Since its establishment in 2010, International Standard Valve (ISV) has gone above and beyond for its customers, providing high-quality valves to the industry. With a customer base that spans globally, a vast portfolio that services several industrial sectors, and a commitment to meeting fugitive emissions standards, ISV has earned the trust of its customers worldwide.
Fugitive Emissions Journal was pleased to speak with Michael O’Quinn, President & CEO at ISV, about the company’s expansive product lines, its new fully welded ball valve offering, and how it continues to both meet and exceed expectations of the market.
By Sara Mathov
After taking the industry by storm with its introductory leaps and strides in valve production, little room remained for baby steps on ISV’s blueprint; even in its infancy, the company hit the ground running. Within the first year of its establishment, ISV received its ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification, followed closely by the API 6D certification for U.S. Production.
The company saw its first year through with the implementation of its core competencies in two key areas of valve manufacturing: fully code-compliant ball valve products, and a multi-layered quality assurance program. It also saw the establishment of a fully functioning ERP system, and the development of surveys, supplier relations, and product designs. It accomplished all of this while maintaining a targeted focus on pressure and performance test equipment installation.
Currently, the company has grown to over 40 employees, with most of its products produced out of the Stafford, Texas facility. “Our production staff is growing, and has grown about 20% since last year,” added O’Quinn.
Expansive Product Offering
The Americas, West Africa, and the Middle East are among the key loyal users of ISV products, and for good reason. “Our product range can be characterized as wide-ranging, since we cover several API major valve categories. Standard features of all ISV ball valves include NACE compliance, lockable levers and gear operators, an anti-static device, and are fire-safe tested to API 607,” said O’Quinn. If those qualifications were not enough, all of ISV’s trunnion mounted ball valves are double block and bleed designed with emergency sealant injection ports.
“ISV has proven its stance as a reliable and consistent provider of ball valves, and has shown the ability to adapt and expand on its roots to offer new products, addressing an industry pain point. With its well-known product offering, including its new product, ISV will continue to innovate and expand, providing quality assurance to customers worldwide.”
In conjunction with its endeavor to keep a finger on the pulse of industry expectations, ISV commits to observing the respective statuses of ASME, API, MSS, and ISO standards, and is actively participating in numerous industry-related task groups. This approach allows the company to remain in touch with the trends observed among its customer base, and to accordingly expand its provision of valves for multiple industrial sectors.
While the focus of the company has predominately been industrial ball valves, from ¼”, to 42”, in a variety of different configurations, this focus is also now expanding in response to industry needs.
Meeting the Need of the Market
“One of our most recent product additions has been our fully welded body trunnion mounted ball valve for the midstream oil & gas market, which we manufacture in our Stafford facility,” continued O’Quinn.
This product is used to mitigate potential leaks over time, and in turn, help eliminate fugitive emissions. “These valves, in many cases, are used below ground. Because it is fully welded, rather than bolted, it eliminates at least two potential leak paths, where a gasket or body seal of a standard bolted-body valve can become compromised over time.” O’Quinn highlighted the success of this new product, which complies with API 6D, divulging that the company produced over 500 last year, and is on track to beat that number this year.
To produce this product, ISV purchased and installed the welding equipment needed, as well as trained and certified personnel to perform up-to-standard processes. This fully welded valve is generally made from carbon steel, but is also available in stainless steel. “Common body materials used are A105N, LF2 Class 1, and F 316 SS. Depending on the application, specified by the buyer, different materials will be used to handle corrosion resistance,” he asserted.
The valve is available in flange by flange, weld by weld, and flange by weld configurations, as well as pressure classes up to ASME 2500s.
Another benefit of the fully welded design is that it essentially replaces gasket seals and body seals. “Over a period of 20 or 30 years, this will remove the need to be retightened, as might be required by a bolted body product,” he explained. “In every case, we are using packing materials for low emissions performance. And, of course, all of the valves that we produce meet the requirements of API 624 and/or API 641.”
Quality and Resilience
Maintaining a rigorous standard of quality is central to ISV’s approach when it comes to conducting performance and pressure tests on its products. At a minimum, each ISV valve is pressure tested in accordance with the standard for which it is designed. In many cases, O’Quinn noted, the company’s standard test procedures and instructions exceed the industry’s standard product design test requirements. These include, for example, longer test durations than what is required by the industry test standard. “We perform the optional seat test on ball valves as an ISV standard, rather than bypassing it,” explained O’Quinn. “Additionally, we perform positive material identification (PMI) as a standard on all key components.”
O’Quinn further explained that each PMI reading is retained in the company’s database and linked to the valve’s serial number for future traceability, while random material verification tests are performed to confirm that purchased component materials meet or exceed the intended material standards. As the company’s testing results are a key part of its quality assurance program, ISV has created a detailed testing report process by compiling each valve’s test data into an extensive database. This way, the test reports for each valve purchased by any customer can be provided to the customer upon request.
“ISV had the opportunity to establish our company during a time in which computer technology had already grown from its early stages. As such, from day one, we were able to utilize and employ data management technologies starting at the valve component level all the way through a finished valve product.”
ISV has also added a seventh automated valve pressure testing machine. “This adds an array of options related to our testing capability throughout our valve size ranges,” said O’Quinn.
“ISV had the opportunity to establish our company during a time in which computer technology had already grown from its early stages. As such, from day one, we were able to utilize and employ data management technologies starting at the valve component level all the way through a finished valve product.” All ISV valves, including the smallest size of a quarter inch, are serialized — allowing full product traceability for many years beyond the point of its installation in the field.
This traceability incorporates a thorough record of the production process, from original mill test reports for each component to the name of the employee performing the final inspection. In addition, general assembly drawings are available upon request for all ISV products; for extreme traceability, all records are kept for minimum 10 years. This allows the company to more efficiently communicate to the customer the exact details of the product being offered and considered. In turn, the customer’s review and feedback can help the company to understand any special requirements or features specific to the customer.
During the pandemic, like many in the industry, the company experienced logistic challenges, especially in the first half of the year. “In the second half of the year, we broke records, in terms of recovery. We had a record-breaking period for sales and production output,” exclaimed O’Quinn. ISV showed resilience with a quick recovery and upturn in productivity, despite the ongoing logistical challenges of the pandemic. “We were astronomically higher than the highest years of our history – it was quite phenomenal.”
ISV has proven its stance as a reliable and consistent provider of ball valves, and has shown the ability to adapt and expand on its roots to offer new products, addressing an industry pain point. With its well-known product offering, including its new product, ISV will continue to innovate and expand, providing quality assurance to customers worldwide.