Is excellence in valve selection from huge market offering the next major innovation that process industry is calling for? When taking a look at the valve offering in the market, there is plenty of flow control products to choose from. Whether you’re looking for valves to on-off, ESD or control applications, you are facing the same dilemma of huge selection of products. There’s gate valves, axial valves, ball valves, trunnion mounted ball valves, seat supported ball valves, API 6D valves, rotary valves, butterfly valves, rising stem valves, globe valves, eccentric plug valves, segment valves, triple eccentric valves, lug type valves, wafers, reduced bore, full bore, metal seats, soft seats, polymer proof seats, high temperature seats… the list makes breathless and we still need to select an actuator and valve controller to have the whole package that can be called as an automated flow control solution.
When discussing with process industry professionals, many of them are struggling to find the right, reliable valve that will last over the process run period with reasonable price and low cost of ownership. There seems to be a great need coming from process industries towards valve suppliers to make sense out of the jungle of valves and helping to select the right valve for given application in question.
Couple of examples will explain what this means in practice. The first example comes from a major petrochemical project with various intermediate processes where we have been selecting to propose on-off ball valves – either metal or soft seats. The proposal is actually getting more and more obvious the more we dig into the processes and applications… Another example comes from a workshop with one refining customer, where the outcome was that we are looking together towards applications that could well be handled by disc valves instead of ball or gate valves.
Will the most desirable partners of flow control solutions for process industries be those in the future that can provide wide enough valve offering and compact solutions with long lasting performance, excellence in valve selection with low cost of ownership and good service capabilities throughout the valve’s life cycle? Is this the greatest innovation and technological leadership?
Oil & Gas Application Manager, Metso Flow Control