How Swagelok Is Helping Advances In High-Speed Rail

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 @ 09:10 AM

University students in Munich rely on Swagelok in worldwide competition.


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Swagelok fittings were a key component for the braking system on the WARR Hyperloop pod during the Hypeloop Pod Competition put on by SpaceX. Watch this short video to learn more.


Elon Musk is famous for two very different kinds of transportation: the Tesla electric car and the reusable rockets of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX. Now Musk is hoping to develop yet another transportation idea. This time it's a high-speed train that could cover more than 300 miles in less than 30 minutes. It's called the Hyperloop.

Unlike traditional rail transportation, the Hyperloop runs inside a tube with very low air pressure. The system is designed to move "pods" of people and cargo at close to the speed of sound while using very little energy.

The concept is still in the experimental stage, but already Swagelok parts are playing a role.

Competition

To give his idea a jump-start, Musk set up a competition involving teams of university students. Swagelok has sponsored a team of 30 students from the Technical University of Munich that has advanced to the finals. The team is part of a larger organization called the Scientific Workgroup for Rocketry and Spaceflight, whose German initials are WARR. Their design includes a compressor to suck the air from in front of the pod and stream it out the back, reducing the air resistance to zero.

You can watch the team at work in a five-minute video from Swagelok.

The Hyperloop competition gives students a chance to learn in a way that a regular academic course never could. Designing and assembling the pod takes them beyond classroom theory by getting their hands on the components. They have to take care of real-world details such as leaving enough room for each component, and other aspects of a project that aren't likely to come up until you actually start building it. The work also brings together computer science, mechanical engineering and civil engineering students from several countries. The students say they like Swagelok not only for the quality and reliability of the parts, but for the availability of technical help.

Safe and reliable

The students are using Swagelok parts in the braking system. At such high traveling speeds, there can't be any question about whether the brakes will activate safely when needed.

If the Munich team wins the competition, their work could end up having an affect on the transportation that people take every day. Maybe your next project won't change the world, but that doesn't make it any less important to you. Rely on the same high quality and expertise that the Munich students are using to move their project forward. Call us at 780-437-0640 or contact us through our website.


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Topics: Value Added Services, local expert

Forget Trial And Error; Take Our Tube Bending Course

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 @ 15:10 PM

Acquire the skills that will save time, save money and increase system efficiency


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Edmonton Valve has been offering a variety of courses over the years, from teaching about fitting installation to improving sampling system performance, we've got you covered. Download our free training catalogue today and find a training class to suit your teams development.

Training & Education


What do valves, fittings, gauges and most other Swagelok components have in common? They need tubing in order to be of any use in a fluid system. Without tubing, all you'd have is a pile of parts.

It's vital, then, to understand how to handle tubing, plan a route for it, cut the correct length of tubing and bend it accurately.

There's not need to learn by trial and error. There's no need to wonder if your co-workers are passing along any bad habits if you rely on them to show you want to do. Rely instead on Edmonton Valve & Fitting. Our four-hour Tube Bending Essentials class on tube bending will show you what you need to know. With guidance from a certified expert, you'll learn how to consistently make optimal tube bends, and do the work efficiently.

What we cover

We start at the beginning: How to handle tubing without damaging it. We'll show you how to properly cut and debur the tubing as well as how to bend it. You'll learn how to calculate the length of tubing you need to get from Point A to Point B. That's especially important when you are using expansion loops and offsets, which we'll also cover.

Good craftsmanship not only saves money by reducing the amount of expensive scrap, it also improves fluid system performance.

The course has hand-on exercises as well as classroom instruction, so you'll be able to practice what you just learned. 

Who should attend

Anyone who has to install tubing can benefit from this course: fabricators, contractors and technicians. But it's also valuable knowledge for people who design fluid systems: engineers and draftsmen. Anyone responsible for inspecting or maintaining a fluid system also needs to know if the job was done right: quality control personnel and safety engineers.

Tube Bending Essentials is only one of many classes that we offer. You can contact us through the linked page to sign up for the next class in our new training center, or we can bring the class to your location. If you prefer to talk with a live person, we're at 780-437-0640.


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Topics: Training, Value Added Services, local expert, Tubing

STEM Learning Gets Supersonic Boost From Swagelok

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 @ 14:09 PM

An attempt to set a new land speed record inspires students in the classroom


 bloodhound.jpgSwagelok is partnering with a Northeast Ohio school district to bring access to BLOODHOUND-themed STEM education programs, watch the video here.


Teachers in Hudson, Ohio, have a great tool for pepping up math and science lessons for fourth-graders: a supersonic car called the Bloodhound.

The Bloodhound is a British-built attempt to set a new land speed record. Swagelok parts are crucial in the car's hydraulics, and especially the brakes. (Good brakes are important in any car, but especially one designed to reach speeds of up to 1,600 km/h.)

So two years ago, Swagelok approached Hudson Superintendent Phil Herman to see if the district would be interested in exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content available through Swagelok's work on the Bloodhound. Through a series of meetings and brainstorming session, the school decided that fourth graders would make an ideal audience.

High-powered learning

“We examined the Bloodhound STEM content through the lens of project-based learning and then reflected on what essential questions could be posed to incorporate the content,” says Christina Wooley, PK-12 curriculum coordinator, Hudson City School District.

Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, two teams of fourth-grade teachers have integrated Bloodhound lessons across a wide range of subjects: earth, physical and life sciences; physics; chemistry; language arts; social studies; and English. The program ends with the students designing, building and racing Bloodhound model rocket cars.

Take a look

You can see the excitement in the kids' faces in this five-minute video from Swagelok

"The education side of the project is paramount. If we build the car and just went racing but didn't inspire anybody, I don't think the project would have the value that it has now," says Tony Parraman, sponsor liaison with Bloodhound SSC.

The Bloodhound gives the students' imaginations a big boost. As curriculum coordinator Christina Wooley put it, a typical science lab would give the students a series of steps to follow, and that's that. With the Bloodhound as a focus, students can explore in many different directions.

They also get to see how problems are tackled in the real world.

"I liked the design and building part, how you can design something on paper, and then if it doesn't work you can start over," says one student in the video. In other words, making mistakes is a normal part of learning, and it's not a reason to give up when tackling a problem.

Inspired learning at East Woods School 

“We are so grateful to Swagelok for bringing Hudson students this inspirational learning opportunity,” says Phil Herman, superintendent of the Hudson City School District. “I’ve seen first-hand how our students light up with enthusiasm when they’re solving a STEM challenge tied to Bloodhound.”

Swagelok's role on the car

The gigantic Bloodhound is more than 13 meters long and weighs 7.7 metric tons. It has three engines generating a combined 135,000 horsepower: a jet engine, a rocket engine, and a V8 just to run the fuel pump.

Swagelok components will be relied on to open air brake doors after the rocket car reaches its top speed, and for final breaking below 600 km/h. The company’s products will also play a vital role in the safety of the fueling system and re-fueling rig. Swagelok products on the car include 60 series ball valves and RL series relief valves, QC and QF quick connects, tubing, gauges, hoses, and tube fittings.

You may not be working on a supersonic car, but Edmonton Valve & Fitting can still help get your next fluid system project up to speed. Set up an appointment through our website or call us at 780.437.0640.


Additional resources

Topics: Training, Value Added Services

New Training Centre Has Plenty Of Room For Learning

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 @ 08:08 AM

We've doubled our seating capacity, and there's even room to serve lunch


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As Edmonton Valve & Fitting continues to expand our training offerings we have also needed to expand our space. The lecture room, pictured above, is just one of the improvements found at the new facility. Sign up for one of our upcoming training sessions and check out the new training centre.

