management.
As such, each manifold is a custom-made product to fit each customer’s processing system, application and the number of lines or valve types for the application.
Therefore, manifolds are exclusive products, designed by an engineering team, based on each customer’s requirements via a complex project, applying different specific phases until the end product is achieved.