What’s driving sustainable development in valve technologies?
When we look at valves from the sustainability point of view, three key aspects stand out clearly at the forefront: emissions, internal tightness and a lifecycle view. In all three cases industry standards and regulations play an important role in driving development and ensuring the environmental performance of industrial processes.
When talking about sustainability in process industry valves, emissions is often the first thing we think about. By eliminating fugitive emissions into the atmosphere, we are reducing both local health and safety risks on-site, but also the environmental impact of the process on our climate at large. But leakages within the valve and pipeline also play a role in terms of sustainability. Ensuring internal tightness helps us eliminate the waste of everything from valuable flow media to energy consumed by pumps in the process. Also, in flaring processes used to release pipeline pressure, ensuring that we are not releasing anything extra into the atmosphere is crucial.
Customers are demanding sustainability
While regulations dictated by governing bodies continue to set strict parameters, there has been a strong shift towards the customers themselves setting tight demands on valves in industrial processes. The shift in emphasis has been from factory acceptance testing (FAT) towards type testing where valves similar in type to those ordered are put through rigorous testing, ensuring up to a hundred thousand of cycles under simulated conditions. This is a testament to the third factor we mentioned, a more lifecycle-focused view on sustainability, where products not only need to pass pressure testing prior to being installed, but the valve design and manufacturing quality must be proven to perform over time. There is a clear trend, which shows that emission standards are required more and more often, even by customers in rapidly developing and industrializing countries. And more often the reason for modern emissions requirements can be found in environmental concerns rather than just the elimination of local risks and hazards.
Unified standards are drivers for change
Seeing the attitude change on both the government and heavy industry levels over the past decades has been highly encouraging. The importance of the Paris Climate Agreement, which came into force in 2016, cannot be underestimated. We are seeing the environmental conversation gaining more and more momentum across the world. Many of our customers already play an active role in the development of unified standards and regulations. This of course means that new standards often reflect our customers’ targets and ambitions in terms of sustainability.
We are happy to see the work towards a brighter tomorrow being carried forward hand-in-hand by responsible industrial parties and world governments.
We are happy to see the work towards a brighter tomorrow being carried forward hand-in-hand by responsible industrial parties and world governments. Emissions standards have obviously been around for years, and there have been very little radical changes in standardization over time, but there has been plenty of incremental development. For example, one key development that we have seen in America has been the bundling together of valve design standards and emission type testing (Ball valves API608 now also require API641 standardization).
The role of technology providers like us
So how do these growing sustainability considerations affect valve design and manufacturing? As a responsible and proactive partner for increasingly efficient, reliable and responsible industrial processes, we take all of this on board already when it comes to the development and design of every valve product. We are constantly improving our emissions capabilities and for example, considering, simulating and thoroughly testing internal tightness during product development. And as mentioned before, the lifecycle view for our valves is a consideration early on. In our modular butterfly valves for example, we have optimized the design for long-lasting tightness in metal-to-metal contact, which is helping reduce wear, energy consumption and the torque requirement for efficient performance. They have also been designed to enable longer service intervals and an extended overall lifecycle. We are running longer tests on all our valves to ensure lifecycle performance in terms of sustained tightness and durability of wear parts. We are also driving the development of valve materials and coatings to help cope with the demands of a wider range of feedstock being refined in new and promising biofuel production processes.
We must also remember that not every sustainability action needs to be complicated and grand. We at Valmet also want to make sure we do the simpler things that can improve environmental performance right.
We must also remember that not every sustainability action needs to be complicated and grand. We at Valmet also want to make sure we do the simpler things that can improve environmental performance right. This means things like ensuring the responsibility of our supply chain through regular supplier audits as well as using predominantly recycled metal in valve production and ensuring the correct recycling markings and instructions can always be found on all our products. I am happy to say that little by little, as a society at large, we are discovering and adopting the ways we can continue to grow and develop while protecting the natural world that helps sustain life on this planet.
The text has been updated in April 2022, due to the company name change to Valmet.
Read more about sustainability and our latest valve innovations
Sustainability through long-lasting efficient performance
The sustainable performance of a butterfly valve is dependent on a number of important factors. In essence, a valve that can maintain safe and efficient performance over its extended lifecycle is inherently sustainable. This means minimizing both internal and external leakages as well as the risk of failure in demanding service.
Testing and simulations guarantee reliable process efficiency for valves
Want to know how superior product design is achieved? High quality and robust design reflect on the reliability and performance of valves. We interviewed Tommi Bergström, Manager, Engineering Analysis, about the design process behind the new modular butterfly valve platform.
The butterfly valve for any given situation
As the needs and requirements of modern process industries continue to change and become ever stricter, the role of safe and efficient valve solutions keep growing. The sustainable butterfly valve platform, which includes the metal-seated Neles Neldisc™ and soft-seated Jamesbury Wafer-Sphere™ valves, have been designed and developed over time to address today’s needs and challenges.
Reliable performance with unique metal seat technology
When we talk about long-lasting performance in regards to our modular butterfly valves, we are talking about long term reliability and a valves ability to maintain the same high-quality performance across its entire operational life cycle.
Safer butterfly valves are made in safe environments
We believe that safe products can only be made in safe working environments. Just as we design our valves to be safe for you to install, service and operate, we pay careful attention to the safety of our own production processes.
Our care for our planet
During April, we at Neles have been active in the global struggle against climate change. We have undertaken many environmental actions with the initiation of our special environmental month, from Earth Hour on March 27, continuing through April. Our actions have focused on saving energy, increasing recycling, and tapping into the circular economy.
One butterfly valve, many uses
Did you know we have nearly a century of combined experience with Neldisc™ metal-seated and Wafer-Sphere™ soft-seated butterfly valves? Today we talked with Petri Ilonen, Product Manager for butterfly valves, about the new modular butterfly valve platform that we have recently introduced. Watch the video interview below to learn more.
A new generation packed with performance
As always, the latest generation of Neles Neldisc™ metal-seated and Jamesbury Wafer-Sphere™ soft-seated butterfly valves is built to perform. The modular valve platform leans on field-proven technologies and decades of experience and expertise to meet the challenges of modern industrial processes.