Valve Tips for Fall Shutdowns
Fall shutdown season is upon us.
Once a year, generally in September, manufacturers spanning every industrial sector — from metal stampers to power plants — shut down for anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks. As you well know, these fall shutdowns are not company-wide vacations; instead, they allow facilities to perform the important cleaning, repairs, maintenance, component or system replacements, and facility inspections required to keep your plant running smoothly at peak efficiency for another year.
In preparation for your fall shutdown, you should be working with a valve manufacturer to ensure that all of your valves are functioning properly or, when they are not, to repair or replace them. Fall shutdown is the ideal time to do so.
Common Valve Repair Problems
Valves are an important aspect of many industrial processes but there are perhaps no facilities more dependent on their proper functioning than power plants. Manufacturing facilities and power plants alike tend to run across three problems when attempting to repair their valves.
Many facilities, particularly older ones that have not had a full overhaul in a number of years, have older valves. Plant and maintenance managers often prefer to repair these valves rather than replace them. Often, however, they will find that the original valve manufacturer is no longer in business and that the required valve repair kits are no longer available.
The second common problem is that, even when they are repairable, a facility’s valves may be so old that they have become obsolete. Valve technology and manufacturing is constantly improving — there is a high chance that your old valves introduce a potentially costly inefficiency that, though unavoidable at the time of installation, has been corrected by newer valve technology.
Finally, many plant and maintenance managers find that the cost of repairing older valves and fitting them with replacement parts can be prohibitively expensive. This can be particularly true in facilities that deal of condensate, such as power plants.
DFT® Inc. and Fall Shutdowns
With more than 70 years of valve manufacturing experience, DFT® Inc. is a leading control and check valve manufacturer.
Prior to shutdowns, DFT can work with your planners and maintenance team to provide education on the new valve technologies available for your facility. DFT is available to evaluate your valves and your piping system as a whole, to help reduce turbulence and potential failure. Our team can help guide you through the process. Our experts will help you to determine whether cleaning and repair is a viable option, or if you should consider replacing your valves with newer valve technologies.
If you determine that replacement is the better option for you, we will provide those replacements for you within the timeframe of your shutdown. Typically we replace failing swing and double door check valves with a newer technology provided by spring assisted, silent check valves.
From the world renowned DFT® Silent Check Valves to the innovative DFT® HI-100™ Control Valves, DFT®’s team of valve experts has experience providing recommendations to a variety of industries. Industries served include power generation, petroleum production & refining, building maintenance, chemical processing, water treatment, food & beverage, and more.
Facilities with steam applications, namely power plants, often experience high levels of condensation which, when not managed properly can cause any number of problems — rust and scale, lubrication degradation, reduced performance, and even machinery failure, to name a few.
We strongly encourage our power plant clients to consider the SCV® valve 3” and smaller for condensate and steam applications. Learn more about the SCV® valve by downloading the spec sheet.
Our larger diameter flanged and wafer style valves are available in sizes through 36” and larger pressure classes ranging from 125#-2500#.