Valves are critical components for processing applications. Yet, they’re some of the most neglected components when it comes to regular maintenance. Industrial valve maintenance offers many benefits to your operations, including reducing downtime and costs associated with valve malfunctions and failures. In this article, we’ll explore important things to know about industrial valve maintenance so you can keep your valves in peak operating condition for as long as possible.
If you need valve maintenance, repair, or modification, get in touch now to get a quote from our team of experts.
What is Industrial Valve Maintenance?
What exactly is industrial valve maintenance? Maintenance is a type of industrial valve service. It addresses wear and tear before valves need repair. With maintenance services for your industrial valves, you can identify issues before they cause problems for your operations and repair them ASAP to reduce the risk of failures, emergency valve repairs, and unwanted downtime.
The exact industrial valve maintenance services you need really depends on the valves in your facility. Different types of valves and different types of applications will need different maintenance services and maintenance intervals. Additionally, there may be other considerations at play, such as the age of the valves and the hours of operation. For instance, 24/7 operations likely need more frequent valve maintenance than facilities that operate just 40 hours a week.
Why is Industrial Valve Maintenance Important?
Industrial valve maintenance offers many key benefits to your operations. Unfortunately, maintenance services are often the first to get cut from the budget. This is out of a misunderstanding of what exactly preventative maintenance can do for your equipment, including valves. Industrial valve maintenance can increase valve service life, improve safety and operations, reduce long-term valve costs, as well as reduce the risk of unplanned downtime.
Increasing Valve Life Expectancy
One way that maintenance can help is to increase expected valve service life. The primary goal of preventative maintenance is to identify problems before they cause catastrophic issues with your valves. As such, this means they get regular attention needed to keep them in top shape at all times, essentially extending the life expectancy of your valves. This means fewer replacements over time for your valves, even those with shorter life cycles like those in severe service applications with high temperatures and pressures.
Improving Safety and Operations
Industrial valve maintenance can also help improve safety and overall operations. Valves are critical for controlling the flow of processing media. Working valves are necessary for tight control over your processes and also for safety to prevent things like leaks and other issues. Maintenance helps your valves work better by keeping them in top quality condition, so this also can increase safety and performance for your application.
Reducing Long-Term Costs
There are many costs over the entire lifespan of your industrial valves. However, everyone is looking to reduce costs to increase profitability. Well, maintenance also has the added benefit of reducing total cost of ownership for valves of all kinds. There are a few reasons for this. One we’ve already touched on briefly: a longer lifespan means fewer replacements. Fewer replacements can save you a lot of money in the long-term. Additionally, regular maintenance can identify problems early, before they cause malfunctions that require emergency repairs. This also reduces overall costs associated with your valves.
Decreasing Unplanned Downtime
When valves malfunction, it may affect operations in such a way that you must shut down production. This is also known as unplanned downtime, which can cause many serious consequences for your facility. Unexpected shutdowns reduce productivity and can put you in a bad position with clients and customers. It’s also incredibly expensive. Instead, with industrial valve maintenance, there’s significantly lower risk for these unscheduled shutdowns.
Types of Industrial Valve Maintenance You May Need
There are many potential maintenance services you may need for your industrial valves. Once again, this really depends on many factors, like the valve type, application, valve age, as well as other considerations. However, some services that practically all valves can benefit from include inspections, cleaning, lubrication, and more thorough maintenance during planned downtime.
Inspection Industrial Valve Services
Inspections are a key part of any industrial valve maintenance program. Many facilities even include daily inspections from personnel to ensure the valves are in good working order. However, you also need regular inspections from valve experts like our team at Southern Valve Service. Inspections can look for any signs of damage or wear and tear that might otherwise go unnoticed. During inspections, the expert can take note of any additional services the valve needs, or whether it needs repair in the near future.
Cleaning Valve Exteriors for Industrial Valve Maintenance
Valves also need a good cleaning on all exterior components from time to time as part of preventative maintenance. Dirt, dust, and other grime can build up on parts and increase wear, which is why you need to clean them regularly. The exact cleaning interval depends on many things, but it should be at least once per year or more, as a lot of grime can accumulate in that time and wreak havoc on your valves.
Lubricating Applicable Components
Many valves also need regular lubrication with oil or grease. This helps the moving components move more easily and prevents seizing. Despite lubrication being one of the most impactful maintenance services for valves and one of the least expensive ways to maintain valves, it’s also one of the most neglected services. Lubrication according to manufacturer recommendations is a great way to prevent unnecessary damage and deterioration for your industrial valves.
Industrial Valve Maintenance During Planned Shutdowns
Additionally, there are many industrial valve maintenance services that should happen during planned shutdowns. Most facilities have scheduled shutdowns at regular intervals to provide necessary equipment maintenance, repairs, and replacement. Don’t forget to include your valves in this planning. A few services you may need include cleaning for internal components, internal valve inspections, and repair and replacement for worn out parts.
Interior Valve Cleaning
Cleaning the interior parts of valves can help them avoid issues from rusting, corrosion, and other types of damage. Usually this involves taking the valves apart and cleaning each component based on the material. Cleaning is especially important for processes that include slurries or solids, which can build up inside and gum up the internal components of your valves.
Exterior inspections can look for many things like leaks and visible damage. However, internal inspections can detect issues with parts that you can’t normally see with the eye. These inspections can identify things like cavitation and other internal damages that need repairs to keep valves in working order.
Repair for Worn Components
Finally, planned downtime is also the ideal time to repair or replace any valve components that need it. For instance, it may be time to replace seals. With planned repairs based on predictive maintenance of what pieces will need repair, you can avoid issues with downtime and emergency repairs later on.
State-of-the-Art Industrial Valve Service from Southern Valve
When you need industrial valve service, contact our team at Southern Valve Service. We offer expertise in valve repair, modification, and maintenance for a wide range of applications. With locations in Louisiana and Texas, we offer quick turnaround for end users throughout the country. We even offer valve actuator repair for automated industrial valves. Get in touch now to request a quote for your valve service needs.