It’s that time of year again, when we are treated to versions of the top 10 everything, from most-viewed cat videos on You Tube to the top 10 list of lists. Not to be left out, we at VALVE Magazine have been compiling our own list for the last few years and share the top 10 web features as chosen by you, our readers.
As in years past, technical information passed on by the many experts among our membership is popular, but so, too, are articles that provide forecasts for the valve industry. So here, in reverse order, the top 10 articles published online in 2015, 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.
Number 10 for 2015 was Solenoid Valve Technology for Upstream Oil and Gas Heating Equipment. Process heating system burners are widely used by oil and gas firms as well by as original equipment manufacturers that produce gas heating equipment or burner management systems and controls in upstream oil and gas pipelines and tanks. Low-temperature stainless-steel fuel shutoff valves are typically used for on/off control of fuel gas within these systems’ fuel trains, but this application presents challenges for valve manufacturers.
According to Bob Cadwell, Gerry Longinetti and James Chiu, a new generation of solenoid valve technology has been changing the shutoff valve game in recent years, and they shared examples of newer solenoid shutoff valve technologies are making this operation safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly.
In ninth place is Ben Wilkerson’s roadmap for designing, producing and qualifying new products to meet the needs of operators working in deeper waters, more extreme temperatures and higher pressures. Best Practices in New Product Development (NPD) offered a five-stage process similar to that used by the Department of Defense.
Wilkerson set out the five stages of NPD, with details including recommendations for risk analysis, technology maturation and risk reduction as well as market and production feasibility analysis.
Demonstrating the ongoing concern in the valve industry, articles that dealt with finding skilled workers were also very popular in 2015. One of those comes in at Number 8 in our top 10 list. Filling Jobs, One Woman at a Time brought attention to the fact that, while women hold about half of the jobs in the U.S. economy today, they occupy less than 25% of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs and only about 30% of the approximately 14 million Americans who work in manufacturing are women. With the continuing spectre of a shortage of skilled workers hanging over North American manufacturers, VALVE Magazine reached out to several women who are currently involved in the industry and they shared their stories and offer encouragement to young women who might not otherwise consider a career in this field.
Staying with the theme of finding and keeping skilled workers, our Number 7 top article for 2015 was one in which Dr. Jeffrey Seay and one of his graduate students, Maxwell Croft, filled you in on the way the University of Kentucky Helps Students Prepare for Real World Engineering. Noting that, despite their education, graduating engineers are often lacking in key areas of knowledge in instrumentation and control, which is critical in the process and manufacturing industries. To address this challenge, the University of Kentucky (UK) Paducah Extended Campus program entered into a collaborative effort with a local equipment provider to provide formalized instruction in the chemical and mechanical engineering programs.
The installation of an industrialized operating process was the missing link needed to provide a learning environment to augment the core of the engineering curriculum while fostering interaction between students and industry. Despite some challenges in establishing this joint effort, the result has been the creation of a learning environment that benefits students and local industry, and could be considered a template for other educators to work with similar equipment suppliers.
In The Case for a Severe Service Standard, Ross Water of CGIS pointed out in our Number 6 article that, at this time, no national standards exist that clearly define severe service valves (SSVs) or set them apart from general purpose valves. He argued that a recognized definition would benefit users through improved process performance and increased profitability, safety and environmental protection.
Water stressed that all valve design functions require basic information, but for those valves destined for severe service, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the factors that affect their in-service performance.
Forecasts are always popular with our readers, and this year was no exception. Coming in at Number 5 of the Top 10 web features for 2015, our Market Outlook for Distributors grabbed the attention of many among our newest VMA members in the distribution category, as well as valve manufacturers.
Based on the reports shared in a webcast hosted by Modern Distribution Management (MDM), this article provided insight into the forecasts for distributors and manufacturers of valves, actuators and controls, and their suppliers. This article was published early in 2015, and many of the prognostications have proven to be very accurate as we reach the end of the year, especially concerning mergers and acquisitions.
Number 4 in our top 10 list was coverage of The Industry Coming Together at the 2015 Valve World Americas Show. Valve manufacturers and distributors met with valve users and other professionals interested in the educational offerings at this biannual show. Among the most popular topics was VMA’s one-day Valves, Actuators & Controls 101 course attended by a largely young crowd of more than 100. Additionally, many VMA members had booths and reported the event was a good opportunity to network with customers and suppliers while catching up with colleagues in the industry.
While not necessarily glamorous nor technologically innovative, Valves in a Cement Slurry Line was third in line for the top spot in the web features published in 2015. While the technology and requirements for valves needed for producing cement have not changed drastically in the last 20 years or so, efforts to make the process more environmentally friendly continue as do efforts to make all of the valves as robust as possible. As was noted in the article, “No matter the valve, in this business they all take a beating.”
Coming in at Number 2 for 2015 is one of our consistently highest-rated annual features: The Market Outlook. In this look forward into 2016 and beyond, the price of oil was foremost in the minds of presenters and attendees alike at VMA’s 2016 Market Outlook event held in Chicago in August. However, a few other issues also seemed to bounce off the walls and return repeatedly to the list of concerns among the assemblage. Among them: China’s current economic doldrums and the high U.S. dollar.
And Now, Drum Roll Please……….
The Number 1 Most Read Web Feature at VALVE Magazine.com, 2015…. a technical article based on a presentation by Dr. Homayoon Feiz on behalf of Asher Glaun P.E. at the 2015 Valve Manufacturers Association Technical Seminar & Exhibits. Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis in Control Valves. CFD is used in early field issue resolution where a small section of geometry is modelled in order to test a hypothesis such as low-pressure zones around corners, minimum temperatures, impingement angles for wear studies, etc. With the advancement in CFD mathematical models and the increase in speed and capacity of desktop workstations, it has become possible to use the full mathematical modelling capability of modern commercially available CFD codes, producing full three-dimensional flow regimes and flow results.
Be sure to keep VALVEMagazine.com in your favorites tab, as we continue to keep you up to date on all-things-valves, as well as the latest technological, economic and regulatory changes that affect your business this year. If you’ve missed any of these great articles, now is the time to check them out, along with other valuable information at VALVEMagazine.com.