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Richards Industries Improving Health, Productivity of Employees

All 110 employees at Richard Industries in Cincinnati “were given financial incentives to sign up for the HumanaVitality wellness program, which has reduced absenteeism and resulted in workers being more productive,” Cheryl Neiheisel, vice president for human resources at Richards, told the Cincinnati Business Courier. She also argues that morale has gone up as a result of the program.

“The reason why we’re doing this is not only for financial impact on our renewal, but because we care about the health and wellness of our employees,” she said.

The 100% active participation rate at Richards is particularly striking. “Across all workplace wellness initiatives, an employer is doing exceptionally well to get even 25% active participation,” says Humana spokesman Jeff Blunt. “For most employers, 15% to 20% would be notable – and a great many are stuck in the single digits.” 

Metso Opens New Valve Technology Center in South Korea

Metso announced on January 22, 2014 the decision to invest in a new greenfield Neles globe valve technology center in South Korea. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant was celebrated April 22 in Chung-Ju, South Korea. The new factory will be ready for global deliveries during the last quarter of 2014.

The new plant will serve oil & gas and power customers both locally and globally and will strengthen service capabilities in the growing Asian markets. The new technology center consists of manufacturing, control valve testing facilities, research and development, laboratory, engineering and service support units for South Korean EPC companies.

Metso has a total of eight valve technology centers around the world. In 2011, Metso opened a new valve technology center in Vantaa, Finland, and in 2010 in Shanghai, China. The company is currently expanding its valve production facilities in the U.S., in Shrewsbury, MA. 

RES Energy Solutions Joins VMA as Distributor/Channel Partner

RES Energy Solutions is VMA’s newest associate distributor/channel partner member. This is the eleventh new 2014 member and sixth in our new category of distributor/channel partners.

With branch offices and warehouses throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, RES offers a broad set of products and services for the oil and gas, natural gas, pipeline, power generation and marine markets. RES sizes control valves and relief valves to ensure proper flow requirements. 

AIV, LP Joins VMA as Distributor/Channel Partner Member

This week VMA approved AIV, LP as our newest official distributor/channel partner member. They’re the twelfth new member of 2014.

Established in 1991, AIV distributes valves for the chemical, oilfield, petrochemical, pulp & paper, refining, power and water treatment industries. The company services distribution only and represents over 20 major valve manufacturers. 

Weir Group Seeking Possible Merger with Metso

Metso has confirmed that it has recently received an unsolicited approach by Weir with a proposal for commencing discussions concerning a potential combination of the two companies. Metso has not been engaged in any formal discussions with Weir, although it is in the process of considering the proposal.

The biggest hurdle was the fact that Finland’s state-based investment company, Solidium, was thought to be initially against the deal. However, more recent reports suggest they may be softening their opposition.

If the deal goes through, Weir Group would become a company worth, in the neighborhood of, £8.5 billion. 

Metso Turns Down Merger Offer from Weir

On April 1, Metso acknowledged that it had been approached by The Weir Group with a proposal for commencing discussions regarding a potential combination of the two companies.

Today, Metso announced, its board of directors has carefully evaluated the proposal received from Weir and has come to the unanimous conclusion that this proposal is not in the best interest of Metso shareholders. The board remains extremely positive and confident in Metso's standalone growth and value creation prospects by pursuing its current strategy. Therefore, the board has decided to turn down Weir's proposal and sees no reason to commence discussions regarding a potential combination. 

Sanitary Valve Market to Exceed $3.4 Billion in 2015

The sales of valves to meet the rigid requirements of the pharmaceutical, food and other life science industries in 2015 will exceed $3.4 billion worldwide. This is the last forecast in Industrial Valves World Market published by the McIlvaine Company.

The market for valves for municipal drinking water plants in 2015 will be more than $3.8 billion. However, these valves are not designed to the high sanitary levels required of valves in the life sciences. One reason is that disinfection is a common method of protection of drinking water, but is not acceptable as a way to treat fluids processed in the life sciences. 

Spirax Sarco Launches World’s Oldest Working Steam Boiler Contest

Spirax Sarco has launched the “World’s Oldest Working Steam Boiler Contest” in the January issue of SteamNews magazine and will accept submission through June 1, 2014.

Participants are asked to locate the world’s oldest commercially working steam boiler in an industrial or building service setting (no museum displays). Grand prize winner will be awarded an Amazon – Kindle Paperwhite – 2 GB and announced in the July issue of SteamNews.

