Development of the Micro Matic Closed Loop Systems

You are of course familiar with one or more of the Micro Matic closed loop systems, but have you ever wondered how these came to be developed? Well, let us enlighten you.

As you may be aware, Micro Matic is a market leader in the brewing industry and has been a supplier of beer keg valves for decades. In the mid 1990s DOW in the US were looking for a closed system for their agro chemical distribution and, not finding anything suitable on the market, approached Micro Matic for help. The end result was the Macro Valve (MAV) system, which was essentially created from a beer valve but with keyed flanges and different connectivity to ensure they could not be used in the beer market. Initially the different keys were required to separate insecticides and herbicides, but of course this avoidance of cross-contamination translates to any market and remains a key advantage of the system (pardon the pun). The MAV is now used in myriad chemical applications, including extremely hazardous products.

Next in line was the Mini Valve (MIV), which was developed to satisfy demand for the dispense of edible oils in commercial kitchens. This required a valve generally smaller in size to be used in smaller containers (10-30L) and with a lower flow rate. The MIV valve looks much more like a beer valve but again was developed so it can’t be used in the beverage industry. The MIV is now also used in applications such as bakery improvers and release agents, as well as flavours and fragrances.

After creating a smaller valve, the requirement came for the complete opposite, in that a much larger valve was needed for the high viscosity products of the mineral oil industry. The MAV valve on offer at the time did not provide the required flow, so the High Viscosity Valve (HVV) was created for this market, with a wider tube and bigger flow path. A particularly successful application is the motor oil industry, which uses the Oiltainer(a HVV valve installed in a PU coated Schaefer container). The Oiltainer sits on a trolley, so it can be wheeled around a car garage to wherever it’s needed, and precision dispensing taps allow for the clean and accurate dosing of motor oils.

Whilst these three systems were all very effective and could service a large variety of markets, they did have the drawback of requiring special necks to enable their fitting into containers. The salesforce was often confronted with the feedback that yes, the closed systems are very interesting, but we don’t want to buy new, stainless steel containers when we have perfectly good, and much larger, plastic ones. So in around 1997/8 the Drum Valve system (DV) was introduced into the market with 2 different threaded neck sizes: 2”BSP for metal drums and 56×4 for plastic containers in the European market. Due to the type of containers these valves are fitted into, they are designed not to be used under pressure. With the large range of container sizes it can be used in, the DV valve comes with a plastic tube which can be cut to the required length. Historically especially popular in the agro chemicals market and now widely used in a variety of speciality and hazardous chemical sectors, it can be used with applications which don’t require pressure dispense.

If you would like any more information about the Micro Matic closed loop systems, visit our website or contact us.

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