IGP - The product of choice for 25 years
Manufacturer of powder coating protects plants with VENTEX® explosion isolation valves from RICO. IGP Pulvertechnik AG, headquartered in Wil, Switzerland, can look back on more than 50 years of company history and has always developed powder coatings for architectural and industrial applications. The traditional company not only holds the pole position in the domestic market – but is also one of the most important companies in this field internationally.
. To date, IGP Pulvertechnik AG has partners and representatives in more than 40 countries, nine subsidiaries in Europe and the USA, over 450 employees and a production volume of over 15,000 tonnes of powder coatings per year. Leo D’Anna has been part of the IGP team for 23 years now. As a member of Management and Plant Manager, his responsibilities include production. His department employs 200 people. Production planning, maintenance and process engineering are also part of the Plant Manager’s sphere of responsibility. “Our core task involves the production and development of coating powders for the most diverse applications. Office furniture or drinking bottle manufacturers as well as producers of switch cabinets are just some of our customers,” explains Leo D’Anna and adds: “We deliver our products worldwide. We enjoy a really strong presence in the field of architecture – as it’s not uncommon for metal façades to be coated with our powder coating in favour of greater robustness and weather resistance.” Moreover, powder coating has clear advantages: both ecological and economic aspects play a major role in this industry. Powder coating, for example, is not only solvent-free, but also much more economical to use. As an experienced Plant Manager, Leo D’Anna knows that – apart from product quality – safety in the production process must be the top priority: “We now operate a total of about 30 grinding plants in which our coatings are produced. Since dust explosions can occur in the course of processing powdery materials – especially in combination with air and possible sparking – we attach increased importance to constructive explosion protection measures”. For this reason, all IGP plants are equipped with VENTEX® explosion isolation valves from RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG.
Explosion isolation for the necessary safety
“Our grinding process starts with a chip-shaped pre-product,” explains D’Anna. Firstly, the material enters a mill for crushing. From there, it goes into a cyclone where the fine dust is removed. Then the final product falls directly into the sales packaging. Throughout the process, air serves as a means of transport so that powder is continuously conveyed through the mill’s piping. All the equipment is designed by the manufacturer so that there is no increased risk. However, if electrostatic charging should occur due to the friction of the material, a dust explosion can occur under special circumstances. This would cause a flashback into the entire system and pose a danger to the employees. Thanks to explosion isolation with the help of the VENTEX® explosion isolation valve from RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG, this danger is reliably averted. Since there is only a risk of explosion where powder is processed, the valve is fitted to a pipeline downstream of the grinding process. During the regular production process, the closing body of the valve is in an open position so that the material can flow. If an explosion occurs, the pressure wave presses the closing body directly against the closing body seal. In this closed state, the spread of the flames and the pressure wave into the interior of the plant is effectively prevented. In the sense of a holistic safety concept, in the event of an emergency, an explosion pressure relief into the open air takes place at the same time.
Years of cooperation confirm quality
“We’ve been using the products of RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG for more than 25 years,” emphasises Leo D’Anna and adds that – on account of the recent expansions to Poland and the USA – further grinding plants with the VENTEX® valves have been purchased. And it is not only the quality of the explosion isolation products that convinces the Plant Manager time and again: “The physical proximity to RICO and also the fact that the explosion protection experts are there to help and advise with any questions have long contributed to our opting for this solution.” He rates the price-performance ratio of the valves as a further plus point. They are of high quality and the maintenance effort is only low. “The employees of our Maintenance Department have been optimally trained by RICO so the annual inspections of the valves can be carried out on their own. Besides this, a more extensive revision on the part of the manufacturer will take place shortly – ensures their perfect functionality and extreme longevity,” explains Leo D’Anna. Furthermore, he praises the simple, yet very effective technology of this solution. According to the Plant Manager, it is therefore no coincidence that the responsible plant constructors often utilise the renowned product from Herisau.
RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG, based in Herisau, Switzerland, has been developing and selling various components for explosion isolation since 1988. With the help of high-quality products such as explosion isolation valves (VENTEX®) and explosion isolation slide valves (RSV and REDEX® Slide), the company secures plants and protects industrial facilities from the spread of explosions. The solutions are mainly used in the pharmaceutical industry, chemical/petrochemical industry, research laboratories, silos, mills, dryers and separators as well as extraction systems. Furthermore, the specialists’ portfolio also includes butterfly valves that can shut off ventilation ducts 100% gas-tight and offer the rare advantage of being able to easily check the tightness when installed. Possible areas of application include the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. insulators), nuclear power plants, military/civil defence, chemicals/petrochemicals, research laboratories and hospitals. Safety always comes first. Reliability, experience, innovation and flexibility are characteristics that distinguish RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG just as much as the consideration of individual wishes or the development of special designs. A team of experts also advises and supports customers in the selection of suitable components. RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG is certified according to ISO 9001:2015 and ATEX Directive 94/9/EC or 2014/34/EU. In the field of explosion protection, an ATEX type test is carried out for each component under a wide range of conditions. The company also carries out various quality tests – some of which are customer-specific – for the gas-tight butterfly valves. These are based on the requirements of the respective application. As a matter of principle, every single product at RICO Sicherheitstechnik AG undergoes final testing. This principle has guaranteed the highest quality for maximum safety requirements for 30 years now.