Large Trunnion Ball Valve History
July 13th, 2017 by Amanda Schumann
Early last century there was Cameron (USA) (which the Russian’s copied!) and then WKM (USA), then along came Grove (USA), in Japan along came Kitz, then KTM and IKS (WKM under license). In Europe there was Borsig (Germany) and TK (Scotland), not long after in the early 70’s came BC Richards Australia (who also made WKM under license), then came KF (USA). There were numerous others like Mapegaz and Saut Du Taun in France then Borsig in Germany. Remember any others? After TK Scotland pioneered large forged trunnions, Grove started making forged trunnions in Italy which was later copied by PBVS and then after that a host of others, making Italy (courtesy of government subsidies) the world trunnion centre to this day. Of course other USA brands from the late 90’s cranked up commodity trunnion manufacturing in China, which is now the main location for 3 piece A105/LF2 (and cast 2 piece) trunnion manufacture especially in lower classes and smaller sizes.
After many disasters, most China built valve business (ordered by major oil companies) is now through a select few Western brands who have a western plant as well as their own 100% owned Asian plant. However, a huge amount is sub-contracted by Western brands in Italy & USA to third party Chinese owned factories. Chinese and some Middle East, Eastern European and USA oil companies, roll the dice and buy China brands direct.
Whilst numerous Western manufacturers can and do 100% make (especially for major projects) commodity A105/LF2 trunnion valves, other than a few Shell approved manufacturers like Starline, 100% Western manufacture (including castings/forgings) is usually only done for special valves like Duplex or metal seated or larger sizes and higher classes or ESDV’s, etc. Other compromises such as valves built in Italy from Asian forgings are also common for projects.
These days ‘World Valve Manufacturers’ have (for instance) head office and high end valve plant in Italy, which also manages, oversees & controls (100% owned & managed is preferable) licensed API plants in China, India and/or assembly plants in countries with high import duties (and a good local market) like Brazil, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and USA.