Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Alecia Robinson


Recent Posts

We'll Put It Together: Electropneumatic Custom Valves

Thu, Feb 15, 2018 @ 13:02 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Custom Solutions, Valves

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A little bit of custom work can make a big difference getting components in place

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Our Custom Solutions department can build actuator assemblies like the one pictured above to save you the need for in field assembly, find out more about our Custom Solutions capabilities below.

Custom Solutions


When we talk about Custom Solutions, it may sound like a process for creating complex systems of components. While we are glad to take on big projects, Custom Solutions can also mean taking care of some simple modifications here at Edmonton Valve & Fitting so that you don't have to do the work at your site.

Take a basic component such as our 40 Series one-piece instrumentation ball valve, or our 60 Series three-piece ball valve. The standard configuration comes with a nylon handle, but we also can supply you with pneumatic actuators for those applications when you don't want to (or can't) turn the valves off and on by hand.

There's yet another option by adding customer specified three-way solenoid valves to the actuator to create an electropneumatically actuated assembly. In operation, an electrical signal goes to the solenoid to switch on (or off) the air supply to the actuator.

Ready to use

What Custom Solutions means in this case is that we install the solenoid on the actuator, and deliver the finished assembly to you. All you have to do is tell us the specifics of what you need. Are you running 120 volt AC, or 24 volts DC? In an emergency, do you want the valves to default to an open or closed position? You may want a fail-closed configuration to shut down operations, but you might have a critical line that needs to stay open. We'll also ask you how much air pressure is available.

To start the conversation, all it takes is a note through our website or a quick call to call to 780.437.0640.


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Sample Cylinder Assemblies Offer Flexibility

Wed, Feb 07, 2018 @ 08:02 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Sample Systems

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Pick the size, end connections and materials that work best for you


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Swagelok sample cylinders provide a leak-tight sample containment for your Grab Sample Systems. Download the catalogue below to find out more about our sample cylinder offerings.

Sample Cylinder Download


In a Grab Sample Panel, the key element is the sample cylinder assembly. It's the vessel that allows you to transport a fresh liquid or vapor sample from the process line, held under the same process conditions (with the exception of temperature).

So let's take a look at your options when you order Swagelok cylinder assemblies from Edmonton Valve & Fitting.

Pick the right fit

Our cylinder assemblies are available in ten standard sizes, from 150 cm3 to 3,785 cm3. The standard assembly is designed for general use, but you can also get assemblies with an optional purge bypass tube.

Rupture discs are standard, or you can get cylinder assemblies with relief valves or expansion chambers.

Inside, the cylinder can have a PTFE coating, a SilcoNert coating, or electropolishing.

You have a wide choice of fittings. Many customers prefer a quick-connect fitting rather than a threaded fitting. It eliminates any rotation of the cylinder itself, so you don't have to worry about it catching on any other components. If you already have a grab sample panel with one type of fitting, it's easy and inexpensive to make the switch.

Expertise 

Remember, we're talking about assemblies, not just the cylinder alone. When you order from Edmonton Valve & Fitting, you know that well trained experts will assemble the components properly.

Every cylinder assembly goes through a hydro test. You tell us your specifications on pressure, and we'll document how the cylinder assembly performed.

We also offer etching. It's an easy way to keep track of what's in each cylinder.

Because we make the assemblies right here in Edmonton and have a well-stocked warehouse, we can usually turn around your order in a week or so. And you have only a single part number to deal with.

We're always glad to talk about sample cylinder assemblies or any other fluid system components and services. All it takes to start the conversation is a note to us through our website or a call to 780.437.0640.


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To Slay Ice, A Steam Lance Is The Weapon Of Choice

Thu, Feb 01, 2018 @ 15:02 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Steam, Custom Solutions, winterization

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It's also great for eliminating solidification of asphalt, heavy oils and plastics


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The Steam Lance, pictured above, is an unique product that comes pre-assembled and ready to use and install at your site. For all the product's highlights and benefits, download your copy of the Steam Lance info sheet.

Download PDF                                  


When you need to fight ice buildup on equipment and you don't want to shut down your system, it's time to grab a steam lance.

The basic construction is simple: A length of insulated tubing, heat-shrink boots to seal the insulation, and a steam-rated ball valve at the end. Hook it up to a steam line, and you are ready to clear out plugged piping, remove ice from the exterior of structures, and get frozen drain valves flowing again. You can use it on tubing runs, steam-assisted gravity drainage, containment vessels and ice-coated instruments.

The lance can also be used to eliminate solidification of asphalt, heavy oils, plastics and more.

