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    Fort Vale exclusive feature in March edition of HCB magazine

    23/03/2017

    Celebrating 50 years in business – Fort Vale is featured on the front cover of the March edition of HCB magazine with an exclusive double page interview on pages 8 & 9. Don’t miss our Safeload advert on page 11
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  • From Acorn to Oak  

    From Acorn to Oak

    20/12/2016

    Fort Vale Engineering Ltd is poised to celebrate a very special anniversary in 2017, we will be 50 years old!.


    From humble beginnings - a 140 m2 premises and the dream of a young, dynamic and tenacious engineer, the company has grown to become the global design, manufacturing and service entity it is today with a vast range of products for gas and liquid tank containers, road tankers, rail cars and the petroleum transfer industry. Fort Vale Engineering was started in 1967 by Edward S. Fort, whose commitment and significant success was recognised in 1987 when he was awarded the OBE for his services to industry.

    In 1966, "Ted" Fort decided to leave his employment as Assistant Chief Engineer at Drum Engineering in Bradford, having recently purchased 2 redundant machines from a Ministry of Defence auction for a grand total of £550.00. He took up a challenge from a business colleague at Kenning Road Tankers in Ossett to design and manufacture a 3-way valve that was to be half the weight of the model they were using at the time. From a small workshop at his parents' home, Ted designed the valve, prepared the drawings and a technical specification manual and produced a wooden model. He went on to win an order for 100 valves, on the proviso that the 5 prototype valves worked! Ted then set to work to persuade his younger brother Robert to leave his job at the BBC in London to come and join his fledgling business venture.

    With the addition of a Harrison 17 inch swing lathe, (which cost him every penny of his savings of £2,495), Ted's gamble paid off. Fortuitously, the two machines he had bought, a Precimax fine boring machine and a Newall Keighley L12 plunge grinder, were fundamental to the successful manufacture of this initial Fort Vale product.  The 2 1/2" cast iron T-port and L-port valves became the leading valves on all fuel oil delivery vehicles in the U.K., with sales of 1,500 units per year.

    Ted went on to design a ball valve type nozzle to add to his range of fuel delivery equipment and developed a range of adaptors and dust caps from a special aluminium alloy, which he named "Fortmetal", to rival the more expensive gunmetal equivalents on the domestic market.

    Having outgrown its first premises, the company moved to a larger site on the next street, and now had a staff of 13. It was at this time, in 1971, that Fort Vale received its first export order whilst Ted combined a sailing trip to Ireland with some customer prospecting. Tom Barry of Dublin placed an order for £10 and became a regular and long-standing customer. Crucially though, it was an encounter with a company called CPV (Container and Pressure Vessels) in County Monaghan that changed the course of the company. CPV was one of the first manufacturers of Tank Containers, a mode of bulk liquid transportation which was just in its infancy and competing with the alternative method of using 50 gallon drums. CPV had already gained orders for their tanks but were struggling to source high-quality valves to equip them. Having acquired a sound knowledge of valve design and manufacture, and following several profitable years of business, Fort Vale was ideally placed to become an expert supply chain partner at the inception of this rapidly growing market.

    The spring-return Marsden footvalve was the first valve Fort Vale designed for the tank container, followed by the Maxi Highflow relief valve, which was adapted from its existing Twinact design for road tankers.

    Buoyed by this expanding industry, Ted Fort purchased larger premises in 1974 - Parkfield Works, an old textile mill. The company became fully operational here in 1976 and in the 20 or so years that Fort Vale spent at Parkfield Works, massive developments took place.

    The incumbent Managing Director, Ian Wilson, joined the company in 1978 to spearhead its commercial management, and with him came the first computer, an 8k Commodore PET (Yes, 8k was its RAM size!). As well as quality and service, a core value of the company has always been continuous progress and investing in the latest technology: early installation of CAD/CAM enabled the design team to turn ideas into reality rapidly and to constantly refine and develop the product range.

    Facilities, machinery, office practices, personnel, marketing, management, production, design all went through huge changes as society, the political and financial situations and the tank equipment market changed so dramatically.

    Fort Vale attended national and international exhibitions and became a thought-leader in the industry, residing on the ISO Tank Container regulatory body and helping to set standards in safety and best practice - a principle that is still of paramount importance to the company today.

