Losing Steam? Send For Our Swagelok Energy Advisors

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 13:03 PM

We'll look at steam generation, distribution, use, and condensate recovery


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Edmonton Valve & Fitting's Energy Advisors conduct a steam system evaluation to give you insight on the current state of your system and provide recommendations to improve performance. Book your evaluation today and let us help you optimize your steam system performance.


When steam is critical to your plant operations, leaks cost money, hurt reliability and compromise safety. On top of all that, it's getting harder to find experts in steam systems operation.

One call to Edmonton Valve & Fitting can solve the problem. We have the experts, and we'll send them to your site for a steam survey. We start with "pre-job" conference to find out what work already has been done on site, and what's still needed. If a plant already has tags identifying all its steam traps, for instance, that will save us a lot of time. If it's a brand new system with no tagging in place, we'll need extra time to learn all the locations. Your steam chief will want to be involved, and probably your reliability engineer.

At this conference we'll ask questions that will help both our teams agree on a set of goals and objectives. During the entire analysis, our evaluation team will work shoulder to shoulder with your team members. When the evaluation is finished, we deliver an in-depth report that documents calculated cost factors, installation cost estimates, energy savings calculations and payback estimates.  Our roadmap is a practical plan that helps you easily translate recommendations into implemented changes. 

Detailed inspection

Our steam system evaluation program looks at all four key parts of the steam system: generation, distribution, steam-consuming equipment and condensate recovery. When we're done, we'll give you a list of solutions and recommendations that pay for themselves in terms of improved productivity, efficiency and reliability. We'll separate the near-term needs from longer-term considerations. While some of those might involve spending some capital, many require little or no cost to implement.

Our recommendations will cover:

  • Safety and/or code issues that must be corrected immediately
  • Cost savings and/or performance upgrades with ROI in 18 months or less
  • Cost savings and/or performance upgrade with ROI in 24 months or less
  • Cost savings and/or performance upgrade with ROI in 36 months or less
  • Best practices that aren't necessarily associated with cost savings

We also offer a Steam Trap Station Management Program with a goal of reducing steam trap failure rates to 3 percent or less. We'll test the traps, analyze the root cause of any failures, make sure they are properly sized, and check the isolation and check valves.

Attitude

Once you have our reports, you'll have a road map for making repairs and upgrades. In our experience, we've found that the plants with the right mindset have the highest success rates with their steam systems. They are always thinking about how to make improvements. Unlike some other aspects of life, dealing with big problems in steam systems does not mean that the little problems will take care of themselves.

But that mindset is not universal. We've seen some scary sights on our steam surveys. We've seen water hammer that was so bad it almost shook you. We've seen makeshift solutions that only addressed the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. Fortunately, once they see the benefits of our steam survey, we often see them adopt a better way of thinking.

The places that commit to the whole program will see the greatest advantage.

There's no reason why your plant has to lose steam. Set up an appointment through our website or by calling 780-437-0640.


Additional resources


 

Topics: Energy Advisors, Value Added Services, local expert, Steam

Find out How Your Sample System Is Underperforming

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 @ 14:02 PM

Our Field Engineers can give it a checkup and recommend improvements


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Swagelok experts perform an in-depth analysis of your sampling systems, from tap to analyzer. We'll help you obtain more representative samples, reduce time delay and improve compatibility with your analyzer.

GET IN TOUCH


An analyzer can only analyze the sample that you give it. That's why it's so crucial to have a reliable sample system in place. 

But increasing your sample system's reliability may require time and resources that you just don't have. Let Edmonton Valve & Fitting help by conducting a survey for sample system optimization.

We can improve your sample system's efficiency, whether it's in reducing time delay, improving compatibility with your analyzer, or taking a more representative sample. Our holistic approach includes evaluating each component and subsystem from sample tap to your instrument.

What's the problem?

Maybe you are having issues with one of the sample lines in a plant or refinery. The readings out of the analyzers aren't optimal, but you aren't sure why. Our team of Swagelok field engineers can come in and do a full analysis of whatever line you are concerned about, and make recommendations for improvements.

