Getting Gate Valves to One of North America’s Oldest Cement Companies

The Challenge

St Marys Cement began its operation in 1912 in the small town of St. Marys, Ontario. Today, it’s one of the oldest cement companies in North America. They own and operate several plants in North America, and their cement can be found in landmark projects such as the CN Tower and Roy Thompson Hall.

Capable of producing over five million tonnes of cementitious materials, their abilities eventually caught the eye of Votorantim Cimentos, one of the biggest producers of cement in the world. Now, St Marys Cement is the cornerstone of their entire North American operation.

Gate Valves Installed in warehouse

The Need

St Marys Cement needed several new bidirectional knife gate valves for one of their facilities to help direct the flow of cement slurry. Cement slurry is coarse, so these gate valves had to be capable of withstanding high levels of abrasion. Typically, these valves take ten weeks to manufacture and deliver. St Marys needed them in eight.

The Wajax Solution

St Marys Cement knew of Wajax’s technical know-how and well-connected network, so they came to us for support. For the knife gate valves, we turned to our long-standing partner Townley. Townley is well known for producing exceptional gate valves, highly resistant to pipe abrasion thanks to their moulded lining process and their proprietary Towniprene® urethane. This, combined with the Teflon lubricated adjustable packing, creates an excellent seal against the slurry. Townley assured us they could meet the quick turnaround for three valves.

Next came coordinating the shipping and delivery. Each of these shut-off valves weighs more than 5,000 lbs, so this had to be carefully planned and executed if we were to meet our deadline. For this, we turned to the technical expertise of the Wajax traffic department, who understand what it takes to ship large equipment. Working closely with the necessary parties, we made the entire process a seamless experience, answering all inquiries within 24 hours, and getting the valves delivered on time and budget.

The Outcome

Logistically speaking, this was an incredibly complex request. But by combining technical expertise with open communication, we made it happen. Townley’s gate valves perform beautifully and come in one solid piece making them easy to install. Part of a $25 million environmental project, these valves also helped reduce the emissions of several hazardous compounds, like sulphur dioxide and hydrogen chloride, from the cement kiln. Additionally, they could now recycle a large portion of the kiln dust, and use waste heat to crystallize the potassium by-product into a sellable fertilizer.

St Marys Cement was so pleased that they placed additional inquiries for Townley and other gate valves represented by Wajax. All in all, we feel this relationship has a solid foundation.

Learn more about Wajax’s industrial product offering here.