Needle valves are typically used as outlet flow control valves in hydropower installations. They offer a high degree of flow control and their robust design means that they can operate flawlessly for many years. However eventually like most mechanical assemblies with moving components, items such as the valve body will wear beyond economic repair, and therefore, will need replacing.
Providing a replacement cast and machined valve body for such an important assembly should be entrusted to only the most competent supplier as a structural failure of the valve body due to poor workmanship in a high pressure application is something that every engineer and plant manager wants to avoid.
In 2015, after a comprehensive client review process, Shakespeare was pleased to receive an order to manufacture a large replacement needle valve body for a UK Hydro Power station. The 6 foot (1.8m) diameter valve body casting weighing over 5 tonnes, was extracted from service and dispatched to the Shakespeare facility in Preston for its engineers to take a closer review. The valve body included a series of complex chambers and cavities, each with various machined surfaces. During examination it was clear that the valve internal casing had suffered from cavitation and pitting due to water flows.
As the client had a limited amount of technical information for the original Needle Valve, Shakespeare offered the value-added service of measuring the valve to ensure the new patterns and the resulting replacement casting not only technically conformed to the client’s expectations but also was an excellent fit into the existing pipework.
The client favoured the Shakespeare turnkey supply service option as it preferred the ‘one-stop-shop’ manufacturing solution as opposed to interacting with multiple suppliers, where supply responsibility on such a complex product can easily be lost.
Once the ductile cast iron needle valve body had cooled and been finished and inspected it was sent to the machine shop for precision CNC machining. This order is another example of the Shakespeare ability to serve Power Generation sector clients with turnkey manufactured solutions, high-integrity, large and heavy CNC machined castings. Please contact us for further information about our turnkey manufacturing supply service.