We use thermal imaging, calculate distances, take pictures, and get to know what instruments you are using. We'll make calculations based on flow rate, distances that the sample must travel, and other factors to see where we can optimize your system. 

Best in class

Because Edmonton Valve & Fitting can tap into Swagelok's global network of experts, we can bring in the top people in their field. They include Tony Waters, who has been conducting training classes on process analyzer systems for 50 years. He founded three companies to provide specialized analyzer services to the process industries, and is an expert in the application of process analyzers in refineries and chemical plants. We also have consultant Phil Harris, who has more than 30 years of experience in industry and academia. He has written many papers on analyzer systems and routinely presents at industry conferences and technical seminars.

If you have a critical problem, we can give it immediate attention. But if you have time, we can schedule a full-plant audit months in advance. That gives us time to collect more information up front.

Let your plant engineers concentrate on their primary jobs while experts in sampling systems can bring their own talents and experience to your workplace. Get in touch through our website or by calling 780-437-0640, and we can schedule a visit.


Additional resources


 

Topics: Energy Advisors, Value Added Services, local expert, Sample Systems

Getting the Most from Compressed Air Systems

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 @ 14:01 PM

The air may be free, but compressing it can be costly when your system leaks


 Leak Detector.pngPictured above is a leak found at a customer site by our team. After a leak is found through the use of our ultra-sound technology Snoop is applied to the area for visual verification. These leaks are then tagged and recorded to be fixed. 

Download: Cost of Leakage


Fortune magazine once described compressed-air systems as "probably the least efficient utilities in manufacturing plants." The air itself may be free, but not the machinery and electricity required to keep it under pressure. Every time air leaks out of the system, more air must be squeezed back in. This is a waste of money.

A longtime customer of Edmonton Valve & Fitting once saw that their two compressors were running at capacity, and had plans to add a third. Before the addition of the third compressor this customer had us check the system for leaks. We found so many leaks that once they were fixed the company didn't need to add a new compressor. In fact, they were able to take one of the existing compressors off line. That was about 10 years ago. We still check out the system for leaks twice a year. Altogether the company has captured more than $1 million in savings.

If you notice that your compressors are running longer without any other changes being made to the system, it's a good bet you've developed some new leaks. Even if the compressors are running the same as always, you could still have leaks. On average, uninspected systems lose 25 percent to 30 percent of their compressed air through leaks.

On the hunt

Leaks typically fall into three categories. The smallest are those that you probably didn't even know you had. Then there are leaks that you suspect but can't find on your own. The third category is when enough air is escaping that there's no doubt about the location of the leak.

Usually we're called out because the client already knows about a large leak and while we're on site we look for all other leaks.

We find leaks through ultrasound technology. The turbulence of the leaking air creates sound waves that the human ear may not be able to detect, but our equipment can. When we find a leak, we always follow up with a visual test by putting Snoop leak detector on the area and looking for the telltale bubbles.

Each time we find a leak, we list it on a spreadsheet, noting the location, severity, and the air pressure on that line and then tag it. In the course of a day we might find 100 leaks in a medium sized facility, even in operations considered "best in class." When we're done, we'll take you through the site and show you where the leaks are. We'll help you benchmark your system so that you can measure the improvement when all the leaks are fixed.

Here's a tip when you can clear your schedule to fix the leaks: If you work your way straight through from one end of the plant to the other, you probably can fix them all in one day. Too often, customers start with the worst leaks, and somehow never seem to make it all the way to the smallest ones. We know, because when we come back a year later, we see some of the previous year's tags still in place. By then, some of those small leaks aren't so small anymore.

Not just air

If it's expensive to lose air through leaks, think of how much worse it is to lose gas that must be purchased, such as helium or argon. And think of how much more dangerous a leak will be if the gas is flammable, such as hydrogen.

