The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Valve Components Safe in Cold Weather

Oil extraction facilities, refineries, and buildings have a weak link. The weakest link in any extraction facility is its valve components. Because when it’s cold outside, it’s not unusual for processing plants, oil extraction facilities, and other like industries to weatherize their plant.

Many people used to call the weatherization process heat tracing. But today’s engineers know it is essential to take care of valve components in preparation of any weather extreme. It takes much more thought than ever before to implement any winterizing process.

The informational guide below will go over the best ways to keep the valve and valve components safe from the cold.

Valve Components

You already know that valves have globe valve symbols which are designed to help you prepare your entire plant’s system design plans. Your facility’s design documentation includes criteria you need to know and follow for valve component isolation.

The set-up design documentation should include:

  • Requirements for intrusive plant operations
  • Requirements for access into equipment for inspection and maintenance
  • Details on valve isolation arrangements as well as valve types, spacers/spading points, and more

It’s during the design set up you want to include your test points, drains for venting, and any valve purging that may be needed during extreme situations.

Valve Function

You may already understand the importance of valve components in a pipeline system. Valve functions along a pipeline system are to control the rate, speed of flow and the pressure of various content. It is the valve function that gives facilities added information on the process conditions.

Valve Protection 

The ultimate goal when you’re treating valves that need heat trace or process heating during cold weather is to protect the valve. You need to protect the valve components and the valve’s function too. When you use heat trace you are maintaining the heat within a pipe, valve or component.

Process heating is when you maintain a targeted temperature as you drive heat processes towards your valve and valve components. This may entail preventing condensation or even providing extra heat in flow lines.

To-Do-List to Keep Valve Components Safe from Cold

Frigid weather and freezing fluid in your control valves can shut down your facility. Here are some helpful tips to prevent your valve and valve components from freezing. The list includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Breather plugs on back pressure regulators or any equipment you use for production that uses breather plugs are face down. This helps prevent freezing moisture get inside the valve components.
  2. You can inject methanol into gas streams to help prevent freezing of valves and valve components.
  3. The body of your valve is especially vulnerable to the cold. Using a flameless heater keeps the body of the valve warm. Flameless heaters have hinged doors so you can access the valve when needed.

You want to make sure your treater valves have the needed tubing, and it runs downhill. Also ensure the tubing and line are no more than a 90-degree slant.

Valve Assistance 

No two industries have the same needs from their valve components, yet efficiently winterizing can save all industries an interruption in their services or product. You now know how vital your valve components are and how to keep them from freezing up and disrupting your operations. If you need any information or have questions about your valves or the weatherization process, reach out to us.

Our services help maximize your profit in healthy uptime.

Parts On the Move

Valve Supply Chain

In an age when moving materials or parts around the world is commonplace, making sure they are quality parts, managing expenses, and ensuring that the records are accurate can be a challenge.Issues in managing the supply chain can be broken down into three main areas of concern: cost, quality, and accuracy.

  1. Cost – Largely due to lack of domestic supply, many U.S. manufacturers depend on imported raw materials and valve components. According to a May 16, 2017, report by ICF, a global consulting services company, about 40 percent of U.S. valve parts and 16 percent of finished valves are imported. Fitting imports stand at 42 percent. With the current 25 percent import tariff on steel imported to the U.S. from certain countries, the price tags are becoming more difficult to control.
  1. Quality – Poor quality comes with consequences and is never acceptable at CPV. Knowing where and who they are coming from is essential in ensuring that parts and raw materials meet quality standards. Assurance that the source and all other players in the pipeline are reputable is the first step in guaranteeing quality.

At CPV Manufacturing, we work tirelessly to meet or exceed all standards of quality, performance, and dependability in our valves and fittings.

  1. Accuracy – The valve supply chain is made up of suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. Information is passed down through the line and may be handled by any number of people, leaving plenty of room for mistakes or omissions, and opportunities for documents to be lost.

With so much information for scores of parts and raw materials to keep track of, use of electronic documentation can help prevent loss and ensure accuracy from end to end through the supply chain.

