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Press Release - Push, Open, Lift, Fill, Blast, Stop, Go, Drill

May 04, 2012

Push, Open, Lift, Fill, Blast, Stop, Go, Drill … In Praise Of The Amazing, Yet Humble, Air Valve


FREMONT, Ohio, USA — December 12, 2011 — One amazing product makes our lives easier in hundreds of ways and we rarely give it a thought. Without it, air would just be … air. With it, air becomes power. As designers and makers of this product, Alkon Corporation invites the world to acknowledge and celebrate … the air valve.

For its relative size and simplicity, the valve is crazy valuable. Think about it: without the air valve, how would you put air in your tires or test for glaucoma with that little puff of air? That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Directional air valves play a fundamental and wide-ranging role in everyday life,” says Mark Winter, president of Alkon Corporation, a Fremont, Ohio-based manufacturer of valves and fittings.

Instead of having to huff and puff or pump bellows, the venerable air valve does the work for us. Developed for manufacturing machines in the Industrial Revolution, the air valve was soon catapulted into widespread use.

“Air valves are rarely the topic of casual conversation,” Winter says. “Most people don’t think about them at all because we tend to notice something only when it doesn’t work. That says volumes about air valve reliability.”

So does the fact that we use them in controls for many amusement park rides.

Winter points out how often we encounter air valves every day and don’t realize it. They open doors for us at supermarkets, hospitals, home centers, on the bus and at entrances equipped for handicap access. Air valves make it possible to dry clean clothes, do banking in our car and get our vehicle washed while we’re still in it. Changing or rotating tires takes far less of our time thanks to tools powered by compressed air.

In fact, air valves are vital to the entire transportation and shipping industry, Winter says. These valves are redesigned a lot due to changing vehicle models and the mandate to reduce weight for better fuel efficiency. Alkon’s Trans-DOT products are made to Department of Transportation specifications. The line is comprehensive, including valves for ride controls which provide reliable stopping power for everything from public transit buses and heavily loaded tractor trailer rigs to massive locomotives.

On the job they help us blast through concrete, carve out tunnels, manufacture multiple parts at once and operate robotics and conveyors. We use air power to spray powder coatings on appliances, assemble vehicles faster on the production line and operate critical equipment in power plants, grain elevators and foundries. Air valves measure powdered foods and drink mixes into aseptic packaging.

According to Winter, health care is a huge and expanding market for air valves.

“They’re used in blood pressure cuffs, dentist’s equipment, glaucoma tests and other diagnostic procedures, not to mention robotics and suction during surgery,” he explained. “With mechanical respirators, they even breathe for us. Air valves are pretty amazing.” 

So, the next time you order a fountain drink or beer on tap (both of which require air valves), raise your glass and whisper a little thank you to the noble air valve. That shushing sound? That’s a valve’s humble way of expressing, “Don’t mention it.”

About Alkon Corporation

Based in Fremont, Ohio, Alkon Corporation makes more than 10,000 varieties of pneumatic valves, flow controls, fittings and accessories in virtually unlimited configurations as well as a full line of products that are made to meet DOT requirements. Over 60 years of expertise goes into the design and automated production of custom and stock items. Applications cover commercial, industrial, military and transportation.

Alkon is ISO 2011-certified, passionate about performance, enthusiastic about custom work and performs complete turnkey projects from forging to finishing. For more information, call 419-333-7000 or visit

For information on Alkon products and services, contact us today.