Strategic planning is a process that helps an organization articulate its mission and define its direction. Recognizing this as a vital exercise lays down firm foundations for an organization, allowing it to grow and thrive, whatever the fabric it exists within. One such company that understands this principle well is MIR VALVE SDN. BHD., a top-tier manufacturer of ball valves that serves the international oil & gas, petrochemical, refining and power industries.
MIR VALVE’s success certainly did not come by chance. Rather, it can be attributed to the foresight that its founders, Mr. Stasi Prandalos and Mr. Ahmad Hisham Kamaruddin, had in setting up this Malaysian based company in 2007. The management spent 16 months on pre-planning to ensure that every aspect of its operations would be thoroughly mapped out.
Quality Management & Certification
The team at MIR VALVE was cherry-picked for their rich experience in respective fields, which allowed the company to enjoy success at the get-go. From the very beginning, MIR VALVE placed great emphasis on Quality Management, and received certification in an extensive range of standards from Bureau Veritas, American Petroleum Institute (API) and Standards Malaysia amongst others. In fact, MIR VALVE was the first Malaysian manufacturer to supply the market with API 6D Ball & Gate Valves and Actuators.
The MIR VALVE Group asserts global presence with production facilities in Kuala Lumpur and Milan, Italy. Across its manufacturing plants, MIR VALVE has a quality control process that puts all its products through stringent tests, including inspections on its valves and even components from its supply sources. The company has earned a high level of trust from its customers, and has manufactured over 5,000 valves in less than 5 years, all of which are now in service in various onshore, offshore and subsea installations worldwide.
MIR VALVE’s commitment to high standards led its quality control (QC) department to recommend the purchase of a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) quite early on. MIR VALVE’s measurement needs revolved around inspection, alignment and dimensional calculations. Traditionally, taper gages and micrometers of various sizes would be used to take these measurements. While manual measurements taken with hand tools were generally acceptable, it required highly skilled technicians to perform the task with a lot of care, which was very time-consuming.
MIR VALVE has complex measurement needs that involve spherical objects most of the time.
The QC team also had the additional goal of simplifying inspection checks to further enhance its capabilities and efficiency. As MIR VALVE’s products came in a variety of sizes, ranging from 2 to 60 inches, the company owned 7 sets of micrometers of different sizes to cater to a variety of measurement needs. The larger micrometers were very bulky and difficult to handle, and the team soon realized too that the working volume was exceeding what the hand tools could manage.
What MIR VALVE needed was a solution that would give accurate measurements more quickly. Mr. Aziz Mustaffa, Quality Control Manager in the Shah Alam plant, shared, “As our work frequently involves measuring spheres, using traditional methods would be exceptionally tricky. We wanted to minimize time wastage and eliminate the possibility of human error.”
Trust in a Reliable Name
During the evaluation process to search for options available in the market, several employees’ prior experience with FARO solutions swayed the management in that direction. “Some of us used FARO in our previous jobs, and we were familiar with the features and capabilities that the products offered,” said Mr. Aziz. “Despite the competitive pricing that other brands proposed, we decided on the FaroArm because of the trust that our industry folk had in the brand.”
FARO enabled MIR Valve to measure spherical objects much more easily.
MIR VALVE procured a FaroArm Platinum and FARO ScanArm V3, which allowed technicians to perform measurements in two ways — one with a ball probe, and the other by scanning without coming into contact with the object. The FaroArm replaced both the taper gage and micrometers in performing hard dimensional checks and ring-type joints (RTJ) dimension calculations, bringing great convenience to the QC team.
In addition, portability of the FaroArm enabled MIR VALVE to conduct source inspections easily at its suppliers’ facilities, even before components are sent to the plant. “In more ways than one, we appreciate how portable the FaroArm is,” revealed Mr. Aziz. “Our larger valves can weigh up to a ton, making it very labor-intensive if it had to be moved to a measuring room. Setting up the FaroArm right where the product is saves us all that trouble!”
Utilized every other day, FARO helped MIR VALVE improve on the consistency of its product quality. Measurements taken by the FaroArm are highly accurate and compliant to the oil and gas industry’s typical requirement of 50 microns (or 0.002 inch). Compared to using traditional hand tools, readings were also much more reliable and repeatable.
Reaping the Benefits
Since switching to the FaroArm in February 2009, the QC team enjoyed significant time savings in their work flow. In fact, the team reported more than 80% reduction in the amount of time taken for inspections. Mr. Aziz added, “Normal inspections would have taken us about two hours, but the FaroArm allows us to complete the same task in just 15 minutes. The time and manpower saved is now spent elsewhere, enabling us to meet our customers’ evolving needs.”
The FaroArm can be deployed anywhere on the shop floor.
MIR VALVE’s strategic planning and astute investments provided the right conditions for the company to flourish in its niche. FARO is glad to have been involved as a partner in enabling MIR VALVE Group’s success, and looks forward to future opportunities to work together.
About MIR VALVE SDN. BHD.
MIR VALVE SDN. BHD. is a top-tier manufacturer offering the complete range of ball, gate and control ball valves serving the international oil & gas, petrochemical, refining and power industries. In less than 5 years, the company has manufactured over 5,000 valves which are in service in onshore, offshore and subsea installations worldwide today. MIR VALVE’s technology and quality are proven in service.