At The Macomb Group there are no dead-end projects. The DTE Energy Monroe Power Plant was pleased to discover this when it was recently faced with the potential replacement of 30 valve assemblies. With the help and innovation of The Macomb Group, DTE saved more than $2,000 per valve assembly — a potential savings of over $60,000 if all 30 valves were replaced.

Identifying the problem
Shirl Yoas, a buyer for the Monroe plant, and Ed Czupich, from the electrical shop at the DTE Monroe facility, were concerned with the functionality of the plant’s 15 Hellan self-cleaning filters. These filters are designed to keep debris out of the water that’s pulled into the plant for general-service water applications. The strainer assemblies have two automated dump valves with an electric actuator on a two-inch, full-port, stainless ball valve. When energized, these valves open and allow dirty water to dump through the waste line.

The system is functional, except for its 30 valves, which were failing regularly. They wanted to replace the valves with a new assembly, but they didn’t want to replace the electric actuator for every unit.

The Macomb Group’s National Sales Manager, Chuck Raymond, was called in to evaluate a valve replacement. Chuck quickly determined which valve would serve DTE’s purpose. However, linkage from the valve to the actuator was an issue; a linkage with the right coupling simply didn’t exist.

Nothing is impossible
Fortunately for DTE, The Macomb Group doesn’t believe in impossible projects. The company’s experienced representatives know they don’t have to limit themselves to offering existing products to their customers. Instead, they have the option to work directly with manufacturers to design custom solutions when necessary.

“We took their existing linkage as a template to make sure we had the right dimensions to bolt up to their actuator,” Chuck explains. “I was able to drop off the components to a local linkage kit supplier we work with and they supplied us with the correct linkage that will allow us to take our valve and mate it to the customer’s existing actuator.”

From diagnosis to installation, the process took only a couple of weeks.

The original Hellan filter valve assembly retails for $2,400 each. The custom valve assembly provided by The Macomb Group is only $375. A $2,025 savings for each of the 30 assemblies meant DTE could save up to $60,750 on its valve replacement project. And this number is conservative: These significant savings don’t factor in the labor expense of potentially having to disconnect their existing electric actuator and reconnecting a new one, which would have cost much more.

Shirl and Ed were grateful for The Macomb Group’s expertise and willingness to transform a dead-end job into simple, innovative, and budget-wise solution.

The Macomb Group works with customers and contractors to be sure every job is on time and done right. Learn how we can use our expertise to provide the solutions you are looking for. Contact us by email at or by phone at 888-756-4110.