How to avoid selling substandard copies of Type 2000 valves to customers
Speaking about the warning, UK General Manager Neil Saunders comments, “We have written to all distributors to let them know about how to avoid selling substandard copies to customers. Distributors want to know because if they supply these valves to customers who expect the same performance as a genuine Bürkert angle seat valve and they then fit them as such, they could cause major breakdowns. Questions would then be directed back to the supplier and rightly so.
”Copies of the classic Bürkert Type 2000 pneumatically operated angle seat valves are being offered in the UK market that are potentially dangerous. The ones we have tested include examples from China that employ lower performance materials in the seals, instead of the higher quality EPDM or PTFE we use. The copies cannot be used under the same conditions as a genuine Type 2000 valve from Bürkert.”
Copied Bürkert components pose dangers
If used to control steam at 180°C for example, as the accompanying literature suggests they can be, the seals in some of the copied components tested by Bürkert will just dissolve, the knock on effect therefore is potentially dangerous. Valves could leak or seize shut or stick partially open, this could lead to steam escaping dangerously when operators do not expect it or cause a catastrophic failure of pipework and vessels if steam escapes too quickly, or pressure builds up in the wrong place.
“As a company that prides itself on quality, providing products that have been rigorously tested and that perform millions of operations reliably, we can’t afford for products that look like ours at-a-glance, but which do not perform to the same standards or may even pose dangers, to be used by mistake,” confirms Saunders.
How to make sure you have a genuine Bürkert product
Bürkert has issued a check list on how to make sure you have a genuine Bürkert product, which is as follows:
1. Buy from a trusted supplier, there is a published list of official distribution partners on the company website here.
2. Genuine Bürkert angle seat valves have the name cast into the valve body, plus a label on the valve head.
3. The original Type 2000 has a smooth round viewing window on the top of the valve head to check the on/off status, the newer version is Knurled (shown on the image below).
4. Each genuine valve should be supplied in a branded box with branded literature.
Saunders concludes, “Bürkert is world renowned for its high quality pneumatics, sensors and process control products, so for us this is a serious issue. Bürkert has consistently invested in designing new products that improve performance and efficiency. In order for this excellent reputation to be maintained it is important that customers receive the products they expect.”
Why you should avoid inferior copies of the Type 2000 valve
A product such as the outgoing Type 2000 has an excellent performance record, envied by many, and, having passed its 20th anniversary, it is now a target for some less discerning manufacturers, who are looking to profit from its reputation.
On the examples* tested by Bürkert the most basic concerns lie with the use of inferior materials, especially the seals, which in one instance claimed to be PTFE and were, Bürkert actually identified, Polyamide (PA) and Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS) instead, both of which have less adequate heat and chemical resistance properties.
Although the literature for these products claimed that the non-Bürkert valves have very similar operating performance to the original valves, it transpires that they cannot perform at the higher pressures and temperatures as claimed and the maximum flow rates can also not be achieved. Furthermore, when tested with 180°C steam the seals dissolved leading to the valve being completely ineffective.
Non-genuine Bürkert valves lead to increased maintenance costs
Overall, the service life of these visually similar products is greatly reduced compared to the original Bürkert valve and as such can result in vastly increased maintenance costs. This really is a case of short term gain, in terms of initial purchase cost, leading to significant long term losses.
A reputation for quality and reliability is only built up over a long period of time and requires design engineers and manufacturing facilities to produce high quality products consistently. Control valves that are destined for operation with aggressive fluids or extremes of temperature must be equipped the correct seal materials and constructed from high quality materials in order to deliver reliability and efficiency.
All of Bürkert’s products are supported by application engineers and a worldwide network of official stockists, all trained to give professional advice on system design and to help customers select the correct product for every application. Quality and reliability come with the Bürkert name.
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* Note: For more information on the products that performed badly in tests, please contact Bürkert directly.