At CPV, we’re committed to producing only the highest quality valves and fittings. Contact us for more information about what our products can do for you.

How to Keep Things Running Smoothly

Four Tips to Keep Valves Running Smoothly and Efficiently

You wouldn’t make a major equipment investment, bring it home or to the plant, and then ignore it. You’d follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions, respect the recommended break-in period, and maintain that equipment following the schedule that the manufacturer advised.

Valves should be treated no differently.

CPV Manufacturing’s valves serve a multitude of functions. Many are put to use as severe service valves. They control essential (and sometimes expensive) equipment, and they protect the equipment and its surroundings.

Our valves are manufactured to meet or exceed the highest performance, dependability, and overall quality standards. Like any high-performance machinery, they must be handled properly from the start to ensure that they will last and operate at their peak. Here are four guidelines that will help keep your operations running smoothly, efficiently, and profitably.

Proper Commissioning and Installation

Before installing new valves or equipment, or before a new plant is constructed or goes online, the pipes and equipment should be cleaned or flushed. Particles of debris can clog or damage the valves. Commissioning equipment before starting operations will significantly reduce the risk of damaging the valves or system. It will also help guarantee the valves’ performance, especially their ability to shut off tightly and open quickly at the appropriate times. It will help to protect your equipment and ensure that once the facility is up and running or operations resume, it will remain in operation.

During installation in pipelines,  CPV O-SEAL® Valve Spacers replace O-SEAL® valves, as the extreme heat from welding and brazing would damage the O-SEAL®. The spacers can be reused later for maintenance operations any time there is a risk of contamination or damage to the O-SEAL®.

Spare Parts

Unforeseen circumstances however minor have a way of becoming problems. Regardless of how much care has been taken, there are times when something unexpected will pop up and a valve will suddenly become in need of immediate repair. Depending on the circumstances, these surprises can bring production to a halt.

Custom manufactured parts, should they be needed, could take days, weeks, or even months to replace. Downtime can be drastically reduced by having valve replacement parts on-hand whenever practical.

The potential financial loss from a full or even partial temporary plant shutdown can far outweigh the price of keeping a few spare parts on hand.

Preventive and Proactive Maintenance

It’s a lot easier and much less expensive to prevent a fire than it is to extinguish one and/or rebuild after one. It’s a lot easier and way more cost effective to prevent valve failure than it is repaired and clean up resulting messes after a failure.

Lack of proper maintenance can lead to inefficient operations, equipment or valve failure, or plant shutdown…followed by a resulting financial expense and loss of income.

A well-trained, dedicated preventive maintenance team will be able to carry out the majority of its work to keep the plant running smoothly while the equipment continues to operate. Maintenance that cannot be done during operation should be done during scheduled downtimes.

In order to simplify some maintenance procedures, CPV offers three types of O-SEAL® flush plugs. Under-Seat and Over-Seat flush plugs have threaded connections in the top of the plug for connection to the flushing pump. Flow-Thru plugs allow the flush to flow through without contaminating the O-SEAL® valve cartridges in valves located in the middle of the section being flushed.

More information about maintaining your CPV valves is available here.

Monitoring and/or Advanced Diagnostics

The ability to plan maintenance and tackle potential problems proactively, before they become a problem, can make a world of difference. This is especially true for severe service valves, where the use of advanced diagnostics is strongly recommended. Along with careful monitoring, advanced diagnostics will go a long way in helping to signal a need for attention before problems arise or become worse.

Properly functioning valves are crucial to safe and efficient operations at any plant. Ensure they operate at peak performance by taking care before and during installation as well as after.

Valve Asset Management System

When it Comes to Managing Valves, One Size Doesn’t Fit All

 A proactive approach to valve management can play a crucial role in running a productive and profitable operation. There can be hundreds or even thousands of valves in use in a plant at any given moment. And the better they’re managed, the less costly downtime you’re likely to have.

