Case Study: Compact Assemblies for Mobile Labs

Customer: Large utilities company | Industries: Power, chemical, government | Key services: Engineering, product selection, assembly

How a large utilities company got complete panels to fit in their new mobile lab vans

Assembly Services team produces panel that is not only smaller but also minimizes costs

customer's panels before design optimization customer's panels after design optimization

One of Swagelok clients is a large utility company that manages complex operations across multiple locations. In order to provide appropriate support to every location, they had a mobile lab service.

They had gotten new mobile lab vans with better fuel efficiency and other benefits, but they weren't as roomy. Panels in their older mobile designs (pictured below) didn't fit in the new setup — the space was just too small.

Contacting Swagelok

The client had tried several configurations to fit panels into the space, but every one had drawbacks. Assemblies that met their requirements always turned out too big.

So they reached out to Swagelok. Their questions included:

  • Did we think the panels could be made more compact?
  • Could Swagelok deliver whole panels, or just parts for them?
  • What about re-ordering—would Swagelok's solution scale?
  • Would custom design and assembly be expensive?

Engineering more compact panels

The system media was straightforward enough: water. However, it needed to handle pressures upward of 5000 PSIG. Temperature needed to remain ambient, and all components were required to be 316 Stainless Steel.

With a few hours of teamwork, Swagelok-Certified engineers provided an optimized the design (pictured below), which streamlined the panel to fit the small space and met all technical requirements.

Among other things, the engineers replaced the older design’s needle valves, which were being used for on/off service, with quarter-turn shut-off valves. With the new quarter-turn ball valves, the overall assembly was compact enough to attach to the mobile lab inside the client’s van, making it fully capable of completing any on- or off-site work.

But Swagelok does not dictate solutions. Our client got as much time as  they needed to discuss the recommended design, with a CAD drawing with piping and instrumentation diagram. And where there was more than one option, assistance with component selection.

Delivering fully assembled, tested panels

Our procurement experts worked to accelerate production, and Swagelok-Certified Technicians assembled each panel - including any bending or welding required.

Testing and warranty of the assembly was also included. Every panel provided was backed by the same Swagelok Limited Lifetime Warranty that customers receive with our individual parts, and came with complete documentation.

Swagelok also assigned a single SKU to the assembly to make ordering more panels as easy as ordering a single part.

Delivering return on investment

By choosing our design and assembly services, this customer not only got a more compact panel, they minimized costs and potential for problems.

  • They avoided costs related to procuring products through middle-man suppliers, inaccurate budgeting, scrap, and incompatible components. They also minimized their up-front costs by ensuring their panels were optimized to use the fewest possible parts.
  • They mimized longer term maintenance and replacement costs by ensuring their panels were designed to have the fewest potential leak points and were built using the highest quality components. And they increased reliability and performance by having Swagelok certified installers put the panels together and subject them to all needed testing before delivery.
  • They minimized their risk by opting for assemblies backed with the industry-leading Swagelok Limited Lifetime Warranty and extensive documentation. And they used human resources wisely and likely saved alot of time by outsourcing the project to our fluid system experts. And they know the 70+ member Swagelok Northern California team can be reached 24x7 for support.

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