With over 35 years of continued success, Bray is widely recognized as a premier manufacturer of flow control and automation products. Through its dedication to innovation, quality assurance, and a fully integrated product line engineered to meet industry needs, Bray has earned a reputation of excellence.
Valve World Americas had the pleasure of speaking with Brindesh Dhruva, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing & Technology Officer; John Ellis, Global Marketing Director; Brice Montgomery, Director of Global Product Management; and Christof Lindner, Business Development Director for Europe, to discuss how as a customer-centric organization, Bray has elevated its product offerings to provide solutions for the valve industry’s ever-evolving requirements.
By Angelica Pajkovic
In recent months there has been a significant push by the industrial sectors to implement new processes that will aid in the reduction of fugitive emissions. While this has led to renewed efforts for many companies, Bray’s dedication to mitigating emissions has always remained steadfast. By understanding the nuances of having a wide customer base, with different needs, Bray has continually provided an array of unique products that are environmentally conscious.
“We see that our customers continue to be challenged in regards to their applications,” explained Dhruva. “The expectations for more environmentally friendly solutions in arduous applications continue to grow, safety requirements have become stricter, and there is an increasing need to be environmentally conscious while attempting to remain profitable. Our goal is to provide robust and reliable solutions to our customers to help them to boldly face these challenges.”
Bray has maintained its reputation as a leading developer of a full range of low-emission valve designs, through its holistic approach to sustainability. The engineering team is constantly working towards reducing torque requirements on valves, and optimizing output torques on actuators; more efficient products result in lower power consumption for the user.
While it may seem insignificant, a 30% increase in valve and actuator efficiencies can significantly reduce a facility’s carbon footprint. “In any application, customers need to operate in a safe, environmentally friendly, and profitable way,” said Dhruva. “That is why Bray will continue to provide technology and solutions to help our customers achieve their emission goals while operating in difficult conditions. This is true whether it is a butterfly valve for a cryogenic application, a knife gate valve for slurry transport, a ball valve in a refinery, or a high torque actuator for remote pipelines.”
“Bray has deployed several different technologies that positively impact the environment, and help our customers achieve their goal to be much more ecologically responsible,” added Ellis. “One way we do this is, of course, is by meeting the highest level of standards for emissions from valves. Bray has committed to participation in most of the global organizations that set the standards for valves and actuators – we are constantly improving our product offering as regulations evolve – Bray products are engineered to meet the ISO and API standards and to comply with the EPA standards.”
The other manner in which Bray aids in mitigating fugitive emissions is through the technologies it incorporates into its valves. For example, the new Cx Line offered by Bray employs several technologies that actively work towards reducing industries’ carbon footprint.
The Cx Line is a portfolio of valve and actuator products that offer differentiating designs engineered to increase the product lifecycle specifically for the chemical industry while also providing certified low fugitive emissions capabilities. Bray
has put significant research efforts into its new line of environmentally conscious products– this includes butterfly valves (concentric, offset, and lined), ball valves and actuators. These products focus on many aspects of mechanical design that help ensure end users meet the stringent requirements placed on their business for operational performance. The Cx Line offers comprehensive fugitive emission prevention through specialized design, manufacturing, and quality control with each product independently tested and certified to comply with the most stringent fugitive emissions standards.
“When we look at the Cx Line, and all of the technologies that are involved in the design of each of the products, it is easy to see how it embodies not only Bray’s focus on providing innovative products for our customers’ challenges, but its dedication to improving efficiency as well as low emissions,” stated Lindner.
The Chemical Industry
When professionals talk about emissions from valves, pipes, and fittings, most people’s minds jump right to the oil & gas industry; this is however a limiting perspective. The chemical industry also has a large reliance on valves and is, by extension, a significant source of fugitive emissions. The average lifespan of a valve in chemical production plants is much shorter than in oil & gas and it is important that challenges in this industry be addressed as well.
“Our lives are continuing to evolve to include more and more chemically produced products, so production efficiency, and maximum uptime is very important to these companies,” noted Ellis. “As the greenhouse gas effect and carbon leakage are major concerns for this industry, we look holistically at providing products that are safe, reliable, and maintain their uptime. They are also designed to provide sustainability, whether that is a reduction in the emissions from packing or reducing power consumption through more efficient electric actuators and valves.”
There are two important goals for the chemical market: one is working towards net zero emissions, and the other is embracing digitization to drive efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Bray provides these solutions with their expansive portfolio of ball valves, butterfly valves and actuation products.
Continuous & Preventative Monitoring
In addition to developing new product technologies, Bray has developed the digital capability that can be used to detect and prevent excessive fugitive emissions; one way that has not achieved its full potential is continuous, preventative monitoring of valves and pipes. By focusing not just on detecting leaks, but stopping them before they occur, Bray can guide customers to implement a preventive and proactive approach towards zero emissions. The Bray DIGI-ID™ system will allow end users to pull up relevant documentation from a QR code on the valve tag – giving the customer instant access to information about each Bray product installed in their facility.
“The Bray DIGI-ID™ has technology embedded in it so that an end user can use a field communication device, that allows them to quickly access a wide range of information about the product. This way, they know exactly what they are getting,” relayed Ellis. “It is much simpler to track the valves and maintain transparency.”
“Our digital solutions have also matured to offer a variety of monitoring systems for our customers. Amongst these is our patented technology to monitor and predict packing integrity in real-time. We utilize multiple measurements along with predictive algorithms to give our customers the ability to be proactive,” added Dhruva, “I think in terms of emissions technologies, the goal should be zero emissions. In terms of monitoring, we have come a long way as an industry. We now employ everything from drones with infrared cameras to precise instrumentation to detect the smallest molecule coming out of the valves.” By using these monitoring techniques, customers can proactively discover that there is an issue before it escalates.
The Bigger Picture
A flange on a valve in a chemical plant might seem like a minute piece of an already small component, but if one considers how this one small piece can affect the environment, it is evident that maintaining flange and valve integrity is extremely significant. Bray seeks to mitigate the effects of emissions by developing an uninterrupted sealing surface with the gasket industry.
To do so, Bray focuses on seeing the bigger picture. “We always ask ourselves, where this is being installed, and what the consequences are of it,” stated Brindesh.
Bray’s products are designed with the latest engineering and quality tool sets, undergo cycle testing, and a strenuous certification process. Perhaps most importantly, Bray strives to create products that will operate at or below the permitted level of emissions. “In my mind striving towards zero emissions and continuous monitoring proactively, is a good goal for our industry to focus on,” stated Ellis. “It is certainly a goal that we at Bray have set for ourselves. Regardless of whether it is the chemical industry, oil & gas industry, or any other industry, we believe the technologies that are being implemented here make a positive impact for everybody.”
Bray is proudly environmentally and socially conscious, which is evident in its technological advances, its commitment to research and development, its involvement in the global standards organizations, and its immense knowledge of multiple industries. Bray will continue to be a leader and an innovator in the valve industry.