All CPV valves are designed to meet or exceed quality standards, but there’s still a huge difference in wear between a valve that controls water flow and one that controls the flow of a highly corrosive liquid. The possible consequences of valve failure are equally as varied. So a one-­‐size-­‐fits-­‐all approach to valve maintenance and lubrication can be both wasteful and potentially dangerous. Maintenance of the right valves at the right time is an essential part of keeping your operations running. You want to give attention where it’s needed and not waste time, materials, and labor doing maintenance that isn’t necessary.

That’s where a valve asset management system comes in…a record-­‐keeping system specifically for valves. It can be compared to a medical records system where a valve is the equivalent of a patient and the plant manager is the doctor. A good asset management system holds every morsel of information about a valve’s past “health.”

Knowing the history of each valve also helps you manage inventory. Being able to predict what parts and materials are most likely to be needed allows you to have them on hand for faster repairs or maintenance…and funds won’t be tied up holding supplies that you don’t need.

How Do You Determine the Optimal Schedule?

 There are several methods for figuring out the best maintenance schedule for your valves. We’re only looking at one of them in this article…the risk-­‐based inspection.

A risk-­‐based inspection allows you to determine the most efficient and cost-­‐effective maintenance schedule for each individual valve. It considers how likely the valve is to fail and the potential impact of failure…impact could range from slowing down operations for an hour to a potentially catastrophic event that may include loss of equipment, loss of life, or permanent damage to your company’s reputation. Working in close collaboration with a service provider, a customized plan is put in place for each valve.

An efficient valve asset management system used together with a risk-­‐based inspection can save countless hours and materials from unnecessary maintenance, and costly downtime. And avoiding a failure that could end in disastrous consequences is priceless.

What’s the Right Asset Management System for You?

An asset management system can range from something as simple as a spreadsheet to a sophisticated software program that tracks every aspect of every valve’s history.

A good asset management system will organize and store:

  • Maintenance records
  • Inspection records
  • Test records
  • Performance records
  • Diagrams
  • Photos
  • Notes

Of the asset management system options, web-­‐based applications offer the most benefits. When deciding which system to employ, consider checking in with our friendly customer service team to be sure you’re following CPV’s maintenance and lubrication schedule recommendations. Here are a few additional items you may want to think about:

  • Cybersecurity—at the top of the list because it’s extremely important.
  • Having 24/7 access to current data at your fingertips so you can log in anytime from anywhere with a secure internet connection.
  • Automated and customizable reporting capability to make regulatory compliance and inspections go more smoothly.
  • Analysis and identification of trends in repair and maintenance history, which will help you to plan maintenance schedules unique to each valve.
  • A reputable service provider who will be there to provide personnel training and support.

CPV Manufacturing’s products are manufactured with high-­‐quality durable materials that stand up to corrosion and wear. Regular maintenance and lubrication will enable them to continue to meet or exceed the quality, safety, and fugitive emissions standards established by our Quality Control Program.

Chances are you’ll find that the long-­‐term benefits of investing in a quality system to help manage and maintain your CPV valves far outweigh the costs. If you haven’t looked into it yet, what’s stopping you?

How the Skills Gap Could Affect Your Manufacturing Business

The United States manufacturing industry is booming, but has yet to overcome the skills gap. The skills gap is not the newest challenge for the industry, but it’s the biggest. And with the surge of retiring baby boomers and the increasing dependence on smart manufacturing technologies, the skills gap is only expected to grow wider over time.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to start thinking about how the skills gap could affect your manufacturing business and what you need to do to minimize its effects.

The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing

skills gapA skills gap refers to the difference in the skills required for a job and the actual skills a potential employee has. A skills gap in manufacturing can cause a number of issues for many companies. However, the biggest concerns caused by this ongoing problem are worker shortages and the inability to meet consumer demands.

Worker Shortages in Manufacturing

With more and more baby boomers (Americans born from 1946 to 1964) retiring, businesses are losing technicians, machinists, operators, and other highly skilled workers more quickly than ever before, according to a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte.

The study also states that manufacturing companies have started to focus on hiring younger talent, which has opened more job opportunities across the country. The problem, however, is that businesses are unable to find suitable workers to replace their retiring employees.

