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Trends & Forecasts

Leadership: The Essential Ingredient to Lean Transformation

image1The 2015 VMA Manufacturers Workshop featured a two-day intensive workshop on Lean Leadership. All of the sessions at this year’s conference, held April 30-May 2 in Nashville, TN, were designed to help managers, supervisors and team members acquire a more functional understanding of the key leadership skills needed to facilitate and sustain a lean transformation. That is achieved when leaders have the skills essential to successfully implement the lean philosophy and they must work collaboratively with different personalities and styles to create a cohesive workforce that focuses on lean processes (striving to become more efficient and precise). The ultimate goal of lean leadership is a workforce fully committed to the approach and driven by principles focused on problem solving, effectively implementing change, defining and achieving goals, and being more accountable.

In the lean way of doing things, leadership is not a position, it is a relationship and leadership is everyone’s business. It is a set of skills and abilities, and to develop as a leader means to develop the self. This has profound implications for those in leadership positions. It is important for management to be committed to and understand the importance and role of employee training and education. To make that training valuable, it must also be implemented properly and leaders must set realistic expectations.

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Advances in Desalination Technology

Advances in Desalination TechnologyMore than 750 million people currently lack access to clean water worldwide. That is a statistic that generally doesn’t affect too many people in North America, but the 10-year drought in Texas and the current situation in California are bringing attention to the fact that even the wealthiest of nations can have water-related shortages.

In the United States, 60% of well and surface water goes to industry and agriculture consumes 30% of water used. While conservation efforts may alleviate some of the supply problems, continually increasing demands on this resource are pressing the boundaries of technology to come up with new solutions.

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Leadership Forum: Prosperity in the Age of Decline

Prosperity in the Age of DeclineWhen Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics asked attendees at VMA’s 2015 Leadership Forum what economic issues most concerned them, the plunge in the price of oil was high on the list. The impact of a high U.S. dollar, the possibility of interest rate hikes and the future of shale gas were also subjects of interest, and Beaulieu ensured that he would cover them all and much more in his presentation.

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Best Practices in New Product Development

Best Practices in New Product DevelopmentThe energy industry is entering into increasingly challenging environments. Deeper waters, more extreme temperatures and higher pressures are driving technology developments for new products to meet these needs. How do we define a process to design, produce, and qualify these products?

Other industries and organizations, like the Department of Defense (DoD), have been implementing a five-stage new product development (NPD) process for years and have valuable best practices to offer. In addition, new and developing standards from classification society DNV GL, which introduced its first pipeline code in 1976, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) are adopting existing DoD specifications to use as guidance to develop and qualify new products.

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Oil Prices and Production Cuts a Priority at Leadership Forum

John SpearsWith oil prices falling and production continuing to climb, attendees at the Valve Manufacturers Association’s 2015 Valve Industry Leadership Forum, March 19-20 in New Orleans, were anxious to hear the forecasts of presenting experts regarding the oil and gas sector. The big concern: How much and for how long will low oil prices last, and what does that mean for capital spending, rig count and production?

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Valve Magazine Digital Edition

15 SPR CVRInside the Spring 2015 issue…

• Heavy Oil
• 3D Printing Gains Momentum
• Restoring Power After Sandy
• What is a Surplus Valve?

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