    As an investment in the company's future and, having started his own career as an apprentice at Rolls Royce at the age of 15, Ted Fort has always been an advocate of providing an excellent apprenticeship scheme which recruits every year. For the last three years, Fort Vale young engineers have been judged in the Top 3 nationally in prestigious engineering competitions. "I feel vindicated and delighted when I see the number of staff at Fort Vale, in all areas and some in very senior posts, who first started as apprentices, long may it continue!" Current Directors, David Bailey (Design), Andrew Bishop (Sales & Marketing) and Peter Staveley (Quality) exemplify this.

    Fort Vale moved to its current 72 acre site at Simonstone in 2008, currently occupying a manufacturing capacity of approximately 16,258 m2 (175,000 sq.ft). The site is also home to a specialist product Research and Development facility as well as a bespoke 3rd Party approved Test Laboratory and Oxygen-Clean Room. During the coming 12 months, the company will be re-locating its nearby lost wax investment casting foundry to a larger, purpose-built on-site foundry, which will further streamline production processes.

    Today the company employs over 500 personnel worldwide and has 5 strategically located, wholly-owned subsidiaries to service the global market. Fort Vale has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Export twice and the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade twice as well as being accredited with ISO9001:2008; PED Module D & H; TPED; ATEX.

    When asked about what makes Fort Vale the company it is today, Ian Wilson says, "We listen to what our clients want and anticipate future trends, so our products are always evolving to benefit them. The valves and equipment we manufacture, and the worldwide after-market service that we provide, are integral to the ongoing success of our customers and are crucial to the safety of those who work every day in high-risk environments. We value our unique position in the market, take our responsibilities seriously and aim continually to find ways to add value to ensure that our customers' vessels are 100% safe and dependable. The company is proud of its history and we are delighted to be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2017."


  • Even Better Flow Rates!  

    Even Better Flow Rates!

    26/09/2016

    In November 2015, Fort Vale launched a new generation 80mm Hyper Maxi safety relief valve aimed at the intermodal market. Continuous product development has led to further improvements and the release of its successor, the 82.5mm Hyper Maxi, which yields even higher flow rates. Verified test results demonstrate an 8.4% increase in unimpeded flow for the 82.5mm Hyper Maxi relief valves at industry standard settings.

    Fort Vale strongly believes that verifiable technical integrity is becoming increasingly important in a market that has seen a recent influx of "copy" valves with an unknown performance history.  Safety Relief Valves are required to protect vessels from catastrophic failure, to preserve against loss of life and damage to the environment.  As a market leader in our field, we take the associated responsibilities very seriously and want our customers to feel completely confident that they are buying the safest possible valves that have been tested and are trusted to perform consistently, for the life of their tank container.

    To date, Fort Vale believes it is the only intermodal valve manufacturer to have a purpose-built Flow Test Facility at its headquarters and manufacturing site.  Independently approved by Lloyds Register, this resource enables us to challenge the performance of our range of equipment and continue to make a significant contribution to the safe and reliable operation of tank containers.

    For example, close observation of relief valve behaviour during venting has enabled Fort Vale to refine certain key components and re-engineer the original Hyper Maxi design to produce a relief valve with a more precisely controlled pressure plate lift.  This has the effect of reducing turbulence within the valve and maximising flow.  The Hyper Maxi has a special composite style pressure plate, designed to improve O ring retention under pressure, a feature which enhances the long-term safety and performance of the valve and potentially reduces maintenance costs.

    The new Hyper Maxi is interchangeable with the existing 80mm model and is available with a pressure setting of 2 PSI up to 204 PSI (0.14 Bar to 14.07 Bar) and a vacuum setting of 0.5"Hg to 24"Hg (0.02 Bar to 0.81 Bar).  There are 3 body styles: standard, short extended and long extended, each with a slotted flange to facilitate 4 common drilling patterns: DIN65 PN10, 3"BSTD, DIN80 PN6, 3" ASA 150. 

    Development of the Hyper Maxi range of relief valves is ongoing and we will soon be releasing an additional valve, together with bespoke ancillary products, specifically designed for low pressure, high capacity tanks.

    For further information, please contact sales@fortvale.com.


  • Safeload Loading Arm at ILTA with Firesafe Hose.  

    Safeload Loading Arm at ILTA with Firesafe Hose.

    10/05/2016

    Once again, market-leading petroleum handling equipment manufacturer Fort Vale is pleased to be attending ILTA in Houston where it will launch its brand new Safeload Loading Arm System to the North American oil terminal market.

