The plant, which is to commence production from October, will manufacture the entire product range of L&T Valves as well as automation and digital solutions
L&T Valves Arabia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&T Valves, is setting up a new manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia, making a key addition to the company’s global manufacturing network that comprises facilities in Houston (US), and Coimbatore and Kancheepuram (India).
Being set up as part of its commitment to Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Programme, the strategic move will boost local capabilities and open new opportunities for local businesses, says the company.
“For over five decades, L&T Valves has consistently manufactured high-performance products leveraging state-of-the-art equipment, robust quality processes, and trained talent. The company focuses on 100 per cent compliance to standards and sustainable manufacture. L&T Valves Arabia builds on this heritage of excellence to offer a reliable portfolio that proudly carries the ‘Made in Saudi Arabia’ tag,” says Mahesh Joshi, chief executive and director, L&T Valves.
The plant, located in the Eastern Province, close to Al Jubail, off the Dhahran-Jubail Highway, is positioned strategically close to Saudi Aramco’s nerve centre at Dhahran.
“Proximity to King Abdulaziz Seaport and Dammam Airport facilitates fast and reliable movement of raw materials and finished goods. Eastern Province is the most industrially developed area in Saudi Arabia, and provides a rich pool of engineering talent, and a network of manufacturers who provide support services,” Joshi comments.
The upcoming plant, which is scheduled to commence production from October, will manufacture the entire product range of L&T Valves. These would include: gate, globe and check valves; trunnion-mounted ball valves; triple-offset butterfly valves; double block and bleed plug valves; automation solutions; and digital solutions. The internet of things (IoT)-ready smart valves that integrate various sensing and communication technologies is a key product offering.
L&T Valves Arabia is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for manufacture and quality assurance. These include CNC machines and custom-engineered machines for welding, assembly, testing and painting.
“L&T Valves Arabia will be an innovation and technology hub to cater to the entire Middle East and Africa markets, and the expansion plans are ambitious,” Joshi proclaims.
According to him, digital technologies provide L&T Valves Arabia a huge differentiation. In the shop-floor, RFID technologies enhance traceability and ensure error-free on-time manufacture. Further, smart glasses that use Augmented Reality (AR) enable customers to view the plant in real-time from remote locations.
“The future is digital, and L&T Valves Arabia provides the customer an opportunity to experience the future,” he adds.
L&T Valves quality management system has stood the test of time
Reiterating the company’s IKTVA resolve, Joshi says that L&T Valves has been proactively working to meet its requirements. Recently, Saudi Aramco signed a Corporate Procurement Agreement (CPA) with L&T Valves for supply of ball, gate and check valves under the IKTVA programme.
To enhance the in-kingdom value addition, L&T Valves Arabia, proposes to recreate the supply chain for key components in the country. “These network of relationships, built over decades, guarantee quality of components and reduces unpredictability” Joshi says.
At L&T Valves Arabia, the local content will be gradually increased leveraging the vendor ecosystem in the country. The plant will create both direct and indirect employment in the region. Further, L&T Valves Arabia will be developed as an exports hub addressing requirements of major National Oil Companies (NOCs) and International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the region, he adds.
“L&T Valves believes in continuous development of employees,” Joshi says. According to him, Saudi nationals recruited for the plant would undergo skill development programmes at L&T Valves facilities in India as well as on-the-job training in Saudi Arabia, supported by experienced operations personnel. Management and behavioural training would be imparted at L&T’s state-of-the-art Leadership Development Academy in India.
The facility will also run a valve training school to provide regular training courses for customers.
“The L&T Valves quality management system that has stood the test of time will be replicated at L&T Valves Arabia and managed by experienced quality assurance and quality control personnel,” says Joshi.
L&T Valves quality management system is certified to comply with ISO 9001:2015 and API Spec Q1. The company is licensed to offer valves with CE and ATEX marking, API monograms and SIL3 certifications. Further, the quality management system has been audited and approved by major customers from around the world, Joshi informs.
For over five decades, L&T Valves has been providing reliable flow-control solutions to oil and gas, power and process industries across the globe. The product portfolio includes a wide variety of pre-configured valves and custom-engineered solutions for mission-critical applications. L&T Valves has also forged strategic relationships with major valve distributors in key markets. Service, spare and technical support for the supply base that exceeds 20 million is provided by the Global Aftermarket team.
L&T Valves Arabia, leveraging this legacy of technology and trust, has built a future-ready facility. From a customer point of view, this would provide cost effective solutions, shorter lead-times, quality products and services at the customer’s doorsteps and training to operators, users and others.