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Last updateThu, 13 Dec 2018 5pm

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Business & Management

The Adventures of Duke Waters

Editor’s Note: In 2016, John Ballun, released a collection of enlightening and sometimes humorous engineering stories based on what he learned over the years from numerous mentors.

He dedicated the book to those mentors, who he said were “talented and seasoned engineers and business professionals, who had many occasions” to save him from making mistakes. The central character, Duke Waters, is a compilation of the mentors; the stories are about what he learned.

Here’s an excerpt of the first chapter of Ballun’s book. VALVEMagazine.com will be running other chapters over the coming months.


Managing Unconscious Bias

Many believe that if we hire people of different nationality, race and gender, we have a diverse workplace. But just having a collection of people with different backgrounds, religions or sexual orientations in the mix does not mean that the team and the members in it will benefit from that mix. Diversity is not the same as inclusion.

Standardization and JIP33: What Does it Mean for You?

The facts are staggering. Worldwide, 76% of all oil and gas projects run over budget, with an average budget overrun at 52%! Additionally, 55% of all projects are not finished on time, and the average schedule overrun is 37% of the original allotted time.

The costs are astronomical, inspiring the World Economic Forum (WEF) to get involved with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) to find a solution that lies in standardization.

Distributors: Can Technology Make Your Business More Agile?

Modern industrial distributors, especially those working with valves and related equipment, generally have a great reputation for being good at providing services and technical information. Most end users also know they can find a knowledgeable partner in their distributors, which makes it easier to sort through specifications and deal with potential problems before a valve, actuator or control system is even ordered.

While service is generally top-notch, speed and agility on the business side are not necessarily part of distributors’ strengths. Thus, Industrial Distribution conducts surveys each year to determine what is happening in terms of technology use and how they can help distributors take advantage of the options available to them.

Factory Workforce Training: What You Need to Know in 2018

It is no news to the valve manufacturing industry, and it is something VMA with its Valve Careers initiative is working to alleviate: As the most experienced and knowledgeable workers retire from manufacturing and process control, business leaders must find ways to fill the positions they leave. But this is an increasingly difficult proposition, as there simply are not enough people with the skills and training who are willing and able to take these jobs.

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