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Efficient production of customised washing systems

ISTOBAL has been relying on Bürkert’s expertise for over two decades. Robust valves and a modular approach enable the rapid production of customised washing systems. The compact components prove their worth in harsh environments and cut costs thanks to low maintenance and globally-standardised spare parts.

Select a programme, and get washing. The vehicle washing procedure is extremely simple. However, the inner workings of the systems are more complex. Depending on the washing programme, different chemical substances have to be mixed precisely with water. These are sometimes expensive and aggressive, and also place high demands on the materials of the components used.

The Spanish company ISTOBAL develops and produces complete vehicle washing and maintenance solutions according to the precise requirements of its customers - from self-service systems to washing portals for trains. The car wash specialist has been relying on Bürkert’s expertise and solutions for over two decades.

Washing systems based on customer requirements

ISTOBAL has been offering innovative and user-friendly vehicle maintenance systems since 1950. The company exports its products to more than 80 countries and relies on a global network of distribution partners. ISTOBAL operates ten subsidiaries and four production and final assembly plants in Europe, America and Asia. Over 70% of its products are intended for international markets.

“With specific developments, Bürkert always enables us to differentiate our products from those of our competitors.”

Salvador Torregrosa, Head of Project Engineering, R&D + Innovation, Jet Washing Systems & Accessories division

Timely delivery for rapid production

The car wash specialist is known for its rapid production of customised solutions This is not least due to the fact that ISTOBAL builds many systems itself. The systems are manufactured highly efficiently in batches. The washing systems are usually ready for delivery just three to four weeks after the order is received. The plant manufacturer must always be able to rely on the punctual delivery of the complete quantity of all required components in order to ensure such rapid production.

Mixing, dosing and filling valves and volume flow meters

When it comes to solutions for fluidic processes, the people of ISTOBAL rely on Bürkert. These solutions include, inter alia: robust solenoid valves for mixing substances and for emptying and filling liquid containers; precise volume flow meters, to determine water consumption during the washing process; and individually developed high-pressure valves, which are used in cleaning systems for commercial vehicles, cars and trains. Both high delivery flexibility and the Bürkert engineers’ broad expertise of fluidic processes have contributed to this strong, long-standing business relationship. Bürkert’s advice on dealing with high pressures, as well as on the mixing and microdosing of a wide range of expensive chemicals, has been incorporated into many of ISTOBAL’s washing systems.

Servo-assisted 2/2-way piston valves of type 6240 ensure that the roughest dirt is already removed from the vehicles before the washing tunnel with water quantities of up to 12.5 l/min. To increase pressure and leakage safety, the stopper and plunger guiding tube are welded together.

Compact components for the control cabinet

The company’s systems are adapted to its customers’ requirements. The space in the control cabinet is limited. A total volume of around 1.25 m³ is available for all of the components that have to be installed in it. ISTOBAL therefore attaches great value to the compactness of the products used.

A robust and low-maintenance solution for harsh conditions

“At the same time, it is crucial that continuous operation can be ensured in harsh environmental conditions, in order to avoid failures as much as possible and to reduce maintenance costs to a minimum,” explains Salvador Blasco Sanchez, who is responsible for creating self-service car wash systems at ISTOBAL

“The control cabinet is cramped, and it’s really hot and humid in there. We also store lots of chemicals in there. The Bürkert valves can withstand these stresses. Because of that, we can rely on fail-safe system operation and low maintenance costs.”

Salvador Blasco Sanchez, R&D mechanical engineer

Corrosion-resistant and leak-free valves

Type 6240 servo-assisted 2/2-way piston valves from Bürkert are made of grade 316 stainless steel, and are used to remove coarse dirt from vehicles before they enter the washing tunnel. These facilitate reliable operation, even when processing aggressive substances: “The valves are highly resistant to corrosion, can withstand high pressures and have low creep resistance. This means that there are no leaks, even when hot and cold water are constantly mixed,” explains Salvador Torregrosa.

Modular distribution block for efficient production

The mechanical layout of the systems is identical. However, the inner workings differ depending on the programmes that can be selected, including the number of pumps and channels for the chemicals. That’s why ISTOBAL relies on a modular approach to mixing media. Two to four type 0287 distribution block solutions can be put together by ISTOBAL technicians in such a way that the desired number of channels is reached.

A modernised block solution meets all requirements

“25 years ago, we developed this block especially for washing systems. It is still used today, and remains virtually unchanged. We have evidently found the optimal solution for ISTOBAL,” enthuses Gerardo Rubira, Industry Sales Manager at Bürkert. Only the original solenoid valves were replaced a few years ago by even more resistant ones. Their polyamide-fiberglass mixture can withstand pressures of up to 10 bar. All other components of the block have remained unchanged.

Monitoring the system, including remotely

The mixing block is connected to the various water reservoirs in the system. The relevant valves are enabled, depending on the washing programme selected. Chemicals are supplied and the water is conveyed to the spray lance via a high-pressure pump. Thanks to remote access via a cloud, ISTOBAL can monitor the status of its systems at all times. Thanks to the connection of Bürkert valves to the central control cabinet, ISTOBAL is aware of the use of the valves and can plan servicing and maintenance work. “It has been proven that the seals on our valves only need to be replaced after around half a million operations,” says Gerardo Rubira, explaining the low maintenance costs.

Standardised components facilitate spare parts management

Another key advantage for ISTOBAL is that the modular approach significantly reduces the inventory of spare parts in 75 distribution countries worldwide. As Salvador Torregrosa happily points out: “Our service technicians, and those of our partner companies, use the same components all over the world. Bürkert’s distribution block layout reduces the number of variants in stock. In addition, it is significantly cheaper to ship small spare parts than one-piece assemblies, which are larger and heavier.” And should ISTOBAL’s customers want to expand their systems with additional washing programmes in the future, this can also be easily done thanks to the modularity of the system.

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ISTOBAL - Efficient Production of Customised Vehicle Washing Systems

Flyer Best Practice - Tailor-made complete solutions for vehicle wash & care

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Type 0287

2/2-way solenoid valve for neutral media

Type 0287
  • Compact 2 to 8-part distributor or collector block solution, stackable
  • Stable plastic body with robust brass connection
  • Ready-for-installation delivery for fast start-up
  • Optional with energy-saving Kick and Drop coil
  • Ex variants available on request
Type 6240

Servo-assisted 2/2-way piston valve

Type 6240
  • Servo-assisted and compact piston valve with diameter of up to DN 13
  • Vibration-resistant , screwed coil system
  • Energy-saving double coil technology with kick and drop variant
  • Safe opening with hard-coupled piston system
  • Explosion proof versions