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Valve Basics Training Helps Fill Industry Skills Gap

Valve Basics Training Helps Fill Industry Skills Gap

One of the most keenly felt needs in tod...

An End-User’s Perspective on Valve Selection and Risk

An End-User’s Perspective on Valve Selection and Risk

I am not a valve expert, although I ofte...

New Test Stamp and More Updates on Pressure Vessel Codes

New Test Stamp and More Updates on Pressure Vessel Codes

A new test organization program and stam...

The Role of Valves in HAZOP Studies

The Role of Valves in HAZOP Studies

Process hazard analysis (PHA) is require...

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Lee Howard Named President of Rotork Controls

1 DAY AGO
Lee Howard Named President of Rotork Controls

Lee Howard has been named president of Rotork Controls , overseeing both the U.S. and Canada. He replaces the recently retired Bob Arnold, a former VMA chairman, who served as president of Rotork Controls since 1988.

Lee was born in Wales and is a native of the UK. He previously served as managing dire...

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Val-Matic Names Mark Troyanowski VP of Sales & Marketing

1 DAY AGO
Val-Matic Names Mark Troyanowski VP of Sales & Marketing

Val-Matic Valve & Manufacturing Corp. has appointed Mark T. Troyanowski as vice president of sales and marketing. Mr. Troyanowski joined Val-Matic earlier this year and previously worked in various sales management roles at other manufacturing companies.

Over his career, he has participated in seve...

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Chemical Activity Barometer Suggests Accelerated Business Activity

-1 DAYS AGO

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) expanded 0.4% in August following an upward revision for July. This marks the barometer’s sixth consecutive monthly gain. Accounting for adjustments, the CAB is up 3.2% over this time last year, the strongest year over year growth since January 2015. All d...

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Innovation Could Lead to Significant Cuts in Chemical Manufacturing Energy Use

-1 DAYS AGO

Scientists from ExxonMobil and Georgia Tech have developed a new technology that could significantly reduce the amount of energy and emissions associated with manufacturing plastics. If brought to industrial scale, this breakthrough could reduce industry’s global annual carbon dioxide emissions ...

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Manufacturing Output Up, Firms Signal Softer Expansion in New Work

1 HOUR AGO

U.S. goods producers saw a further upturn in overall business conditions during August, though the rate of improvement was softer than seen in July. While output continued to rise markedly, total new work rose at a slower pace and employment expanded at the weakest rate in four months. Meanwhile, co...

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Leading Economic Indicators Gained Ground in July

4 DAYS AGO

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.4% in July to 124.3, following a 0.3% increase in June, and a 0.2% decline in May.

“The U.S. LEI picked up again in July, suggesting moderate economic growth should continue through the end of 2016,” said Ataman Ozyi...

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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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