08172019Sat
Last updateFri, 16 Aug 2019 8pm

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).

An End-User’s Perspective on Valve Selection and Risk

From time to time, we are re-posting well-received or particularly valuable articles that have previously run on VALVEMagazine.com so that those who might have missed them will be able to catch up on the best of the best. This article, “An End-User’s Perspective on Valve Selection and Risk” initially ran on April 17, 2016.


I am not a valve expert, although I often play one where I work. What I am is an end user, but I believe that provides me a unique outlook on risk.

The Challenges of Creating Super-Clean

Because biopharmaceuticals are produced using living organisms, and the drugs produced are used in humans and animals, the cost of contamination is very high, and sterilization of the process system is critical.

Tariff Pressure Builds on Valve Industry

In the last year, one word has dominated U.S. trade policy: tariffs. From the Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs to tariffs on half of the products imported into the U.S. from China to the retaliatory tariffs from a half-dozen governments, few industries have been spared.

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