Variation on the theme

Edmonton Valve & Fitting offers a couple of variations that make the steam lance even easier to use. We put a 12-inch piece of insulated pipe upstream of the valve, giving the operator something to hold on to other than the steam hose itself. We also insulate the valve to further protect the operator.

And we now offer the option of a handle on the other side of the valve, so that you don't have to hold the valve itself while using the lance. That can be especially desirable when you're wearing thick hand protection in cold weather.

We can make our lances to the length you want, too. (We've made them as long as 22 feet, but the jacketed tubing is available in even longer runs than that.)

Click here to get a free information sheet.

Easy to order, easy to use

There's no need to cobble together some do-it-yourself equipment that might cause a safety hazard. When you order a Swagelok steam lance, you get an assembly that already has been pressure tested and comes ready to use right out of the box. It has a single part number too.

Edmonton Valve & Fitting is an expert on steam, and we know all about dealing with cold weather. Put that combination to work for you by calling 780-437-0640 to ask about steam lances, or send us a note through our website.


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Our VIP Program Quantifies Our Extra Services

Thu, Jan 25, 2018 @ 08:01 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Value Added Services, Cost Savings, inventory

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Value Impact Partnerships make it clear what our customers save each year


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Edmonton Valve's mobile warehouse is just one of the many ways we are providing our customers with cost savings. The VIP program is a tool used to showcase the many cost savings we provide our customers.

 Ask Edmonton Valve


For the past several years we have been offering a special kind of VIP Program to many of our customers. The letters stand for Value Impact Partnership, a way to show how Edmonton Valve & Fitting has evolved from a component supplier to a solutions provider and, most importantly, a valued business partner with our customers.

Extra service

Over the course of a year, we can provide services that help customers save time and money. For example, we often provide inventory management services at no extra charge. That means we may go to a customer once a month and check what they need for inventory, draw up an order and have the products delivered. This frees the customer's warehouse staff to do other work, and eliminates freight charges.

Our VIP program also includes:

  • Supply chain efficiencies: The best parts are only the best parts if you have them when you need them. Edmonton Valve & Fitting makes sure you get them on time with solutions such as our mobile warehouse.
  • Procurement enhancements.
  • Energy management, field engineering and custom solutions services.
  • Specialized training programs, safety installation, safe product selection, industry experts and seminars. Swagelok experts are glad to show you and your staff the latest developments in fluid system technologies, on site or online.
  • Product evaluations, substitutions, fitting reclamation, and assistance with sourcing non-Swagelok products.

It adds up

It is not uncommon for us to perform more than 100 value-added events each year for a single customer. The cumulative savings can become substantial. While the savings will vary from company to company, they typically are more than 25 percent of what the customer spends with us each year.

That's what the VIP program tracks. We quantify those savings in a report. Usually we do it once a year, but we have recently automated many of our processes so that we can quickly gather information and report out savings whenever anyone wants to take a snapshot part way through the year.

Large and small

VIP is not just for large customers. Many smaller companies take advantage of our value added programs.

This year we ran 129 VIP reports, covering more than half of our yearly business. Many of these reports cover several customers plant or branch locations, which in itself is a benefit. Many of our customers are not aware of the extra services we are providing throughout their sites. Our VIP reports help them see what we do at multiple levels, giving them a greater awareness of the savings that are generated in various customer departments.

Would it make sense for your company to take part in our VIP program? Find out by calling 780.437.0640, or contacting us through our website


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Some Hits You May Have Missed In The Past Year

Wed, Jan 17, 2018 @ 14:01 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Resources

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Here are the five blog posts that caught the most attention in 2017


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While we always try to make our blog posts interesting, we never know for sure what's going to catch on with our readers; here are your top 5 reads for 2017.


We like to think that all of our blogs posts are useful and interesting. Even so, there are always a few that prove extra popular. Here are the five that attraction the most attention in 2017. If the summary intrigues you, click the title to get the full story. You may realize that you've been missing out on valuable information, in which case you may want to browse through all the posts we've made to our blog.

Grace Under Pressure: Swagelok's IPT Fittings

Higher pressures demand higher performance, which is why Swagelok makes the IPT series of tube fittings. They come in two versions, a medium-pressure fitting for up to 20,000 psig or 1378 bar, and a high-pressure fitting for up to 60,000 psig or 4134 bar.

The secret is a cone-and-thread design that works with thick-walled tubing. The system is designed specifically for the oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical, water jet cutting and blasting, and aerospace industries.

The IPT fitting requires special tools for preparing the tubing, and we'll gladly rent you everything you'll need.

Meet Mike Taylor

There's a lot more to account manager Mike than you might guess from his job title. He's flown all over North America to conduct energy audits for clients. He helped us start our mobile inventory management service. He's been trained on hose advisory services, too.

