Qualification testing at Alco Valves Group
At Alco Valves group we take great pride in the quality of the products that we manufacture.
Our valves go through various processes, before they are ready to be delivered to the customers. One of the earliest processes undertaken is a programme of prototype qualifications which are applicable to international standards.
The qualification tests vary upon the intended use of the product in service. Each of these tests are configured to simulate a particular arduous set of service conditions.
With consideration to the Graco (our parent company) motto of “Proven quality. Leading technology”, the R&D team at Alco valves were tasked with refining the already reliable ½” ball valve which is produced by the company in high volumes, this was done to prove the high quality of the product to our valued customers, via a PR2 performance verification test and supplementary endurance cycling for 1200 operations at the maximum working pressure.
The PR2 test, as defined by the API standard 6A subjects the valve to a set of successive tests intended to verify the products suitability for service over a range of pressures and temperatures. This test completed over 5 days, comprises of over 200 operations completed across the full range of temperatures.
Testing was completed successfully under the supervision of a third party witness, and we are pleased to now be able to offer our customers an API 6A PR2 compliant Class 2500 13mm ball valve, which is also endurance qualified over 1200 cycles.
Furthermore, as a valve manufacturer operating in the oil and gas market, we understand the need at this time for reducing cost and weight. Upon revisiting the ½” ball valve design, the R&D team through a process of “design rationalisation” were able to reduce the surplus material and thereby decreasing the weight by 25% and further keeping the costs low.
The tests that we carry out, assist us in understanding the limitations of our products. In addition to this, it drives innovation in the techniques and processes we use enabling us to stay competitive in the industry.