Editor’s Note: In the October 2012 issue of Flow Control, 11 case studies/application stories featured the winners of our 2012 Innovation Awards program. In the following weeks, each winner will be featured on the FlowStream blog. The following post focuses on Ham-Let’s MBV Series Instrumentation Metering Ball Valve.

Recently, Ham-Let, a manufacturer of instrumentation valves and compression fittings, partnered with Vinci Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of pilot plants for the oil and gas industry.

Vinci Technologies was pursuing an improved method of pressure control for its catalyst testing units to achieve high reliability at a cost-effective price. Vinci’s current design employed a rather expensive proportional valve for which they were seeking higher value alternatives.


Ham-Let’s MBV Series instrumentation metering ball valve provides the functionality of a ball valve (shut-off) and a needle valve (metering) in one compact package. (Photo courtesy of Ham-Let)

Ham-Let’s MBV Series instrumentation metering ball valve is a compact design for high-precision, sensitive-flow regulation, integrated with a leak-tight soft seal shut-off control. The product provides the functionality of a ball valve (shut-off) and a needle valve (metering) in one compact package, while also including a diverting option for shut-off or metering-flow position, without loading or damaging the sensitive regulation needle.

Prior to Ham-Let’s innovative design, product users would mount a shutoff valve in series with a metering valve to control critical flows. This required additional tubing or piping segments as well as additional connection points, creating potential leak points. Ham-Let’s MBV eliminates these requirements and results in a more efficient flow control scheme with a smaller footprint.

The heart of the MBV series is a patent-pending design that allows users to achieve various control configurations of metering/shutoff. The MBV series is rated to 2,000 PSIG (138bar) and 300 F (149 C). Various end connections are available (male and female taper threaded, Let-Lok double ferrule compression, and HTC face seal) in sizes ranging from 1/16 inch to 3/8 inch. Specific stem tapers enable manual metering control as low as Cv=0.0001 and as high as Cv=0.15. Available configurations include metering/full-flow control scheme or metering/full-flow/shut-off with three-way operation. In addition, optional actuated diverting control is available.

The MBV from Ham-Let has provided a number of benefits for VINCI Technologies and its customers. Vinci Technologies President Mr. Renaud Presberg explains, “In our Catalyst Testing Unit the main challenge is to achieve the most cost-effective design and to assure reliable operation. With Ham-Let’s Metering Ball Valves we achieved both. The unique combination of full shut off and fine metering capabilities in one single unit helped us to improve our design by reducing overall skid size and eliminating dead volume in the Catalyst Testing Unit system. Additional benefits are reduced installation labor time and costs as well as more efficient operation for our customers.”

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