Sunday 9th May, 2021

Reputation for quality sets Rotolok apart

Rotolok set up an Australian operation a few years ago and has been providing its range of valves to the bulk handling industries ever since. General manager in Australia, Nathan Fowle and global business development manager, Julian Walker, speak to ABHR.

Since its formation in 1973 Rotolok, initially formed to manufacture rotary valves, the Rotolok Group of companies has broadened its base in complementary areas of powder and bulk handling technology. It’s now a highly respected supplier of a wide range of equipment and engineering services to markets worldwide.

Owing to increased demand, Rotolok has invested in more than 50,000 sq.m of warehousing, manufacturing and sales space in North America, France, South Africa, India, and more recently in Australia, which includes the Oceania region.

“The majority of what we design, and manufacturer is rotary valves in materials such as stainless steel and cast iron.

“We also offer conveying diverters, slide valves, butterfly dampers and general powder handling equipment,” said Nathan Fowle.

“Despite our large selection of standard valve designs and due to the nature of our industry we also create a large portion of bespoke solutions for our customers,” he said, “where they are trying to convey a specific product that might not be suited to a standard range of valves.”

Drawing on an impressive engineering history and expertise globally, Rotolok can solve virtually any conveying challenge.

“The sky’s the limit in terms of what we can do,” said Mr Fowle, adding that manufacturing is done in the United Kingdom.

“We have a team based in the UK as well as teams in India and Singapore who have been very supportive over the last few months with projects where we needed large bodied valves delivered to site quicker than what the UK could ship due to time constraints with the end user.

“This has been a valuable asset, and we will continue to work as a global team moving forward.

“In the time we’ve been going, since 1973, we’ve kind of done it all. We’ve come across about every product and way of conveying it,” he said.

Julian Walker, global business development manager for Rotolok (Holdings) Limited, said, “We continually look to grow and invest in the business with a recent example of increasing our presence in the Asia pacific region with new premises opening in Singapore in November.”

He explained that the objective in Australia is “to develop our growing presence by demonstrating our knowledge, technology and reliability along with increased stock levels in order to satisfy customer expectations and requirements.”

The company has a sales office and warehousing facility, located in Sydney at premises in Seven Hills.

“Customers want high quality, cost effective valves with delivery in a timely manner and we at Rotolok are able to satisfy that demand,” said Mr Walker.

“Our products are not limited to one particular industry so markets such as mining and minerals, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, flour and feed milling, animal feeds compounding, animal by-products, grain and fertilisers would be the main target industries for our products.”

In Australia, Rotolok sees significant opportunities in the mining and food sectors where it believes it has an advantage in offering products that are hygienic, cleanable and removable.

“Even though our valves are manufactured and shipped from the UK, we are very price competitive and we only ask that any new clients wishing to use our valves get a quote and find out for themselves what pricing we can offer ,” said Mr Fowle, adding that Rotolok also offers greater value for money due to the quality of its products.

“The build quality is better,” he said. “The longevity of our valves seems to be far better than a majority of our competition. There are a lot of products coming in from overseas that are designed to do a job, and they do it well just not for long periods of time.

“Customers have valves from us that are going strong after five or even 10 years and as spare parts are available it makes for an attractive purchase long term,” he said.

Mr Walker said, “Our most rewarding projects are when we help contribute to improvements in customer’s profitability.

“Recent work with a multi-national food processing company led to reducing raw product degradation following installation of a special rotor and valve design solution. Less waste and higher yield led to a substantial increase in output, making a very happy customer and quick pay back on outlay.”

Rotolok also has a unique test facility located in the UK that is available to new and existing customers who may wish to test products during the development of new formulations where material handling characteristics are unknown.

“Our experienced Rotolok Group engineers assist in this work. The test plant is set up to be versatile and can be adapted for most bulk handling applications,” said Mr Walker.

The test centre houses and incorporates all the company’s products including rotary valves, plug feeder, dump valve, conveying diverter, dust extractor, dense phase and medium phase pneumatic conveyors, disc air aeromechanical conveyor, bin activator, bulk bag discharger and mixers.

“We have the facility to test specific powders for their handling characteristics such as angle of repose, loose and tapped bulk density so the results can be compared with established and recognised classifications,” said Mr Walker.