Valve Design How Sustainability Meets Functionality with Modern Valve Design

Author / Editor: Indira Rao / Dominik Stephan

Following the new age concept of Gandhian engineering, which basically means “getting more from less for more”, Kirloskar Brothers, imbibe the concept of sustainability in every aspect of manufacturing. Here’s a look at their state-of-the-art Kondhapuri plant, situated near Pune that designs and develops products from less material, less cost, less time and less environmental pollution

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All kinds of valves being manufactured at KBL’s Kondhapuri plant
All kinds of valves being manufactured at KBL’s Kondhapuri plant
(Picture: Vogel Business Media India)

Recognized as a leading global pump manufacturer, today Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL) also has the coveted distinction of being the first valve manufacturer to be accredited with ISO 9001 certification in India. Emerging as the torchbearers in the field of manufacturing valves, the company manages its valve manufacturing operations from the state-ofthe-art Kondhapuri plant, situated around 50 kms of Pune. The facility is spread over eight and half acres of land and is capable of manufacturing valves above 600mm up to 5000mm and can handle weight of 30 tonnes.

The facility offers services like overhauling of pumps, hydro testing, corrocoating, performance enhancement, testing, shot blasting and painting. On the shopfloor The machinery at the plant consists of vertical turret lathe (VTL), horizontal boring machines (HBM), drilling machines, test rigs, painting booths and heavy duty overhead cranes etc. A lot of activities on the shopfloor are modeled in line with natural energy conservation.

Sustainable Valve Production

“Since 2008-09, we have constantly been ranked by Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) amongst the top three. We have attached every machine with an energy meter and through this meter we know exactly how much energy is consumed,” declares AVP & Head Kodhapuri operations, KBL, Ramchandra Mahind. All the shops are equipped with transparent sheets, which help bathe the shopfloor in natural sunlight. Also, light pipes are constructed all over to help sunlight reach all the dark areas in the facility.

“We also have a wind turbine that is used to generate electricity to help light the street lamps and the perimeter outside the main gate. Also, the use of oil is minimal on our shopfloor. We use oil only to lubricate our machines,” adds Mahind.

The Three Paint Shops

There are well laid out three machine shops in the factory, each with a different kind of an environment friendly paint shop. Explaining this concept Mahind avers, “The different paint shops are constructed to address all the environmental issues. In shop number one we have a wet – dry booth, where the particles released during painting are extracted by a water reserve and released into the atmosphere. This paint booth is used for water-based paints and not for chemical or enamels. Water-based paints are easy to use and are advantageous when it comes to energy efficiency.”

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