Contest rules are as follows: Spirax Sarco employees, immediate family members or other affiliates are not eligible for prize award. To qualify, subscribe to SteamNews magazine’s latest issue and receive additional details regarding how to send your submission. Please include with your submission your full name, company name, information for verification and a .jpg image of the oldest working steam boiler. Submissions will not be accepted or entered without the proper information. The winner will be notified by email on July 1, 2014. 

Cameron Awarded Order for 25,000 psi Blowout Preventer

Cameron has received an order from Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas to supply a 25,000 psi blowout preventer stack and 25,000 psi manifold. Cameron delivered the industry's first and only 13-5/8" 25,000 psi blowout preventer to Freeport-McMoRan in 2011.

After successful and extensive use in the Gulf of Mexico, Freeport-McMoRan has decided to place this second order with Cameron for high pressure activity planned to begin in 2015. 

Plant Engineering Awards Recognize VMA Members

For the 25th year, Plant Engineering has offered Product of the Year awards for the best new products that improve productivity and safety in manufacturing operations.

Siemens Industry was honored in the Automation & Controls and the Electric Motors & Drives categories. Spirax Sarco was also recognized, in the Fluid Handling category.

Each Plant Engineering subscriber received an electronic ballot via email with all of the year’s new product finalists. The voter chose which new product he/she thinks will most help their operation and the ballot was submitted for tabulation. Plant Engineering announced the winners in the April 2013 edition of the magazine available in both print and online. 

Metso's PlantTriage Software Achieves Several Industry Awards

Metso has been honored with several industry awards recognizing the company in the process control field. The awards include the Control Magazine Readers' Choice Award, Automation World's First Team Award, and Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Honorable Mention.

In addition to first place in the loop tuning software category for the Control Magazine Readers' Choice Award, Metso Automation received honorable mentions in the categories of Control Valve, On/Off Valve, Electric Valve Actuator and Pneumatic Valve Actuator. 

Emerson Expands European Manufacturing and Engineering Services

Emerson Process Management is expanding the company’s existing manufacturing and engineering services campus in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The expansion includes a new, 18,800-square-meter flow measurement manufacturing building. This $60 million investment will help meet growing demand for the company’s flow measurement products and services in Europe and other regions.

Additionally, in the summer of 2014, Emerson Process Management moves into a separate, newly constructed $16 million facility on the Cluj campus that will be home to the Regional Project Engineering Center and the European System Integration Center.

Emerson’s Cluj-Napoca campus is now one of the parent company’s largest sites in Europe, currently employing more than 1,900 people. 

Powell Valves, Chesterton Develop Exclusive Partnership

Two longtime industrial suppliers, The Wm. Powell Company and A.W. Chesterton Company, announced an agreement in which Chesterton will become the exclusive supplier of its low-emissions packing technology in Powell Valves.

The agreement allows Powell to produce valves that are compliant with the new API 624 standard for industrial fugitive emissions and to meet the latest EPA regulations. API 624 requires that valves be manufactured to reduce fugitive emissions to 100 ppm or less for five years, which will result in reduced air pollutants.

The EPA estimates that 60% of fugitive emissions at oil refineries and chemical plants are attributed to valves, with flanges, pumps, compressors and other components responsible for the remainder. As part of its stepped-up enforcement of clean-air standards, the EPA has negotiated consent decrees with about 85% of refineries, requiring enhanced leak detection and reduced emissions.

Powell said valves in its existing inventory can be refitted with Chesterton’s 1622 Low-E packing upon request from the customer.  

Metso Supplying Valves to Chinese Heavy Crude Processing Site

Metso has won a second major order for advanced valve technology from Sino-Venezuela Guangdong Petrochemical Company for its 20 million ton-per-year heavy crude oil processing project in China. The new delivery includes large Neles valves for the delayed coking process.

The deliveries will take place during the second quarter of 2015. Last October, Metso announced an order for over 4,000 intelligent Neles valve controllers for the same refinery project.

The Sino-Venezuela Guangdong Petrochemical Company oil refinery project is located in the Jieyang Nandahai Petrochemical Industrial Zone in Guangdong province. It is the largest oil refinery project in China in terms of processing capability. Once completed, the complex will process 20 million tons of heavy crude oil annually with 29 processing units, have a 300,000-ton crude oil terminal and a 30,000- to 50,000-ton product terminal. Total project investment amounts to 58.6 billion yuan ($9.54 billion) with PetroChina a 60% stakeholder and Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. of Venezuela holding a 40% stake. 