According to The Wall Street Journal, technical education and training systems haven’t evolved to cater to the advancements and changes within the industry. Because of this, the younger generation doesn’t have the proper training needed to fulfill skilled job roles within the industry. This has led to many unfilled jobs and workers’ shortages all over the country.

Inability to Fulfill Consumer Demands

skills gapBecause it’s gotten so difficult to find qualified employees, businesses have had trouble keeping up with and fulfilling consumer demands. With a lack of skilled employees, productivity can decline and lead to slower production times, increased operation costs, and other performance issues.

On top of that, the skills gap can affect a company’s ability to stay competitive in the global market, according to a recent U.S. News & World Report article. This means that U.S. manufacturing companies suffering from lack of workers due to the skills gap can experience decreased profits and overall global success.

How to Fill the Skills Gap in Manufacturing

The skills gap can be intimidating for many manufacturing businesses. However, there are ways to start filling the gap and minimize its effects on your company. The best way to do that is to offer training to the younger generation.

Start by working with technical schools and colleges to provide education programs for jobs in the manufacturing industry. Then, offer apprenticeships to attract and train new talent for your company.

Once you start hiring more people, reevaluate your training program and make sure everything is updated to cater to the changes in your business and the industry. For example, if you recently implemented a new system or tool to the production floor, make sure you train all new and current employees on its operation, best practices, and safety procedures.

By providing the right education and training to students and young employees, you’ll be able to find and hire skilled workers to fill the skills gap in your manufacturing business.

For more industry news and tips, read CPV Manufacturing’s blog.

How to Use Condition-Based Maintenance to Reduce Costs

Following a manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule is a rule of thumb for businesses in all industries. However, maintenance schedules aren’t as beneficial as you think. Since most schedules are based on educated guesses and analyses, they’re not always accurate. Because of this, you could end up wasting time and money on unnecessary repairs and replacements.

So how can you provide the services your systems need without wasting time or money? Enter condition-based maintenance.

What’s Condition-Based Maintenance?

Condition-Based MaintenanceCondition-based maintenance (CBM) uses data collected from a system to calculate exactly when it needs maintenance. It essentially helps companies provide services on an as-needed basis based on the condition of the system rather than a specific time frame. Companies use CBM to reduce overall repair expenses, prevent unnecessary downtime, and extend the longevity of parts and systems in their plants.

Types of Condition-Based Maintenance Technologies

With CBM, companies implement different types of technologies to collect data that’s ultimately used to determine when a system will need to be serviced. A few CBM technologies you can add to your plant include the following:

  • Vibration Analysis: Sensors that detect increasing and excessive vibrations in compressors, pumps, and other rotating equipment.
  • Ultrasonic: Technologies that can spot issues such as boat hull corrosion and deep subsurface defects. They can also be used to find liquid, gas, and vacuum leaks.
  • Operational Performance: Sensors placed in different parts of the system to monitor performance aspects like pressure, temperature, and flowrate.
  • Infrared: Infrared cameras that can sense elevated temperatures in energized parts and systems.
  • Oil Analysis: Technologies that analyze the particle size and condition of oil flowing through a system.

The information gathered from each of these CBM technologies can help you determine when services and repairs are required for each system in your plant. This will allow you to provide the maintenance only when needed to reduce costs.

But installing these technologies and simply monitoring the condition of your machinery won’t be enough. According to Valve World Magazine, testing parts for performance and functionality is also key to keeping your systems running as smoothly as possible for years to come.

Benefits of Condition-Based Maintenance

As stated, CBM helps to reduce overall repair and servicing costs for many industrial companies. However, there are many more benefits to CBM than just decreased expenses.

For example, technologies can collect data while a system is running. This helps to minimize disruptions during normal operations, resulting in enhanced efficiency and productivity in the workplace. CBM also can help to minimize unscheduled downtime and reduce the time spent on repairs and maintenance.

Most importantly, CBM can improve workplace safety. It will make sure that systems are properly maintained, which helps to prevent catastrophic failures and damages that can cause injuries for workers on the production floor.