    ATEX and PED compliant, the new Safeload Arm has several unique features that the company believes will deliver an added dimension of safety and reliability.  Exclusively for the ILTA show, Fort Vale has teamed up with leading composite hose manufacturer Dantec and has fitted their "Firesafe VRS" hose to its demonstration assembly.    The Firesafe hose is made up of a series of non-asbestos barriers to conductive and radiative heat that offer outstanding fire retardant ability;  after thirty minutes of severe fire attack, the hose carcass remains intact and capable of holding product.  Even after loss of integrity, Firesafe hose will not fail catastrophically, rather, it will gradually burn off the product as it presents to atmosphere. 

    "From a safety point of view, the Fort Vale Loading Arm, the Dantec Firesafe hose and our Safeload API coupler is a complementary combination that's hard to beat," comments Euan Fisher, Fort Vale's Business Development Manager.  "Safeload has a well-deserved reputation worldwide for exceptional design features and reliability in service.  Our coupler was the first, and remains the only API on the market with curved extended latches - a feature that has proven to increase user-safety and longevity of service, and our 3 Year Warranty* demonstrates our confidence in its superior design. 

    The Safeload Arm is already generating a great deal of interest and we are excited to introduce its numerous features and benefits to the American market."

    Visit Fort Vale at Booth #740

     

    [*All metal parts under Standard Environmental Conditions]


  • Fort Vale appoints new Sales & Marketing Director  

    Fort Vale appoints new Sales & Marketing Director

    20/04/2016

    World-leading tank component manufacturer Fort Vale Engineering Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Andrew Bishop to the position of Sales and Marketing Director.

    Based at Fort Vale's headquarters and manufacturing site in the UK, Andrew will have global oversight for customer development and support across all of Fort Vale's equipment platforms in the tank container, road tanker, rail car and process sectors.

    Andrew has a career history with the company spanning over 30 years with roles in Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Distribution and Manufacturing Management, both at Fort Vale's main sites and also at their satellite and separate manufacturing operations. His most recent role has been that of Head of Sales and Marketing for Fort Vale UK.

    "Andrew has a vast experience of the company and our industry and we are delighted to appoint him to the Board," says Managing Director Ian Wilson. "Andrew will be taking the lead role in developing our future sales strategies for our core business where we have a high percentage market share, and he will continue to build on this. In addition, Fort Vale will be focusing its sales and marketing activities on new and growing markets. I am certain that Andrew's depth of knowledge will be key to his success in his new role."

    Andrew comments, "I am honoured to be appointed to the Board of Directors at Fort Vale, and will embrace the responsibilities that my new position holds. In particular I will be looking at ways that Fort Vale can strengthen its customer service and support, combined with raising awareness of the wide scope of our product offering. I will also be seeking expansion opportunities in our development markets where we have an ongoing product introduction programme that complements our established activities."

    Ian concludes, "As we at Fort Vale approach our 50th Anniversary, we can all take pride in what we have achieved over that time, and be very excited about the next successful 50 years plus!"


  • Get a load of this !  

    Get a load of this !

    01/02/2016

    Fort Vale is preparing to launch a brand new Safeload Loading Arm System, the latest addition to our range of products for the petroleum transfer industry.

    The Safeload loading arm is the culmination of many months of research and development and analysis of customer feedback, and Fort Vale believes that it is bringing something fresh and unique to the global oil terminal market.

    The key component is the balance mechanism which combines familiar industry-standard features with several innovative elements that deliver increased durability and safety and an enhanced user experience.

    Unlike most assemblies on the market, the Safeload balance mechanism is manufactured in stainless steel as opposed to traditional cast steel with a coated finish. This ensures excellent corrosion resistance and inherent strength and durability.

    The base swivel assembly incorporates a superior 3-seal and dual needle/dual ball race bearing combination for maximum axial and radial strength and performance. The specialist PTFE primary seal is rated to 400 Bar G, so is less prone to splitting in high-pressure operating conditions. The material is highly resistant to deterioration caused by product contact and affords the operator low-friction ease of movement. Secondary and tertiary seals protect the swivel mechanism from dirt ingress, ensuring a long-lasting and hard-working installation.

    The base swivel also features a swivel-stop device to prevent radial over-rotation and collision with adjacent loading arms. The stop bar is rubber-coated to ensure that there is no risk of spark generation.

    Balance adjustment is controlled by gas struts which are considered a safer and more reliable option than compressed springs. A limiter-bolt is incorporated as a failsafe to protect the loading arm and coupler from damage in the unlikely event of gas strut de-pressurisation.

    As a superior safety feature, all the loading arm swivels contain an integral earth system, unique to the Safeload design, that ensures electrical continuity and eliminates the necessity for separate earth wiring.

