Keep Your Sampling Systems At Peak Performance

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Jun 08, 2017 @ 14:06 PM

Our two-day Sample System Maintenance Course will cover operations and troubleshooting


Teaching you to trouble shoot a variety of common sampling system issues, from the process line through sample disposal. Join this two-day course on November 14th and 15th, 2017, sign up now to attend.

Your analytical instrumentation system can't give reliable results unless you give it a reliable sample of the fluid in your process line. Assuming the sample is properly taken at the tap, it may fall victim to a host of problems:

  • Deadlegs or dead spaces that create a “static leak,” where fluid from an old sample might bleed or leak into the new sample
  • Contamination, permeation, or adsorption
  • A phase change that upsets the balance of chemicals
  • A chemical reaction

The most common cause of inappropriate response is a simple delay. If it's taking more than one minute from tap to analyzer, you may have problems.

How can you work to prevent problems and fix those that do appear? Take our two-day Sample System Maintenance Course.  We've scheduled it for November 14 and 15 at our brand new training center.

The basics and more

Leading the course this year is Swagelok expert Stephen Jacobs, owner and president of Jacobs Process Analytics Inc. Over more than 25 years he has designed, installed and maintained hundreds of analyzer and sampling systems for applications ranging from safety monitoring to closed-loop process control.

We start out by reviewing sampling basics: Why you take samples and how to take them properly.

Sampling systems come in a variety of designs, especially when you compare those designed to handle liquids and those designed to handle gas. We will look at all types of systems, the typical best practices and the typical mistakes that people make. That starts with the system design itself, making sure that it uses the proper size of tubing, proper filters and other components.

The goal is to send you back to your company with enough knowledge to walk through your systems and spot problem areas.

You'll spend time taking lecture notes, but you'll also get your hands on the equipment. We'll put students into groups and give them some problems to solve from real-life case studies. We'll explain the issue, and then it will be up to the teams to discover the cause and come up with a solution. Each group will then present its project to the rest of the class. 

Lunch too

We'll provide all the materials you need, including a workbook you can take home with you. Those who pass the course also will go home with a certificate of completion. We'll even serve you lunch on both days.

But we have a limited number of seats. That's why we're letting you know so far in advance. Mark your calendar now and sign up today.

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, Sample Systems, Events

Stop by Our Booth at the Global Petroleum Show

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, May 25, 2017 @ 14:05 PM

Here's a chance to get your hands on some of our products in June


Stop by booth 1076 at the 2017 Global Petroleum Show to see your local Swagelok associates and learn about our product offerings. You can register to attend the show for free until June 5th!

June is almost here, and that means it's time again for the annual Global Petroleum Show, running from June 13 through 15 in Calgary. We'll be on hand to show off some of our Swagelok components, as well as the skills of our Custom Solutions department in creating various assemblies.

For instance you can see our Tap To Transmitter assembly, a collection of Swagelok process instrumentation components that includes a transmitter to send data back to the control room. The entire assembly can be built locally for you by your authorized Swagelok distributor.

You also can check out our rotating seal panels. The biggest single cause of pump failure is the shaft seal, responsible for 39 percent of all failures. And the average shaft seal costs about $5,000. Multiply that by the number of pumps on site, and you can see that it pays to keep those seals lubricated so that they'll last longer. We can create panels to do the job. Take a look when you visit our booth and we'll be glad to answer any questions about them.

While Swagelok made its name with tubing and tube fittings, the company also makes many larger scale products for process piping, typically anything with more than a two-inch diameter. Take a look at some of our flanges and valves at our booth.

Then let us show you our grab sample modules. We've written about them before on our blog. You'll get a chance to see the various options in person, twist some handles and otherwise satisfy your curiosity.

If you don't feel like conversation, we'll have some videos to watch too.

Where to find us

If you've been to the Global Petroleum Show before, you'll find us in exactly the same spot. If it's your first time, look for booth 1076, right inside the doors of Hall A. We'll have 16 people manning the booth in shifts, so you will find a knowledgeable fluid system expert any time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the first two days, and until 5 p.m. on the third day.

We do our best to have some senior representatives in the booth at all times, so you can have a serious conversation and expect to come away with some solid information. If we can't answer your question on the spot, we'll get your contact information and get back to you as soon as we can.

It's one thing to look at our products online. It's another to physically put your hands on it and have a face-to-face conversation with someone who knows the product well.

So stop by, say hello, and gather some free information and expertise from your Swagelok experts. Register to attend the show before June 5th and the registration fee is waived.

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: Q&A, Sample Systems, Custom Solutions, Events

Grab Sample Liquid Systems Can Lower Your Costs

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 @ 09:03 AM

When pressure isn't an issue, bottles simplify sample collection and transport

GSL.pngA liquid-only sampling system (GSL) can be used in a number of liquid applications where the process fluid is not at risk of fractionating or evaporating when stored at atmospheric pressure. If you'd like to find more about all of grab sampling offering download this free Grab Sampling PDF.

While cylinders provide a great way to transport samples for lab analysis, they aren't always necessary. Swagelok’s Grab Sample Liquid sampling system offers an alternative closed-loop system for use with low vapor-pressure liquids. If you have a non-hazardous environment, this system is easy to manage.

System media can be drawn and transported without the risk of spillage or evaporation, thanks to the bottle with its self-sealing septum cap. The bottles are a lower-cost collection option that can be replaced easily when needed. Bottles can even be disposable if circumstances require.

Fixed-volume samplers are an option that can improve safety. This option completely separates the process pressure from the sample bottle and, by extension, the user. They prevent over-filling and overpressure conditions.

Low-emission sampler

All Swagelok GSL systems use Sentry Equipment’s Model MVS low-emission sampler to draw liquid or slurry into the bottle. The MVS features an easily replaceable dual-needle system and a spring-return handle to prevent unintentional dispensing. This non-coring needle punctures the septum without coring it, allowing for full resealing of the septum when the sample bottle is removed. The tapered bottle shroud enables proper septum and needle alignment, preventing accidental spillage or needle breakage.

Dead volume is minimized thanks to a close-coupled ball valve.

No excuses

When visiting plants, our representatives have seen some odd makeshift methods of collecting samples, even the use of tire bladders filled right from the pipeline. Remember, for your lab analysis to have any value, you need a representative sample of the fluid in your system. There's no excuse for cutting corners. 

No matter what kind of sampling system you need, Edmonton Valve & Fitting can help you. Contact us through our website or by calling 780-437-0640, and one of our representatives can help you select the right components and configuration.

Additional resources

Topics: Sample Systems

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


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

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

Eval and Advisory Services_700x350-1.jpg 

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.


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

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


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.


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

The Importance of Oxygen Safety & Eliminating Potential Ignition Sources

Posted by Tristian McCallion on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 @ 13:12 PM

It's important to understand Oxygen enriched atmospheres to ensure safety.

Kindling chain.png

Above is an example of compression heating in an oxygen system that occurs when a valve is quickly opened and the gas stream compresses the oxygen downstream against an obstruction. For more information on oxygen system safety, download the catalogue.

Oxygen Safety PDF

There are three elements that are required to create a fire: fuel, ignition energy, and an oxidizer. When the oxygen is increased beyond the normal 21% level in the atmosphere, the risk of fire is greatly increased. It’s important to note that many materials that may not be combustible in a normal atmosphere will burn in an oxygen-enriched atmosphere.  Combustible materials are easier to ignite and burn faster and hotter.  Ignition sources that have no effect in air can be of critical importance in oxygen enriched systems. 

Ignition Sources

Obviously, with all these issues, we must be extremely careful when dealing with oxygen enriched systems. A ‘Kindling Chain’ occurs when a small amount of energy ignites a material which creates a small fire.  Once that fire is ignited, a chain reaction occurs to larger materials that generate more heat until the fire becomes self-sustaining. Because of this, every effort must be made to eliminate any potential cause of ignition.  Some of the main ignition sources can include:

  • Mechanical impact: When one object strikes another, heat is produced at the point of impact.  The heat produced by a mechanical impact can act as an ignition source.  For example, in an oxygen system, a mechanical component may break off and strike a pressurized container, producing heat upon impact.  If the surface of the container is contaminated with oil, it can ignite and initiate the kindling chain sequence.
  • Particle impact: Small particles can be carried along with a flowing oxygen stream, often at high velocity.  When the particles strike a surface in the system, the impact energy is released as heat, and because of their small mass, the particles become hot enough to ignite larger materials.
  • Friction: When two solid materials rub together, they generate heat which can ignite other materials
  • Compression heating:  When a gas flows through an orifice from high to low pressure, it expands and its velocity can reach the speed of sound.  If the gas flow is blocked, it recompresses to its original pressure and becomes hot.  The greater the pressure difference, the higher the gas temperature. This effect can be seen when pumping up a bike tire.  As the pressure rises in the tire, the pump gets hot.  In an oxygen system the oxygen temperature can be high enough to initiate the kindling chain.  For this reason, fast opening valves should not be used in oxygen systems.  Ball valves, for example, can give 80% flow when only 20% open.  Slow opening valves should be used instead.

Risk management in oxygen systems

ASTM G128 discusses the hazards of oxygen service in much more depth and also gives design considerations and ignition sources in greater detail while G88 and Manual MNL36 provide specific design guidance.  ASTM G4 Standards Technology Training course Controlling Fire Hazards in Oxygen Handling Systems provides detailed instruction in hazard analysis and risk management in oxygen systems.

In summary, the first and foremost rule for the safe use of oxygen is to consult an expert.  Although oxygen systems present serious and unusual hazards, they are used safely throughout the industry because the risk of injury and economic loss can be managed and controlled.

More information on oxygen safety can be found in Swagelok’s Technical Bulletin Oxygen System Safety (MS-06-13)

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, Sample Systems

Use a Swagelok Regulator to Speed up Analytical Systems

Posted by Katie Reid on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 12:11 PM


The lower the pressure of a gas, the shorter the time delay to the analyzer

In an ideal world, you would be able to get a fluid sample instantly from the process line to the analyzer. The real world, alas, it is far from ideal. So it's important to learn a bit about time delays and how do minimize them.

First, realize that a delay may occur in any of the major parts of an analytical instrumentation system: the process line, the tap and probe, the field station, the transport line, the sample conditioning system, the stream switching system, and the analyzer itself. A small delay at each stage will add up.

One way to minimize the delay is with a pressure regulator. In gas systems with a controlled flow rate, the lower the pressure, the faster the gas moves, which means the shorter the time delay.

Start at the tap

Ideally you want to tap the process line as close to the analyzer as possible. But you also want to stay upstream of drums, tanks, dead legs, stagnant lines, or other sources of delay. Because of that, you may have to make do with a location that's less than ideal. If the tap is a long distance from the analyzer, a fast loop is a good means of quickly delivering fluid to the analyzer and returning the unused portion to the process.

Another typical source of time delay is the probe. The larger the probe's volume, the greater the delay. Minimize the delay by choosing a low-volume probe.

At the field station

For an analyzer that requires a liquid sample it is better not to use a regulator. High pressure will help prevent the formation of bubbles. But with a gas sample, a field station is one of the means of reducing pressure in the transport lines. Time delay decreases in direct proportion to absolute pressure. At half the pressure, you will get half the time delay. The sooner the pressure is dropped, the better, so put the field station as close to the tap as possible.

There are a few different ways to configure the regulator. With a drop in pressure, almost all gasses lose heat. If the gas is close to its dew point, the result from this cooling is condensation. In some cases, the loss of heat may be great enough to cause the regulator to freeze up. In those cases, a heated regulator may solve the problem. If you don't expect condensation, a standard regulator will probably do. Read more about Pressure Regualators and how to read a flow curve here

If a liquid must become a gas before it can be analyzed by a gas chromatograph or other analyzer, it's time for a vapourizing regulator.

Another means of attaining a faster response is to move the regulator closer to the analyzer with the aid of a second fast loop.

The details

There's a lot more to these tips than simply plugging in a component. Vapourizing regulators, in particular, require extra care because the volume of a sample can increase greatly as it changes from liquid to gas. Done incorrectly, the addition of a vapourizing regulator can actually increase the time delay to the analyzer.

Fortunately for you, Edmonton Valve & Fitting loves to discuss regulators, analyzer systems and all things dealing with fluid systems. Tell us about your analyzer system and let's get started finding the right configuration.


Also see

Topics: Sample Systems, Regulators

Have You Winterized Yet? We Can Talk You Through It in Our Live October Webinar

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 14:10 PM

Our October webinar will cover the equipment to check and the steps to take

Due to a last minute scheduling conflict we will be rescheduling the event. 


"A good comparison of when you should be winterizing your plant is when you are thinking about winter tires," says Tristian McCallion. "If winter tires are on your radar, so should winterization." McCallion will be hosting a special 1 hour Winterization Webinar on Wednesday, October 19th at 12PM MDT. Get your spot today!

Winterization Webinar Sign Up

It's that time of year...

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in Edmonton that Alberta gets freezing cold in the winter and this winter won’t be any exception. And yet every year some businesses fail to prepare for it. Then the temperature plummets, fluid systems freeze, and the companies end up with damaged equipment and costly downtime. Sometimes they end up with injured workers too.

In just three months last winter, November 2015 through January 2016, the Alberta Boilers Safety Association received four incident notifications involving damage to equipment due to freezing. Three of those resulted in ruptured piping, with two of these due to inoperative heat tracing and one due to isolation of the line. So even some experienced companies that know enough to winterize their lines, still don't do it properly.

Edmonton Valve & Fitting wants to get you up to speed on winterization this season, so we're offering a FREE 1 hour webinar on October 19 at 12PM MDT. Tristian McCallion, our sales supervisor and Energy Service Advisor, will review some best practices for winterizing and answers your questions.

From start to finish

Smart winterization starts with a written procedure. For starting your system components, unit heaters, tracers and steam traps all need to be prepared and checked. McCallion will be going over this checklist in the October webinar.

Correctly operating Steam traps are crucial in winterization, the seminar will cover the different types of traps and how to check them.  It will also discuss some of the tools that can make the process easier.

Even companies that understand the importance of winterization can sometimes get distracted. Then a cold wave hits and they get an unwelcome reminder. Don't be one of those who get caught by surprise, sign up and get your spot for our Winterization Webinar.

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, Steam, Sample Systems, Events

Are Your Fluid Systems Skating on Thin Ice?

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

Our new white paper explains some best practices for reducing risk


When we think about reducing risk in the workplace, we often picture people wearing safety goggles and hard hats. While those are good practices to prevent physical injury, there are other kinds of workplace risk to deal with. Some of them involve how your fluid systems are designed, fabricated and assembled.

It starts with parts

Obviously, low-quality parts introduce one kind of risk. But even high-quality parts can cause problems if you can't get them quickly, or if the materials aren't compatible with the fluids in your system. Then there's the question of the design itself. Two designs might both get the job done, but one may have too many potential leak points or take up too much space.

The risks also extend beyond the efficient operation of your fluid system. Think of the risk to your company's reputation if you can't deliver what your customers are expecting.

Our six-page paper, available here as a free download, looks at these risk in detail and lays out some of the ways a company can reduce them.

Careful planning

If your company rarely has to design, fabricate and assemble its own systems, this white paper will help you consider some of the less-visible challenges involved. If your company frequently designs, fabricates and assembles, this white paper can be a useful tool for improving performance.  

The smartest way to deal with a risk is before it blossoms into a problem. But you have to know what to look for. Download our white paper today for some insight from the experts in fluid systems.

Download Risk Whitepaper


Also see

Topics: Value Added Services, Q&A, Sample Systems, Custom Solutions