Steaming ahead

Established in 1949, Rifox – Hans Richter Gmbh Spezialarmaturen is dedicated to the development and production of high quality steam traps for heat and energy economy, drainers for steam and gas, and valves.

Located in Bremen, Germany with a workforce of 35, Rifox has developed strong international links exporting 40 per cent of its products worldwide, in particular to China, Japan, Australia and Europe. Currently turning over approximately 3.8 million euros Rifox has carved itself a reputation as a specialist within the industry, achieving a number of certificates for quality.

Steam traps work to remove condensate and non-condensable gases from a system without any loss of steam in the process. Using a suitable and efficient trap can help to prevent wasting resources and money. Steam traps can be used to remove condensate from piping, heat exchangers, autoclaves, gas and air compressors, air heaters, compressed air tanks, filters and for trace heating dryers and boilers.

Float, thermostatic and thermodynamic controls are built into the steam trap housing and regulate the levels of condensate by automatically operating valves without the need for outside control. The float traps use the uplift of a float by the liquid condensate to mechanically open and close the valve. The thermostatic and thermodynamic traps use temperature to control the valves. Most of Rifox’s products can be produced in stainless steel of various qualities depending on specific requirements. These are NIRO 1.4571, 1.4581, 1.4552, Hastelloy C4, Duplex 1.4462 and titanium.

Rifox produces a wide range of products within each type of trap to cover all operational needs. These are grouped under RIFOmat, RIFOlevel, RIFObi/ka, RIFOdyn, RIFOjet, RIFOair, RIFOdry and RIFOlift. Each group corresponds to a different type of steam trap from float to bimetallic. This variety means Rifox has a trap to meet every specification from operating in a pressure range of PN 6 to PN 320 to working with temperatures from minus 195°C to plus 550°C.

It’s not only internal conditions that can fluctuate, sometimes outside factors can be less than favourable. To counteract this Rifox has developed float controlled steam traps with additional external heating to prevent malfunctions under severely low temperatures.

Other developments include a float trap and air vent valve housed within one unit. The Mini-N-1064 is completely gas tight because the water bath inside prevents gas escaping and is particularly ideal for biogas plants. With only metal components used within the welded body the unit doesn’t require an ATEX certificate.

Ball-float steam traps are generally considered to be the most efficient trap system but equally thought to be too expensive for standard application. Rifox prides itself on manufacturing systems that are cost-effective in any application. Versatility is one contributor to this with all traps marked VARIO able to be mounted in a horizontal or vertical position allowing for the possibility to modify flow directions.

As part of its Rifomat exact control system, Rifox developed the rotary slide valve. With only one moveable element the valve helps make products more durable and almost without need for maintenance, which greatly reduces consumers costs. Rifox traps can operate over long time periods without the need for operational disturbance.

Purchasing costs are not the only consideration when investing in steam traps. The costs of operating the system can often be overlooked and yet are just as important. These include the cost of maintenance, loss of energy, spare parts, storage and purchasing price. When it comes to low operating costs Rifox has no competitor worldwide.

Rifox knows the value of the right part for the right job, which is why it offers a special service producing armatures on demand to the consumer’s specific technical details. It operates a certified welding department to manufacturecasing structures ad connections to individual requests. Rifox also boasts a comprehensive list of complementary products such as condensate pumps, vent valves, fine driers and sight glasses.

Drawing on its technological experience Rifox has recently begun producing valves from brass as opposed to the traditional stainless steel, which can corrode over time. Although the change may mean a big difference for the consumer, it has required little investment on Rifox’s part, as the manufacturing process has remained the same.

With an exhibition stand at the SMM convention in Hamburg later this year and having established itself within a variety of specialist markets, Rifox’s focus is now set on more core markets for the future.

40 per cent worldwide export

New core market focus

Recent brass valve production