Case Study 2
SEGRITY Revamps Hydro Turbine Governor Valves by Improving Design
SEGRITY takes existing, worn-out hydro turbine governor valves and replaces them with improved, easier-to-maintain designs. In this case study, you’ll learn how.
For this project, SEGRITY’s client is a large power provider that has several hydroelectric units built by three different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The client needed to keep their units mechanically updated and supportable with new governor-distributing valves and accurate documentation of their existing system.
Multiple Valve Designs Are Old and Ready for Replacement
The client has three sets of several hydroelectric units from three different OEMs. Each governor-distributing valve was ready for replacement and showed its wear with excess leakage.
Original Manufacturing Drawings Are Incomplete or Missing
You can’t replace a precision mechanical part accurately without manufacturing drawings that show the exact dimensions of the valve parts in use. SEGRITY’s client did not have original manufacturing drawings, which made it impossible to replace the distributing valves in use.
OEM Support is Costly or Non-Existent
When the client reached out to OEMs, they found that replacement valves and support were very expensive, as the original valves were installed many years prior. And when they tried to reach out to another OEM, they found that the company was no longer in business.
Document the Existing Valves
We started by documenting the existing governor-distributing valve systems with 3D CAD models in the field. This included exact dimensions of the distributing valve parts along with the parts that the distributing valve needed to interact with. We also performed hardness testing on the distributing valve parts to confirm if any special materials were necessary.
We created a 3D CAD model of the governor valve in the field to ensure we had all the measurements of the current valve and to begin the design process. We also created new manufacturing drawings of the existing system so that the client could have the exact same design fabricated by a machine shop if they chose to.
Engineer Three New Custom Valves
Using the exact 3D model of the distributing valve and the surfaces it needed to mate with, we designed each valve per manufacturer to be a drop-in replacement. We also improved the valve design to be easier to manufacture, install, and maintain.
Manage the Manufacturing and Shipping Process
Because the client chose to manufacture the new valves through SEGRITY, we used our carefully selected machine shops to provide the best fabrication and quality control measures throughout the part creation process.
As the parts were in the construction process, we communicated with the client on the project status and any issues that came up. After a visit to the machine shop to ensure the parts were within tolerance, we managed the shipping process by using a trusted crating company to package the new valves properly. We oversaw the crating process and coordinated with personnel on site to ensure the safe arrival of the new valves.
Drop-In Replacement Valves That Are Easy to Install and Maintain
With the new and improved custom redesign, each of the valves are easy to put into place in the existing governor configuration. Because of the redesigned sealing surface, the client has less oil leakage and fewer parts to maintain.
Accurate Manufacturing Drawings for New Valves and Existing Valves
With accurate manufacturing drawings of the existing and new governor-distributing valves, the client has the power to choose which machine shop they want and which design they would like manufactured.
Deliverables With Incorporated Client Feedback
While we created the drawings for the existing and new valve assemblies, we consulted with the client as to how they would like the drawings to look and if the new designs aligned with their goals for the project. Because we maintained an open communication line with the client throughout the process, we were able to provide deliverables that exactly matched their wants and needs.
- New valves have a unified design that reduces support and maintenance costs.
- Machining of the new valves is simplified by use of modern materials.
- 100% of new designs, along with parts in use, are documented with manufacturing drawings.