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Last updateWed, 23 Aug 2017 6pm

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An Alternative Basics Education: Valve Ed Comes to You!

For the first time in the seven-year history of the Valve Basics education program, the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) held a company-specific training event conducted by the VMA Education Committee’s Valve-Ed team. The course was presented this week for mechanical engineers of ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refining. The 36 engineers learned about a variety of valve and actuator topics related to their work at the plant. Committee chairman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (United Valve), who opened the program by presenting an introduction to the valve industry, expressed his enthusiasm for this new model of learning. He noted after the meeting that “the audience was very attentive and appreciative of VMA providing training for their company.”

Small Class, Maximum Interaction

Because of the small class size, the course could be repeated over two days so that only half of the refinery’s engineers would be away from the facility each day. Attendees also had numerous breaks to examine and ask questions about the products displayed on tables around the seminar room. Instructors said the small class size allowed them to interact on a more personal level. Actuator presenter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (AUMA Actuators) explained that the “Valve Ed course was tailored to the participants and led to what was essentially an eight-hour valve and actuator petting zoo.”

Additional presenters included: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (United Valve) – Linear Valves and Valve Repair; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (KITZ) – Valve Materials and Critical Service Applications, Quarter-turn Valves; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (A.W. Chesterton) – Packings and Fugitive Emissions; and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Crane Energy) – Quarter-turn Valves.

Talk to Us About a Custom Program

While the association will continue to hold a full-scale Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits at least once a year in Houston (see below) and other locations that have a large number of end users and valve makers, these smaller “we come to you” events are a viable alternative for companies not able to send a significant number of employees on out-of-town travel.

Large facilities with several dozen employees needing training should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of VMA’s Valve Education team to express their interest in having VMA conduct a one- to two-day event within easy driving distance of their facilities. Because instructors are industry volunteers, VMA will only be able to accept a limited number of training events each year. We currently have an opening in late winter 2016/early spring of 2017.

Need Training Now? Houston’s the Place, Oct. 18-20, 2016

For those who need training as soon as possible, VMA is holding its full-scale Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits event in Houston at the Sheraton Brookhollow in October. The 101 portion of the event opens on Tuesday, Oct. 18 with an all-day seminar that includes an overview of the industry and different types of valves and non-automated actuators combined with time available in the afternoon to explore the exhibit hall. Attendees will find tabletops manned by a variety of manufacturers, repair and service firms, and suppliers to the valve industry.

The second day of the 101 program (Wednesday, Oct. 19) starts with a focus on electric actuation, solenoids and controls, then shifts to a full afternoon at the “Valve Petting Zoo,” where all attendees rotate around the room to visit tables of equipment discussed during the seminar and hear directly from the presenters in a more personalized format about what they’re seeing and feeling.

An optional third day (Thursday, Oct. 20) provides topics that go beyond the 101-level courses to address issues such as valve repair, packings and fugitive emissions, materials, and more advanced lessons on actuators and controls.

Registration is open to anyone in the industry seeking entry-level training or a refresher on valve, actuator and control fundamentals. Attendees represent all facets of the industry, from end users and AEC firms, to distributors and industry manufacturers and suppliers.

A limited number of exhibit opportunities are still available for companies that are either VMA or VRC (Valve Repair Council) members or companies that would qualify for membership. Links to the Exhibitor Prospectus and Online Registration can be found on the Valve Basics home page on VMA.org.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is director of education for VMA and editor-in-chief of VALVE Magazine.

For additional information on the Houston program in October, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., VMA education coordinator.  

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