Where there is flow, there is a need to control it. For this, valves are needed. They range from common valves, like water taps or your home radiator, to their large-scale applications in virtually every industrial process in the world. It is this large scale that we at Neles mostly operate with, helping to ensure the reliable and safe flow of substances such as oil, gas and pulp.
Every single day, millions and millions of our highest quality valves are used globally. The more than 400,000 valves we manufacture every year range in size from half an inch to 100 inches in diameter. In Finland, some of our larger scale solutions can be found in the Kilpilahti Power Plant in Porvoo, in the new Metsä Fibre bioproduct plant, and in the Päijänne tunnel, which controls the flow of the water used in Helsinki. Approximately 60% the world’s liquid gas and 75% of pulp flows through Neles' valves. A mid-sized carton board mill has approximately 1,500 valves.
For us, it is about more than just controlling flows; it’s also about making a difference in sustainable development. For example, enabling water to be reused 15 times in a modern paper mill to save a significant volume of water.
In addition to the process industries, our products can be found wherever high-quality valves are needed. Some of the most famous sites where our valves have been used include the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, and the Hoover Dam on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. Reliability and safety are two of the key requirements for state-of-the art flow control solutions.
A valve has three basic functions: to block, control or allow flow. To the layman, valves seem like a pretty simple device; but to manufacture a world class valve, it takes generations of brilliant engineers and experience.
Our flow control story started in 1923 from Germany, when a company called Mapag started its operations. Jamesbury was established in the USA in 1954, followed by Neles in Finland in 1956. Today, Neles' flow control offering, which consists of products marketed with Jamesbury™ and Neles™ trademarks, is manufactured on three continents in six countries.
Looking forward, we are already using 3D printing to create valve components. These may well become game-changers. Using a printer instead of a mold allows for more complex designs that make valves safer and quieter. Details matter, also in reliable flow control.
Text originally published in 2018, and slightly updated in April 2022, due to the company name change to Valmet.