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Trends & Forecasts

Oil Prices and Production Cuts a Priority at Leadership Forum

John SpearsWith oil prices falling and production continuing to climb, attendees at the Valve Manufacturers Association’s 2015 Valve Industry Leadership Forum, March 19-20 in New Orleans, were anxious to hear the forecasts of presenting experts regarding the oil and gas sector. The big concern: How much and for how long will low oil prices last, and what does that mean for capital spending, rig count and production?

3D Printing Headlines VMA’s 2015 Technical Seminar

3D Printing Headlines VMAs 2015 Technical SeminarIn addition to sharing updated information on standards, safety and innovations in design, VMA’s Technical Seminar, held March 5-6, 2015 in San Antonio, featured several presentations on additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. These were of great interest to the attendees, engineers and technical personnel from valve and actuator manufacturers as well as end users of these products.

Additive manufacturing is an area of manufacturing that is seeing continual improvements within a relatively short period of time. While it has been possible for a number of years to make parts to meet the demanding requirements of aerospace applications, equipment is always in development to make it possible to print objects in larger sizes and with a greater variety of materials.

Market Outlook for Distributors

Market Outlook for DistributorsWhat lies ahead for the distribution market? A recent webcast, hosted by Modern Distribution Management (MDM), provided insight into this important market. While the presentation covered distribution of all wholesale products, the information shared in this article is geared specifically to distributors and manufacturers of valves, actuators and controls, and their suppliers.

The information presented was based on data collected from a quarterly survey of 500 distributors across the full spectrum of wholesale distribution, and includes the outlook for 2015 from MDM and the Robert W. Baird & Co., which conducted the survey.

VALVE Magazine’s Top Ten Stories: 2014

valve padOur goal at VALVE Magazine is to publish great articles that offer valuable information to our readers. Part of that entails going back over the previous year to see what articles grabbed your attention, and which topics were of most concern to you. As has been the case in years past, articles covering technical issues, especially concerning safety, captivated you most. But concerns about security and questions about the economy are also on our readers’ radar.

So here, in reverse order, the top 10 articles published online in 2014, as determined by you, our readers. If you haven’t yet had the chance to read them, take advantage of this list to find out what you’ve been missing! Just click on the title to get directly to the article at VALVEMagazine.com.

Smart Actuation: Where We’re At, Where We’re Going

roadWhat might be around the next curve for smart actuators? Before suggesting some answers to that question, let’s first discuss how today’s actuators evolved.

Actuator Types

Most valve actuators used for isolating valves fall into two main categories, based on the power source used:

  1. Electrically powered actuators: typically use three-phase power to drive a motorized gear mechanism to operate any type of valve.
  2. Fluid-powered actuators: use pneumatic, hydraulic or electrohydraulic power on either a rack and pinion or a scotch yoke mechanism for moving a quarter-turn valve.

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