By Invincible Valves | Photos by Invincible Valves
Invincible Valves has its own range of valves suitable for different uses in the mining industry – the Inval range.
The Inval range comprises ball valves, butterfly valves, RSV gate valves and non-return valves. Ball valves are used to control flow of water, oil and or gas.
“We stock a range of one-piece, two-piece and three-piece valves in 304 and 316 stainless steel as well as cast iron,” explains Pam du Plessis, managing director at Invincible Valves.
Butterfly valves are used for regulating or isolating flow. The closing mechanism takes the form of a disc situated in the valve body itself.
RSV gate valves 665 with a rising spindle are used for water, slurry, mining and municipal works. This is a robust valve with a visual indicator to determine if the valve is in the open or closed position.
Non-return valves are one direction valves, which ensure that the media can only travel in a single direction, to prevent backflow into pipes, pumps etc. “The Inval ball, butterfly and non-return valves have been in our range for the past 10 years. The gate valve is a new product in our range with a couple more to follow,” explains Du Plessis.
Most of the valves are considered to be a commodity item in the mining industry, which means that some changes to the development and manufacturing of the valves was necessary. “The valves are manufactured in PRC [People’s Republic of China] where we are actively involved directly with the manufacturer to ensure that our quality standards are maintained at all times.”
Quality and aftersales service
Due to the media and elements within the design of the plant that uses the valves, it is difficult to estimate the life span of the valves when used regularly in the mining industry. However, Du Plessis emphasises that the Inval range is of high quality, backed by excellent service.
The service, offered by Invincible Valves, includes the reconditioning of all valves. In addition, the company also offers as an in-house rubber lining division. “All our products hold the manufacturers’ warranty which varies depending on the product,” Du Plessis adds.
Education and training
In addition Invincible Valves also provides education and training at its training centre located at its premises. The classroom seats 30 people comfortably and it is fitted with all the required tech equipment to enhance the learning experience. The classroom is used for valve training, business training as well as healthcare training.
“We offer the three SAVAMA Working with Valves courses to all our staff along with many other learning opportunities. We invite our suppliers to present their product through a knowledge share session which is held every Friday morning for our entire sales force,” explains Du Plessis.
Invincible Valves runs an internship programme where it offers opportunities to the youth of South Africa giving them insight into all areas of its business. This programme runs over a six-month contract which can be renewed up to three times giving a 24-month period. Once complete a reference letter is issued that outlines all the areas they have been exposed to as well as their capabilities, alternatively they are retained in the business for further opportunities.
During this time, interns attend all training opportunities within Invincible as well as additional training with private companies. This has been beneficial especially in the skilled labour space of its business, as the company has managed to identify talent and has sent these individuals to receive trade education. After which they re-enter the business as apprentices and two years down the line they go back to the classroom for trade test readiness followed by the trade test, which then moves them into the artisan space.
Most of Invincible’s valves are considered to be a commodity item in the mining industry.
For trade labour Invincible also partners with local technical high schools and Merseta to source candidates who have already been through an education programme. They then join the company as interns and follow an exact route as youth candidates without experience. All these opportunities are also available to all Invincible Valve’s existing staff members.
Health and wellbeing
Invincible Valves is more than a valve manufacturer and supplier. Annually Invincible Valves offers all its staff and local community a number of healthcare opportunities such as eye tests, TB x-rays are done twice a year with an education session once a year and HIV/AIDS testing and education is conducted annually. A wellness day is held each year where a full education session is conducted as well as blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar diabetes tests are conducted, among others.
“Breast cancer awareness is provided to all women employees and is also open to any male employees who wish to attend. All of these are available free of charge to all in attendance on the day,” adds Du Plessis.
Knowledge is power
“We are in the final stages of opening our library, a reading programme which covers a broad spectrum of reading levels. We have a learning-to-read section and have all sorts of other reading material such as newspapers, comics, novels, self-help books, industry related material, technical subjects, biographies and atlases,” says Du Plessis.
Knowledge is power – if someone is unable to read, then they are at a disadvantage when it comes to making decisions. As such, Invincible Valves takes pride in encouraging its staff to learn to read to widen their horizons, says Du Plessis.
“We are also in the process of introducing a Basic Business Skills programme, which is off the back of a book that I am writing.”
This programme offers a better understanding for each and every staff member when it comes to being efficient, offering service and working for excellence. “If you are contributing in some way or another it gives you self-worth, and shows your commitment to contributing to the universe,” adds Du Plessis.
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