Up until 2015, Sasol had attempted to solve the problem of failing cryogenic, however all interventions had failed. Sasol had also failed to get technical support from the OEM, including but not limited to technical drawings and measurements. This led to the oxygen trains standing and not operational due to valve failures. To create reliability, Sasol decided to replace the failing valves which was a risky and costly approach given the long delivery lead times and the depreciation of the Rand.

In 2015, Wayne Arnold was on site for the refurbishment of steam valves in the oxygen train and was known to be the technical expert on specialised valves. Sasol invited Valve Hospital to refurbish the cryogenic valves. Valve Hospital successfully refurbished the cryogenic valves. Valve Hospital developed the Standard Operating Procedures and Quality Control processes to refurbish cryogenic and other specialised valves.

In the absence of technical support from the OEM and without being able to perform hydrostatic testing, Sasol requested that Valve Hospital provide a guarantee that the valve will operate and seal correctly. Valve Hospital was confident to provide the requested guarantees. Valve Hospital used 3D scanning and other precision measuring tools to obtain measurements indirectly by making calculations using the actual valves in such a manner that Valve Hospital was able get precise values on the globe and seating area of the valve. Valve Hospital has developed a set of valve parameters to ensure that the cryogenic valve will seal correctly.

Who is Wayne Arnold:

Wayne Arnold is the Technical Director at Valve Hospital and is a mechanical engineer. He graduated Cum Laude at Wits University and also has a Masters in Engineering. Wayne has been a professional engineer for over 28 years and created a reputation for the company as an industry leader.

“Because of Valve Hospital’s refurbishment techniques no oxygen trains were standing because of valve failures” – Berend Wierenga

View the comparison table below to see why refurbishing your valves is the operational and financial best solution.

Original Strategy Challenges: Replace Valves

Operational Challenges:

  • No Technical Support from the OEM when valves fail.
  • OEM refuses to share standards, technical drawings, measurements and angles for valves to seal.
  • Costly downtime because oxygen trains not operational due to valve failures.

Financial Challenges:

  • Long delivery lead times.
  • High cost to replace valves.
  • Exposure to forex makes replacement more costly due to the steep depreciation of the Rand.

New Strategy Solutions: Refurbish Valves

Operational Solutions:

  • Used precision measuring tools to obtain measurements indirectly by making calculations using the actual valves in such a manner that Valve Hospital was able get precise values on the globe and seating area of the valve.
  • Valve Hospital created the technical specification needed to guarantee that the valves would seal.
  • Drastically reduced down time on the oxygen trains due to valve failures.
  • Valve Hospital is the only company that provides local support for Cryogenic Valves in South Africa.

Financial Solutions:

  • Drastically reduced delivery lead times.
  • Drastically reduced cost to refurbish.
  • No exposure to forex risk as there are no spare buy-outs.