Castings are essential components in industrial process valves, and as supply chains have become more globalized, most valve manufacturers have favored offshoring the production of these components. Apollo Flow Controls challenges the status quo by producing castings in its own 170,000 square-foot, steel foundry in Conway, South Carolina. This valuable company asset allows Apollo Flow Controls to differentiate its industrial products with shorter lead times, factory responsiveness, and consistent, high quality materials.
High quality raw materials
The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” holds true for castings, and Apollo Flow Control’s steel foundry begins the production of its steel with certified ingot sourced from the United States. Every shipment is scrutinized for quality, and foundry manager James Sturgeon says that “the combination of high quality, certified ingot and the quality control of the heat treatment process gives us repeatable production with little variation, and this results in a material that is high quality and very consistent.” Repeatable material quality is beneficial to other parts of the manufacturing process, and it also provides the customer with a uniform product from batch to batch.
Superior material performance
Material test reports connect valve castings back to the exact batch from which they were poured and also show the exact chemical composition of the component’s material. The advantage of Apollo Flow Controls’ foundry processes are evident on the material test reports of the castings it produces. For example, the concentration of nickel and chromium in Apollo Flow Control’s CF8M stainless steel are consistently above the requirements specified by ASTM material designations. Nickel and chromium are key alloying elements that give CF8M its desirable characteristics of corrosion resistance, ductility and toughness. Although these elements tend to increase a materials’ performance, they are also expensive and sometimes added sparingly by other producers to minimize costs.
Made in the USA
Apollo Flow Controls can proudly claim and document that all of its ASME rated ball valves are “Made in the USA” and compliant with the “Buy American Act” as standard. There are also other advantages that come from producing valve castings in North America, where Apollo Flow Controls’ industrial efforts are currently focused. By producing castings in the United States, Apollo Flow Controls can respond quickly to spikes in demand, avoiding devastating stock-outs that can cause project delays and/or expensive expedite charges. For other manufacturers who are solely dependent on overseas production of their castings, a stock-out can mean an increased lead time of a finished valve from a few weeks to possibly four or five months.
Apollo Flow Controls is not only proud of our dedication to high quality American manufacturing, we are confident in the performance of our products. Apollo Flow Controls stands behind its entire line of ASME ball valves with a 5-year warranty, one of the longest available amongst industrial valve manufacturers.