Mr. Shoji, JGC is actively working with valvemakers to try and eliminate valve problems. Why is that? 
Well, even a single valve issue that is discovered during project construction can cause major problems for the contractor, the end user and the manufacturer. This can result in extra costs due to repairs and replacements or even project delays, so we naturally wish to prevent this as much as possible. JGC has therefore introduced various programmes to try to eliminate faulty valves. And do not underestimate the size of this challenge. Projects such as LNG plants, gas processing stations and petrochemical facilities continue to grow in size, such that a typical project can now easily involve 30,000 valves, ordered in up to thirty valve packages. Also, there is a tremendous variety in the valves themselves: the weight can range from just a kilo to seventy tons, whilst the design temperature can vary from minus 196 to 800 degrees Celsius. 

Can you indicate some of the common problems you are experiencing? 
We have identified six categories for valve issues. These are casting defects, gearbox leakage, flange damage, improper product design, misalignment of the actuator and paint issues. The impact can be very large. For example, for one project we had to reject and replace two thousand cast steel gate, globe and check valves due to improper casting methodology. In another instance a gate valve, which was installed horizontally, suffered damage on the disc guide rails due to improper design. 

In another instance we had to have 500 flanges re-machined as the surface had been damaged by rough handling. That is a large number. And on another project it cost a million dollars simply to re- cover a 24” ball valve from the seabed, which had failed the first time the actuator was operated. 

So how is JGC looking to address these issues? 
We have implemented a technical approach and an adaptive approach. The technical approach consists of four parts: a lessons learned system, a manufacturer survey programme, critical piping valves and JGC Engineering. Fundamental to the lessons learned is to maintain a database, which contains details of the manufacturer survey re- cords, as well as a record of all job troubles. There are currently three hundred companies in the database and the number keeps on increasing. When it comes to critical piping valves what we are doing is splitting critical valves from standard valves in terms of evaluating manufacturers and placing orders. We are doing this so that we can better track production and delivery and thereby avoid delays in construction. 

Critical valves can be defined by their design, such as expanding gate valves, the materials of construction, such as nickel alloys, or their rating and size, such as from #600 and 24” and upwards. 

And what’s the idea of the adaptive approach? 
In several of our world-scale projects such as Pearl GTL, IGC Habshan 5 PJ and Barzan PJ we have demonstrated the positive effects of having a proper safety and quality culture. For example, as shown in the excellent worker safety record as well as the timely and correct completion of the projects. We are therefore convinced that if a satisfactory quality concept would be applied to manufacturing this would have an equally beneficial and lasting impact on the product quality. If everyone in a company, from managers to employees, properly thinks about what quality means, then that creates a harmonious and safe working environment, which has a positive impact on behaviour and attitude. 

When do you expect to see positive results from these activities? 

Well, a quality culture isn’t something that can be created in a single day. The important thing is to ensure that people understand why quality is so important. That’s why for example we recently organized a Quality Forum, in which four end users and thirty-two manufacturers – including valve makers – took part. The aim was to share quality improvement activities among our suppliers and to promote their awareness of, and instinct for, further quality improvement. 

• Established in 1928
• Independent,
publicly owned
• Headquarters:
Yokohama, Japan
• Workforce: 4900 in Japan, 4700

• Construction
• Project Management 
• Engineering
• Commissioning
• Procurement
• O&M

• Oil & Gas production 
• Nuclear Energy
• Petroleum refining
• Petrochemicals & gas chemicals
• Clean energy & power generation 
• Non-ferrous metals
• Medical & welfare
• Pharmaceuticals
• Environmental conservation 

• Lump sum turnkey EPC contract for a mega-solar power generation plant in Okayama, Japan 
• Construction management and completion support services for Prelude FLNG Project in Australia 
• Contract award from Sonatrach for the of extension of the boosting compression facilities
in Algeria 
• Construction of a methionine production facility for Sumitomo Chemical 
• Front-end engineering services contract for Woodfibre LNG project in Squamish, Canada 

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