Location: Texas Gulf Area
Plant type: Refinery
Product: Customer support, inspection & product servicing
Background: ValvTechnologies has supplied almost one-quarter million severe service isolation valves to customers around the world. These valves are expected to last for 20, 30 and even 40 years of almost continuous operation.
Just like any machine, our valves should be inspected and serviced to maintain their zero-leakage performance throughout their operating life. The ValvTechnologies’ Service Department plays an important customer support role, providing inspection and product servicing for our customers.
Requirement: One of our oldest customers is a large refinery in the Texas gulf area. They have several hundred ValvTechnologies’ valves installed: many of them are specially engineered designs and unique materials of construction for tough service applications in their refining units. A large number of these valves have been in service for more than 15 years.
In early 2013 ValvTechnologies began discussing with the refinery managers how we can help them refurbish these valves during a large multi-unit plant outage in early 2014. For many months we held on-site inspections of the equipment and had numerous follow-up planning meetings with the personnel who were determining the outage schedule. From this we developed a detailed valve list for several dozen older valves in the units scheduled for outage. With this valve list, ValvTechnologies put together a complete outage support plan to receive the used valves and restore them all to like-new condition. This plan was a major challenge because we had only one week to turn-around each valve: this left zero time for delays or errors.
Result: The ValvTechnologies’ Gulf Coast Service Regional Sales Manager managed most all of the pre-outage planning with the refinery while the South East Regional Service Engineer managed the in-shop planning and work flows. The project was watched around-the-clock, seven days a week to ensure success.
Numerous service department personnel assisted in the preparation and execution of this large project and several other departments lent their support as well. In particular, assembly and test personnel from HP and LP Shops worked 12 hour shifts in the Service workshop during the month to ensure the valves were repaired on time. Customer inspectors made visits every day to check on the status of the valves in-process. Visits were often late at night to confirm that things were moving forward with our second shift.
The end result of all this planning and project execution was that, by the end of February, all valves were completed and returned to the refinery ahead of the customer’s requirements. The customer praised ValvTechnologies for their promptness and efficiency noting that we were well ahead of any other valve and repair company for this outage.
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