Kent Introl Prepares for Nuclear
The company was founded in 1967 as Kent Introl Ltd in Brighouse, Yorkshire. Its initial aim was to provide a specialised control valve service for the rapidly expanding UK energy industry and for the continuously changing petrochemical industry. Kent Introl Ltd. quickly established itself within these industries and soon achieved a reputation for delivering high quality control valves of both conventional, and customised high technology, designs.
Today Kent Introl places great emphasis on their ‘in-house’ design capability. They have a highly skilled design and engineering department, and qualified engineers are always available for consultation on challenging applications. Throughout its history, Kent Introl has remained focused on their original objectives and are now recognised as one of the world leaders in design and manufacture of surface and subsea control valves, severe service valves, and surface and subsea choke valves. Three years ago, the company started looking at opportunities in the nuclear industry as a way to diversify its customer base.
“We have a history of supplying subsea valves, and there are a lot of similarities between subsea and nuclear in terms of quality requirements,” says Denis Westcott, Managing Director of Kent Introl.
But with no previous experience of nuclear, the company assumed it would need ASME ‘N-Stamp’ accreditation and was deterred from going any further.
Late in 2011, Kent Introl was invited to take the Fit For Nuclear assessment by lead assessor Dave Roberts. After Kent Introl’s managers completed the online questionnaire and received initial feedback, Roberts visited the company to take a more detailed assessment and advise the company on the way forward.
Roberts says: “Kent Introl is exactly the kind of company we want to engage through Fit For Nuclear - an established supplier of high-quality products with the ambition to tackle new markets.”
One of Roberts’ key messages was that companies at Kent Introl’s position on the supply chain didn’t actually need ASME accreditation. “Nuclear quality is a confusing area even for established manufacturers, and demystifying the requirements is a significant part of our work,” says Roberts.
“Fit For Nuclear has been a very good guide in,” says Westcott. “Even though we had a limited amount of experience in nuclear, it was a very useful programme to talk to someone about what we need to do. If we’d carried on as we were, we would have gone after N-Stamp which would have been unnecessary.”
The Fit For Nuclear assessment also highlighted areas where Kent Introl could improve its performance and operations to better meet the strict demands of the nuclear industry. “There were some areas which we were already aware of, but it put the emphasis on the need to get on with it quicker,” Westcott says.
Kent Introl has now employed a consultant to help it prepare for the nuclear supply chain, and is rewriting its strategic plan to include the lessons of Fit For Nuclear.
KOSO Kent Introl
Tel: 01484 710311
Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 20
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