    The intermediate swivel and the coupler swivel are both of aluminium construction. A variety of spools and drop hoses will be offered and the coupler swivel has the option of a ball-end or D-style handle.

    The Safeload arm offers terminals ultimate installation flexibility: the balance mechanism can easily be configured to suit a top or bottom fuel supply as well as left or right orientation. Fort Vale can supply the core components or a complete assembly including spools and hoses if required. All swivel/pipework flanges have industry standard drilling patterns to be compatible with existing terminal installations.

    The Fort Vale Safeload brand is well-respected in the worldwide fuel terminal industry and has gained a worthy reputation for its rugged durability, security and reliability. Our API couplers remain the only such products on the market offering users a 3 year warranty on all metal parts.*

    Fort Vale will be proudly unveiling and demonstrating the Safeload loading arm and our API semi-automatic and high-pressure couplers at the forthcoming StocExpo show in Antwerp (Stand G7) and again at the Tank Storage Middle East event in April.

    For more information, please contact Fort Vale U.K. Head Office.

    (*under standard environmental conditions. See terms and conditions of sale)


  • New 80mm Hyper Flow relief valve - Our Best Yet!  

    New 80mm Hyper Flow relief valve - Our Best Yet!

    03/11/2015

    Fort Vale is launching a brand new range of 80mm flanged relief valves aimed at the intermodal market. The Hyper Maxi valve is the result of extensive research, development and testing and will offer users unparalleled flow performance predictability. It is approved by Lloyds Register and has patents pending on the design of a new integral safety feature.

    Historically, valve manufacturers have performed accredited witness flow testing for relief valves at third-party facilities. Testing is a costly process and is usually carried out over the course of a week. The test program is pre-agreed and allows little scope for development changes whilst testing is underway, nor the ability to test every valve with a combination of a gauze, bursting disc or cowl. Furthermore, there are very few facilities around the world able to test at the required flow rates.

    For these reasons, Fort Vale made a significant financial investment in a purpose-built Test Laboratory at our U.K. headquarters. Our gas flow rig is designed to BSEN4126 and ASME VIII Div.1 and is approved and certified by Lloyds Register. Devised to test relief valves with a maximum flow rate of 6.1 Nm3/s at 5.28 Bar, it has allowed us to accurately and quickly assess any combination of relief valve and ancillary item that may affect flow, within the limitations of the test rig. We believe that this is an unrivalled facility that allows us to make a unique contribution to the universal safety of tank containers.

    As part of our Continual Development program, Fort Vale conducted a detailed analysis of the operation and flow characteristics of our entire range of relief valves. This is believed to be the most comprehensive study ever undertaken on valves and systems for intermodal tanks and it has brought about an enhanced practical understanding of valve operating conditions, particularly with regard to de-ration factors for ancillary parts, such as gauzes and burst discs.

    When a tank builder is determining a relief valve flow requirement, the calculation is based upon a valve fitted with a burst disc and gauze to allow for maximum de-ration, even if no ancillary parts will be fitted eventually. Witness testing has proved that the flow rate of an 80mm Hyper Maxi relief valve, both with and without de-ration factors, meets current regulatory requirements and, at the time of going to press, it exceeds all current published comparative flow rates of relief valves by other manufacturers.

    The Hyper Maxi series of 80mm relief valves will offer a range of pressure settings from 3 PSI up to 204 PSI (0.21 Bar to 14.07 Bar) and vacuum settings from 0.5"Hg to 24"Hg (0.02 Bar to 0.81 Bar). There are 3 body styles; standard, short extended and long extended, each with a slotted flange to facilitate 4 common drilling patterns.

    The valve body and port geometry has been optimized and now incorporates a "lift stop", which is subject to a patent application and which enables the valve's pressure plate lift to be precisely controlled. This reduces turbulence and improves the valve's performance which means that the flow rate of the valve remains accurate and consistent - a fact which has been proven by repeated testing.

    Whilst the new 80mm flanged Hyper Maxi will be phased in to replace the existing 80mm Super Maxi model, the supply of our current range of 65mm bore and 65-80mm tapered bore Super Maxi valves will continue. It is planned to incorporate the lift stop safety feature across our range of relief valves and this process has already started with the 65mm Super Maxi range.

    Because of the design changes, some of the components are not interchangeable between the existing 80mm Super Maxi and the new 80mm Hyper Maxi. However, please be assured that we will continue to supply spare parts and world-wide after-market service and support for the Super Maxi indefinitely.

