How to Ensure That the Simple Ball Valves in Your Industrial System Do Not Let You Down

In a major manufacturing operation, success or failure can often be down to the simplest of components and whether or not that individual unit functions or fails. If you're in charge of maintenance for such a big operation, you know that you have to maintain fully-pressurised systems on a consistent basis if you're to transfer the appropriate gases, liquids or effluent. Attention to detail is everything and you may have to rely on a considerable number of individual ball valves to regulate the flow safely and consistently. What do you need to bear in mind about the maintenance of these valves?

Simple but Crucial

Ball valves are one of the simplest components in any industrial application. Essentially, they are very straightforward and operate in either an off or an on position. When the switch is turned to a 90° position, it angles the bore perpendicularly and restricts the flow of the liquid. When it is turned back to the open position, the fluid is allowed to flow unimpeded.

What Can Go Wrong

While these couplings may be simple, even the tiniest obstruction can cause an issue and send the entire system into shutdown. It doesn't take much for pressurised liquid to cause an issue if it's not allowed to flow as it should and this can result in very costly repairs and downtime. These parts need to be maintained and repaired consistently, or catastrophic failure could ensue.

What to Look for

All of the ball valves in the system have to be regularly cleaned to make sure that they do not erode or become damaged. The system has to be depressurised before this can take place and has to be completely drained before being opened. A careful inspection of each valve should then ensue that they are as serviceable and free of damage as they were when they were initially installed. Any individual units that are damaged have to be replaced without question.

Keeping up with Maintenance

It's also important to remember that these valves have a limited operational life and should in any case be replaced within the manufacturer recommended intervals. Remember, that they can also fail well before the manufacturer deadline and if any evidence of corrosion or leakage is found, then the valves have to be swapped out as soon as possible.

Getting Outside Help

If you have an especially busy schedule and feel that you cannot allocate in-house operators to service all of the valves in your system, make sure that you bring in contractors who can offer valve repairs on a regular basis.