For more information about how you can reduce operation costs for your manufacturing business, read our post on how to design a cost-effective warehouse.

What is Supply Chain? How to Develop a Strategy for Your Small Business

What exactly is supply chain? As a small business owner, you know that implementing a supply chain is one of the most beneficial things you can for your small business. With an effective supply chain, operational costs can be reduced and your company could experience increased efficiency, output, and revenue.

supply-chain-managementHowever, a supply chain is only successful when it’s developed and implemented properly. So to ensure that your business’ supply chain is designed to yield the best results, here’s how to develop an effective supply chain strategy for your small business.

What is a Supply Chain?

A supply chain outlines all the steps, processes, and people involved in manufacturing a product and delivering it to the customer. It also includes every business that comes in contact with the product,0 including the supply company and delivery companies that handle the shipments coming to and from the warehouse.

How to Develop a Supply Chain Strategy

Again, a supply chain will only help your business if it’s designed properly. The steps below will help you develop the supply chain strategy that’s best for your business.

1.    Understand Business Goals and Strategy

An effective supply chain strategy must align with your small business’ goals and overall business plan. Look at your company’s competencies, competitive advantages, and overall focus. Understanding these aspects will help you develop a supply chain strategy that works best with your company’s capabilities and strengths. It’ll also help you understand what you need to do to ensure that your business operates efficiently.

2.    Evaluate Business Assets

Once you develop an outline of your company supply chain strategy, evaluate your business’ assets to understand if they can adequately support it. Examine your machinery and systems. If they’re outdated, they may create high operational overhead and deliver an inconsistent performance. This means they won’t be able to support your strategy if you’re looking to be a low-cost provider.

A formal supply chain assessment from a non-biased organization can examine your assets. The assessment will help you understand your business’ operational strengths and weaknesses.

3.    Review Supply Chain Assessment

supply-chainNext, review the assessment to see what you can do to implement your supply chain strategy into your business. Consider all recommendations outlined as well as the risks that could occur when the strategy is implemented.

Most importantly, use the review to determine if you have the resources needed to apply the strategy to your company. If you don’t, consider making capital investments or adjusting your strategy to better meet your business’ capabilities.

4.    Develop Your Implementation Plan

Develop your implementation plan when everything has been reviewed and adjusted as needed. The plan should detail everything about the entire supply chain process for your business. This includes employee roles, tasks, and responsibilities. It should also online the timeline of the process as well as performance metrics.

In addition, you should create a team dedicated to rolling out and evaluating the strategy as well as a team responsible for handling any issues.

5.    Monitor Performance

After your supply chain strategy has been implemented, monitor your company’s performance regularly. Check to make sure that the supply chain strategy is helping you better meet your business and customer expectations.

You also want to consider industry changes and see how they affect your supply chain strategy. This will help you make any necessary changes and explore new opportunities to improve your strategy.

Read more small business tips to drive your company to success! 

How to Do a Competitive Product Analysis: Evaluate Your Industry Position

Understanding your position in the industry is important to any successful business. That’s why it’s critical to ensure that you know how to do a competitive product analysis.

A competitive product analysis will help you to determine where you stand within your industry and what you need to do to outperform your competitors.

Competitive Product AnalysisPerforming this type of analysis is simple, but to make sure that you do it correctly, we’ve provided a list of steps that you should follow.

Understand Your Competition

Before conducting a competitive product analysis, there are a few things you need to consider. First, you must understand who your competitors are. Those selling similar products and services located within the same geographic areas are your direct competitors. These are the businesses you need focus on.

Start Your Research

Once you have a list of your direct competitors, you need to start your research. The best way to do this is to perform a professional market research study for each competitor. This helps you get to know the similar businesses in your industry so you can better market your company as the optimal choice for consumers.

To do this, gather information regarding the companies you’re competing against. How much are they selling their goods and services for? What makes consumers want to buy from them? What are some negatives about the company? These are just a few of the questions you need to answer while conducting your research.

