Weir Engineering Services (WES) is a subsidiary of the Weir Group and a leading UK industrial valve overhaul centre. WES provides installation and maintenance services of industrial pumps, valves, turbines, compressors, and electric submersible motors.
WES is looking to introduce innovative repair techniques which will in turn help reduce operation costs for its customers. Most operators demand that all critical valves are inspected and repaired every 3 years, regardless of their condition. In order for us to carry out proper inspections of valves, it is required that WES visit the customer’s site and disassemble each critical valve, a process that is both time consuming and costly for the customer as it interrupts their operations. Stripping the valve for inspection and rebuilding can take 12 hours with an average of 400 valves to be inspected during an outage. Additionally, two workers are required, which equates to 24 worker hours per valve before inspections and repairs are included.
Current techniques for measuring and assessing various aspects of valve wear are costly, time consuming, and lack the desired accuracy. Innovative improvements to existing techniques could improve the quality of our overhaul process, as well as the performance and reliability of the valves.
Many valves have a hard Stellite clad valve seat to increase wear resistance. To ensure optimum performance of the valve, the thickness of the Stellite cladding is measured manually across the cladded area while in-situ. Given the lack of space inside the valve body, the task requires a lot of time to be taken assessing each valve to ensure the thicknesses are measured correctly and accurately. For additional insight into this valve, see the image below: