Rose Industrial Marketing, Inc.

A Plast-O-Matic pressure regulator protects a stem drilling machine from overpressure

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Courtesy of Rose Industrial Marketing, Inc.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is one of the leaders in the world of designing, manufacturing, installing, and servicing industrial power systems. As a top Fortune “Global 150” company, MHI generates more than $25 billion in annual revenues and employs more than 40,000 people worldwide. A key subsidiary of MHI is Mitsubishi Power Systems, located in Orlando, Florida. Established in 2001, MPS oversees sales and service of Mitsubishi electrical power generating equipment and systems in the US, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. Furthermore, the recently built turbine parts manufacturing facility in Orlando has dramatically enhanced its ongoing power generation service and component repair operations. As a commitment to renewable energy technology, this new facility includes a state-of-the-art high efficiency photovoltaic solar generating system manufactured by Mitsubishi.

The manufacturing of combustion turbine blade and vane components encompasses numerous stages and intricate processes. One integral machine used in the development of turbine blades is the STEM (shaped tube electrolytic machining) drilling machine. STEM drilling is a unique technology that can be applied to drill small, deep holes in hard-to-machine alloys such as turbine blades. STEM drilling is the non-conventional machining method of injecting acid-based electrolytes (sulphuric or hydrochloric acid in water) directly to the area of a hard metal or alloy to be bored by sending it through a specially coated tube that targets the precise location. STEM drilling relies on the acid to corrode and dissolve the metal. Once complete, the dissolved metal is carried away as ions, eliminating any clogging of the tube while enabling a smoother surface.


In the case of Mitsubishi Power Systems, they imported a stem drilling machine from Europe to be used in their manufacturing process of turbine blades. Each of these machines must be able to accept the local water line pressures. As mentioned, water is used in combination with the acids, but it is also used as a rinsing agent once the stem drilling is completed. Machines built in Europe generally handle lower incoming water line pressures, reflecting Europe’s municipal water system. The water pressure at the Orlando based facility is usually around 60 PSI. This particular STEM drilling machine was built to handle incoming water pressures up to 30 PSI. MPS’s process engineering group elected to specify a Plast-O-Matic Pressure Regulating valve to be installed on the incoming water line prior to the machine. In order to protect the machine, the set pressure of the valve was set at 28 PSI. Essentially this means that the STEM drilling machine would not see a pressure higher than the set pressure of the pressure regulator. The Plast-O-Matic Pressure Regulator is designed to manage pressure “downstream” of the valve. Moreover, the regulating valve prevents overpressure conditions to downstream equipment such as filters, sensitive tools, etc. by converting excessive pressure to a constant predetermined downstream pressure. In essence, the PR regulates to the correct pressure range so that a flow system or piece of equipment can operate safely and effectively.

The thermoplastic Plast-O-Matic Pressure Regulator features a wide range of pressure settings from 5 – 125 PSI. It has a one piece body construction that eliminates internal leakage that can cause malfunction. The pressure sensing is done with rolling diaphragms that have the largest surface area among all diaphragm regulator designs. This assures a smooth, sensitive operation and results in the greatest accuracy. Furthermore, the sensing chamber is isolated from the flow path, so it provides unrestricted flow. As the normally-open pressure regulating valve senses the downstream pressure increase, the valve slowly closes, assuring that the pressure does not exceed the set pressure. The Plast-O-Matic Pressure Regulator delivers a higher flow rate with much less pressure drop-off than other pressure regulators. The POM Pressure Regulator is available in PVC, PVDF, Natural Polypropylene, PTFE, with sizes from 1/4' to 3' NPT. It is ideal for chemical process, deionized water, reverse osmosis water, and municipal water lines.

Mitsubishi promotes its proactive power generation service program as abiding by the fours P’s; Preserving the performance, Protecting the equipment, Preventing outages, and Prolonging the operation life. The reliability and quality of Plast-O-Matic’s Pressure Regulator, used as a critical component to the functionality of the STEM drilling machine, will assure these four principles of Preserve, Protect, Prevent, and Prolong, are followed within the scope of the application.

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