Sectors such as industrial gas, petrochemical, and shipbuilding require products that are dependable and made to withstand the toughest conditions imaginable. For over one hundred years, CPV Manufacturing has provided customers in many sectors with unbeatable valves and fittings.
CPV Manufacturing’s history goes back to 1915 when a farmer named Isaiah Engle started machining replacement valves for reciprocating pumps. Headquartered today in historic Kennett Square, a borough in Pennsylvania’s Chester County, CPV Manufacturing has grown to have approximately fifty trained, dedicated, full-time staff from engineers and sales representatives to production planners, machining and assembly technicians, and front-office personnel. It continues to innovate to this day. It was acquired in 2014 by Admiral Valve, LLC and soon became ISO 9001:2015 certified.
Virtually everything CPV does centers on metal, and it manufacturers hundreds, if not thousands of parts. “A valve might have fifteen components, and it can all have individual part numbers,” says Vice President of Sales Jay Loomis. “From an individual SKU number, we have in excess of twenty three (23,000) thousand active SKUs and hundreds of finished part numbers.”
CPV manufactures valves, check valves, relief valves, fittings, union nuts, threadpieces, tube fittings, union assemblies, pipe fittings, and more. Its O-Seal® product line of valves and fittings came about as a result of the company being entrusted with creating high-pressure components for the U.S. Navy in the 1950s. It used the O-ring connections during quality testing of navy parts to be able to take apart and reassemble components.
The company manufactures, assembles, and tests an estimated ten thousand valves, plus associated fittings, per year. CPV’s average run for a part ranges from five to five hundred pieces, making quick turnaround capabilities extremely important. It has a number of internal and external goals, including more upgrading of equipment and manufacturing capabilities. It also wants to enter new markets and increase commercial business.
“Very few things have gone out of production in our world,” states Loomis. “If we have available and active drawings, we can and will manufacture. And part of that is simply a requirement and a commitment to our defense business. If the U.S. Navy comes in for a part that hasn’t been manufactured in ten years and they need it for one of their warships, then we make it.”
Loomis joined CPV on June 1, 2018. His extensive background includes a chemical engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and working in the industrial gas industry for thirty years on both the gas and equipment sides. “The industrial gas market is an important segment and one we think we can absolutely grow, so that’s a good fit for me,” he says. The company is seeing growth in industrial gas, which is already accounting for fifteen to twenty percent of total sales. One of the reasons that Loomis was brought on as Vice President of Sales was to broaden the company’s customer base in the commercial sector.
To boost its capabilities further, CPV is upgrading equipment and manufacturing capabilities to give it shorter lead times and enhanced order flexibility. “In that way, the goals are the same, be it on the sales or manufacturing side: take control of our destiny and better control our future.”
CPV continues to bring in new machinery to improve the company and what it can do for its customers. In 2018, two new pieces of computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment were added. This involved a Haas VF2 vertical mill to provide in-house manufacturing of tooling and fixtures and a Mazak Quick Turn 200 MS lathe. The machines will reduce lead times, primarily through decreased set-up times and the ability to run unmanned production. This year, CPV will install another Mazak lathe, gaining more efficiencies via conversational programming on the machines. Also, 2019 will see the installation of a new Ingersoll Rand Rotary Screw air compressor, which will handle the requirements of the entire factory.
This is a global brand, producing high-quality products that translate well into any language. The company is seeing an increase in inquiries on the petrochemical side from Korea, China, India, and Indonesia. CPV’s President, David London, has a thirty-year history of manufacturing and distribution in Asia, and his contacts have proven helpful in securing new business. The company is actively pursuing and adding new distributors in Asia such as Exion Asia Pte Ltd in Singapore, Diekson Industrial Co., Ltd. in Taiwan, and ProChem Pipeline Products in Australia.
The move makes sense. According to IHS Markit, “nearly a third of all new assets are expected to be built there (China) over the next ten years.” [Chemical & Energy Insights, 2018 issue 2, p. 10]. Ethylene capacity – and the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) production that goes with it – is on the rise worldwide, and new ethylene production assets will be required to handle the increased demand.
Back at home in the U.S., CPV is facing the challenges besetting many manufacturers, namely a shortage of trained workers. To address this, the company’s purchase and installation of new CNC equipment is aimed at reducing manual intervention and allowing unattended production.
“Key hires for CPV in the last year have been two manufacturing engineers who have been given the task of redesigning the shop layout to optimize workflow and allow for better mass customization of our production,” says Loomis. “One of the reasons for these new machines – other than they are faster, stronger and better – is that they do allow some amount of unattended running.”
Additionally, the company has an ongoing internship program with private Drexel University to train young mechanical engineers, exposing them to valve technology and production.
CPV has been stepping up its marketing efforts, and last year marked the first time it participated in a commercial tradeshow. This year, the company has signed up for two industry-specific trade shows, one being Valve World Americas Expo & Conference, and the other being Powergen International, to be held in New Orleans in November. Additionally, the company has actively set-up new distribution outside the USA and taken the first steps toward investigating a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
“CPV Manufacturing brings one-hundred-plus years of experience in manufacturing for the pipe, valve and fitting industry,” says Loomis. “Our high-quality, high-pressure valves and fittings cover the spectrum from vacuum to 6,000 psi. If you have a critical gas or liquid application where safety, reliability, dependability, or ease of installation is important, then you should be specifying CPV products.”