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K Controls, a specialist in the design and manufacture of networking, monitoring and control equipment for valves, actuators and dampers, is celebrating 30 years in business.

The company was established in 1981 by associate valve distributor Ivco Process Valves following the acquisition of the industrial control valve business of Drayton Controls.

In 1987, Ivco Process Valves was acquired by the BSS Group.

Since that time, K Controls has continued to operate as a private independent business that ceased the manufacture of control valves in 1995 and now specialises in the design and manufacture of networking, monitoring and control equipment for valves, actuators and dampers.

The two long-serving directors are Brian Prince and David Yates.

The first 007 switchbox was developed specifically for use with the Norbro 37 series actuator.

At that time there were not many well-engineered switchboxes available on the market and this, together with the introduction of standardised dimensions for actuator top works, gave K Controls the opportunity to market the product for use on a range of quarter-turn actuators from other manufacturers.

The K Controls range now includes: switchboxes with corrosion-resistant enclosures; Atex and IECEx certified products for use with hazardous gases and combustible dusts; switchboxes with high (+300C) temperature capability for fire and smoke dampers; switchboxes with low (-50C) temperature capability for Arctic service; switchboxes IP68 for submersion; versions with integral solenoid for parallel wiring or connection via remote I/O systems; integrated fieldbus compatible versions for AS-interface or Devicenet; Fieldbus-compatible versions for Profibus PA or Foundation Fieldbus via valve couplers; position transmitters for 4-20mA, Hart, Profibus PA or Foundation Fieldbus; linear or rotary solutions; and wireless solutions.

The demand for automation in process plants continues to grow; the cost of labour is high and clients are continuously improving product quality and process efficiency.

Equipment used in hazardous areas must meet increasingly exacting safety standards and be produced consistently using procedures laid down in ISO 9000 and industry specific quality plans.

Customers expect products to be customised to their requirements and available on ever shorter lead times.

K Controls said it has good knowledge of the valve and actuator industry and keeps close to the latest developments in front-end control and associated interfacing equipment, including fieldbus and functional safety systems.

It has a mixture of mechanical and electronic expertise and understands how to protect equipment for use in hazardous areas.

The company has developed robust communication, administration, production and quality systems that enable it to react quickly and appropriately to customer demand.

The company said it is committed to providing a first-class working environment in which individual development flourishes and personal aspirations are realised.

K Controls has ISO 9001:2008 approval and a Baseefa Atex and IECEx Quality Notification for the manufacture of certified Exe, Exd and Exi equipment for use in potentially explosive areas.

Where appropriate, individual products are Atex and IECEx certified and CE marked.

The company is planning to obtain US and Canadian approvals for its products during 2011.

Following successful third-party evaluation, K Controls can also offer products for both low- and high-demand scenario applications at SIL2 or SIL3 of IEC 61508.

The company has also developed two valves for specialised applications.

The K44 Checktite three-piece swing check valve has been designed to complement three-piece ball valves and is used on chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical process lines as well as gas, oil and water applications.

The Z-series stainless steel butterfly valve is for high-temperature automotive exhaust gas applications and is frequently used to regulate the back pressure of exhaust gases during engine testing.

Main target markets are chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, oil and gas, subsea, automotive test, fire protection and nuclear.

In 2010, 50 per cent of the company’s output was exported.

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