BWX valve: From idea to order through customer collaboration
Successful collaboration with the German Linde Group on the joint development of a new cryogenic metal-seated butterfly valve enabled Metso to win a greenfield project for an air separation unit (ASU) that will be used in a challenging industrial gases application. The main factors that made this project especially valuable for both parties are the remarkably short development time, 100% compliance with the customer’s requirements and strong partnership.
TEXT: Martin Dreßen
PHOTOS: Linde Group and Metso
The ability to quickly adapt to changes has enabled The Linde Group, the world’s largest industrial and medical gases company headquartered in Munich, Germany, to remain steadily profitable, even during the harsh years of the global financial crisis. Still, the requirements of the industrial gases market in terms of product safety, quality and compliance with all its certification criteria are getting even tougher. This calls for constant development from Linde as well as from its main suppliers.
When the need for a new valve solution arose, the company began to look for a partner who would be able to help Linde step up to the more stringent requirements and succeed in its changing environment. Linde and Metso have a long-term history of cooperation and in 2008 Metso aquired MAPAG Valves GmbH from The Linde Group.
Past experience has proven Metso’s commitment to serve the company with high integrity and a focus on uncompromised quality, even in the most challenging cases. Therefore, Linde selected Metso for the development of an innovative cryogenic valve that was required for a new ASU in a very short time period.
100% requirements compliant
After completion of intensive research and development, which was jointly conducted by Metso’s development team in Horgau, Germany, and Linde’s engineers, the new BWX valve was approved by the customer in December 2014. The close collaboration of the companies during the design phase ensured that the end product is 100% compliant with all of Linde’s requirements.
Immediately upon approval, the first order for the cutting-edge BWX valve was placed in March 2015, only six months after the initial idea was born.
The cryogenic BWX valve will be installed at Linde’s air separation unit in Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany, on the Polish border. Once on stream, the unit’s main purpose will be to serve oxygen and nitrogen to the local ArcelorMittal steel manufacturing facility. The valves will play a crucial role in securing the plant’s reliable and efficient operations over the long run.
BWX is the latest valve development from Metso. Its metal-seated butterfly design provides high Cv values. The valve is based on a platform design, but can also be customized according to specifications. Thanks to its fully dry assembly and oil-free production option, the valve is ideal for oxygen service, where high cleaniness and an extreme level of tightness are required.
Being a partner, not just a supplier
“This first BWX cryogenic valve order marks a milestone with one of our key customers. Using our long field-proven experience in the market and decades of process knowledge, we combined the best design features of our existing product series to create this state-of-the-art BWX valve,” says Martin Dreßen, Business Manager, Oil & Gas Business Line, Metso. “There was a clear gap in the industrial gases sector when it comes to products with extremely high tightness that fit the challenging cryogenic and oxygen services. BWX is now capable to successfully fill it.”
BWX not only meets Linde’s requirements, it also offers value for customers in the industrial gases sector as well as pump and turbine businesses by helping them fulfill stricter compliance regulations in the future.
Ingo Leufgen, Sales & Service Director at Metso in Germany and Switzerland, comments on the project: “Time-to-market was a considerable issue for Linde. Thanks to the fast reaction ability and high level of professionalism of the Metso team, we were able to deliver within the short project turnaround time.”
“We are also proud of the value we can now provide for Linde that comes with increased safety and improved process performance. Metso has once again been able to justify that we are not just a supplier, but a long-term partner for Linde for the future, securing technical and commercial competitiveness.”
For Linde, the sustainable value from having BWX valves at its air separation facility is the assurance of the plant’s efficient operations and compliance with the latest safety and quality standards.
The Linde Group
The Linde Group, the world’s largest gases company, supplies industrial, medical, process and specialty gases, as well as plants, hardware and application solutions to virtually every branch of industry. In 2014, The Linde Group generated revenue of around EUR 17 bn with approximately 65,500 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Published in Results flow control customer magazine 2/2015.