In June 2021 we launched the next generation versatile butterfly valve platform. It delivers new functionality whilst leaning on field-proven technologies and decades of experience. David Sear from Valve World India and Middle East magazine sat down with our valve expert Karri Vehviläinen to hear the origins of this initiative and how it has been met by valve users.
“The benefits of forming a butterfly valve platform became clear a few years ago when reviewing our existing, proven butterfly valve ranges. These included for example tried-and-trusted product brands such as the Neles™ Neldisc™ metal-seated and Jamesbury™ Wafer-Sphere™ soft-seated butterfly valves,” states Mr Vehviläinen. “But we also saw that there were overlaps in some areas whilst we were missing capacity elsewhere. We, therefore, set out to harmonise our offering utilise the best features and make purchasing and ownership easier for customers. The Next generation platform was the logical consequence.”
Mr Vehviläinen indicates that customer feedback has been very positive to date. “Clients know they can still rely on our superior technology, such as zero-leakage performance with our metal-seated butterfly valves. At the same time, the new platform makes selecting a valve so much simpler. That’s because a huge variety of application needs – from simple flow control through to highly-challenging applications - can be met from the single platform.”
Giving an example, Mr Vehviläinen indicates that the new butterfly valve platform range can be a very cost-effective solution when configuring simpler applications, such as water pipelines. Yet the platform also includes options to deploy butterfly valves in more demanding applications, such as abrasive service or extreme temperatures. “Whatever the requirement, we make life easier for clients. All he has to do is to provide the application details and we can specify the best butterfly valve for the job. And yes, we will also provide honest advice if a different valve style should be used.”
Meet Karri Vehviläinen
During his B.Sc. in mechanical engineering, Mr Vehviläinen gained valve experience, working part-time in the Metso* laboratory. On being awarded his MS, he joined Metso full-time, first as a test engineer and since March 2020 as Product Manager, Butterfly Valves When not at work he enjoys spending time with his partner, friends and family. He also enjoys honing his culinary skills and hiking whenever possible “although the weather in Finland is not always conducive to being outdoors!”
(* In July 2020 Metso changed to Neles. In April 2022 Neles and Valmet merged, with Neles’ business operations continuing as the Flow Control Business Line within Valmet.)
The benefits of modularity
Whilst planning the next generation platform, Valmet’s experts were clearly looking to embrace a modular concept. “The modularity built into the platform helps to keep manufacturing lead times short, which is an increasingly important issue for clients as global supply chains are stretched. At the same time, this self-same modularity enables us to readily customize models to meet specific needs.”
Modularity also facilitates the introduction of new design features, continues Mr Vehviläinen. “For example, we launched the Q-Disc™ flow balancing trim for butterfly valves in June 2022. This features extreme flow balancing for control service. The Q-Disc is ideal for more demanding pressure drop service and can reduce noise by up to 12 dB.”
The Q-disc is designed to reduce dynamic torque included by flow and thus benefits from lower torque requirements. Mr Vehviläinen: “Hence the valve can be fitted with a smaller actuator package, saving on compressed air. Also, the basic design can be used in high temperature applications which really simplifies material selection. As you can tell, a lot of thought has gone into the whole platform concept.”
And finally, Mr Vehviläinen has some encouraging words for all parties with an interest in life cycle costing, sustainability and/or valve maintenance. “We ensure our valves are easy to service, so that end users can perform maintenance operations themselves. In fact, spare parts kits have been designed with this in mind. Alternatively, we can send out our qualified technicians to assist. Importantly, even as we upgrade existing designs and launch new valves, we remain committed to providing parts and support for our previous models.”
Text by David Sear, KCI Publishing. This article was originally published in Valve World India and Middle East magazine, January 2023 issue.