To get a more detailed look at the cost of leaks, download our free Hidden Costs of Leakage PDF. It presents some exampled of costs associated with compressed air leakage. Then contact us through our website or by calling 780-437-0640, and we can start helping you save money.


Additional resources


 

 

Topics: Energy Advisors, SEA, Value Added Services, local expert, Cost Savings, Steam

End Of The Alphabet: Common Swagelok Acronyms From S to V

Posted by Katie Reid on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

Even if you never use the full name, it's good to know what the letters stand for


s to v aconyms.png

Whether you are using the acronym STAMPED for hoses or talking SWAK, we have got the breakdown here in the last of our alphabet acronym series.


This is the last in a four-part series of posts where we look at some of the acronyms you'll run into when you read our blog. The first part covered letters A through E, the second took us from F through N, the third concentrated on P and R, and this one takes us through the end of the alphabet.

SAE - The Society of Automotive Engineers established one of the standards used for straight pipe threads. Some people are surprised to learn that straight threads don't provide a seal by themselves. All they do is make sure the two parts are solidly engaged. To get a seal, you need an additional component such as an O-ring, a gasket, or metal-to-metal contact with a washer.

SEA - Swagelok Energy Advisors is our team of steam experts. In addition to our Edmonton experts, we can draw on SEA's field engineers throughout North America. Most of these experts are mechanical engineers with 15 to 20 years of working with steam systems in a variety of industries. Not only do they know steam, they know how it is applied in various processes. Swagelok Energy Advisors won’t just tell you that you need a valve in a particular spot, they’ll explain why.

SESO - Swagelok quick-connects with single-end shutoff stems have no valves and remain open when uncoupled. This is to distinguish them from double-end shutoff stems which have valves, and shut off when uncoupled.

SPM – A sample probe module is one of our Pre-Engineered Subsystems combining a sample probe and a block-and bleed sample probe valve. A probe allows you to extract a sample precisely from the middle third of the pipe's cross-section, avoiding turbulent flow and sludge or particulates. We offer welded sample probes, best suited for use with double block-and-bleed valves, and retractable sample probes, best used with single block-and-bleed valves.

S.T.A.M.P.E.D. - In picking a hose, it's important to think about size, temperature, application, media, pressure, end connection, and delivery. Knowing those parameters makes it much easier to choose from the many options Swagelok offers.

STS - Once, if not twice a month we hold Swagelok Total Support training seminars to increase our customers' expertise in selecting, handling, and installing tube fittings, plus the proper bending and fabrication of tubing. These are full-day, ISO certified classes, led by an industry expert from Edmonton Valve & Fitting. Those who pass earn a certificate of competency, with a unique code that a trained fitter can use as a personal code to identify his or her own installations.

SWAK – Yes, the name of Swagelok's anaerobic thread sealant for metal pipe threads really does stand for "sealed with a kiss." (At least, that's the story we're sticking with.) SWAK cures to a bond that resists vibration or shock, but still allows low breakaway torque for easy-to-break connections, even after it's fully cured. You can apply SWAK quickly, and it will not shred or tear on assembly.

TAP - The more you know about steam systems, the more productive, profitable, and safe your plant will be. And with a training program called Ten Action Points of a Steam System, you and your team can brush up on all the essentials in a single day. You'll get the training, textbooks and other course materials, plus a continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

VCO and VCR - Most people know Swagelok for its two-ferrule tube fitting. However, we also carry two valuable lines of Swagelok face seal fittings. The VCR and VCO product lines have a zero clearance capability, which means they can be disassembled in line with no clearance requirements. VCRs and VCOs serve as a make and break point – a spot to access the system for repair and upgrades without having to remove multiple parts. VCR means vacuum coupling radiationproviding leak-tight service from vacuum to positive pressure. The VCO line uses an O-ring to form a seal.

VMI - Since 2001 we have offered vendor managed inventories. We'll drive out to your site, check the levels in stock, and figure out what you need. After a quick visit to your procurement office, we'll pick the parts from the truck and stock your shelves. We have three merchandisers servicing customer inventories. All are trained in basic warehouse and basic customer service skills.

