Last updateWed, 12 May 2021 8pm

A Trailer for Teaching

Recently my company, which makes actuators, completed a display trailer with a number of functional products. The trailer has been on the road for a total of 6 weeks, with excellent response from those who have seen our presentations. I recall in years past that many companies had mobile displays and that the benefits appeared to be worth the cost. On the road, I hear stories from distributors about how they and their principles “used to have” a similar display, and they were always very effective. The key phrase is “used to have,” which brings me to ask if others in the valve and actuator industry are still using such displays or if they have all been abandoned.

I understand that arranging mobile display visits is much more complicated than visiting users with simply a catalog in hand, but the user interest seems so much greater. Are valve and actuator manufacturers collectively missing a great opportunity to fully educate valve industry users? I am interested in learning about what others in the industry are doing and hearing about their experiences. And if you’re a valve user, what do you think of this concept?



Welcome to Our Community

ValveMagazine.com has joined the Web 2.0 generation with a new website designed to create a community of valve professionals, complete with the latest news, web exclusive articles, a blog and other resources designed to inform you about the North American industrial valve, actuator and control industry.

Feel free to check out this site and let us know what you think by responding to this post, part of our new Valve Industry blog. Members of the Valve Manufacturers Association will post comments on a wide range of subjects of interest to our community, from the pressing need for basic valve training, to the growing problem of copyright infringement. Perhaps they’ll share an anecdote from a visit to a customer’s plant, make an observation about new product demands, explain why they think a particular industry is poised for further growth, or help explain how a sticky valve problem can be alleviated through preventive maintenance.

This is also a good place to comment on an article you’ve read about in Valve Magazine or give your opinion about one of our web-exclusive articles. Or you can suggest future topics like you’d like to see us cover. Whatever you want to talk about, if it’s related to the North American valve, actuator and control industry, we’d love to hear from you! (Of course, this forum is not designed to promote your company’s products and services, so please, no sales pitches.)

FYI, if you’d like to chat with me “offline,” just go to the Contact Us page and send me an email. I always enjoy hearing from readers!


An Environmentalist Confesses

offshoreoilrigshrunkShell Oil Co. has decided to use pre-emptive action to insure that environmental groups do not use last minute legal maneuvers to block drilling in the Arctic Ocean during this summer’s brief window for operations.

By filing a lawsuit against eleven environmental and Alaska Native organizations, the company is hoping to force an early review of its Chukchi Sea oil spill response plan so that it cannot be challenged at the last minute, once rigs and their support flotillas are in place. Delays at that stage of exploration are very costly, and the company has already obtained approval of its plan from The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

While activists have called the move an attempt to circumvent the regulatory process instituted to protect the fragile Arctic environment, Shell is arguing that last minute delays are just a tactic to stall any legally approved drilling until the summer exploration window is closed and the ice returns.

As someone whose livelihood depends on the strength of the valve industry, I could be accused of being biased toward Shell simply because oil and gas exploration and development keep me in business. However, I would have to counter any such accusation by saying that I am also an environmentalist. I walk whenever possible to get to any destination, I plan my errands so that I can get everything done in one concise circuit, and I reduce, re-use and recycle. I also compost and buy local and, well, you get the drift.

What’s more important, and this might come as a shock to more vocal activists, I am not the only one like me in this industry. I’ve spoken to people at nuclear power plants, in oil companies, and I’ve interviewed people that engineer and manufacture valves, actuators and controls. Frankly, I haven’t met one who isn’t conscientious and concerned when it comes to insuring that emissions and leaks are kept to the minimum possible, and you can be quite sure they don’t want blowouts any more than the fishermen who depend on the sea for their livelihood.

These folks are concerned about the environment. But they also take seriously their commitment to finding, exploiting, refining and transporting the oil and gas that keeps the world running. They don’t want to destroy the earth any more than Lucy Lawless, but the bottom line is that they are responsible to the companies for which they work. Those companies, by the way, make possible trips on the planes, trains, automobiles and ships that get the activists to the sites where they protest and the courtrooms and law offices where they institute their lawsuits.

At this time, there is no way any of us can continue our lifestyles without oil. So let’s work together to make it as economical and safe as possible to explore while alternative energy sources are developed.

Peace, man.

Kate Kunkel is Senior Editor of Valve Magazine. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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