The advent of online purchasing has meant that consumers have access to a broader range of sales channels than ever before. However according to Lionel Maasdorp, MD at Allmech, leading South African manufacturer of boilers and supplier of water treatment components, there is still value in partnering with an authorised agent for certain purchases, including technical equipment and spares.

“Although valves are now available through parallel importers and online retailers, if you purchase through those channels, you miss out on any technical expertise or aftersales support. including on-site support, which is part of the benefit of buying from an authorised supplier,” he says.

Maasdorp cites an example of a customer who called Allmech to a site to assist with a filtration system that was not functioning correctly. It turned out that the pipes had been installed back-to-front.

“These systems can be complex if you’re not dealing with them every day,” he says. “It’s easy to end up with the wrong size of valve or something that doesn’t meet the requirements of your particular application.”

Allmech is the sole official agent in South Africa for Runxin water treatment systems, including softener and filter valves and Maasdorp believes that the company’s relationship with the manufacturer yields value-add for customers.

Allmech understands the Runxin ecosystem and technologies, stocks a comprehensive range of spares and is able to customise plants through special requests directly to Runxin when required. Furthermore, Allmech uses test benches where Runxin valves can be tested for faults, leaks or damages under similar conditions to those found on site. Valves can then be repaired more cost effectively without replacing the entire unit. Additional technical support is available via the Allmech WhatsApp group or through the Allmech website.

“We’ve chosen to partner with Runxin for various reasons,” says Maasdorp. “We find their products reliable, user-friendly and cost-effective, and they are continuously investing in new technologies and range extensions. We can pass all of that along to our customers.”

A good example is Runxin’s patented ceramic ball valve, designed for applications ranging from sewerage treatment plants to chemical plants, paper mills and irrigation systems. They are safe to use with gasoline, compressed air, gas and most alkaline liquids and acids.

Allmech stocks the ceramic valves because they are ideal for filtration and softener systems used in water treatment and are available in two-wire, three-wire and three-way (L-shape) variants from DN 15 – DN 50 threaded or glued fitting options. They are easy to programme and use, with simple, user-friendly displays.

“We also choose Runxin because of the valves’ longer service life – some of our valves have run for more than 10 years with no maintenance required,” says Maasdorp. “There are time-controlled ball valves available, as well as adjustable ones with a positional feedback function. The degree and angle that the ball can be opened at can be determined by the PLC on these valves, and adjustments for flow, temperature and pressure can also be made.”

One of the latest innovations in the Runxin range is a shut-off valve with a remote Bluetooth unit, which is designed for installation on incoming water lines in buildings and can turn off water when a leak is detected or send an alert when a geyser is at risk of bursting. “We think these are great for residential applications, as well as facilities management,” says Maasdorp. “We’re excited to be bringing them to the local market and currently have a demo unit set up at our premises for testing. We’re always looking for ways to improve our offering to customers, and we believe that’s why we’ve built such long-term relationships with many of them.”