As is common with most Engineering Managers, we are often asked to find alternative solutions to many problems. One such problem that was put before me, was to investigate and procure an alternative Exhaust Valve for the Jenbacher J320.
Those in the know, will be painfully aware of the extortionate price that is demanded for the Jenbacher J320 Exhaust Valve. It must be noted at this juncture that very few, if any, engine manufacturer have the ability or the inclination to manufacture their own valve train components. This task is best left to the Valve Manufacturers who are experts in their given field. I had in the past worked for a major European large engine manufacturer, and I knew this statement to be true.
Armed with this information I approached a well known engine valve manufacturer. It was during the course of these enquiries that I was to learn that the Jenbacher Inlet and Exhaust valves were a standard catalogued valve and were not subject to any third party copyright restrictions. The valves were duly ordered.
Once the valves were received we commenced our own in-house cylinder head refurishment programme. Each cylinder head was given a unique serial number, which was annoted to the engine assembly - build records, to provide traceability for evaluation purposes.
The alternative valves were quantified by the means of conducting extensive on engine field trials. This involved pitting the alternative cylinder heads equipped with the alternative valve, against the OEM standard cylinder head. The trials were conducted on the same engine by means of OEM cylinder heads to one bank and the other bank with the alternative cylinder head. Valve recession was was measured every 1,000 hours over the next 8,000 hours. The OEM cylinder heads recessed by some 2.3mm whereas the alternative cylinder heads only recessed by a mere 1.6mm on average.
Over the next six years. I ordered the alternative valves in their thousands. The valves performed flawlessly and in every case out-performed the OEM supplied valves on every landfill site. Due to the great success and the substantial savings, we conducted the same field evaluation exercise for both the Perkins 4000 series and the Caterpillar G3516, all running on landfill gas. We now enjoy being fully autonomous from the OEM supplier; this gives us the ability to plan our rebuilds around our stock levels and not that of the OEM supplier. We enjoy greater longevity from the alternative valve, and best of all, we make substantial annual savings.
page last updated on 01/10/2014