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The Clarkson Company: A Division of Tyco International

The Clarkson Company: A Division of Tyco International
In 1950, J. R. Clarkson founded a family-owned industrial valve design and manufacturing company in Sparks, Nevada. For almost a half century, the company, known as
the Clarkson Company, worked on advancing metal and mineral processing. The Clarkson Company became known for its knife-gate and control valves, introduced in the
1970s, that are able to halt and isolate sections of slurry flow. By the late 1990s, the company had become a key supplier of knife-gate valves, helping to control the
flow in many of the piping systems around the world in different industries, including mining, energy, and wastewater treatment.
The knife-gate valve uses a steel gate like a blade that lowers into a slurry flow to create a bubble-tight seal. While conventional metal gates fill with hardened
slurry and fail easily thereby requiring high maintenance, Clarkson’s design introduced an easily replaceable snap-in elastomer sleeve that is durable, versatile, and
handles both high pressure and temperature variation. Pipeline operators value Clarkson’s elastomer sleeve because traditional seals have cost between $75 and $500 to
replace, and considerable revenue is lost when a slurry system is stopped for maintenance repairs. Clarkson’s product lasts longer and is easier to replace.
In the late 1990s, the Clarkson Company was acquired by Tyco Valves & Controls, a division of Tyco International, Ltd. Tyco Valves &Controls, located in Reno, Nevada,
and having ISO 9000 certification, continues to produce, market, and distribute products under the Clarkson brand name, including the popular knife-gate valve.
1.      The successful Clarkson knife-gate valve contains a wafer that is thin and light. Yet, the wafer is so strong it can operate with up to 150 pounds-per-square-
inch (psi) of pressure on it, making it much stronger than those of competing brands. Suppose Tyco engineers have developed a new wafer that is even stronger. They
want to set up an experimental design to test the strength of the wafer but they want to conduct the tests under three different temperature conditions,  ,  , and  .
In addition, suppose Tyco uses two different suppliers (company A and company B) of the synthetic materials that are used to manufacture the wafers. Some wafers are
made primarily of raw materials supplied by company A, and some are made primarily of raw materials from company B. Thus, the engineers have set up a  factorial design
with temperature and supplier as the independent variables and pressure (measured in psi) as the dependent variable. Data are gathered and are shown here. Analyze the
data and discuss the business implications of the findings. If you were conducting the study, what would you report to the engineers?
163    157    146
Supplier A    159    162    137
161    155    140
158    159    150
Supplier B    154    157    142
164    160    155
2.      Pipeline operators estimate that it costs between $75 and $500 in U.S. currency to replace each seal, thus making the Clarkson longer-lasting valves more
attractive. Tyco does business with pipeline companies around the world. Suppose in an attempt to develop marketing materials, Tyco marketers are interested in
determining whether there is a significant difference in the cost of replacing pipeline seals in different countries. Four countries—Canada, Colombia, Taiwan, and the
United States—are chosen for the study. Pipeline operators from equivalent operations are selected from companies in each country. The operators keep a cost log of
seal replacements. A random sample of the data follows. Use these data to help Tyco determine whether there is a difference in the cost of seal replacements in the
various countries. Explain your answer and tell how Tyco might use the information in their marketing materials.
Canada    Colombia    Taiwan    United States
$215    $355    $170    $230
205     280     190     190
245     300     235     225
270     330     195     220
290     360     205     215
260     340     180     245
225     300     190     230
3.      In the late 1980s, the Clarkson Company installed a manufacturing resource planning system. Using this and other quality improvement approaches, the company
was able to reduce lead-time from six to eight weeks to less than two weeks. Suppose that Tyco now uses a similar system and wants to test to determine whether lead-
times differ significantly according to the type of valve it is manufacturing. As a control of the experiment, they are including in the study, as a blocking variable,
the day of the week the valve was ordered. One lead-time was selected per valve per day of the week. The data are given here in weeks. Analyze the data and discuss
your findings.
Type of Valve
Safety    Butterfly    Clack    Slide    Poppet    Needle
Monday    1.6    2.2    1.3    1.8    2.5    0.8
Tuesday    1.8    2.0    1.4    1.5    2.4    1.0
Wednesday    1.0    1.8    1.0    1.6    2.0    0.8
Thursday    1.8    2.2    1.4    1.6    1.8    0.6
Friday    2.0    2.4    1.5    1.8    2.2    1.2

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