MRC Global Named PVF Suppler for Chevron

Chevron USA Inc. has added MRC Global and its subsidiaries as a strategic valve supplier on the Future Growth Project in Kazakhstan. In addition, Chevron recently extended its Worldwide Master Contract to enable MRC Global and its subsidiaries to transact business with Chevron in Australia for approved pipe, valve and fitting (PVF). The companies have also reached an agreement allowing subsidiaries of MRC Global to provide PVF products for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) to Chevron's operations in Thailand.

This announcement follows previous expansions to the worldwide master agreement naming MRC Global as a preferred supplier to Chevron's operations in Canada, Brazil and, Angola. 

Emerson-Fisher Expanding Sherman, TX Facilities

Emerson Process Management’s Fisher Controls business will spend more than $8 million to expand its facility in Sherman, TX. The economic development corporation of Sherman is providing Fisher with a grant of more than $400,000 in financial incentives. The expansion project is scheduled to be complete by July 2015. 

VMA Welcomes New Associate Member Quaker City Castings

This week Quaker City Castings officially joined the VMA as an associate member. This is the 10th new member to join the association in 2014.

A family-owned business that began in 1932, Quaker City Castings of Salem, OH is a no-bake sand foundry that produces a wide variety of iron castings and steel castings for various industrial applications. Quaker City Castings also specializes in valve body castings. 

VMA Members Recognized in Control's 2014 Readers Choice Awards

VMA members had a dominant showing once again in Control Magazine’s 22nd Annual Readers Choice Awards. Emerson Process Management, Siemens Industry, Cameron, GE, Flowserve, Samson Controls, Metso, Rotork and AUMA Actuators were all recognized this year in a variety of categories. VMA members swept the Control Valve, Electric Valve Actuator and Pneumatic Valve Actuator categories. 

Research and Markets: Global Control Valve Market in State of Transition

According to a newly released report from Research and Markets, “The global control valve market is witnessing a transition from the use of conventional valve types to automatic control valves. The demand for automatic valves is expected to grow due to its increasing need in the process industries. Many process industries have begun to adopt automated control valves to improve the operational efficiencies in their industrial production processes. Since automated control valves provide more operational efficiency compared to traditional control valves, the market is experiencing an increasing demand for them.”

According to the report, the increasing demand from developing countries is one of the major drivers in the market. Many developing countries such as India, China, Brazil and countries from the Middle East have been increasingly creating demands for control valves, primarily because of the growing presence of Process industries in these countries.

Further, the report states that the high cost of raw materials is one of the major challenges faced by the Global Control Valve market. As a result of the increasing price of raw materials such as steel, cast iron and alloys, the cost of control valves becomes very high. This high cost leads to a low adoption of control valves, which in turn decreases the revenue of control valve manufacturers. 

Siemens Industry Becomes Founding Partner of Energy Management Association

The Energy Management Association (EMA) announced that Siemens Industry has become the group's first Founding Industry Partner.

The relationship will be formalized during EMA's organizational meeting at the Cx Energy 2014 Conference & Expo where Siemens will also be an exhibitor. EMA is a presenter of Cx Energy, an event that connects engineers, service providers and utility companies with building owners and facility managers. EMA will play a prominent role in the upcoming Cx Energy 2014 Conference & Expo. The group's formal launch and creation of its board takes place April 22.

The EMA is an innovative association dedicated to advancing the quality of energy management services for the benefit of building and facilities management. 

Metso Automating World’s Largest Cruise Vessel

Metso has received an order from STX France to supply a vessel-wide automation system, including energy management, to the world’s largest cruise vessel, Oasis 3. Royal Caribbean International’s third vessel in the Oasis class series is currently under construction at STX France’s shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The first automation system delivery based on Metso technology for a ship took place in 1983.

Metso has a long track record of supplying automation technologies to Royal Caribbean International’s cruise vessels over the years. Oasis 3 is scheduled to be handed over to the owner mid-2016. The vessel will have a length of 362.15 meters and a gross tonnage of 227,700. It will span 16 passenger decks, include 2,700 staterooms and accommodate 5,400 passengers in double occupancy. 

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