Combating obsolescence to maintain critical equipment commonality

Equipment manufacturer commonality is a key feature at any operating oil & gas asset for all types of mechanical equipment, whether it be pumps, turbines, valves or actuation. Manufacturer / model commonality enables interchange; promoting diversity in the operator’s equipment stock holding where a single item can cover many asset operating locations. This concept enables seamless planning of periodic equipment changeouts, whilst offering a safety net in the event of emergent issues in like for like equipment in live operation; it is embraced in its fullest by our one of our clients across each of their operating assets.

The Case
The client’s onshore asset is safeguarded by numerous welded inline 24″ 600# actuated ESDVs, with both valve & actuator of a legacy design from the same OEM, a design dating back 40 years to be precise. In excess of 20 off these identical assemblies occupy the plant in day-to-day operation, with the actuators fully interchangeable with any of these ESD locations, which are Gas x Hydraulic design. The modern equivalents of these legacy actuators cost in excess of £40,000 to procure new. To maintain the ethos of key equipment interchange, rather than explore alternative manufacturers for actuation, SVS were challenged to achieve cost-effective solutions in the salvation of these legacy actuators, whilst avoiding a manufacturer’s lead time to replace new.

The Solution
With a life cycle spanning over 35 years, each of these actuated units have been restored multiple times over that period as part of the drive to maintain commonality in these critical applications. A sustained gas supply pressure of 500 PSIG means that the piston seal and mating cylinder ID are subject to significant friction forces during their periods in operation, making eventual scoring and pitting within this interface a formality. Whilst seals can always easily be replenished during a repair interval, the same cannot be guaranteed for each of the metallic components such as the cylinders, pistons, piston rods and bushing; manual overhaul techniques, skim machining & recoating can only succeed so far until the manufacturer’s tolerances are exceeded and the parts must be renewed. In this case, with spare metallic components no longer available from the OEM for this legacy equipment range, SVS applied its in-house reverse engineering to design and manufacture replacement gas & hydraulic cylinders and bushing to overcome the factor of equipment obsolescence.

The Result
SVS achieved a successful reverse engineered solution of these legacy actuated units at a cost ratio of 35% versus the value to procure new.

The client’s stockholding of this critical equipment spare, fit to fulfil over 20 ESD duties at the asset, was replenished and held in our stock until future call-off.

For enquiries contact us at

Tel: 01224 278840

Published: 12th August 2019

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