As the owner or operator of a manufacturing facility, your livelihood hinges on your ability to maximize production and deliver high quality products to your clients. A high quality rotary valve is essential to achieving these goals, highlighting the importance of selecting a top-notch provider. Unfortunately, not all rotary valve manufacturers are created equal. Failure to carefully evaluate a provider’s manufacturing process can lead to disruptions in your conveyor and production delays that can damage your relationship with valued customers. Below are the top twelve things to consider when selecting a rotary valve and the most important step to take if you require one for your operations.
What are the top twelve things you should consider when selecting a rotary valve?
Selecting a trusted rotary valve manufacturer can save you thousands of dollars and promote smooth operations at your facility. On the other hand, failure to carefully compare manufacturers can lead to a host of unpleasant consequences such as valve defects, production delays, and a poor return on your investment. Before you select a rotary valve, make sure you consider the following twelve factors:
1) Industry Experience
There is no substitute for experience when selecting a rotary valve manufacturer. Ideally, the provider you choose should have at least two decades of experience manufacturing an extensive array of valves. Additionally, you should look for a provider with experience in a vast range of industries including energy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and plastics manufacturing.
2) A Commitment to Quality
Outstanding product quality is the cornerstone of success in the conveying industry. The manufacturer you choose should be compliant with industry standards and employ specialists who are trained to design rotary valves. Additionally, they should have a rigorous quality control process in place to ensure that your order is shipped according to your specifications.
Choosing a USA-based company is important to meeting these priorities. Some manufacturers outsource projects to overseas companies that use lower-quality components and inexperienced workers who are unfamiliar with your specific needs. As a result, you run the risk of receiving a sub par rotary valve that can break down prematurely. Prior to placing your order, make sure that your valve will be manufactured fully in the United States using the highest quality materials.
3) Competitive Pricing
Securing the most attractive rotary valve pricing should always be a key consideration when evaluating manufacturers. However, as you compare prices between manufacturers, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The best way you can make sure that you are drawing a fair comparison is to request a written quote that outlines exactly what you will receive when you place your order. Make sure that your quote clearly states the following:
- Any additional fees charged for customization
- Shipping or delivery costs
- Any guarantees or after sale support included with your purchase
- The estimated time required to prepare your order
- Any applicable discounts discussed during your initial consultation
4) Customized Valve Solutions
Every manufacturer has a unique set of needs and product applications. The valve provider you select should be eager to work with you to design a customized rotary valve for your specific applications. They should have the resources and experience to tackle the most challenging applications and ensure that your valve complies with the latest regulations and standards in your industry.
5) Outstanding Technology
Stellar technology is a difference maker when producing rotary valves. The manufacturer you choose should have state of the art operations that feature CAD and the latest cutting-edge machinery that produces the most durable, high-quality valves. Ideally, choosing a manufacturer with operations in the United States is highly recommended, as you can verify that high caliber components and processes will be used to prepare your order.
6) Installation Services
Before you confirm your order, remember to ask if the manufacturer offers support services such as installation and commissioning. Choosing a provider that offers installation will help safeguard against errors. Additionally, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that your rotary valve has been installed and commissioned by an industry expert.
7) A Swift Response to Problems
“The true cost of a single production line shutdown includes the cost of workers idled by the shutdown, product lost before the problem was identified, product not manufactured and product lost while bringing the line back to grade on restart, as well as the actual parts and labor costs associated in the maintenance operation.”
– Efficient Plant
Even the most perfectly designed rotary valve in the world will not be immune to problems, especially following years of use. Failure to promptly diagnose and resolve rotary valve problems can result in disruption to your pneumatic conveyor and problems with your overall system operations.
Your rotary valve provider should have an excellent reputation for working with customers to troubleshoot common problems and ensuring that problems are resolved as swiftly as possible. Because it is not always easy to diagnose rotary valve problems, it is important to choose a provider whose engineers are trained to recognize warning signs and who are accustomed to helping customers diagnose and rectify problems such as air leakage, noisy operation, and poor material flow.
8) Customer References
One of the most effective ways to judge the quality of a rotary valve is to request a list of references from your industry who have purchased a rotary valve from the provider you are considering. Here are some questions to ask existing customers before you take the plunge and invest in a rotary valve from a new provider:
- “Did you receive your order on time?”
- “Was your valve customized to the specifications you agreed upon with the manufacturer?”
- “Did your provider respond swiftly to your questions and concerns?”
- “Have you experienced any valve-related problems since you installed your new valve?”
- “If you did have any problems, was the supplier responsive in helping you resolve them?”
- “Do you plan to keep purchasing products from this supplier?”
9) Ability to Meet ALL of Your Conveying Needs
Selecting a provider that also manufactures diverter valves, IBC systems, silo dischargers, and aero-mechanical conveyors can help your organization streamline your purchasing and product service. As you compare valve manufacturers, look for those that offer a “One-stop-shop” experience for you. Centralizing your purchases with a single provider can help you save money on your orders, shipping costs, and service.
10) A Spare Valve
Rotary valves are similar to any precision part in the sense that a single defect can impact your entire supply chain. And if your existing valve is experiencing problems, it may need to be removed for repair or replacement. This can result in downtime that could prove to be costly to your operations and bottom line.
One way to avoid this downtime is to invest in a spare valve. As you request quotes from manufacturers, ask about the possibility of receiving a discount if you purchase a spare or backup valve at the same time that you place your order. The country’s top manufacturers are often willing to extend a price break to customers who order multiple units.
11) Superb Post-Sale Support
Top rotary valve providers know that post-sale service is a key element of the overall customer experience. Seeking a valve manufacturer that is well-known for their after-sale support is vital to ensuring smooth operations at your facility. Before you finalize your decision, ask the manufacturer you are considering to outline their after-sale support processes. Also look for providers who are willing to give you a means of contacting them 24/7.
12) Facility Conditions
As you evaluate prospective rotary valve manufacturers, ask if you can arrange a face to face visit to their facilities. During a live visit to a potential manufacturer, you can assess the manufacturer’s commitment to quality and meet your points of contact in person. Here are a few things to note when you tour a rotary valve manufacturer:
- The cleanliness and organization of the facility: Beware of facilities that are dirty or poorly organized
- Adherence to plant safety practices: Employees should be wearing the proper protective gear
- Employee behavior: Employees should be busy working and concentrating on the tasks at hand
What is the single best step you should take if you need a rotary valve?
As outlined above, there are multiple factors that you should consider before taking the plunge and ordering your next rotary valve. The single best way to navigate through these complexities is to seek the guidance of a leader in the conveying industry. A trusted industry leader will have the resources to carefully review your needs and customize a top-quality rotary valve that is built to last.
For 20 years, our organization has worked with customers across the nation to deliver the highest quality rotary valves and other conveyor components. Our team of experts is highly skilled in the development of powder handling components and material handling systems. We invite you to contact one of our specialists today. We are happy to provide a quote or schedule a visit for you to our facilities and witness our trials. We look forward to serving as your trusted solution for all of your conveying needs!