Training & Education


Training classes have long been an important service of Edmonton Valve & Fitting. Even the best components can't do their job well unless they are installed and maintained properly in a well designed fluid system.

Originally we conducted training right in our headquarters office. Eventually we needed more space, so for the past few years we have been renting a place down the block. Lately even that hasn't been big enough, so this year we built out a new venue specifically designed for our training classes.

Plenty of room

Our new training centre can handle up to 24 people at a time. We outfitted it with dual projection screens and two glass whiteboards for presentations. All of the tables have built-in power outlets, so attendees can charge a smart phone or plug in a laptop computer without hunting for a wall outlet.

In addition to the main training area, we have a board room and two offices up front. We can have our sales meetings there even while training is being conducted in the other room.

Until now, everyone had to come back to our headquarters when we stopped at mid-day for lunch; now we can serve them right in the training centre's lunch room.

We also have a "hands on" room (pictured below) we can use for teaching people how to bend tubing. That means we can conduct two training sessions at once.

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Light and airy

For too many people, attending a training class means being stuck in a stuffy, cramped room all day under dreary fluorescent light. We wanted to create a space more conducive to learning. We went with an open-ceiling concept and bright LED lighting. So it's environmentally friendly as well as being more comfortable.

For our first session in the new building we scheduled our Swagelok Total Support training for Sept. 7. We have many more classes in the pipeline, including the two-day Sampling System Problem Solving & Maintenance course in November. Check out our Training and Education page, and then get ready to learn in a bright new setting.


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

Tagging Hoses at Edmonton Valve & Fitting

Posted by Adam Telenko on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 @ 16:07 PM

Tagging is a great way to make sure that vital information always stays with the component


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Edmonton Valve's laser engraver can make quick work of your tagging needs. As tags are made in house it easy to customize them with the information you need.


Tagging in

You may be aware that Edmonton Valve & Fitting has been providing hose tags for years, but what may be new is how hose tags are being used in the field under Quality Assurance (QA) Programs throughout our service territory.

Hose maintenance programs are gaining momentum for several reasons:

  • Safety & Preventative Maintenance
  • Traceability
  • Identification
  • Tracking & Replacement scheduling
  • Ease of ordering

What type of information is typically captured on the hose tags? Hose type, CRN#, pressure test date, part number, hose ratings, pressure/temperature ratings, site location, vendor, system media – to name a few! 

At Edmonton Valve & Fitting, we are also populating database records for our customers who have adopted a hose maintenance program. These records are unique to each customer and completely customizable to reflect the program’s intentions.

Ask your Swagelok sales and service representative for more details on hose tag options and how we can help with a hose information database.


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, Custom Solutions, Hoses

Swagelok Parts Help Keep Eco Car Competitive

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Jul 05, 2017 @ 13:07 PM

University of Alberta students get hands-on education in international competition


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The University of Alberta's EcoCar Team knew that in order to compete in the 2017 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas they needed leak-free parts, which is why they turned to Swagelok. Do you need our help with a project, get in touch today to see how we can help.

GET IN TOUCH


Long known for its importance in the oil and gas industry, Edmonton is also getting some attention in the world of alternative fuels for transportation. A team of students from the University of Alberta is making some fast progress with using fuel cells in cars.

The EcoCar Team is a student-run engineering organization that designs and builds prototype vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The team primarily races at the annual Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, held in Detroit. The marathon has different classes of competition based on how the vehicle is powered: fuel cell, solar cell, gasoline, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas. Cars must average at least 24 km/h over a distance of 16 km.

The University of Alberta team placed second in its category in 2012, the team's first year of competition, and came in first in 2014. The second-generation vehicle took two years to build and captured another first in 2016. Technical glitches hampered performance in this year's Eco-Marathon, but the team still took home $2,000 for a second-place place finish. 

Where we fit in

We first encountered the students this past February when they came to us for some fittings and other miscellaneous components. Student-led projects don't get much funding, so we were glad to donate the parts, and get them quickly so that work could stay on schedule. In return for the favor, they put the Edmonton Valve & Fitting logo on the EcoCar.

