<h3>Bestobell Valves and Bestobell LNG are part of the Flow Group, a Yorkshire-based SME manufacturing company with over 50 years experience in specialist valve manufacture. With a dedicated team of professionals, they are totally focused on supplying specialist niche products to the global energy market. Flow Group consists of Conflow, Bestobell Valves and Bestobell LNG in Sheffield; Hull-based Shipham Valves; Leeds Valves in Gildersome; and John Mills Valves in Newcastle.</h3>
With the aim of achieving engineering excellence, superb customer service and supreme-performance products, the company has been continuously improving operational practices and materials technology, and developing new markets.
This has enabled Flow Group to focus on special products for use in liquefied natural gas (LNG) cryogenic service as part of the Bestobell LNG valve range. Over the last 10 years, new products have been successfully introduced for use in upstream LNG plants, on LNG cargo carriers, at LNG liquefaction sites and LNG storage and re-gasification terminals.
A recent development of Bestobell LNG has been the introduction of a new Float Level Isolation Valve (FLIV), a specially designed stainless steel valve with manual open/shut operation and a built-in inspection chamber. The valve has a ‘super finish’ seat design for tight shut-off to prevent valve leakage and ensure fail-safe operation. The FLIV is fitted with a gear box with clear open/shut visual indicator, enabling a single operator to work the float and the valve in the same location. Previously, two operators were require and reliability of the valve was poor.
The FLIV was designed to comply with the Rules and Regulations for Classification of Ships. Its development required detailed and integrated evaluation of the design, material, and manufacturing process for the castings that constitute a major part of the valve. Bestobell LNG approached Castings Technology International (Cti) to evaluate the design and to produce prototype castings for test purposes. The scope of work required that Cti also specify the manufacturing techniques and to supervise the initial volume production in order to minimise risk and to increase speed to market.
The casting designs were review by Cti to ensure that they were optimised in terms of ‘ease of manufacture’ and that the product would meet both the operational requirements and the EU Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC.