Edmonton Valve & Fitting Goes To College

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, May 09, 2017 @ 09:05 AM

Each year we help students and experienced workers learn new skills


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Edmonton Valve is well known by the instrumentation students of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; from the Swagelok classroom, to social events our relationship with NAIT is continually evolving.


Our commercial customers aren't the only ones who benefit from Edmonton Valve & Fitting's training classes. Every year we also send a team into classrooms at colleges and universities in the region to give some real-world insight into the configuration and assembly of fluid systems.

Our biggest university and college engagement is with the Instrumentation Training Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. This nationally accredited program teaches a comprehensive course of studies in industrial measurement and control.

Each year Edmonton Valve & Fitting teaches over 250 students and apprentices within this program about tube fitting safety and installation, and tube bending.  While we have only a small part to play in the two-year course, we know it's an important one.

We've a special connection to NAIT. Not only have we been conducting the classes for more than two decades, we have an alumnus heading the program.

"This was something that I picked up in my early years as a pet project," says Chris Horne, one of our Account Managers. "I was president of the student association when I left the college. So when I came to Swagelok, I took this on."

Strong demand

Over the years, our university and college engagement program has grown and evolved to keep pace with changes in technology and in the workplace.

There was a time when a lot of learning took place in the field, with old hands passing along their expertise to new arrivals. Today, companies have put a higher priority on formal training to make sure they put the right people in the right spots.

Likewise, technology continually improves. Instrumentation skills have become much more specialized since the 1990s.

Even Swagelok's classic tube fitting has benefited. The fitting itself has the same four components it has had since 1947, but improved materials and techniques of manufacturing today produce a fitting that performs better and lasts longer.

Back when we started working with NAIT, the instrumentation program had only a few classrooms and labs. Today it's one of the largest instrumentation programs in the world with one of the finest training facilities of its kind anywhere.  The Spartan Center boasts 11 instrumentation labs featuring $6.5 million of new equipment, smart classrooms wired to take advantage of the latest technologies and wireless capability in the common areas.

We also sponsor the Brian Clarke Award for achievement in instrumentation workshop practice.

Other outreach

NAIT isn't the only campus where you will find Edmonton Valve & Fitting in the classroom. We instruct the Alberta Pipe Trades in our area in the same type of course. While these people are already working in the field, they are being asked to stretch beyond their experience with piping. We train them on tube fitting and tubing systems

We also work with the University of Alberta, Lakeland College and MacEwan University.

We like introducing people to the components and processes they will encounter in their careers.

"On a daily basis we have people come through our doors who have been through our training," Horne says. Many of those former students tell us how great it was to get their first industry perspective from us in the classroom.


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: Training, Value Added Services, local expert

Sometimes Stainless Isn't Enough

Posted by Tristian McCallion on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

Special Alloys are used in unique applications where stainless steel cannot hold up to the corrosive material.


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Swagelok carries an array of special alloys to meet our customers requirements, to find out more about special alloy uses download our Special Alloy catalogue.


How many materials can you get Swagelok tube fittings in? Two? Five?  Would you believe that our standard material list includes 16 different materials from nylon to titanium?

316 stainless is our most common material and is good for 95% of applications in northern Alberta but there are some limitations.

Special alloys

In the SAGD world on the water treatment side, there is often an elevated chlorine level in the boiler water.  Chlorine and stainless steels don’t mix well and it is common to find stress corrosion cracking in applications that have high chloride levels and stainless steel fittings and tubing.  There are a number of other materials that we offer that can provide the necessary corrosion resistance in this type of application, like Monel, or our high temperature carbon steel.

This is just one application where we are able to help out with special alloys.  Some of the other materials that we can provide include:

Teflon and PFA:  PFA is the injection moldable version of Teflon.  These materials provide for excellent chemical resistance to a wide range of different fluids.  Water treatment facilities are large users of PFA and Teflon fittings.

Alloy 400, or Monel:  This is a high nickel alloy that has excellent resistance to corrosion in reducing environments with fluids like hydrochloric, sulfuric and hydrofluoric acids.  It is also a commonly referenced material when looking at NACE specs.

Inconel 625: A very corrosion resistant in oxidizing and reducing media.  It offers high strength and good ductility.  It also has very good performance in sour gas (NACE MR0175)

Hastelloys:  C-276, C-22, B-2 are some of the grades that you can find, with C-276 being one of the more common alloys we deal with locally in this range.  It offers excellent resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion and immunity to stress corrosion cracking.

Duplex stainless steels:  A number of different materials are available here: 2205, 2507 super duplex and even the excitingly named 2707 hyper duplex stainless.  Often seen in offshore applications these materials have higher strength than 316 stainless and may have better resistance to pitting, crevice and general corrosion.

Swagelok makes fittings, valves and other components out of a wide range of different materials and would be happy to work on your applications with you.

Our Special Alloy catalogue provides additional information on some of the special alloys offered by Swagelok.


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: local expert, Valves, Fittings

Grab Sample Modules Offer Speed and Flexibility

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Mar 09, 2017 @ 14:03 PM

We have standard designs, and can customize them to meet your needs


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Pictured above is the Grab Sample Module with purge, this is one of the standard grab sampling systems offered by Edmonton Valve & Fitting.


Grab sampling provides a safe and reliable way to collect a representative gas or liquid sample from pipelines, tanks, or systems, and transport it to the lab for analysis.

Placing the sample in an open bottle for transport isn't a good practice. Some chemicals will evaporate or fractionate if the sample isn't extracted and kept under pressure. A good grab sample system will put it in pressure-containing metal cylinders.

To help safeguard an operator, a dual needle design with a spring return delivery valve delivers the sample only when a bottle is seated and vented appropriately.

The best part about Swagelok grab sample modules is that we build them right here at Edmonton Valve & Fitting. We have some standard configurations available, but you also have the option to modify the layouts to suit your needs. They can even be put into Nema-4X enclosures if the customer wants the module to be kept outside. We can help you figure out what design will work best for you. We know where the grab sample modules fit into the overall systems.We know how to make the necessary pressure-drop calculations and figure out the time delays to know how the instruments will affect the process. If you need a cooler in the module (recommended when the supply temperature exceeds 60ºC) we know how to select the appropriate size for your application.

What's inside

The modules use our 40 Series ball valves to direct flow. They are geared together so that you get single-handle operation when you need to switch from "off" to "sample" or "vent." We have both two-valve and three-valve configurations available.

There's a purge option for chemicals that may leave a resident or contaminate lines if not flushed from the system. The purge option allows you to introduce air, solvent or other fluid to clean the lines.

If you need a flowmeter, relief valves, check valves or expansion chambers, we can add them with no fuss. (We put the whole assembly into an enclosure, and you can choose whether you'd like the tubing on the front or in the back.

Our standard material in building grab sample modules is 316 stainless steel, but we can use brass and alloy for some configurations. Electropolished tubing is available, improving the surface finish of the tube to allow for a quicker response to certain reactive chemicals. We also offer the option of coatings such as SilcoNert, Solcolloy and Dursan.

And we can offer a single CRN number for the complete assembly.

If you want your analytical instrumentation system to give a reliable picture of the fluid in the process line, you need a good sample. With a grab sample module from Edmonton Valve & Fitting, you are off to a good start.

Tell us what you need for your sample system (through our website or by calling 780.437.0640) and we can start working on a Grab Sample Module configuration that's right for you.


Additional resources

Topics: local expert, Sample Systems

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

Our Hose Advisory Crew Takes the Pressure off You

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Feb 08, 2017 @ 09:02 AM

There's no reason to put up with the costs and dangers or a worn out hose


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Hose damage, such as those pictured above, can be a costly issue. Our Field Services Specialists will identify ways to enhance your hose selection, installation, inspection and maintenance procedures to improve hose life and performance. 

Hose Advisory Download

 


Five drops of hydraulic oil per minute adds up to 53 gallons a year — nearly a drum full. Even if you can afford the oil itself, you can't afford the environmental and safety hazard of that much leakage. A couple of pints of hydraulic oil can cost tens of thousands of dollars by cleanup crew and paperwork.

If your plant goes through a lot of hydraulic oil or other fluid, it's time for a hose checkup. Our Hose Advisory Services crew can help you regain control. It’s better to be prepared by taking a preventative approach.

Useful life

Hoses are often used in places where there's too much vibration for rigid tubing. The flexibility of hose makes it a good choice, but those vibrations ultimately will take their toll. Keep any hose in service too long, and you'll start to get leaks. The lower the quality of the hose, the faster the leaks will spring up.

A first in class plant will have a reliability engineer who builds a maintenance schedule, so you can change out old hoses before they break down. Unfortunately, many plants don't have a record of when hoses were installed. That's where we come in.

Our Field Services Specialists will walk the floor with you to fully understand your operation. We will look over each hose from one end to the other, listing all the components connected to it. We will identify the material the hose is made of, the size, the type of connection, and the length. We'll also note wear and damage.

Information on each hose will be recorded onto a spreadsheet. We then find the temperature, pressure and fluid run through that hose. All that information allows us to determine what type of hose is best for that application. It may be different — and better — than the hose already in place. We have 22 different hose types and 89 different end connections to choose from. Instead of continuously using identical replacements for failed hoses, you can treat the problem, not just the symptom.

We build all our hoses right here at Edmonton Valve & Fitting. We keep all the detailed information on file and make it available to your reliability engineer, along with recommendations for a maintenance schedule.

Planning ahead

We prefer to come out to a plant four to six weeks before the next scheduled turnaround. That allows us to collect information on all the hoses and put together kits for the replacements. For instance, we may find a combination of fitting, valve, filter and check valve on one end of the hose, and then a valve and fitting into a block on the other end. We will list all of the components, so if a customer wants to change everything out, we can pre-assemble it all. The person changing out the hose can do the job in a couple of minutes instead of having to identify components and make a trip to the shop for replacements. It can save hours.

From reduced maintenance costs and extended hose life cycles to improved safety, we’re here to take the pressure off of you. Make managing your hose systems a worry-free experience by setting up an appointment with Edmonton Valve & Fitting. 


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: Value Added Services, local expert, Cost Savings, Hoses

Cylinders Are a Must For Grab Sample Systems

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 @ 13:01 PM

They are safe, strong, easy to clean, and feature several convenient options


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When it comes to Grab Sample Systems, sample cylinders offer a leak-tight sample containment solution for transporting gases and liquids that are under pressure. Our cylinders come with a variety of options and accessories, to find out more click below.

Sample Cylinder Download


Grab sample systems typically use one of two methods to transport the sample from the process line or pipeline to the lab for analysis: metal cylinders or glass bottles. Today we'll look at metal cylinders.

You'll need a cylinder any time you need to transport a liquid under pressure, and any time you need to transport gas whether it's under pressure or not. Even when you don't have to transport a liquid under pressure, it may be worth doing anyhow. Some chemicals will evaporate or fractionate if they aren't transported under pressure. That could affect the accuracy of your analysis.

Rugged construction

Our sample cylinder bodies are made of seamless tubing for consistent wall thickness, size, and capacity. The smooth internal neck transition eliminates trapped fluids. That makes them easy to clean in the lab before sending them back out into the field without having to worry about contaminating the next sample.

You have your choice of quick connect fittings, which make the cylinders easy to put in a grab sample panel so that you can extract the sample quickly.

Variety

Edmonton Valve & Fitting offers five standard cylinder sizes from 150cc to 1,000cc. You can get them with optional bypass tubes for purging. Other options include handles, rupture discs and outage tubes.

Rupture discs prevent complete depletion of the sample cylinder. Outage tubes provide a vapor space in cylinders containing liquefied gasses. That way, the liquid in the cylinder has a place to expand if the temperature rises. Without enough vapor space, even a small increase in temperature can cause the liquid to expand and dramatically increase the pressure. The length of the outage tube determines the amount of vapor space.

Internal cylinder surfaces also can be electropolished and coated with PTFE to provide a nonstick surface, which further aids in cleaning.

As more industries bring additional analytical equipment online, it becomes more important to have quality sample stations that can accurately capture the process for later analysis. A grab sample cylinder is a key component. 


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: local expert, Sample Systems, Custom Solutions

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