Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 1pm


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.

Products can be made directly through the 3D process, going right from the printer to end use, or they can be "indirectly" manufactured this way. Indirect printing means that the products coming out of the additive manufacturing process will require secondary processes like heat treating to be finished. In other cases they can be made into molds, including sand-cast molds into which metal can be poured to make, for example, valves.

3D Printing Headlines VMAs 2015 Technical Seminar 2

The unique capabilities, limitations, advantages and disadvantages of high-end additive manufacturing technologies were shared by David Leigh of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, James Sears of GE Global Research, Sheku Kamara of the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Nathan Van Becelaere of American Foundry Group. Economies of scale were discussed, as were the comparative strengths of materials created in this way. To give adequate coverage to this complex subject, a feature article will appear in the spring issue 2015 of VALVE Magazine.


Thursday afternoon was devoted largely to the issue of standards. Ron Manson of Cameron Valves examined piping codes ASME B31.1, B31.3, B31.4 and B31.8 in relation to ball valve requirements and selection. The differences between these standards and API 6D, API 598, API608 and ASME B16.34 were also addressed along with a review of all aspects of the requirements including material, pressure/temperature ratings, design and testing.

Ken Sundberg of Metso Automation brought everyone up to speed on the history and latest requirements of two main NACE specifications that control material requirement for the oil and gas industry. The purpose of MR0175/ISO 15156 is to “provide general principles and give requirements and recommendations for the selection and qualification of metallic materials for service in equipment used in oil and gas production and in natural-gas sweetening plants in H2S-containing environments.” According to MR0103, it “establishes material requirements for resistance to SSC in sour petroleum refining and related processing environments containing H2S either as a gas or dissolved in an aqueous (liquid water) phase with or without the presence of hydrocarbon.” In short, according to Sundberg, these standards reduce the risk of H2S related cracking failures in equipment, which also minimizes health and safety accidents, avoids equipment failures and can extend the life of equipment that could have been subjected to H2S cracking.

Fugitive emissions are always a concern for refineries, and Ron Walters of Teadit North America reviewed the current status of standards published and/or being developed for addressing packing for refinery valves. He also covered API622 – type testing of rising stem valves equipped with graphite packing and API1641 – type testing of quarter-turn valves, which is currently in development. Walters described the test methods for the various requirements, and the challenges of meeting them.

3D Printing Headlines VMAs 2015 Technical Seminar 3David EscobarConcluding Thursday’s program, David Escobar, director of engineering at Metso, got the attention of the assemblage by showing the results of inadequate oxygen cleaning. He pointed out that combustion needs only three things: fuel, oxidizer and an ignition source. "Oxygen cleaning is used to remove contaminants that can significantly reduce the temperature of auto ignition," he said. And any method that achieves the desired cleanliness level is acceptable."

Safety, New Product Design and Computer-Aided Engineering

3D Printing Headlines VMAs 2015 Technical Seminar 4Ben WilkersonFriday morning began with a presentation by Benjamin Wilkerson of Cameron who demonstrated the importance of following a stringent design process whenever developing a new product. “The process should focus on reliability and stringent testing at each level of development,” said Wilkerson as he led attendees from the start of a project with material solution analysis through the whole process to production and deployment and operations support. "It's important to get operations and support in on a new design right from the beginning," he said. "Then you'll have everyone on board when the product is going out to the field."

In his presentation, Chris O'Brien of Exida enumerated the current methods available to gather information that can help operators make informed decisions when selecting valves and other materials to improve reliability in their systems. "You have to understand the source and method used to generate data," he said, "if you're going to make informed decisions on how to use it. The intended application of the data you're collecting should impact the method and rigor applied to the collection of that data."

Homayoon Feiz, a senior engineer at General Electric, stepped in to give a presentation on behalf of Asher Glaun, also of GE, on the ways advanced computer-aided engineering is used in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for control valve design and analysis. According to Feiz, modern CFD mathematical models have been developed for specific applications and incorporated in the commercially available codes to create powerful additions to analysis. He demonstrated seven case studies in which engineers at GE used CFD in a non-traditional way: acoustic analysis, thermal shock analysis, multiphase and cavitation analysis, valve bonnet cooling and heating, pressure wave analysis, vibration analysis and sensitivity analysis.

3D Printing Headlines VMAs 2015 Technical Seminar 5John LambertThe seminar concluded with John Lambert of Design Automation Associates who shared how Web-based product selection for complex products is made possible with knowledge-based engineering. He pointed out that the selection of complex products and systems frequently requires engineering calculations, product configuration and geometric definition. Sales channels often require engineering support, which increases sales cycle time and cost, but Lambert said that companies who solve this problem have demonstrated significant benefits in market share, revenues and margins.

According to Lambert, one solution is for the manufacturer to create a knowledge-based application environment to automate the logic, selection and application rules. This will enable sales, distribution and end customers to quickly select, quote, order and download product spec sheets, 2D and 3D envelope geometry in real time.

As the seminar closed, the Technical Seminar Committee got right to work on the 2016 event, which will be held in New Orleans.

3D Printing Headlines VMAs 2015 Technical Seminar 6VMA’s Technical Committee (left to right): Ken Juncewicz, GE Oil & Gas; Jim Barker, DeZURIK APCO HILTON; Dale Friemoth, Crane Fluid Handling; Stephane Meunier, Velan; Jeff Hager, WEIR Valves and Controls, Inc.; Dave Escobar, Metso Automation USA, Inc.; Arie Bregman, Chairman, DFT Inc.; and Ron Manson, Cameron Valves & Measurement

Kate Kunkel is senior editor of VALVE Magazine. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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