The days when companies populated their websites primarily with PDFs of catalogs, a few paragraphs “About the Company,” a list of “Contacts,” and highlights of “Products” and “Customers Served” are behind us. Saavy companies today know that to draw customers and potential customers to their sites requires coming up with ways to add value to those who visit. After all, the world is now bombarded with places to go on the Web so companies need to find reasons why people should visit their website.
One of the ways many valve and actuator companies are appealing to Internet audiences is to offer useful and unique technology tools.
Valve Magazine took a spin around VMA member websites and asked companies to share some of what they offer. We found an array of diagnostic and other software, helpful tools such as calculators, and a wealth of informational papers and articles. A small sampling of value-added Web tools is included here. For a more complete list, go to the “Web-Exclusive” section on www.valvemagazine.com.
ASK THE EXPERT
Crane Energy Flow Solutions has come up with a list of its own experts and listed them on its site (click on the “Ask the Experts” link). Subjects are broken down by valve type and are further broken into subcategories. Those seeking information can click on the appropriate email address for answers. Also from Crane, the 2009 edition of Crane’s Technical Paper No. 410 introduced Web-based calculators that can solve equations found within the paper.
Emerson Process Management has a video center that offers a host of educational demo videos on a number of technical topics related to the types of products the company makes. The videos review the features of the specific technologies and explain how they work. The topics are divided into different categories including Valves & Regulation, Systems & Software, Wireless, Safety, Measurement & Analytical and Asset Reliability. Each video features Emerson technical experts that focus on their area of expertise, and each of the categories have dozens of videos that show hands-on how the technology works.
SIZING THAT VALVE
Farris Engineering (a division of Curtiss-Wright Flow Control) offers a tool that can help size and select the right pressure-relief valve for a job. The tool calculates the pressure relief valve orifice area required to relieve any process scenario or combination of scenarios (such as blocked flow, fire vapor generation or liquid expansion), under best-case and worst-case conditions. The tool is available at no cost to registered users.
DIAGNOSTICS AND MORE
Flowserve has a diagnostic solution for control valves that can be integrated seamlessly into a host control and/or plant asset management system. The tool has a powerful intelligent diagnostic engineer that can detect emerging performance, safety or environmental problems with the valve, actuator or positioner and advise on corrective actions. Flowserve (see “Online Tools”) also has a tool for selecting steam traps and an accompanying guide. The steam trap tool uses criteria such as upstream pressure, condensate load, nominal connection size, pressure class and other critical variables, and the guide covers the basics of steam traps in specific processes. In addition, the company offers a sizing and selection tool for its control valve products that configures valve packages suited to a customer’s application. The tool has intelligent application rules that provide more efficient sizing and includes tools for common calculations such as Cv, noise, cavitation, sigma, warnings and other parameters.
ELECTRIC ACTUATOR SIZING GUIDE
Rotork’s newest sizing guide (“Tools and Resources”) allows the correct electric actuator to be selected for all valve types and sizes, taking into account power supply, enclosure types and mechanical interfaces. The latest version includes handwheel-gearbox combination sizing for all types of manually operated valves, ensuring efficient valve operation at user-specified handwheel “rim-pull” force. For both electric actuator and handwheel sizing, selected combinations of details provide comprehensive information for specification, inquiry or a quotation. Rotork also has an e-learning site with training tools—a series of modules aimed at anyone who must commission and use the company’s actuators and associated equipment in the field. The modules consist of interactive learning solutions that will take around 30 minutes to complete.
Spirax Sarco, Inc. has Steam Engineering Tutorials, a line of educational modules explaining the principles of steam engineering and heat transfer as well as a providing a comprehensive engineering best practice guide that covers all aspects of the steam and condensate loop. The company also has redesigned its steam needs analysis tool to be a Web-based tool. It is a sizing and selection software program that guides users through a Q&A format that allows them to select products for specific needs. It includes application information as well as a library of engineering tools. The company also offers a number of site calculators for valve sizing, pipe sizing, startup and running losses from tanks and pipes, and more.