WSG - The Three Bests
That’s the philosophy of the newest player in the valve repair and refurbishment market.
Speaking from the company’s hugely impressive and brand new 35,000 sq ft. purpose built facility in Normanton, West Yorkshire, Gareth continued, “We're extremely passionate about this business. As part of the well established Well Services Group (WSG) we already have a great reputation in the oil and gas industry for providing nitrogen services to refineries, gas terminals etc. We also have an extremely successful joint integrity business, covering flange management, Bolt torque and tensioning as well as on site machining. As we were already removing and reinstalling valves as part of our customers’ plant outages, moving into the valve repair and refurbishment space was the next logical step for us, to give our customers a fully integrated solution.”
“There are tremendous efficiencies in having one supplier handle all these aspects of an outage,’ explains Gareth. ‘The head count on-site drops considerably, as we have multi-skilled staff able to handle all of the different disciplines. There’s also the advantage of having a single point of contact, as we’re managing the whole process. It also means we can adjust and control the return of product to site to suit the customer, and not be beholden to the vagaries of a third party valve repairer’s priorities or indeed pressure from their other customers. Then there’s the inherent cost saving of course.”
“In addition, we also have some of the best testing facilities imaginable, so we can be sure any product returned is fully tested, certified and ready for installation.”
The Best People
So what about the ‘people’ claim? “We were clear from get-go that having committed to this sector, we would only employ the very best personnel for the new valve repair strand,” said Gareth. “We have put together a team with vast industry experience – some really well-known names in the industry, with impeccable CVs, qualifications and crucially, the many years’ of experience to go with it.”
He continued, “Our Valve Business Manager Neil Jackson is leading a team of true industry experts, many of whom would be known personally to the readers of Valve User magazine. A huge proportion of our custom is repeat-business, and our customers are true believers in our business, so it is incumbent on us to give them back the valve knowledge and experience they can believe in too.”
“Some of our staff have Chartered Engineer status, and we’re already finding we are able to offer consultancy on a range of related topics – it really is staggering what we are able to offer,” added Gareth. “We also have in-house FEA and CFD capabilities, and CAD/CAM manufacturing.”
The Best Equipment
Step inside the vast WSG workshops and the level of investment is immediately apparent. “We adopted a philosophy that only the best would do,” explains Neil Jackson. “With the exception of our hard to come by but fully refurbished 48 inch Webster Bennett, everything is brand new. This includes a 15-ton overhead crane, three CNC ball-grinding machines, Haas CNC milling and Turning equipment together with a suite of traditional manually operated machinery.”
The Best Service
“In addition, we have two hydrostatic test cells, and a fully submerged gas testing facility all up to 20,000psi capacity, designed to the very highest safety standards whilst also equipped with data logging and HD camera systems. We have the capacity in house to design, manufacture and build these facilities, so that’s exactly what we did! We also have a fully portable PSV testing facility, a paint plant, and shot-blasting on site. Accuracy is fully maintained by means of a Faro measuring system. For on-site work we have a complete, self-contained workshop, with its own power and utilities. We drive in and within minutes we are fully operational without needing anything from the client.”
Neil continued, “Transparency for our customers is paramount, so we have an electronic tracking system. Our technicians record every key stage of progress on tablets at their workstations, and customers can log-in and, in real time, track the progress of their valves. They can even re-schedule work to suit their priorities. Customers can ‘witness’ valve testing from the comfort of their own office, with all cameras and data available to them on screen, while talking to the test technician at the same time.”
An Eye to the Future
“We’re committed to valve repair and refurbishment for the long term,” explained Gareth. “Together with ‘Leeds Enterprise Partnership and Wakefield District Council’ we’ve invested into an Apprenticeship programme that will see us take on two new apprentices this year and next, rising to three every year thereafter.”
“And even that we’ll tackle with an eye to the customer,” added Neil. “We’ve acquired a large stock of redundant valves, and we’ll use these for tests and projects work, so our apprentices will be able to get real-life experiences while never risking our customers’ valuable assets.”
Tel: +44 (0)845 604 0281
Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 37
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