Gather and Analyze Product Information Details

Competitive Product Analysis

From there, you need to learn more about your competition’s products and services. We recommend reading their sales brochures, browsing their website and, if available, going over their annual reports.

These sources provide a wealth of helpful details. They show you how much other businesses are pricing their services and products for and gives you an idea of how well they’re performing to determine how you stand against your competition.

On top of that, these details will help you to understand the overall goals of other similar businesses, whether they’re looking to increase their market shares, maximize short- or long-term profits, or establish themselves as market leaders.

Develop Your Competitive Strategy

Use the information gathered in your research to create your competitive strategy. This should outline what you need to do to set your business apart from others and what you should do to market yourself as the better consumer option. For example, if you notice that your competitors are offering lower prices for their goods and services, you can lower your prices.

Your research details should also show you how your competitors are marketing their products and services. This information can help you to improve how you showcase your own selection to better meet your sales goals. Plus it can help you to improve your advertising efforts. For instance, you can enhance your website or social media presence if you notice that your competition doesn’t have a good online marketing campaign.

As soon as everything in your competitive strategy has been executed, you should see your business climbing higher within the industry.

Continue Your Research

However, doing a competitive product analysis right once isn’t enough. With new businesses forming every day, you’ll face more and more competitions.

With that said, you must continuously perform competitive research and improve your business strategies. This will help you to maintain your ranking within the industry and even help you to boost sales and production.

Performing a competitive product analysis is key to understanding your place in the industry and what you can do to improve your rank, so follow the steps above to give your business a better chance at success.

Read CPV Manufacturing’s blog for more business tips. 

How to Uncover the Hidden Operating Costs of Manufacturing Plants

When operating a manufacturing plant, it’s important to be aware of all of the costs that are associated with running it. There’s been a need for management to become aware of the hidden operating costs that are accruing and being overlooked, which causes a big impact on the bottom line.

hidden operating costsUncovering otherwise overlooked data can help manufacturing plants understand certain costs or reasons that they’re being inefficient. Using tools to monitor what you’re spending money on and how much, as well as data reporting to collect and analyze this information, can help you uncover hidden costs. There are different methods to learn about these costs, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for your business.

Learn more about how to get to the bottom of the hidden operating costs that your plant has been dealing with.

Audit Your Energy Use to Uncover Hidden Operating Costs

Incorporate an energy auditing program in your manufacturing plant to find out exactly how much electricity you’re using. Plants are becoming more energy efficient due to reducing emissions as well as to cutting down on their costs.

hidden operating costsPaul Twite of 24-7 Power, an electrical consulting and engineering service company, tells ReliablePlant about the three-step approach that helps companies lower their energy bills. These three steps are reviewing utility bills; using thermal imagers to scan the electrical, mechanical, process, and HVAC systems and building envelope; and monitoring power consumption and other aspects of energy use.

Here’s a breakdown of each step:

  1. Reviewing utility bills: The main objective here is to find out where the energy you’re using is going. Utility meters aren’t always one hundred percent correct, and they can malfunction over time. Part of the energy auditing process is to double check the utility and make sure that it’s operating correctly and giving a proper read.
  2. Analysis and identifying problems: The data will be analyzed, which will then lead to determining if there are any issues with any of the systems. The auditor will also assess how efficient the lighting systems, HVAC systems, motors, and other plant equipment are.
  3. Proposing and prioritizing solutions: This step involves addressing problems that were uncovered in the previous two steps. You’ll need to develop solutions and determine action items in order to improve the problem.

Stay in the Loop with New Technology

New technologies are constantly being created in order for you to reduce the amount of energy that you use within your plants. Staying aware of these new advances can help you find opportunities to incorporate them in your own plant. Be on the lookout for solar-powered tools or energy-efficient lighting and determine where they could fit.

Manufacturing plants are spending more on electricity than they should be. The good news is that there are ways to determine if you’re spending more than you should be, and there are always plenty of ways to reduce these high energy costs.

If you’re interested in high-quality valves and fittings, click here to contact CPV Manufacturing.