    We regularly stress the importance of using only genuine Fort Vale spare parts, ancillaries and consumables, available through our authorised worldwide distribution network. To accept substitute or "copy" components is not merely false economy; this practice invalidates product warranty and jeopardises the safety and performance characteristics of both the Fort Vale product and the vessel to which it is fitted. Our test data corroborates that customers will experience significantly reduced flow rates and greater de-rations when non-genuine components, such as springs, or alternative ancillaries, such as gauzes, are used in conjunction with a Fort Vale relief valve.

    The new Hyper Maxi relief valve will be available to order from 1st November 2015. For more detailed information on flow rates and de-rations relating to this valve and associated components, please contact us at sales@fortvale.com.


  • See the NEW Safeload High-Pressure API Coupler at the Tank Storage Show, Singapore  

    See the NEW Safeload High-Pressure API Coupler at the Tank Storage Show, Singapore

    08/07/2015

    Fort Vale is pleased to announce the expansion of its petroleum transfer product range with the launch of the new High-Pressure Safeload API coupler at the Tank Storage show in Singapore, September 2015.

    The High-Pressure Safeload coupler incorporates a brand new additional safety feature, the interlock latch, which is designed to eliminate accidental actuation of the coupler in case of lateral impact, thereby preventing any risk of product spillage.

    This interlock latch is in addition to the unique Safeload design of the extended wrap-around latches, which ensure maximum safety and security of connection and minimise wear to both the latches and the adaptor.

    "Customers consistently report their complete satisfaction with the long-term reliability of the Safeload API coupler, in fact one of our European clients has over 150 couplers in service and has had zero maintenance issues after 7 years of constant heavy use, reports Euan Fisher, Business Development Manager for petroleum products.

    Fort Vale is confident that its new high-pressure coupler will deliver the same excellent benefits and levels of service to customers needing a 10 bar operating pressure and a maximum working pressure of 16 Bar.

    The decision to buy Safeload couplers gives terminal operators total peace of mind - PLUS Fort Vale is still the only supplier in the market offering customers a 3 Year Warranty on API couplers." *

    In addition to the Safeload API Couplers, the Drytyt series of dry disconnect stainless steel couplings will also be on display. Available in all industry-standard sizes, the range includes threaded and flanged fire safe-designed tank units, compatible fire safe-designed pressure-tight caps and hose units with integral swivel. Keyed selectivity and colour coding is available for added cargo transfer security.

    Come and meet Euan and the Safeload family on Stand B28

    *Warranty details can be found at http://www.fortvale.com/FVETCOFSALE.pdf (paragraph 9)


  • Is the Fort Vale Safeload API coupler the most robust and reliable on the market?  

    Is the Fort Vale Safeload API coupler the most robust and reliable on the market?

    24/04/2015

    We think so, but what our customers think is what counts:

    "I have been in the industry for almost 20 years and working on loading racks for over 18 and I can honestly say that the Fort Vale coupler is the best API loading coupler we have ever used. I have used many different types and some were just trials, but this one beats them all. It is well worth every penny and I look forward to many years of dependable service from these couplers." - Scott Reiber, Manager, Holly Terminal, Spokane, Washington

    Fort Vale's confidence in the expected longevity of the Safeload's main components led them to offer an unprecedented 3 year guarantee on all metal parts in 2011. This warranty still stands and is unmatched by any other API coupler manufacturer.

    "Fort Vale works closely with leading storage depots and terminals and we believe that our Safeload coupler offers them simple but effective design benefits, such as connection-improving extended triggers that also reduce wear on the adaptor; splined spindles which offer greater engagement and strength for the handle and internal components than can be achieved through traditional pins; compression springs that are less susceptible to breaking than wavy springs; internal main actuating springs that are not vulnerable to damage or corrosion. The Safeload coupler not only improves safety but gives time back to terminal maintenance staff in the form of equipment requiring minimal maintenance input," explains Jack Muellner, Director of Sales for U.S.A.

    In addition to its manual and semi-automatic couplers, a new high-pressure version of the Safeload will be demonstrated at the ILTA show. It is aimed at applications that demand up to 16 Bar internal pressure on the rack with a 10 Bar rating when coupled.

    See us at ILTA Houston 01-03 June - Booth 843.


