06192019Wed
Last updateWed, 19 Jun 2019 6pm

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Electric Actuators in the Oil and Gas Industry

In the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, precision control of the flow of product through valves in the system is vital, and modulation of that flow depends on the valve actuator. These critical pieces of equipment must perform reliably and safely under the most extreme conditions: very high and low temperatures, drought or high-rainfall environments, remote situations in deserts or the arctic, and the corrosive effects of chemicals, high humidity or salinity for extended periods. In potentially explosive atmospheres, explosion protection is required; and in some applications, fireproof operation is critical.


The Case for RFID in Process Plants

Today, much of the information regarding the status of components installed in the field is housed in paper files, posing problems for technicians and engineers. For example, on weather-battered platforms in the North Sea, technicians walk around with “big pieces of paper in the rain and wind,” says Claire Day, a BP operations engineer.1 “It is not an ideal way to work.”

Solenoid Valves: Direct Acting vs. Pilot-Operated

While presenting at a recent VMA Valve Basics 101 Course in Houston, I found myself in a familiar role: explaining solenoid valves (SOVs) to attendees. (I work with solenoids so much that one VMA member at that conference joked that I needed to be wearing an I Heart Solenoids t-shirt). During the hands-on “petting zoo” portion of the program, which involves smaller groups of attendees, one of the most frequently asked questions I get from people came up: What’s the difference between direct-acting and pilot-operated SOVs, and how do we make a choice?

Terry Blackard: Valves Need More Respect

Valves in the oil and gas industry have come a long way in the last four decades, both in terms of higher quality in products and opportunities created by those better products, as Terry Blackard can attest. Blackard has been in the refining/chemical industry for 42 years. The first 40 were with ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge where he was the valve specialist for the complex there. He retired in 2017, then went to work for Becht Engineering as a valve consultant, where he added even more valve challenges to his long career. For the last 16 years, Blackard also has served on the API Subcommittee on Piping and Valves (SCOPV).

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