All posts by Jenn Precopio

Oliver Double Block & Bleed Valves

Oliver Double Block & Bleed Valves

The Double Block & Bleed concept was pioneered by Oliver Valves in the early 1980’s and has since become a standard world wide. Each Double Block & Bleed (DBB) has a unique serial number which records it’s factory history and provides traceability.

Double Block & Bleed valves are used in critical applications where cost, weight and space savings are paramount for pressure instrument take-off points.

Oliver Valves has since grown to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of instrumentation, subsea, and pipeline valves for the global energy sector and they’ve manufactured more than 300,000 of these units installed worldwide.

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Operating in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 quality management system, Oliver’s high quality of standards ensure reliability is always delivered and that’s why we love working with them so much. It is their mission to provide all customers  outstanding technical customer service, on-time deliveries and continued engineering innovation.

Double Block & Bleed valves can be used for sampling systems where a pipeline probe is integral with the valve or in chemical injection systems where a check valve is part of the valve assembly.

They are also good for draining tanks and pipes where space is restricted and they can be used to reduce vibrational stresses. And they can be used for high pressure firesafe diverter valves or hydraulic power unit systems; and the cost savings with exotic material designs are huge.

Some key advantages include:

  • Eliminate a terrific amount of space when compared with welding three individual valves together
  • Reduce labor and site installation costs
  • A reduced amount of leakage points – a huge benefit as fugitive emissions are so important.
  • There’s only one component to be ordered, which saves on inventory and site confusion.
  • The pressure instrument is a lot closer to the point of pressure measurement, which saves space (most important on skid mounting applications).
  • Unique numbering system on each valve recording factory history.

Specializing primarily in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, Oliver operates internationally across all regions and they have specialists located all over the world.

The Oliver Double Block & Bleed part machine program was set-up many years ago, in which all aspects of the DBB concept are machined. You simply specify the desired flange, which reduces lead time and results in quicker shipping. It’s pretty neat.

You can choose from a variety of different variations, including vent and injection, ball range, exotic materials, and all the options available from standard ball and needle valves.

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So as you can see, there’s tremendous amount of value behind Oliver’s Double Block & Bleed valve, which is why we love them so much.

What do you think?  Have you had any success with DBB valves in the past? Tell us in the comments.

Thinking about leaving Swagelok for another manufacturer?

Thinking about leaving Swagelok for another manufacturer?

If you’re using Swagelok products and thinking about switching to a different manufacturer, then you’re in the right place. Here are 5 things to consider before you switch to another manufacturer.

1. Interchangeability & Quality

Most manufacturers understand by now that in order to be successful, they have to play nice with Swagelok. You should be looking for a manufacturer that can support their claim of interchangeability with Swagelok – preferably with a 3rd party certification. Ask them how & if they support an actual claim, should you encounter any leaks or performance issues with “mixed” fittings.

Naturally, no switch should ever be made without a full understanding of their manufacturing processes and quality system. First and foremost is the quality discussion.

2. Certified Material Test Reports

CMTRs can be a tremendous cost to a project when it involves multiple tube fittings and valves.  CMTRs to EN10204 can cost up to $45 per line item but some manufacturers are now offering a crisp, concise 3.1 at no additional charge.

That’s quite a lot of savings that can really add up over time. So make sure you ask if they charge for the report or offer it for free and take advantage of that incredible savings.

3. Average Lead time

Longer lead times can lead to late projects, so make sure you ask what their average lead time is and where they are located so you have an idea of how long it will take them to send you parts and how it compares to Swagelok’s average lead times.

You should be looking for a manufacturer that can say their average lead time is 1-3 days.

4. Price

Some manufacturers advertise they are 20-30% less expensive than Swagelok. If you’re thinking about switching based on price, make sure your quote includes the correct size, length, temperature, application, media, ends and/or delivery, etc. because any of these variables can lead to a difference in price. You want to make sure you’re getting all the correct information up front so you’re not wasting your time.

5. Emotional Connection

In all likelihood, you are working with folks that have been bending tube and installing Swagelok fittings for many years and consider themselves true American Craftsmen – artists if you will – and for good reason.

Many of them grew up with the brand so a switch may come hard to them. Make sure you talk with your installers and that they’re all on board with changing before you pull any triggers.

In fact, ask for free samples so your team can see how they look, feel, and fit with other parts. Their buy-in is essential!

I know it’s not an easy decision to make but in this era of shrinking margins, maybe this will help you find an edge and win more projects or be more profitable. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Expansion Joints vs. Metal Hose

Braided metal hose assemblies and expansion joints are very similar in characteristics, however it is the difference in construction that determines which type is best for particular applications.

Let’s take a look at each type and compare similarities so we know which one to select the next time we place an order. 

Braided metal hose assemblies are made from flexible, per foot corrugated hose typically constructed from a single strip layer. The quantity of corrugations per foot is what determines the flexibility of the hose, while the outer braided layer determines what its pressure bearing capacity will be.

Braided metal hoses are intended to suit one plane of movement: either lateral (side to side), or angular (one end bending, or moving, with respect to the other).

With braided metal hose, you want to avoid using it when there is an axial movement (compression or extension) involved because it could cause the braid to release, which would reduce the pressure bearing capability and cause the hose to be left vulnerable to squirm.

Expansion joints are designed to handle all three plans of movement:  Lateral, angular and axial. They can accommodate for pressure and movements without the need to have a braid in the construction. It’s their quantity of convolutions that dictate the movement and pressure bearing capabilities, along with material thickness, number of plies, and wall height (which gets determined by the design).

Multi-ply expansion joints are typically used for applications that may have some vibration to it. They also feature lower spring rates which reduce stress on piping components and can allow it to last longer.

