Reality Check for Fake Purchases
Following up after losing bids to some suspicious entities, MOGAS discovered that the plants’ supposedly MOGAS valves were being bought for a much lower price from suppliers outside the authorized rep network. A site visit to the plant allowed an opportunity for information to be gathered on one such “MOGAS” valve. While its name plate showed the valve was an iRSVP-UF 1-inch Class 3100 A105, MOGAS records linked its serial number to an iRSVP-UM 1.5-inch Class 1500 F22. With concern for plant and personnel safety, MOGAS exchanged it for a new valve and shipped the suspect valve to Houston to be examined part by part. The results were surprising.
Visually, the valve exterior had all the surface markings of being a genuine MOGAS valve: logo, forging number, patent, serial and heat numbers, and data plate. However, once disassembled, a different story unfolded: welding and manufacturing flaws, absence of coatings, and inferior material grades made the valve substandard in function, strength and reliability. Here are some of the findings:
- The counterfeit valve was constructed with many pressure containing elements that are not per industry code and will never hold up under the design standards of a Class 3100 valve. This presents a serious safety concern from jetting superheated steam to atmosphere if the valve fails while the unit is online and live steam is present.
- The results from a PMI (positive material identification) inspection revealed that several internal components were made from an inferior metal, and would either melt near the maximum service temperature of this valve, or rust. Failure of these parts would result in a forced plant outage.
- Part numbering and material certifications were incorrect per the bill of materials, and on some parts, numbers did not exist at all. Accurate parts numbering ensures the material is traceable and reliable per standards.
- Improper ball and seat lapping/mating and poor seat design will introduce leaks.
Sarah Wuensch, Service Auditor and Product Analyst at MOGAS, summarized her inspection in one sentence: “This valve had zero chance of ever sealing.” These valves were misrepresented to be authorized MOGAS valves when, in fact, they were not.
Bad Purchases have Bad Consequences
Fraudulent valves can be a copied or reverse engineered design, mislabeled used or damaged valves, or even a hybrid of several designs by different manufacturers fabricated into one valve. Any of these can be disastrous to a severe service application.
Counterfeit valves may represent an hazard if installed into critical areas of harsh applications. The consequences of using counterfeit valves include: industrial down time, damaged equipment, a negative impact on the environment and damaging the original manufacturer's good name. But most importantly, they put customers and their employees at great risk for injury.
Ensuring Valve Quality and Authenticity
Until international enforcement and long-term anti-counterfeiting solutions can be fully implemented, OEMs around the globe will spend enormous amounts of time and funds to be compliant with industry codes and provide their customers with the proper valve for the required results. There is a constant effort to keep fraudulent valves from getting into the supply chain with ongoing quality inspections, genuine documentation and third-party audits.
The only way to prevent buying a counterfeit MOGAS valve is by dealing with an authorized representative of MOGAS. With sales and service centers in China, Australia, Canada, South America, Africa, The Middle East and Europe, as well as representatives and technicians in more than 40 countries, MOGAS is known for partnering with its customers to meet the ever-increasing challenges of severe-service applications.
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