That brings us to the end of the line. Did we leave out any acronym you've always wondered about? Let us know, and we may put together an addendum.

 


Additional resources:


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640


 

Topics: Energy Advisors, Training, Value Added Services, Valves, Sample Systems, Hoses

Swagelok Listens, Our Customers Reap the Benefits

Posted by Katie Dennis on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 @ 15:10 PM

Company president Art Anton talks about ways we can ease your burdens


 


"Listening is probably the most important sense we can have as a business organization," says Art Anton, president & CEO of Swagelok Company, in a new video. It's part of a series produced by the company that makes all the Swagelok products sold by Edmonton Valve & Fitting.

Swagelok has surveyed us, our counterparts across North America, and our key customers to create what Anton calls "a nice roadmap for improvement." One of the things Swagelok learned is that customers want us to be more than just a product provider.

"We're really trying to take the burden off our customers, put it on ourselves, and continue to increase the value quotient," Anton says.

That's why Swagelok and Edmonton Valve & Fitting have introduced several new services in recent years. Anton covers a lot of subjects in a little more than a minute, so he doesn't have time to go into any details. But we have time on our blog, so here are extra details on some of the things he talks about:

Swagelok energy surveys

Swagelok Energy Advisors can check out your steam system to see how it might perform better. We have our own local expert in Tristian McCallion, and can tap into a network of other SEA engineers across Canada and the United States. Swagelok Energy Advisors won’t just tell you that you need a valve in a particular spot, they’ll explain why. In addition, the field engineers’ recommendations won’t try to squeeze a Swagelok component into a steam configuration if it’s not the best part for the job. In fact, Swagelok Energy Advisors like it best when they can be in on the ground floor, helping customers design systems properly right from the start.

Custom Solutions

Our Custom Solutions department does a lot more than assemble parts. Their expertise is in creating assemblies that get the most done in the space available. Sometimes all the customer needs is someone to install adapters on a valve or bend a single piece of tubing. But our team also takes on projects as involved as putting together entire sampling systems with complex configurations of custom bent tubing. Along with our human expertise, we have a full array of tools to do the job right.

Vendor managed inventory and procurement

Wouldn't it be great if your inventory could manage itself? We provide the next best thing, making sure you don't run out of the parts you need. We have several solutions, including vendor managed inventory, our mobile warehouse, and our RoboCrib vending machine.

Watch Anton talk about these kinds of services and more by clicking here.


Additional resources


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640


 

Topics: Energy Advisors, Value Added Services, Custom Solutions

Winter Is Coming, Are Your Tracing Systems Ready? Edmonton Valve Can Help

Posted by Katie Dennis on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 @ 09:08 AM

Even though we are still in the summer months, and we don't want to mention the "W" word, but now is a great time to look at your tracing lines.


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Figure 1 (above) shows a Steam Tracing System from the "Best Practice for Steam Tracing" PDF. Download this Swagelok Energy Advisor resource AND the Steam Tracing Design Considerations and Installation PDF from Swagelok Energy Advisors.


Did you know that Edmonton has seen temperatures below freezing in every month except for July (Source: http://bit.ly/1KNKPhF). It is hard to think that in just a few months we will need to be turning on our freeze protection systems in the plants.  Are you ready for it?

When starting up your tracing systems there are a number of areas that you should be paying attention to now and asking yourself the following questions:

Do you have a strategic operating plan for the startup of your tracing system?

Opening up your steam or glycol supply valve is not the recommended way to start up a tracing line.  Systems need time to come up to pressure and temperature.  In steam systems you have make sure air and condensate are vented and drained to maximize efficiency.  Safety must be paramount in bringing these systems up, as there is potential for water hammer, especially at start up.

Do you know how well the components are working?

