How Valve Manufacturers are Emerging as Industry Leaders.
Ever since tighter rules on sulphur emissions from ships came into effect on 1 January 2015, all ships operating in northern EU waters must comply with strict new sulphur emissions limits. This called for tighter norms of air pollution from the maritime industry inorder to improve human health and protect the environment. Ship operators can now either opt for more expensive, cleaner fuel or use an approved abatement technology. The cleaner fuel option means switching from high-sulphur fuel (HSF) to low-sulphur fuel (LSF)or converting the ship to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).

An integrator of high pressure pumps and skids was building a skid for a MEGI system (MEGI = dual fuel motor: heavy oil and LNG) to be mounted on a LNG ship in Korea. The integrator was previously using globe balls top entry valves across all piping on the skid. One of those valves were very critical in nature as it included a removable orifice plate. The orifice had to be fine-tuned (by changing its size) during the start-up of the system when the valve along with the skid was installed on the ship. Further LNG which is the service media had to be pumped up to 370 Bar using a high pressure pump. This was also a cause of concern as all valves, fittings and piping to be mounted on the skid had to pressure Class 2500lbs to withstand high pressure. In addition LNG then had to be gasified to feed the motor.

The integrator needed an  easier solution to operate these valves, preferably a three piece design with a removable central orifice plate that would facilitate easy hydraulic pressure testing of the skid. Further these valves needed to be supplied from a reliable manufacturer at an affordable price point. Also all material supply for building this skid had to be in accordance to the maritime approval and Korean register standards authority. 

Habonim came up with a modified design of high pressure Class 2500lbs cryogenic floating ball valve taking under consideration the Korean register standards. Habonims solution included removable orifice plate which would facilitate FAT testing as well as easy removal and installation for maintenance while the valve was in use on board the ship. One of the challenges was to get the dual certificate for SS 316/316L stock bar material from the Korean register which was a requirement of the end customer. The valve was designed for easy removal and installation while mounted on the skid. Also the isometrics of the skid piping were taken into consideration for space constraints and ease of valve operation while mounting the valve on the skid. Finally after manufacturing the valve, the design engineers at Habonim faced yet another challenge. A customized high pressure test bench Class 2500lbs was needed to accommodate the non standard design of the valve which was not readily available in the market. Given the high standards that Habonim sets for the valve industry, this task too was achieved with much ease.