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Where Valves Are Used: Everywhere, Part 2

Where Valves Are Used: Everywhere, Part 2

The valve industry is truly broad and di...

Market Outlook 2018: A Sunnier Mood with a Few Caveats

Market Outlook 2018: A Sunnier Mood with a Few Caveats

The atmosphere at VMA’s 2018 Marke...

Is it Time to Toss Those Commissions?

Is it Time to Toss Those Commissions?

It’s tough to pinpoint exactly wha...

Cybersecurity for Process Control

Cybersecurity for Process Control

Security for any process plant has alway...

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Industry Headlines

VMA Associate Members Named to Annual BIG 50 List

Monday, 23 October 2017  |  Chris Guy

MRC Global (no. 9), NOW Inc. (no. 13) and Wolseley Industrial Group (no. 16) are all on the latest BIG 50 List, Industrial Distribution's annual list of...

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Adapt and Thrive, Say Annual Meeting Speakers

Adapt and Thrive, Say Annual Meeting Speakers

Monday, 23 October 2017  |  Judy Tibbs and Kate Kunkel

The theme of adapting to change was set very early for the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) and Valve Repair Council (VRC) 79th Annual Meeting. O...

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Industry Headlines

VMA Associate Members Named to Annual BIG 50 List

-1 DAYS AGO

MRC Global (no. 9), NOW Inc. (no. 13) and Wolseley Industrial Group (no. 16) are all on the latest BIG 50 List, Industrial Distribution's annual list of the largest industrial distributors in the world. VMA associate member DistributionNOW is a subsidiary of NOW Inc.

All Big 50 companies are ranked accor...

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Emerson Agrees to Acquire Paradigm

5 DAYS AGO

Emerson has agreed to acquire Paradigm for a purchase price of $510 million, reflecting a multiple of 13 times expected 2017 EBITDA. Paradigm will be joined with Emerson’s existing Roxar automation software. The acquisition is expected to close within the next 60 days, subject to various regulat...

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Projects Valued at $17B Increase Sept. Construction Starts 31.5%

-1 DAYS AGO

According to ConstructConnect, September’s volume of construction starts, excluding residential activity, was $42.8 billion. The month-to-month change versus August was an outsized +31.5%. The big improvement in the latest period was thanks to go-aheads for three mega projects combining for a to...

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Crude Oil, Petroleum Product Exports Reach Record Levels

4 DAYS AGO

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration ( EIA ), crude oil exports in the first half of 2017 increased by more than 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) from the first half of 2016, reaching a record high of 0.9 million b/d. Petroleum product exports also grew over the same period with propan...

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Philly Fed Manufacturing Index at 5-Month High

2 HOURS AGO

The index for current manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve region increased 4 points to a reading of 27.9 and is now at its highest reading since May. More than 39% of the firms indicated increases in activity this month, while 11% reported decreases. Both the new orders and ship...

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Fed Reports Economy Growth in September, Early October

4 DAYS AGO

Reports from all 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic activity increased in September through early October, with the pace of growth split between modest and moderate. The Richmond, Atlanta, and Dallas Districts reported major disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in some areas a...

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Standards Spring from the Need to Protect

vmspr12_anniv_1Inspection personnel are checking dimensions of finished components to ensure compliance to newly published valve standards.

Most of us in the valve industry take for granted the interchangeability and standardization of the valves produced today. Yet it wasn’t that long ago that valves were individually produced in accordance with the standards of each manufacturer.

Things like end-to-end dimensions, flange sizes and bolt circles, and even pressure ratings, were left up to the engineering and production departments of each company. Such factors were addressed in due time; however, as with many drivers in the manufacturing world, the first valve standard to be drafted covered something much more important—life and death.

Back in the latter half of the 19th century, boiler explosions were occurring at an alarming frequency, and public outcry was heard throughout the land—it appeared that the steam-fired industrial revolution was threatening to literally blow itself up.

In 1880, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was formed and over the next few decades this group of engineers created the first iteration of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (B&PVC). The problem of inconsistent boiler integrity was high on the group’s list of topics to be addressed. While the code initially dealt with a number of issues concerning materials and construction, it ­wasn’t until the 1914 edition of the B&PVC that safety valves were covered. It would be the first time in ­history that makers of safety valves had agreed to common standards for their products.

These groundbreaking safety valve rules and regulations would be honed over the years and are still actively supported today by a group in ASME called the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.


vmspr12_anniv_7Power plants created the first need for valve standardization.A PUSH FORWARD

The industrial growth during the first years of the 20th century highlighted the need for valve and piping standardization throughout the world of manufacturing. The Henry Ford automobile assembly line techniques were adopted by many industries, including valve and fitting manufacturers. While products were flying off the assembly lines at record rates, there was no interchangeability between manufacturers’ products. You only have to look at catalogs of the day—product images show valves with blank flanges, devoid of bolt holes—to see that something was missing. The something was flange standards. Back then, it was up to the purchaser to provide the bolt-hole drilling information.

vmspr12_anniv_2In days past, customers had to specify the flange drilling they required because there were no standards to follow.This lack of interchangeability resulted in a Committee of Manufacturers on Standardization of Pipe Fittings and Valves, which was formed in 1912. The group would later become the Manufacturers Standardization Society (MSS); it published its first pamphlet on pipe schedules of flanges and flanged fittings in October of 1912 and additional flange standards over the next few years. The official creation of MSS in 1924 opened the door for many valve standards over the next nine decades. During that time, numerous standards originally developed by MSS would be adopted by other organizations, such as ASME and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

vmspr12_anniv_3This check valve and globe valve installed in a 1942-era warship have been built to recently standardized end-to-end dimensions to ensure interchangeability.The American Standards Association committee B16, Sectional Committee on the Standardization of Pipe Flanges & Fittings, was created in 1921. It would later spawn other B16 committees of great importance to the valve industry. For example, one of the issues tackled by this B16 group was the lack of valve end-to-end standards. A 1927 charter to create common end-to-end standards was beset by many difficulties, not the least of which was the economic downturn of the 1930s. In 1937, the group finally adopted a proposal MSS originally put forth in 1931. This document would later become ASME/ANSI B16.10, Face-to-Face and End-to-End Dimensions of Valves.

In 1936 API, in response to the huge growth in the oil and gas business, published 5-G-1, Pipeline Valves. Following the turmoil of World War II, API 5-G-1 would be expanded into the first edition of API 6D, at the time titled Iron and Steel Flanged Gate, Plug and Check Valves for Pipeline Service.

Probably the most familiar standard in the industrial valve business today is API 600, which covers steel valves for refinery service. When first published in 1939, the document was titled API Standard on Flanged Steel, Outside Screw and Yoke, Wedge Gate Valves. The API 600 document exists today as Steel Gate Valves, Flanged and Butt-welding Ends, Bolted Bonnets.

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