  • New products for Tank Storage Middle East Show  

    New products for Tank Storage Middle East Show

    09/12/2014

    Brand new for the Tank Storage Middle East show, Fort Vale is introducing their MK4 Safeload High Pressure API Coupler. Designed to complement their well-established 4" MK3 Safeload semi-automatic bottom loading API coupler, which is in world-wide oil industry use, the new coupler is aimed at applications that demand up to 16 Bar internal pressure on the rack and 10 Bar when coupled. Fort Vale is confident that, not only will the coupler perform in arduous service situations, it will also withstand high pressure line-spikes.

    To achieve this, the body castings and internal components have been revised. A 'unique to this application' spindle, crank and poppet offer greater strength and are designed to reduce flow turbulence. Additionally, the MK4 Safeload coupler has a smaller 'active pressure area' and a dual seal system, which reduces the effect of product displacement, making it easier to close the coupler against a retained line pressure. The release handle and the triggers have also been re-engineered to render these components stronger and less susceptible to wear and damage, ensuring maximum service life of the coupler.

    The Drytyt series of dry disconnect couplings will also be on display. Available in all industry-standard sizes, the range includes threaded and flanged firesafe-designed tank units, compatible firesafe-designed pressure-tight caps and hose units with integral swivel. Keyed selectivity and colour coding is available for added cargo transfer security.

    A brand new range of 1", 2" and 3" Ball valves designed for firesafe and/or lethal service applications will be introduced at the show. Suitable for both static plant and transportable tanks, the valves may be used for airline or discharge provision. All valve versions are approved to EN14432, EN12516-2, EN10497 and API 607.

    To find out more and for a free demonstration, visit stand C21.


  • New MK4 Safeload hi-pressure bottom loading petroleum coupler  

    New MK4 Safeload hi-pressure bottom loading petroleum coupler

    10/11/2014

    In addition to exhibiting its well-established MK3 Safeload bottom loading API coupler, Fort Vale will be unveiling a working prototype of its brand new MK4 Safeload semi-automatic coupler at the Tank Storage Germany Show. This product development is to satisfy the markets whose operating conditions demand a bottom loading coupler with a high pressure rating, namely a 16 Bar internal pressure in the closed position and a 10 Bar open pressure.

    Designed to the same robust standards as its MK3 cousin, the internal geometry of the MK4 Safeload has been refined so as to make the valve easier to close using less force in these intensive conditions. This gives both an ergonomic advantage and effectively eases the difficulties of product displacement. A new style spindle and poppet arrangement helps to cut down on turbulence within the coupler. Both the release handle and the triggers have been re-engineered to render these components stronger and less susceptible to wear and damage.

    As you would expect from Fort Vale, cycle testing and impact tests are ongoing to ensure that the MK4 Safeload meets or exceeds the specifications and requirements laid down by industry bodies.

    To find out more and for a free demonstration, visit stand E15.


  • Trigger Happy!  

    Trigger Happy!

    10/10/2014

    Fort Vale is delighted that one of its satisfied customers is happy to share his feedback with other bottom loading coupler users :

    "I have been in the industry for almost 20 years and working on loading racks for over 18 and I can honestly say that the Fort Vale coupler is the best API loading coupler we have ever used. I have used many different types and some were just trials but this one beats them all. It is well worth every penny and I look forward to many years of dependable service from these couplers." Scott Reiber, Manager, Holly Terminal, Spokane, Washington.


  • Good News for API users  

    Good News for API users

    10/10/2014

    Good News! The Fort Vale MK3 Safeload bottom loading API couplers are standing the test of time and proving to have a long and reliable service life.

    This assertion is largely credited to the unique design of the extended triggers that cover over 60% of the adaptor circumference. This ensures maximum safety and security of connection between the adaptor and coupler, and reduces the risk of product leakage.

    Fort Vale's confidence in the expected longevity of the MK3 Safeload's main components led them to offer an unprecedented 3 year guarantee on all metal parts* in 2011. This warranty still stands and is unmatched by any other coupler manufacturer. On-going research, product development and feedback from hands-on users has revealed that the triggers in the MK3 coupler show very limited signs of localised wear after years of constant service.

    Trigger design is the main difference between the MK2 and the MK3 coupler. Fort Vale had identified that localised wear to the narrow triggers of the MK2 was a safety concern to users and proceeded to design a proprietary wear gauge. Double-ended, it indicated whether the triggers were still serviceable or worn to an unacceptable level. At the launch of the MK3 Safeload coupler in 2007, a similar tool was designed with the same purpose in mind. However, it has become clear during intervening years that, due to the increased surface area contact of the extended triggers, the wear on both the triggers and the truck adaptor is significantly less. The result is a prolonged serviceable life of both units.

