The concept of total cost of ownership (TCO) is not an unfamiliar term when discussing investment decisions in process industries. It has become a valuable tool to help buyers make more informed purchase decisions. While the initial purchase price cannot be ignored, TCO provides a deeper look into the long-term impact of specific purchases. When choosing valve options or suppliers for oil & gas applications, it is worth considering the following factors before making your decision.
1. Specify the right valve for the application
It is not uncommon to find situations where considerable savings could be obtained by simply changing valve types. Factoring in the high-performance butterfly valve’s lower cost of installation, maintenance and automation in addition to the increased uptime, it will almost always end up being more economical over time, when compared to popular gate valves. It pays off to work with a partner that can help take the uncertainty out of the valve selection process.
2. Select the best seats, seals, coating materials and trim
In addition to the choice of valves, there is still a wide range of options that that can help further reduce TCO. Seats have an important bearing on shut-off performance and valve longevity, while advanced stem seal designs can help limit fugitive emissions, extending the valve life cycle. Among other things, the correct coating can reduce friction, minimizing wear and improving performance. Noise abatement, such as Metso’s Neles® Q-Trim® technology may be required to reduce noise and vibration in high flow velocity applications.
3. Reduce TCO with smart technologies
Paying a little more for smart valves equipped with advanced technologies will significantly reduce the TCO over the lifetime of process control and automated on/off valves. These savings come in a number of forms, ranging from reduced wiring costs thanks to connectivity with a variety of bus technologies, to cost effective remote troubleshooting to mention just a few.
4. Investigate the true quality of valves
In a world where valves are often manufactured in faraway places, it’s worth knowing their true quality in terms of everything from raw material integrity to casting. Tight quality control and dealing with trusted partners will help keep long-term costs down and ensure optimum performance.
5. Consider a single source for your valve packages
Sourcing fully integrated package solutions from a single supplier may be considered a matter of convenience, but it also has the potential to create tangible savings. When a valve package has been designed and engineered to work together, you are guaranteed improved reliability.
6. Keep up with required maintenance
Valve ownership cost reduction does not end with the purchase of hardware. Preventing unplanned downtime through routinely monitoring and analyzing valve performance and condition has been made increasingly easy with automated solutions that help accurately plan preventive maintenance.
7. Optimize spare part inventories
Ask your supplier to help perform an analysis of your inventories. They can help you develop a strategy that reduces redundant inventories while optimizing the impact of the remaining stock. This will ensure the continuous availability of the most critical components.
8. Pick the right partner
Oil & Gas Application Manager, Metso Flow Control