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Valve Industry Education: Are You Prepared for the Great Brain Drain?

velan_trainingIf you’re a part of the valve industry, you likely are aware of the huge need for valve education and training.

While baby-boomers may have put off retirement for a few more years – thanks to the recent great recession – our industry is on the verge of losing its most valuable players, those experienced and knowledgeable professionals who have spent decades working in our industry. To replace this great brain drain, educating newcomers to the industry must be a top priority for companies that make, use and specify valves, actuators and controls.

In the Winter 2011 issue of Valve Magazine, we’ve included an article, “Valve Education: Why it’s needed, where to get it.” You can read the article in its entirety in our digital edition at ValveMagazine-digital.com. To supplement the information in that article, here are numerous education and training resources for you to explore, including offerings by members of the Valve Manufacturers Association.

We began this process by sending out requests to VMA member companies asking for information on the training they supply customers; the material below is gathered from those responses and from other research. A fair number of company-provided training is specific to each company’s products, but there is also much to be learned that is not specific to a particular company’s offerings. And in any case, if your company uses a particular brand, it’s good to get training in it. We follow this section by recapping the educational products offered by the Valve Manufacturers Association, other groups that offer related education programs and some “old-fashioned books” that are sure to help employees on the job.


COMPANY TRAINING

ASCO Valve and ASCO Numatics, part of Emerson Process Management, provide half-day instructor-led training sessions given at ASCO headquarters and also at regional sites around the country. Information on the courses is available from local ASCO distributors. In addition, ASCO Numatics sponsors the PMMI U's Amazing Packaging Race at PAC EXPO, providing prizes and supporting the PMMI (Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute) Education and Training Foundation, which provides scholarships to packaging students from PMMI partner schools. ASCO also funds the ASCO Numatics Industrial Automation Engineering College Scholarships: two $5,000 scholarships to U.S. engineering students who are pursuing careers in industrial automation-related disciplines plus $1,000 grants to the engineering departments of the colleges in which the winners are enrolled. ASCO also runs an extensive online training program with both on-line and classroom components for its distributors.

AUMA Actuators provides one- to three-day training seminars for sales and service people as well as for customers, in Pittsburgh and Missouri City, TX. Seminars include:

  • Basic Sales and Service Training – 3 days
  • Basic Service Training – 2 or 3 days
  • Advanced Service Training – 3 days
  • AUMATIC Programming Seminar – 1 day
  • Basic Digital Communications Training – 1 day
  • Advanced Digital Communications Training – 1 day

Harold Beck & Sons, Inc. provides two maintenance training courses designed to provide hands-on instruction for personnel responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of Beck products.

  • Basic Course: For users of two-position, multi-position and modulating models with direct AC control, with hands-on training on calibration and troubleshooting. Topics include unit operations (mechanical & electrical), maintenance (mechanical & electrical), linkage connection and troubleshooting.
  • Advanced Course: For users of modulating models with analog position control, the course covers the same items as the Basic Course, plus hands-on training on system interface (operation and calibration), position sensing and feedback, and electronics (troubleshooting to the board level and component replacement).

Cameron’s Process Educational Services group has a series of process systems training courses at the basic and intermediate levels divided into offshore, shale gas, midstream, downstream, offshore-fixed facility, offshore-floating facility and general tracks. Customized workshops can also be developed to meet the needs of individual companies. Courses are developed to provide instructor-led classroom training as well as hands-on training on technology fundamentals. All on-site courses take place at the company’s Technology Center in Houston.

Conval Inc. offers a number of downloadable training aids for maintenance of its products, including globe valve servicing instructions (both in written and video form), gate valve servicing instructions and throttling valve servicing instructions.

Crane Co.’s units Crane Energy Flow Solutions and Crane Nuclear work with Engineered Software Inc. (see below) to publish Technical Paper 410, Flow of Fluids. Crane Nuclear also provides a number of courses on air-operated valves (AOVs), including Valve Maintenance and Repair (five days), AOV Actuator/Instrument Maintenance & Repair (five days), Limitorque Actuator Technical Maintenance and Repair Training (five days), AOV Advanced Signature Analysis (five days), AOV Data Acquisition & Basic Analysis (five days) and Principles of AOVs (three days).

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