A Thanksgiving Day, Pressure Seal delivery made all the difference for South Mississippi Electric Power.
Industrial Valve and EGC Enterprises pulled-out-all-the-stops for a 3 inch, 1500 lb. Globe Valve.
Industrial Valve Sales and Service of Mobile, Alabama does valve repairs for a host of power generation, refining, and pulp and paper plant facilities. During the week of Thanksgiving, they were doing routine maintenance during a plant outage at South Mississippi Electric Power Association in Moeselle, MS.
One task, among many, was to change out a pressure seal on a 3”, 1,500 lb. class globe valve in a steam service application. The valve was upstream taking fresh water to the boiler. A replacement metal seal from the OEM would have taken a minimum of two weeks or they could pay an expedite fee and get it in a week and a half. But Industrial Valve hadn’t that much time. Instead, they called EGC Enterprises in Cleveland, Ohio knowing they could get a graphite pressure seal as soon as the next day.
The order was placed with EGC on Wednesday, November 23rd and scheduled for delivery the following Monday. But soon after, the plant decided to bring the boiler up ahead of schedule and needed the pressure seal installed shortly after 6:00 AM on Saturday. So EGC and Industrial Valve had to get busy.
Mitch Sahadi, EGC’s Manufacturing/Inventory Manager, got the call Friday morning. “We had to engineer the seal, manufacture it and have it arrive in Moeselle in less than 24 hours, and that included the 12-hour drive to get it there,” said Sahadi. When the engineering was complete, it called for a conventional pressure seal with top and bottom stainless steel caps. “We had no time to call our metal cap supplier but fortunately we had the capabilitiy to make the caps on our CNC equipment in-house.” A “hot-shot”, or expedited driver, arrived at EGC and left with the pressure seal at about 3:00 PM. He arrived safely in Moeselle by 6AM the next morning.
Industrial Valve was able to complete the installation on-time for South Mississippi Electric Power to bring their unit back on-line.
There are three different styles of graphite pressure seals made by EGC. The first is a conventional or die molded pressure seal specified by our engineers for this particular valve. It’s made of high-density flexible graphite with stainless steel caps on the top and bottom. It’s the same style seal qualified and used by the US Navy in nuclear propulsion vessels.
The VSG was the second. It was created specifically for outages at power plants and developed to enhance the production process by eliminating tooling and shortening the weeks long wait to a matter of days. It delivers the same performance as the conventional seal.
The third, the VSG Pro, uses metal corners to contain the graphite. The VSG Pro can be completed the same day as the order arrives and can be shipped immediately. Best of all, the price point is decidedly lower so the VSG Pro is cost-competitive with its metal counterpart.
All pressure seals, conventional, VSG and VSG Pro, are available through the FastTrac program which allows EGC to engineer, manufacture and ship pressure seals in 48 hours or less. For this level of service, FastTrac does include an expedited cost.
Stu Padgett, Purchasing Manager for Industrial Valve, says “we use a great deal of graphite in all that we do. Graphite seals most cavity imperfections so we seldom need to re-machine the valve surface and that’s a tremendous savings. Metal pressure seals, on the other hand, require a perfect mating surface for the metal ring to hold in a steam service application.”
“EGC does a great job,” says Padgett. “Our expectations were met, the customer service was fabulous and the hot-shot driver got here right on-the-dot at 6AM. Even the cost of the seal is fine. But (as the Purchasing Manager) I get a little bit frustrated with the FastTrac costs.”
“In terms of the cost, opening a manufacturing plant to make a pressure seal on the Friday after Thanksgiving is enough to give anyone heartburn” says Jeff Bernthisel, Vice President of EGC. “But we have to do it to keep our customers satisfied. Imagine if we couldn’t make it and the OEM needed two weeks to satisfy the customer? You’re talking about a unit at an electric plant being down for another week. Fortunately, we could get Industrial Valve the seal and they were able to install it for South Mississippi Electric as required, saving the high cost of a weeks-worth of down time.”
Industrial Valve Sales and Service
Industrial Valve’s technicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure that your plant is kept up and running. Plants are located in Mobile, AL, Bastrop, LA, Cleveland, TN, and Evansville, IN. Contact www.indvalve.com for more information.
EGC is a recognized world leader in the engineering and manufacturing of graphite and graphite composites for high-temperature applications in fluid sealing. Like Industrial Valve, we’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep the repair guys going. Our website can be accessed at www.egcflexiblegraphitesolutions.com.
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