By Bob Donnelly — Flo-Tite Valves & Controls

Historically, the process of quoting and ordering an automated ball or butterfly valve package required contacting each supplier of every component (valve, actuator, mounting kit, etc.) for a quote for their component and in many cases requiring a contractor or industrial valve distributor to assemble and test the completed package before delivery to the end user.

These days a complete automated ball or butterfly valve package can be: quoted, ordered, assembled, and tested, by just one valve supplier who has all the components for any automated process control application in stock. Additionally, the automated package can be delivered in one to two days once an order is placed.

Figure 1

What are the Cost Savings?
Time: Consider what used to happen when each component supplier had to be contacted for a quote for their component. The time it took to hear back from each one varied from a day to typically a week. Each component quote then had to be assembled into a quote for the cost of the entire package and forwarded to the end user. On average, this process took anywhere from one to two weeks to hear back from each component supplier, plus telephone or internet “tag” along the way.

Cost: Each component then had to be shipped from the different component suppliers incurring freight charges that had to be passed on to the end user, to wherever the automated package was to be assembled by either a contractor, or industrial valve distributor. If assembled and tested by a contractor their costs had to be figured into the cost of the package to the end user. If assembled by an industrial valve distributor they had to have their own staff on their payroll.

Competitive Advantage
Time is money. Often, automated ball and butterfly valve packages are needed for immediate installation by end users. If one valve supplier can deliver a completely assembled and tested automated valve package in a shorter time for a lower cost – who is going to get the order? Additionally, future orders for automated valves are most likely to be awarded to the faster and lower cost supplier who provided similar packages in the past.

Figure 2

Complications/Quality Issues

Mounting kits are a critical element in any automated valve assembly. If mounting kits have to be ordered from “kit manufacturers” their costs typically range from about USD $100 to USD $200/per assembly. One Source Suppliers have mounting hardware/kits on the shelf at a considerably lower cost. To make the proper kits for specific automated valve packages these manufacturers need to get all the specific dimensions of whatever components and then have to fit the order into their manufacturing schedules often delaying the delivery even longer.

A frequent problem that happens with mounting kits from kit manufacturers is that slight dimensional differences cause issues in the assembly and testing process of the package, thus further compounding delivery times and often future performance quality issues when installed in end user process control operations. One Source Suppliers have the hardware/kits that have been made to accurately assemble all the components in any automated valve package in inventory.

Advantages of One Source Suppliers
As you can see from the above discussion, One Source Suppliers of automated ball and butterfly packages are the way to go these days because they can provide:

• One source for quoting, ordering, assembling, and delivering of automated valves.
• A significant savings in time, cost, and quality assurance of the automated package.
• All the components and accurate mounting hardware out of inventory, with in-house testing of the complete package.
• A reputation for being a reliable One Source Supplier.

Bob Donnelly is the Vice President of Business Development for Flo-Tite Valves and Controls. He has over 30 experience years in the valve industry and was a pioneer in the introduction of the concept of valve automation.

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