JA Moody and Lexair Partner to Supply K-LOK Valves for U.S. Navy
Two small businesses with decades of experience in the defense supply chain have teamed up to bring the U.S. Navy better service and quality for a familiar, proven product - the high-spec Keystone K-LOK butterfly valve, used for fuel, lube oil, AFFF and other fluid lines on every class of Navy ship.
When valve manufacturing conglomerate Emerson decided to leave the Navy marketplace, it ceased providing K-LOK valves. Longtime Navy distributor JA Moody stepped in to find a new solution and launched a partnership with another well-established small business, Lexair. With a formal procurement approval from NAVSEA now in hand, Lexair will be manufacturing these critical valves for the Navy and distributing them through JA Moody's established sales and service channels.
"By moving this product line to a small business that offers excellent customer service, product engineering, component machining and manufacturing in a modern state-of-the art facility, we can deliver better results to our end user Navy clients," says JA Moody President Lisa Smith. "Lexair has a lower overhead cost structure and the ability to actually manufacture in-house, which will result in better price and quality for the customer."
The Keystone K-LOK meets all Navy MIL-DTL-24624A standards, including demanding shock and vibration resistance requirements. It is available in 10 stock sizes from 2.5 inches to 14 inches. Wafer and lugged flange styles are both available. The ultra-durable valve body and disc are made of 316 stainless or NAB and Monel, with graphite packing and an RFTE seat. In addition, Fire-safe Stainless Steel Vent Valves (Figure 641/640), and Aluminum Vent Valves (Figure 640/660) built to BUSHIP drawings will be manufactured by Lexair for the Navy and available exclusively through JA Moody.
Lexair, based in Lexington, KY, is a third generation family owned small business and has been a Navy supplier since 1977. The company manufactures CO2 evacuation compressors and valves that are used on CO2 scrubbers for submarines, and it is the sole supplier for the US Navy for these components. In an era of supply chain challenges, Lexair offers the customer a major reliability advantage by manufacturing most of its own components in-house.
JA Moody brings its decades of distribution, stocking, packaging, assembling, and testing service for the US Navy and all its shipbuilders, operators, and contractors. It is a one-stop-shop for valve service for the surface and sub-sea warfare communities, from newbuild projects to in-service repairs to shipyard maintenance availabilities. Thanks to a large in-stock supply of the most common standard valve types, plus the on-site repair expertise of its Moody Marine Service division, its technicians can diagnose and resolve valve issues with a rapid turnaround.
With headquarters in Malvern, PA and additional service locations in Chesapeake, VA and Mayport, FL, JA Moody offers fast response to the biggest fleet concentration areas. This helps Navy customers prevent unwanted shipyard delays and get warships back in action on time. Even better, choosing JA Moody and Lexair allows the Navy to support small business and maintain the diversity and strength of the American defense industrial base.
"We will have these valves in stock for short lead time deliveries," says Smith. "Not only is the manufacturer going to be producing a high-quality product, but we are going to be keeping that product on our shelves to satisfy Navy demand."
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.