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Human Factors Can Cause a Disaster—or Prevent One

Human Factors Can Cause a Disaster—or Prevent One

Process industry plants are complex and ...

Improving Valve Sealing Performance and Reliability

Improving Valve Sealing Performance and Reliability

From time to time, we are re-posting wel...

A Primer on Fugitive Emissions

A Primer on Fugitive Emissions

Fourscore and seven years ago, no one ha...

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Industry Headlines

Industry Headlines

Emerson Expanding Mississippi Facility

-1 DAYS AGO

Emerson plans on delivering $500,000 in new equipment to its facility in Sherman, MS. Because of this investment , and its promise of new jobs for the region, the Sherman Economic Development Corp. has approved $150,000 in grants for Emerson.

"We have a relatively new Fisher product that will be reloca...

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REXA and CCC Form Joint Initiative

-1 DAYS AGO

REXA and Compressor Controls Corporation (CCC) have formed a joint initiative to modernize steam turbine controls for enhanced performance based upon each company’s core competency.

There are more than 10,000 turbomachinery trains worldwide powered by CCC. By upgrading mechanical and hydraulic go...

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Chevron and Pembina Sign Deal to Build Pipelines, Other Facilities

-1 DAYS AGO

Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. has signed a 20-year deal with Chevron to build natural gas pipelines and processing facilities for a potential production operation in northwest Edmonton, Alberta. The infrastructure developed over the term of this agreement has the potential to represent a multi-...

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U.S. in Midst of Biggest Drilling Surge Since 2012

-1 DAYS AGO

“U.S. drillers pushed ahead on the biggest surge in oil drilling since 2012 as companies take advantage of oil prices that have held steady above $50 for almost three months,” Bloomberg reports .

“Drilling is booming in a few shale plays -- led by the Permian Basin in West Texas and Ne...

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U.S. Private Sector Growth Slows from January’s 14-Month Peak

-1 DAYS AGO

At 54.3 in February, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index dropped from 55.8 in January but remained above the 50.0 no-change value for the twelfth consecutive month. The latest reading signaled that private sector output growth moderated from the 14-month high recorded ...

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NAM Kicks Off Tour at Emerson Innovation Center in Austin

-1 DAYS AGO

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) kicked off the 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour at Emerson Innovation Center in Austin, TX—a “hotbed of modern manufacturing.” The event is the first in a series of stops in six states throughout the next week, including a visit with Pr...

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Market Outlook 2012: The Winds of Change

vmfall11_market_outlook

Attendees at this year’s VMA Market Outlook walked into the meeting room with a bit of shell shock. The stock market fluctuated wildly in the days leading up to the Aug. 11-12 event in Boston following weeks of tough U.S. federal budget negotiations and the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. Sara Johnson, senior research director of IHS Global Insight, called the events “headwinds” blowing against what had been expected. She said the year 2011 had been filled with such unusual occurrences, including the Japanese earthquake/tsunami earlier that year as well as other natural disasters and political upheavals.

But attendees were soon to learn that outlook speakers, while they admitted some figures might need to be adjusted for the remainder of 2011, felt their overall prediction was on track—the valve and actuator industry will see a brighter 2012.

“I hope as you leave here today, you leave uncertainty behind and realize things are not as bad as you may have thought. There is still force in our sails … it just might be time to adjust those sails to the prevailing winds,” Alan Beaulieu, president, Institute for Trend Research, emphasized.

 

Common Themes

It’s a different world: There wasn’t much talk this year about looking to the past to respond to the future. That’s because almost every presenter pointed out that the world and this nation are in a unique economic situation. Most said to expect the rocky stock market in the U.S. to remain volatile and that while the nation is in recovery mode, it’s going to be a long steady climb back to the prosperity we experienced just before the Great Recession.

Shining stars burning brightly: India was ­mentioned by more speakers this year than at any previous workshop. The country began a climb toward prosperity in the 1990s when ­economic reforms went into effect. It did not suffer the consequences of some other nations during the recent economic woes so it is one of today’s ­shining stars. Brazil continues to prosper and was mentioned by many speakers as a good place to do business. China is still a tough ­contender for business, but it has experienced high inflation rates and other challenges that may mean some business returning to U.S. soil.

Renewables are catching hold: This is the first workshop where one session was devoted to renewable energy sources, but it wasn’t just that speaker who explained why. From international reports on global warming to new technologies that make renewables more cost effective to unfavorable attitudes toward coal, speakers gave reasons why wind, solar, biofuels, biomass, hydropower and other new sources of energy are gaining ground.

Shale drilling “rocks”: Any of the speakers who addressed energy, petroleum or related products mentioned the changes in this country that are occurring because of shale drilling both here and in Canada. Gas prices remain low; drilling has increased; more drilling is occurring on-shore; new technologies are increasing outputs; new shale sources are being discovered. All of these shale drilling developments mean less reliance by North America on foreign sources of fuel.

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