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Trends & Forecasts

Adapt and Thrive, Say Annual Meeting Speakers

The theme of adapting to change was set very early for the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) and Valve Repair Council (VRC) 79th Annual Meeting. Originally set for mid-September, the event date was changed thanks to Hurricane Irma. However, VMA and VRC members are an adaptable group, and when the dates were re-set for Oct. 11-13, most attendees were able to adjust their schedules. At the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, FL, Shawn Rhodes (pictured) offered a powerful start to the three-day event with his presentation on Using Change Management to Drive Excellence.


VMA’s 2018 Market Outlook: Some Optimism, But Issues Remain

The attendees of VMA’s 2017 Market Outlook Workshop in Boston, Aug. 3-4, came away with a generally more positive outlook than they have for the last couple of years. However, there are still inherent issues in the world economy that continue to affect the valve industry.

What We Learned at VMA’s 2017 Leadership Forum

The positive forecast Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics shared was welcome news at VMA’s 2017 Leadership Forum.

“You’re going to like 2017 and 2018,” he said. “Consumers are in great shape, retail sales are at a record high level, housing starts are positive, interest rates remain favorable, employment and wages are rising, and banks are lending.”

However, it is not all smooth sailing. One of the concerns for many in the valve industry is the price of oil, which is still hovering around $50. On a positive note, Beaulieu pointed out that the U.S. has 300 years’ worth of oil reserves, whereas Europe has only about 30 years. That gives the U.S. a decided advantage because it is energy independent.

VMA Sees Limited Valve Shipment Growth for 2017

After a year of little growth in 2016, U.S. valve shipments for 2017 are forecast to gain ground: about 2% for the year. Shipments will be $4.559 billion, a rise of about $94 million over 2016’s $4.465 billion.

“Last year we predicted nearly flat growth for the first time since the economic crash. By comparison, this year’s forecast is a sign the industry is going the right way again—up,” says Jim White, VMA’s chairman, and senior general manager of Curtiss-Wright Valve Group−Industrial Division. “Historically, our industry has made it through every significant economic downfall and come back stronger; it looks like we’re in line to do that again,” he said.

Leadership, Security and the ‘IIoT’ Dominate 2016 Emerson Exchange

If ever there was any doubt that the future of industrial processes rests in the cloud, the recently concluded 2016 Emerson Global Users Exchange (Oct. 24-18 in Austin, TX) put that to rest. In the hundreds of workshops, educational seminars and roundtables, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) was pervasive and the message was that, by tapping into the IIoT intelligently, industrial companies can achieve top performance and recover more than $1 trillion in operational losses globally.

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