Each prototype starts from scratch.

"I saw it at the beginning stages, and it didn't really look like much, and then I saw it at the end. It was pretty neat to see the finished product," says Andrew Worthington, one of our account managers. "It's high intensity work, 30 to 50 hours a week on top of classes. It's essentially a second full-time job."

The project brings together several academic disciplines, so the students get an opportunity to use their education in a real-world application.

Before Shell will let any competitors on the test track, each car must pass an inspection. If there are any leaks from the fuel cell, the car won't get the green light. Thanks to the Swagelok parts, that was no problem this year.

 

Do you have a project that needs to roll out leak-free and on time? Edmonton Valve & Fitting has the components and the expertise to get you there. It's easy to start the discussion through our website or by calling 780-437-0640.


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Topics: Value Added Services, local expert

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

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

Put Your Mind At Ease With Vendor Managed Inventory

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 08:02 AM

We'll replenish your inventory as needed, and we won't charge for shipping it to your site 


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Our Vendor Managed Inventory services bring Swagelok product right to site to save you time and money. Edmonton Valve & Fitting will count, order and replenish your stock to free up time for your staff to work on revenue generating tasks. To request more information click the link below.

GET IN TOUCH


Tracking inventory can be a pain. The counting, the ordering, the restocking, the frustration of not always knowing who grabbed the parts and where they were used.

To save you the hassle let Edmonton Valve & Fitting take care of it with our Vendor Managed Inventory service. We count the stock, figure out what's needed to replenish it, place the order, bring the stock to your location and put it away.

How it works

Give us a couple of weeks of lead time, and we'll send someone to your site to set up your VMI. We'll start by asking you if you have a preset minimum or maximum you prefer for your stock. We'll create a spreadsheet that lists each part, and ask you how often you'd like our inventory truck to stop by. Right now we're visiting customers anywhere from weekly to once every six weeks. Depending on where you are located, we may be able to add your company to one of the routes our truck regularly makes. You'll know exactly when to expect our driver to roll up.

As time goes by, you may realize you need us to visit less often (or more often) than originally thought. We may switch to coming once a month instead of every two weeks. Or perhaps we'll need to bump up the inventory level a bit. Even if you don't make a special request, we'll make a complete review of your parts levels once a year. Maybe you aren't using one part as much as you thought, but you need us to deliver more of another part. We're glad to do it.

And twice a year we'll count your stock to make sure your inventory is where you want it to be. If it's low, we'll adjust to make up the difference.

Free shipping

One of the best perks of being a VMI customer is that you don't pay for shipping on replenishing orders. Sending our truck to your location is no charge to you! For customers that live a few hours from Edmonton or one of our satellite offices, that can save $40 or $50 on a shipment.

We also can save you money by making the deliveries on a single purchase order for the year. Typically a purchase order costs a company about $70 when you figure in the manpower for accounting and other related tasks. Why cut a separate P.O. for each visit?

The parts themselves can be as small as our standard tube fitting or as large as bundles of 20-foot tubing.

Robocrib combo

We can also combine our Vendor Managed Inventory with our RoboCrib industrial vending machine. The configurable machines come in several different sizes so facilities can store 500, 1000, or 2,000 parts. The largest of the three dispensers has a footprint of only six feet by six feet.

This can be a lifesaver if you have been losing track of parts. Sure, they're being put to use somewhere, but who took them out of the parts drawer, and for what? If it's for a customer order, and you can't prove that a part was used, you may not be able to charge the customer for it.

With RoboCrib, each person who wants a part has to sign in and say what job the part is for.

Inventory can't get much easier than when you let Edmonton Valve & Fitting handle the job. Contact us through our website or by calling 780-437-0640, and we can get you started.

 


Additional resources


 

Topics: Value Added Services, inventory, Cost Savings

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