So why is all this important? Choosing the wrong one can delay installation by a number of days or even weeks, depending on how long it may take for the new part to come in. So keep this reference handy and let us know if you need help choosing the right material for your application. We will do anything we can to help you keep your project on-time.

So that’s the difference between expansion joints and metal hose. Which one do you use more often?  Let us know in the comments.

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Scratching the Surface: The Custom Fabrication of Non-Metallic Materials

In April of 2017, Peerless acquired the Hi-Temp Fabrication operation that specializes in the fabrication and distribution of non-metallic materials. Now it’s two years later and we’re just starting to scratch the surface of possibilities (see what I did there?).

Our fabrication shop makes a wide variety of specialty products including insulation boards, panels, blankets, rolls, and laboratory tops for the aluminum, steel, gas, furnace, refractory, electrical and petrochemical industries. Some of the products we routinely fabricate include:

Thermal Grade Glass Polyester
Glastherm HT200
Glastherm HT220
SG-200

Glass Polyester
GPO-1
GPO-2
GPO-3

Fiber Cement
Transite HT
Transite 1000
Nad-11
Minerit HD

Stonewool
Cavity Rock
Acoustical Fire Batt (AFB)

Calcium Silicate
Marinite A
Marinite C
Marinite I
Marinite M
Marinite P
CS-85

Ceramic Fiber – Alumina Silica
Duraboard HD, LD, 2600, 3000
Durablanket
Fiberfrax Paperent

There’s always room for Improvement

Our customer satisfaction and on-time performance rates are very important to us and over the last two years, we’ve made several improvements that have had a positive impact on both us internally, and our customers. Some of these improvements include:

Updating our CAD Software

The materials we work with are sensitive to tool speeds and clamp pressures which require the utmost diligence during fabrication. Since aquiring our fabrication shop we’ve updated our CAD and manufacturing software to Fusion360 to be able to fabricate accurately, import customer 3D models directly into the software providing for tighter tolerances, and significantly reduce the rate of non-conformance’s, repairs, rework and scrap.

We have multiple CNC machines dedicated specifically to machining non-metallic materials to tight tolerances. The board stock is accurately machined and inspected to match customer drawings and then carefully packaged & delivered on-time meeting customer production deadlines and expectations.

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Implementing an ERP system

We migrated our database over to a sophisticated ERP system handling all of our inventory control, production and manufacturing needs. Our inventory and production schedules are now updated in real-time and all members of the team have visibility into the status of the quote, job, sales order, etc.

All incoming requests get entered promptly into the ERP system allowing us to get back to you within just a couple of hours. This allows us to be more proactive at monitoring the order status and sending communications out throughout the process.

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New Dust-Controlled Facility

We recently moved into a new facility where we undergo periodic inspections of indoor air quality by our suppliers. The health and safety of our employees and visitors are very important to us and we had new dust-controlled equipment installed with the purpose of regulatory compliance regarding employee exposure to potentially harmful airborne contaminates. 

Sustainability

We also identified that the operation was generating a significant amount of scrap insulation being disposed of at the landfill.  We discussed the matter with the manufacturer and as a result, we developed a new program where we could start returning the scrap back to their plant to be reclaimed and reused in their manufacturing cycle; instead of going to the landfill. This was a huge win for the environment. The program cut the amount of scrap going to the landfill down by 50% and the manufacturer has now expanded the program throughout the world!

More improvements to come

These are just some of the improvements we’ve made over the past two years. Stay tuned for more announcements soon but in the meantime… Happy Birthday Peerless Hi-Temp! We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays to come. 

What do you think of these improvements?  Tell us in the comments!

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5 Reasons for Choosing DK-LOK

As the industry continues to look for ways to reduce cost without sacrificing quality or pushing out lead times, one of the things we’re seeing a lot is the switch from Swagelok to DK-LOK for compression tube fittings and instrument valves. In fact, some of our toughest customers playing in the global oil and gas markets have already made the switch and they are very satisfied with what they found.

Why the switch you ask?  Here are a few reasons why everyone is loving on the DK-LOK product line:

1. Quality

DK-LOK manufactures tube fittings and instrument valves to the most stringent industry standards and they are continuously pushing the envelope for safety and higher levels of efficiency. All products are developed, manufactured and tested to meet and exceed the requirements of various industry applications around the globe.

DK-LOK recently conducted a complete “intermix” test between their products and Swagelok – against the standard battery of tests in ASTM F-1387. The purpose of the test was to establish that any intermixed combination of DK-LOK and Swagelok individual components will provide leak-free performance.

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Based on performance results, it is confirmed DK-LOK tube fittings are interchangeable with Swagelok in threads, make-up distance, bore, sealing integrity, surface finish, design and pressure ratings. DK-LOK offers this intermix guarantee based upon TUV Rhineland witnessing of intermix test results between DK-LOK and Swagelok components in accordance with ASTM F1387-99.

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2. Price

DK-LOK pricing is considerably less expensive than Swagelok. Here at Peerless we have been able to consistency save our customers 20% – 30% when they switch to DK-LOK, as compared to their incumbent suppliers. 

3. Lead Time

In our Buffalo warehouse we are now stocking over 150 part numbers allowing us to offer same day service on the most typically used parts. You can find product detail – including 2D and 3D models – in our online DK-LOK product catalog.

4. Approvals and Awards

DK-LOK Corp. strives to be the most certified tube fitting and valve manufacturer in the world today. They have dedicated a substantial amount of resources in an effort to gain approvals from the biggest players in the oil, gas and petrochemical markets and they are well on their way to #1. 

5. CMTRs at no charge

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DK-LOK can provide you a crisp, concise Certified Material Test Report or CMTR to EN10204 3.1 at no additional charge. This is an incredible advantage for them, whereas the other guys typically charge up to $45 per line item. That’s quite a lot of savings over time.