    Fort Vale has therefore taken the decision to discontinue the supply of the wear gauge for the MK3 coupler (part number 94/2120) and advises that customers no longer use it. However, it is still recommended to continue the gauging procedure for the MK2 coupler. For all Safeload couplers, Fort Vale advocates regular visual inspections and a periodical comprehensive check after 5 years of service or 250,000 cycles, whichever is the lesser. For any service or technical query, please contact Fort Vale.

    (*under standard environmental conditions. Warranty details can be found at www.fortvale.com/fvetcofsale.pdf (paragraph 9))


  • Beware Fort Vale Copies !  

    Beware Fort Vale Copies !

    20/03/2014

    Kindly beware of Fort Vale copies.

    It has come to light that some valve and spare parts suppliers, both in Asia and Europe, are copying Fort Vale valves and ancillaries in such a way that they could be mistaken for genuine Fort Vale parts.These valve manufacturers go into great detail to make the valves look aesthetically identical to Fort Vale.

    One example is the remote operating handle mechanism, see photo.

    Fort Vale relief valves have been found with broken springs that are not genuine spare parts. The IMDG requires that relief valves comply with EN4126. If a Fort Vale relief valve has been fitted with a non-OEM approved component, the type approval becomes null and void, our manufacturing warranty is rendered invalid and the valve is operated entirely at the customer's risk.

    Although a part might look the same as Fort Vale's, it may not perform the same.

    All Fort Vale products meet, and often exceed, the requirements of industry standards. Our valves and ancillaries are designed, developed and verified in-house by experienced engineers using MAGMA, FEA and CFD software and rapid prototyping techniques. Most component parts are manufactured by us, meaning that we can guarantee their quality and conformity. We only work with suppliers who operate the same scrupulous quality ethic as we do, and we test their parts too. Additionally Fort Vale has an on-site, independently approved test facility for liquid and air flow testing our valves. We also carry out cycle testing, impact testing and strain gauge testing.

    In short, our valves, manways and ancillaries are safe, and we can prove it.

    Do you know if the copy valves have all the correct approvals?

    Are their flow rates proven or calculated?

    Has the valve been cycle tested 1000 times at pressure to satisfy EN norms?

    There is no shortcut to safety. Always verify your supply chain. If in doubt, check with us.


  • Safety Upgrade for the 4  

    Safety Upgrade for the 4" Safeload API Coupler

    03/02/2014

    Fort Vale has introduced a new safety feature to its 4in Safeload semi-automatic petroleum bottom loading coupler. The body housing now incorporates a rubber bumper ring around its circumference which affords added security of the interlock by limiting the severity of shock loads transmitted through the body casting. Fort Vale believes that it will also contribute to the durability and longevity of the coupler.

    The Safeload with bumper ring has undergone extensive in-house impact testing to ensure that a shock load was absorbed, leaving the interlock engaged and the coupler securely closed. The bumper ring itself is manufactured from a rubber compound. Independent tests confirm that it has a surface resistivity significantly less than 1 G Ohm, as required by IEC 60079-0:2011 clause 7.4.2 and EN13463-1:2009 clause 6.7.

    As of January 2014, all new-build 4in semi-automatic Safeload couplers are fitted with the new bumper ring as standard, and at no extra cost to the customer. Those customers who wish to retro-fit the bumper ring to their Safeload couplers in service will be provided with a kit and fitting instructions.

    Fort Vale continues its commitment to improving safety in the industry. It recently issued a Safety Bulletin to Safeload users recommending an extra visual check both prior to and after using the coupler and cautioned that all recommended operating procedures be closely followed. Its Design Manager comments, "Fort Vale works very closely with leading tank farms and is always keen to contribute to safety improvements in any way that it can. We believe that Fort Vale is the only manufacturer to date to have introduced this important safety feature to the market."

    For more information, please contact us.


  • Fort Vale Nuclear Limited  

    Fort Vale Nuclear Limited

    31/01/2014

    Fort Vale Engineering Ltd. is delighted to confirm that our successful expansion into the nuclear industry has led to the creation of a new company dedicated to the sector.

    Fort Vale Nuclear Limited will come into being on the 1st March 2014 and will operate as a stand alone company working alongside our core engineering business here at the Simonstone, UK site. This move is designed to allow the nuclear side of the operation to grow further on the back of developing its own opportunities, strategies and business model.

