Co-founders Craig Brown and Frank Raymond grew the company from the ground up with the goal of establishing Bray as a high-performance company, which quickly developed a reputation for superior quality with personalized customer service. Their entrepreneurial vision which began in the 1980’s with their very first valve prototypes, quickly expanded globally and has continued to grow through the acquisition of the Bray/McCannalok product line in 1996, Flow-Tek in 1999 Ritepro in 2000, VAAS in 2014 and Amresist in 2017.
Currently, with a global presence in over 60 countries on six continents, Bray states its fully integrated and innovative product portfolio exceeds the expectations of their worldwide customers with products such as standard and severe service ball valves, common control valves, specialty slurry valves, knife gate valves, check valves, butterfly valves — resilient seated, high performance and triple offset, pneumatic and electric actuators and related accessories.
Bray also has more than 300 sales, distribution and service offices around the world, staffed with highly trained flow control experts. This global network means the company can quickly react to the needs of their customers no matter where they are. All Bray factories are ISO certified and products are designed and manufactured as specified to comply to CE/PED, SIL, ANSI, JIS, DIN/PAS 1085, API, NSF, ASME, AWWA and other relevant standards to meet the special requirements for cryogenic, fugitive emissions, water, nuclear, sanitary and many other applications.
Bray’s success is achieved through continued customer satisfaction. The company says it always prioritizes strong customer relationships and that customer needs drive Bray’s product development. When the company was approached to develop a valve and actuator package for an industrial gas application that could successfully complete one million, fast-acting, continuous cycles, under severe conditions, Bray rose to the challenge.
A common issue faced by industrial gas customers is reliability in high-cycle valves, particularly in hydrogen separation processes. As the valves are used in some of the most critical services, failure to operate can lead to costly plant shutdowns. The customer’s application not only required the successful completion of one million cycles, but also held strict leakage, torque and other performance requirements.
“Pressure swing adsorption is an air separation technology that separates different species of gases from a gaseous mixture”, John Shu, Senior Design Engineer, explains. “Valves and actuators in this particular application are subjected to high-cycles under high differential pressures and fast stroking times. These conditions require a valve and actuator product to be reliable to meet the needs of the customer and prevent maintenance downtime.”
“In the industry, the Hydrogen Separation valve is considered a special product, therefore lead times to get it to the facilities were very long”, Paul V. Lopez II, Vice President - Global Industry Management, Industrial Gas, Semiconductor, adds. “We wanted to make it an available product for the customer and to give them the opportunity to save money by having longer times between maintenance. It is a very difficult application - high-cycle, quickacting - and there have been challenges with the availability, cost and durability of those products in the market. Hearing these challenges, we could step up and work directly with some major customers and get them together with our engineering team to come up with a solution.”
For its product development, Bray uses a global model which incorporates their founding principles of customer service, state-ofthe- art technology and integrated product development. Bray’s process for providing reliable products that perform to customer expectations begins with correctly identifying the requirements as defined by the customer’s needs and application.
“We use standard tools that are available to all valve manufacturers in the industry. On top of that, we add our Bray Factor, which is our people and our approach to solving complex problems. We push the limits of our testing ability,” says Partha Chinnasamy, Technical Director - High Performance Butterfly Valves.
“We try to come up with creative ways of making decisions in a very short period of time, because with a million cycle test, we are talking about eight to ten months. Every design decision needs to be made in a timely manner and the engineering team has to be very creative to come towards a solution with confidence.”