09272016Tue
Last updateTue, 27 Sep 2016 5pm

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The Critical Stem Nut: Who is Responsible for Maintenance?

The Critical Stem Nut: Who is Responsible for Maintenance?

One of the most important components of ...

An Alternative Basics Education: Valve Ed Comes to You!

An Alternative Basics Education: Valve Ed Comes to You!

For the first time in the seven-year his...

Give Your Flow Meter a Happy Home

Give Your Flow Meter a Happy Home

Increased emphasis on the need to improv...

What’s in Store for the Construction Market?

What’s in Store for the Construction Market?

As was the case with many of the present...

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Industry Headlines

ValvTechnologies Joins MSS of the Valve and Fittings Industry Committee

-1 DAYS AGO

ValvTechnologies, Inc. has been unanimously approved for membership in the Manufacturers Standardization Society (MSS) of the Valve and Fittings Industry Committee. Representing ValvTechnologies is Tony Majka, director of engineering.

The MSS is a non-profit technical association organized for develo...

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Jim White of Curtiss-Wright is New VMA Chair; Kim Beise of Dowco Receives Top Honor

-1 DAYS AGO

At the Valve Manufacturers Association’s 78th Annual Meeting, held Sept. 21-23 in Rancho Mirage, CA, Bob Kemple of ASCO (2015/16 VMA Chairman) passed the gavel for the coming year to Jim White of Curtiss-Wright, who will chair VMA through the 2017 annual meeting. The election took place at the ass...

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Alaska, ConocoPhillips Forming LNG Joint Venture

18 HOURS AGO

The State of Alaska, through the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), and ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. have executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding negotiations to form a joint venture (JV) that could facilitate marketing LNG from the Alaska LNG project to global LNG markets and acqui...

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Many Houston Chemical Facilities Could Be Operating Illegally

18 HOURS AGO

“Firefighters once routinely visited buildings in their districts to plan for emergencies — including ferreting out hazmat sites — but those visits stopped in April 2014. The department had started entering old plans into a new, sophisticated database and didn't want to create a ba...

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U.S. Consumer Confidence Surges to Nine-Year High

-1 DAYS AGO

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in August, improved further in September. The Index now stands at 104.1, up from 101.8 in August. The 104.1 figure is the highest since August 2007.

“Consumer confidence increased in September for a second consecutive month and i...

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Texas Manufacturing Strengthened in September

-1 DAYS AGO

Texas factory activity increased markedly in September, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey . The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose 12 points to 16.7, suggesting output picked up at a notably faster pace this month...

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Market Outlook 2012: The Winds of Change

vmfall11_market_outlook

Attendees at this year’s VMA Market Outlook walked into the meeting room with a bit of shell shock. The stock market fluctuated wildly in the days leading up to the Aug. 11-12 event in Boston following weeks of tough U.S. federal budget negotiations and the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. Sara Johnson, senior research director of IHS Global Insight, called the events “headwinds” blowing against what had been expected. She said the year 2011 had been filled with such unusual occurrences, including the Japanese earthquake/tsunami earlier that year as well as other natural disasters and political upheavals.

But attendees were soon to learn that outlook speakers, while they admitted some figures might need to be adjusted for the remainder of 2011, felt their overall prediction was on track—the valve and actuator industry will see a brighter 2012.

“I hope as you leave here today, you leave uncertainty behind and realize things are not as bad as you may have thought. There is still force in our sails … it just might be time to adjust those sails to the prevailing winds,” Alan Beaulieu, president, Institute for Trend Research, emphasized.

 

Common Themes

It’s a different world: There wasn’t much talk this year about looking to the past to respond to the future. That’s because almost every presenter pointed out that the world and this nation are in a unique economic situation. Most said to expect the rocky stock market in the U.S. to remain volatile and that while the nation is in recovery mode, it’s going to be a long steady climb back to the prosperity we experienced just before the Great Recession.

Shining stars burning brightly: India was ­mentioned by more speakers this year than at any previous workshop. The country began a climb toward prosperity in the 1990s when ­economic reforms went into effect. It did not suffer the consequences of some other nations during the recent economic woes so it is one of today’s ­shining stars. Brazil continues to prosper and was mentioned by many speakers as a good place to do business. China is still a tough ­contender for business, but it has experienced high inflation rates and other challenges that may mean some business returning to U.S. soil.

Renewables are catching hold: This is the first workshop where one session was devoted to renewable energy sources, but it wasn’t just that speaker who explained why. From international reports on global warming to new technologies that make renewables more cost effective to unfavorable attitudes toward coal, speakers gave reasons why wind, solar, biofuels, biomass, hydropower and other new sources of energy are gaining ground.

Shale drilling “rocks”: Any of the speakers who addressed energy, petroleum or related products mentioned the changes in this country that are occurring because of shale drilling both here and in Canada. Gas prices remain low; drilling has increased; more drilling is occurring on-shore; new technologies are increasing outputs; new shale sources are being discovered. All of these shale drilling developments mean less reliance by North America on foreign sources of fuel.

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