    The nuclear division has so far increased its turnover year on year and is looking to tap further into a multi-billion pound market based around its skills in innovation, design and manufacture. It has recently secured framework agreements with two leading companies and has been selected as a preferred machining supplier to Nuclear Engineering Services Ltd. (NES)

    Fort Vale Nuclear Ltd will be headed up by Peter Staveley as General Manager.

    Photo Caption: Peter Staveley (left) and Managing Director Ian Wilson sign a framework agreement watched by Bob Hughes, Procurement Manager for Nuclear Engineering Services.


  • Royal visit HRH, The Duke of Kent  

    Royal visit HRH, The Duke of Kent

    14/11/2013

    Fort Vale enterprise gains Royal recognition

    Engineering firm Fort Vale's commitment to enterprise and training has been granted further royal approval by a visit from HRH the Duke of Kent.

    The Duke toured the company's headquarters at Simonstone to officially open a new 1.5million pound Sterling research and development centre.

    His visit followed Fort Vale's receipt of a fourth Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade earlier this year.

    Managing Director Ian Wilson said: "We were honoured to welcome the Duke of Kent to what has been another exciting and excellent year for us all here at Fort Vale".

    "The opening of the research and development centre underlines our commitment to investment in training and innovation, which, along with the people here, are cornerstones of our success."

    "We pride ourselves on developing first-class engineers, who make a high quality product which has made us key exporters to new and existing markets and helped us become world leaders in our field."

    Fort Vale Engineering, which employs over 350 people at its Simonstone site and has boosted annual turnover to close to 45 million pound Sterling is the leading manufacturer of precision valves and equipment used for bulk transportation of liquids, gases, and hazardous cargoes.


  • Queens Award for Export 2013 winners  

    Queens Award for Export 2013 winners

    05/07/2013

    Royal Seal of Approval

    Praise for staff after Fort Vale winning the prestigious export award, previously won in 1981, 1986 and 2008, and means the company can continue to use the Queens Emblem Award for the next five years.

    Only around 150 businesses and individuals across the UK were conferred with the award on the Queen's birthday last month. International trade (export) winners were judged on growth of overseas earnings, innovation and sustainable development, including management of resources and people.

    A presentation was be made to Fort Vale by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire. Two representatives of the company will be invited to a reception at BuckinghamPalace in July.

    "My philosophy has always been to invest in new technologies and put the machine power into the hands of our employees. I am extremely proud of our company and what we have all achieved together." Mr Ian Wilson Managing Director said: "Winning the Queen's Award for exports for the fourth time is a great honour for our company."

    "We are world leaders in our field and innovation has kept us in this enviable position throughout our 46 years of existence. Our biggest assets are the people in our team and our continued success results directly from their efforts."

    Fort Vale's latest success is one of the UK's highest accolades for business achievement. And after receiving the Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade, Company Founder and Chairman Mr. Ted Fort and Managing Director Mr. Wilson were full of praise for the staff that made it happen.

    Mr Fort said "When I first started at Fort Vale in 1967, my good friend and colleague Frank Hall said to me "If you look after the business, the business will grow and secure its long term future."


  • Family fun day in Simonstone marked the 45th anniversary  

    Family fun day in Simonstone marked the 45th anniversary

    14/08/2012

    A Family fun day held on Sat 30/06/12 in Simonstone, UK marked the 45th anniversary of a multi-award winning firm. Fort Vale Engineering, based at Calder Vale Park, celebrated the milestone with a host of activities, including a bouncy castle, go-karting, a live owl display, football, a martial arts demonstration, a Wii tent and factory tours.

    There was also free barbecue food and ice cream for all, and Directors Mr Kevin Singh and Mr Peter Staveley raised money for charity by volunteering to get we in the stocks. Mr Ted Fort OBE was in attendance as the guest of honour. Managing Director Mr Ian Wilson, who has worked for Fort Vale since 1978, said: "I am particularly pleased to have been able to offer training to so many people over the years, both apprentices and adults, and to see them moving forwards in the company gives me great satisfaction. These are the people who will help write the future chapters of Fort Vale's story."

    The open day at Simonstone, to celebrate this anniversary, was a great a success and enjoyed by all who were able to attend. "I look forward to celebrating our next big milestone, our golden anniversary in 2017."


  • Red Rose Awards  

    Red Rose Awards

    13/04/2012

    £Fort Vale attended the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards and was presented with two awards - Winner Export Award 2011 International Achievement Award Winner 2012. Congratulations to Fort Vale and a big thank you to all the employees who have helped Fort Vale achieve these.