Major Power Plant Achieves 90% Valve Repair Success

Problem:

When the Chief Inspector for a major Canadian power station first began his career as a welder in the late 1970s, he routinely performed the costly and time-consuming work of cutting and replacing globe valves.

The power station had been built primarily with low-cost globe valves that could not be repaired. The welder would spend as long as three weeks during an outage cutting out worn valves and welding in replacements.

In the mid-1980s, Armour Valve introduced the Conval line of in-line repairable globe valves to plant personnel after which the maintenance staff started to introduce them into service. Surprisingly, they found that they had to repair or change the valves frequently.

A plant survey uncovered signs of incorrect valve operation: a Conval valve left in the half-open position, an incorrectly mounted actuator, among others. For this reason, the benefits of extended service life and lower maintenance costs were not being captured. Inconsistencies remained an issue for the next few years. The repair of the valves would be hit or miss with some mechanics following correct procedure and others not.

The welder would spend as long as three weeks cutting out worn valves
The welder would spend as long as three weeks cutting out worn valves
Cutaway of the Conval Clampseal
Cutaway of the Conval Clampseal

Solution:

For the welder, who knew that properly serviced Conval globe valves should reduce maintenance headaches, this was both costly and frustrating.

Eventually, he would take on the role of Chief Inspector and invite Armour Valve to support the plant’s repair efforts during shutdowns. He attributed the subsequent improvement in service at the power plant to Armour Valve’s involvement. The valve repair success rate went from less than 50% to greater than 90% after contracting Armour Valve to perform routine valve servicing and support. This involved an integrated training and awareness program that included: valve operators, service mechanics, electricians, and others.

Impact:

The valve repair success rate went from less than 50% to greater than 90% after contracting Armour Valve to perform routine valve servicing. This support involved an integrated training and awareness program that included: valve operators, service mechanics, electricians, and others. Armour Valve continues to assist crews during shutdowns and provide training to plant personnel.

The Chief Inspector credits Armour Valve’s support with raising the level of product knowledge and service consistency to a level that enables the plant to capture maximum value from their investment.