The Online Pump Magazine
The Power of Innovation for Suppliers of Combust, Flow and Treat Products
There is a sea change in the route to market for suppliers of combust, flow and treat products. It is being caused by the adoption of digital technologies.
Suppliers have to navigate a course every bit as challenging as did Eastman Kodak. The monumental failure of this company was to underestimate the power of innovation and overestimate the power of positioning in a non-digital market. The result was a company which was best able to achieve what Apple has accomplished and instead stifled R&D and tried to delay or prevent the transition to digital cameras.
If the supplier has a product which is proven in a similar process, then it is valuable to establish the similarities and differences between the two processes. This is particularly relevant if
Innovation: Innovation will be more important in the new market environment. The reason is that customers have the process management systems and data analytics to analyze the new product potential. They already will have documented the short comings of existing products and processes.
This new and better innovation must be validated for each application. This requires a high level of process and product knowledge to first develop the product and then to communicate that knowledge convincingly.
Example : Here is the way some companies are gaining and communicating this knowledge.
Primex: This company has been involved with dry scrubbing systems for coal fired boilers for decades. They helped create the Dry Scrubbers Users Group (DSUA) and are very active in the annual conference. They consult for several NAES power plants and have access to the continuous process management data supplied by the OSIsoft systems.
They are analyzing the performance of all the components. Because of their extensive experience they have recommended changes which have greatly improved operations.
The bag design was causing some problems. Primex patented a modification and then licensed this patent to the bag manufacturers. At the latest conference, there was a good sharing of information among suppliers and users relative to the control valve washing protocol. Primex will be able to incorporate this knowledge into their advisory service.
McIlvaine has proposed to the DSUA and to Primex that the McIlvaine Dry Scrubber Decision Guide be used to create an ongoing decision system on dry scrubber components and processes. This would provide currency and organization to the overall effort and provide the four knowledge needs: Alerts, Answers, Analysis and Advancement.
Mogas: This valve manufacturer and severe service technology company organizes a biennial conference on autoclaves for extraction of metals from ores. Ekato, an agitator supplier, Koch-Knight who furnishes autoclave components, NobelClad, a supplier of explosively clad alloys, and Caldera, a consultant specializing in extraction are co-sponsors.
Mogas has captured a large share of the severe service valve market for these applications. Their process knowledge and innovative engineering philosophy have resulted in special valve designs with unique coatings to reduce corrosion and erosion.
There are similar applications with larger markets. One is tight oil including oil sands and shale. Another is the power plant FGD where Ekato is the leading supplier of agitators. Scaling is a problem in both applications. Improved valve and agitator designs for one market can be applied to others.
The bi annual autoclave conference has spurred innovation. Wouldn t on going decision systems on this subject be a logical next step forward? Application oriented decision systems can be supplemented by product-oriented systems such as valve decisions for severe service slurry valves: or "agitators for abrasive and corrosive applications".
HRSGS User Group: The organizers of this bi annual conference and McIlvaine are ready to help suppliers organize decision systems around HRSG products. There is already a good start with a decision guide on HRSG valves. The next step is to identify suppliers willing to support this effort. Source: McIlvaine
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