Have you walked your system to see if the valves are shutting properly?  Are the steam traps functioning?  Is insulation in place?  Remember to check the small insulated tubing lines as well to make sure that the ends are sealed to prevent moisture build up inside the insulation.  Have you identified all parts?  If you need to shut down a line for repair, how easy is it to find the valves on the supply and return so you can safely de-energize the lines?

Have you fixed all the leaks and blockages that you found last winter?

It is much easier to fix problems now, when the weather is warm, than in the winter when you are under the gun to get the line back up.  If you have a list of required repairs, take care of them now.  If you don’t, put a plan in place to identify problems areas for repair next year when you do.

If you answered "no" to any of these questions or need assistance in any of these areas, please let our associates at Edmonton Valve know.  We have a great team that can help you with any of your steam and glycol tracing requirements.


Additional resources


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.437.0640


 

Topics: Energy Advisors

Always Looking to Innovate with Our Customer's in Focus

Posted by Katie Dennis on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 08:02 AM

Hitting the road with account manager Mike Taylor to experience Swagelok products in a unique environment


ANC_Exterior.pngAn exterior view of Alberta Newsprint Co. on a warm and sunny day (in January!) in Whitecourt, Alberta. To find out more about our Energy Surveys click below.

Energy Surveys


Two years ago around this time of year, we did a feature on Alberta Newsprint  Co. (ANC) and how the company benefits from using our VIP program.  So what better timing than for me to hit the road with account manager Mike Taylor and see our Swagelok products in action.

Mike and I drove out to Alberta Newsprint in Whitecourt, Alberta to meet with one of their Reliability Engineers, Elliott MacLean. I had never heard of this job title before, but it wasn’t before long that I realized the importance of this position at ANC.

Driving up to Alberta Newsprint, I couldn’t believe the size of the facility that sat just inside the tree line off of the highway, unsuspecting to drivers on the other side. But once inside I saw that it was nothing compared to what was in the facility and then learning about their intense and powerful manufacturing process.

ANC has had a working relationship with Swagelok for over 20 years and going on over 4 years with Mike Taylor. Not only was it evident that they use Swagelok product's, but also that Taylor spends a lot of quality time there – we were even paged to our meeting as we toured the facility!

The environment that the hundreds of Swagelok hoses are exposed to in the mill is hot and humid; therefore using a premium hose that can handle the conditions and prolong the life of the hose is paramount in order to extend the mean time between failure (MTBF) of the hoses. The wear and tear of the hoses has to be closely monitored in order to avoid unexpected shut-downs to replace worn or damaged hoses.  As in any industry, turn-around time is extremely costly, so there needed to be a better process in place to quickly identify and purchase fully prepared hoses prior to turn-around time.

Working together, MacLean and Taylor came up with a hose database that helps with the ordering process and decreases the effort required if/when a hose needed to be replaced. But first, they needed to document every hose in service.

 “Having Mike come up and help with the survey was a big help and it got us started,” says MacLean. “Before we had this database, we would have to go out to measure the hose, and then have it built and installed. And many times due to accessibility, this would have to happen during a turn-around time when the equipment is locked out.” But since they implemented this trial form of record-keeping in the spring of 2014, MacLean is now looking forward to finally being able to see the efficiency of having it in place.

By having implemented this process, the increased effectiveness of communication between the two organizations is obvious. Taylor states, “Elliott and I communicate via email in regards to the database and this allows us to be able to put items on reorder prior to turn-around time.  Previously we would have to wait for a shutdown to gather the details required to build the hose and we would exhaust the limited resources due to the team having to re-measure the hoses before replacements can be built.”

Going out to see our Swagelok products in action, especially in such unique environment, was such a great experience. And what made it even better is that I got to meet a handful of ANC’s associates who are just as passionate about working with Swagelok (and Mike Taylor) as we are back at Edmonton Valve. By collaborating together we have been able to develop an innovative work process and everyone is looking forward to seeing the benefits in the very near future. 

Energy Surveys


Additional resources:


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780-437-0640.


 

Topics: Energy Advisors, Value Added Services, Hoses, People