Establishing Valve Standardization

by , | Apr 4, 2024 | Event, Valves, Actuators & Regulators | 0 comments

Emerson’s Hesham Sewaify presented Valve Standardization—Saving money without spending it at the 2024 Emerson Exchange Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany. Here is the presentation abstract:

Owners of chemical and petrochemical plants throughout the world are continuously seeking effective approaches to achieve measurable improvements in their TCO. To address this important customer need, Emerson is working collaboratively with the customer to develop, promote and implement standardization programs and processes. These standardization initiatives are focused on the ultimate goal of increasing efficiency and reducing TCO – related to the procurement, installation, maintenance, operation of valves and controls equipment, and inventory control processes across multiple plant sites.

He opened by discussing the manufacturer in this case study. The Customer is a global leader in diversified chemicals. It manufactures on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products including chemicals, specialty chemicals, commodity and high-performance plastics, and agri-nutrients.

This company spends significantly on automation, including instrumentation, valves, and control equipment. Forty percent of the operational expenditures (OPEX) are on valves and controls. Their ERP system lists more than 45,000 valve products, and more than 6,000 suppliers are active.

They have more than 120 manufacturing and compounding complexes worldwide, each with legacy technologies, automation components, and different work practices. Supply chain challenges for many automation components create the need to standardize and change.

Based on the very high diversity of valve brands, valve products, and equipment, a new approach was necessary. Standardization is one of the major enablers to allow significant improvements in addressing the root cause of the problems, such as:

  • Correct Item descriptions and specifications
  • Time from identification of a problem to final resolution
  • Process definition and process redesign
  • Organizational alignment
  • Change management

To address these challenges, they established standardization objectives to optimize the process of selecting the correct equipment for the safe and reliable operation of the plant. Optimizing the process can be achieved with a relatively simple but logical approach to a company’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) program.

Valve Standardization

Item number standardization is the key enabler in the valve standardization effort. The process required best practices in specifications, inventory, and suppliers, which required early supplier involvement. Consistent execution was required to establish a successful initiative.

From an item number standardization perspective, accurate and complete item number descriptions are key to unlocking an organization’s potential to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and ensure safety. Potentially, incorrect or inaccurate specifications can have a huge impact on operational safety.

Valve standard approach for consistent specifications

This description process is important to avoid hazardous situations caused by the potential use of incorrectly specified valves. It helps prevent catastrophic accidents caused by the failure of relief valves and other shutdown systems. It’s also important to reduce process downtime due to unplanned maintenance issues.

From a specification standardization perspective, it’s important to define the manufacturer’s standard products by category pipe class system from a recent project per fluids. Develop a tool/library/database that will ensure easy implementation and use for the end user.

Train and Roll out companywide standards with the right level of enforcement. Assess and review current inventory and apply the new standard. Roll out standard products to Engineering and Project Teams to ensure consistent implementations. Enable the automatic ordering process by using the E-Catalogue, VSP, or other tools. Finally, innovative designs should be considered to take advantage of technological advancements.

From an inventory management perspective, analyze the previous usage with the standardized item numbers to determine inventory. Apply different procurement methods (VSP, etc.) Consider the availability of correctly specified equipment & parts for distribution to the local site.

From a supplier perspective, a standardized approach enables consistency and use of the same descriptions enabling fewer interactions and opportunities for mistakes. The earlier you engage with your suppliers in a project, the greater the probability of success.

Valve supplier early engagement

The roadmap to advance your valve standardization initiative begins with an assessment of available data and processes. Identify the scope of work, the critical item data sheets and drawings, and the critical operational media. From this assessment, perform a GAP analysis to identify key issues.

Next, develop standard products and tools with references, add new products, and avoid incorrect inputs. During implementation, incorporate work into the business processes such as the procurement systems and engineering & project standards.

Visit the Valves, Actuators & Regulators section on for more on the valve solutions for your applications.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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