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Valves & Actuators 101 Course Expands to 2 Days

Education seminars to offer more in-depth sessions, hands-on experience, tips on specifying

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 8, 2011) - Planners of the Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits program have listened to past attendees’ suggestions and expanded the popular program to a two-day event.

The last program, which was held Oct. 28, 2010 in Baton Rouge, LA, had more than 100 attendees—end users, distributors, valve and actuator manufacturers and suppliers, and university students. Sponsored by the Valve Manufacturers Association, the seminar consisted of a six-hour Valves & Actuators 101 education session covering valves, actuators, controls and other need-to-know information for those working in the valve and actuator industry and the industries that use these products.

As with past Valve Ed events, attendees rated last fall’s seminar and exhibit highly but attendees asked primarily for one thing: “Give us more hands-on training!” Greg Johnson, chairman of Education & Training Committee and president of Houston’s United Valve, said: “Our education and training committee [whose members developed the content and presented the course] could tell by reviewing the evaluation forms that although participants largely liked what we offered, it was clear they wanted to be able to ‘touch and feel’ the products we discussed.” Another suggestion was to provide additional time for some of the lessons. That led to an expansion of the program from one to two days, with the first two-day event scheduled for June 6-7, 2011, in Calgary, Alberta.

While the first day of the program will essentially remain the same, the second day will allow presenters to cover lessons in more detail. For example, the complex subject of control valves and systems has been moved to the second day. In addition, attendees will be divided into small groups and taken around to tables where valves and actuators will be on display, for an experience VMA has named: “The Valve Petting Zoo.” At the Zoo event, instructors will demonstrate how the various products work and field questions from attendees.

On the afternoon of the second day, the presenters will participate in an interactive panel session in which attendees will be asked to provide suggestions on what products should be specified for several real-life applications.

In addition to the seminar, the event offers a tabletop exhibition that will take place on the first day of the two-day program, giving attendees the opportunity to learn more about the variety of products found in industrial valve and actuator applications.

Registration is now open for the June 6-7, 2011 Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits in Calgary, Alberta. The event also will take place in suburban Chicago, Oct. 26-27, 2011 (registration opens early summer). The latest information and links to online registration can be found on > Events > Valve Basics Seminar. For additional information, email Judy Tibbs (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), VMA director of education.

The Valve Education program was launched in 2009 to provide basic industry education for newcomers to the valve industry. With many experienced valve professionals headed toward retirement, the need for industry education has never been more critical. To encourage a new generation of engineers to enter the valve industry,

VMA’s educational foundation, the Friends of the Crawford Library, offers scholarships to university students to attend the seminars. For instance, at the Baton Rouge, 18 students from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana State University participated in the program. This year’s event, which is being held on the campus of the University of Calgary (UC), will draw on engineering students attending that university.

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Founded in 1938, the Washington, DC-based Valve Manufacturers Association of America ( represents nearly 100 North American manufacturers of valves, actuators and controls. Members account for approximately 80% of total industrial valve shipments out of U.S. and Canadian facilities. The North American valve industry supplies approximately 35% of worldwide valve demand, and VMA member companies employ 20,000 men and women in supporting jobs. VMA is the only organization exclusively serving U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of industrial valves, actuators and controls. Products manufactured by members are used in numerous industries, including: chemical processing; petroleum refining; oil and gas exploration, distribution and transmission; power generation; nuclear power; water/wastewater; commercial construction; and pulp and paper.

VMA is also publisher of the quarterly Valve Magazine (, written for buyers, specifiers, users and distributors of industrial valves, actuators and controls.

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