He also had an unusual background for someone in our industry: He was a midget hockey player. That opened a lot of doors when he first made sales calls in some of the towns where he used to appear on the ice.

Grab Sample Modules Offer Speed and Flexibility

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. A good grab sample system will use metal cylinders to transport the sample under pressure.

Edmonton Valve & Fittings offers several standard configuration for grab sample models, plus the option of modifying the layouts to suit your particular needs. The best part is that we build the modules right here in Edmonton.

Grab Sample Liquid Systems Can Lower Your Costs

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. There's no risk of spillage or evaporation.

With this option available, there's no excuse for cutting corners. (And we've seen some odd makeshift methods when visiting plants, including the use of tire bladders filled right from the pipeline.)

VN01: A Space-Saving Valve For Severe Service

When you need a double block and bleed isolation option, you could install a multi valve, or you could use the Swagelok VN01 valve for a single, lighter, compact unit with a single CRN number. That means less strain on your piping system and a reduced need for structural support, which is especially important when you need to protect your components from vibration.

You can get it with a standard or 3/4-inch male NPT inlet, or a 3/4-inch pipe weld. For the outlet, you have a choice of a standard half-inch female NPT fitting, but other options are available including a flange. There also are optional gauge ports.


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


 

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These Free PDFs Proved Especially Popular This Year

Tue, Jan 09, 2018 @ 09:01 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Downloads, Resources

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With a few quick clicks you too can get the top downloads of 2017


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In 2017 our customers downloaded hundreds of PDFs off of our website, check out the most popular downloads of the year below and get your own copies.


Edmonton Valve wants you to have all the information you need to keep your fluid systems running efficiently and leak-free. We often use our blog to point readers to good resources. Here are the five that got the most clicks in 2017. If any are new to you, it's worth a click to see what you can get.

Equipment rentals 

There's no substitute for having the right tools for the job. But there is a substitute for investing a lot of money in tool purchases. Just rent what you need from Edmonton Valve & Fitting. Orbital welding systems, hydraulic swaging units, tube coning tools — we have all that and more, usually available by the day, week or month. We can teach you how to use the equipment too.

And if you think that you might use a particular tool often enough to justify a purchase, we can provide loaner equipment for evaluation before you make the investment. 

Special alloys

Ordinary materials won't work for some applications. You need components made of special alloys. But choosing the right alloy can be a daunting task. Fortunately, Edmonton Valve can help streamline the process of finding, specifying, and ordering special alloy products. We have the industry knowledge, metallurgy expertise, quality reputation, layers of support, and skills in both design and manufacturing to assist with your job requirements. 

Custom solutions

We have a world of knowledge about Swagelok parts. Who better, then, to help you combine them for the optimum solution for your challenges?

Maybe you have an idea, a sketch on a sketch on a napkin, or just a recent conversation to go on. We can enhance your design ideas with 3D drawings compatible with your engineering drawing system. Then we can provide and assemble all the components to meet your exacting requirements. That includes high-volume tube bending and swaging, orbital welding, custom hose cutting and end connection selection. We offer custom component, assembly, and enclosure fabrication, including grab sample panels, enhanced oil recovery options, changeover manifolds and gas seal panels.

All of our custom solutions services are backed by the Swagelok Limited Lifetime Warranty. 

Service and training

High-quality work requires proper training by expert instructors. Swagelok’s training and education programs provide valuable and practical tools for keeping up with the latest fluid system technologies. We can train you in person at our own classroom or at your site. We also have training videos and online classes you can access at your own convenience.

We can cover the basics of tube bending and fitting, or teach you advanced techniques. We have three different courses on sample systems that will help you diagnose, troubleshoot and eliminate sampling system design flaws. You can tap into our video library as well for topics from tube bending assembly to regulator applications.

Ask us

When you haven't found an answer to your specific question, or don't have much time to look, just ask. We're very pleased to find our "ask" page among the most popular. Just tell us who you are and what you need, and we'll get back to you by email. Remember: We keep your information private and we never spam.


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In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780.819.2665.


 

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We're Back!

Thu, Jan 04, 2018 @ 14:01 PM / by Alecia Robinson

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Thanks for your patience while we worked out some website issues


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If you wondered what was going on with our website at the very end of 2017, you aren't alone.

Without getting into the technical jargon, we had to update some security settings, and we had to coordinate that effort with Swagelok's headquarters in Ohio. But because of holiday schedules, it took longer than expected to get all the web-related technology in sync.

In the meantime we temporarily had to redirect visitors from our regular Edmonton site to a site hosted by Swagelok. We also were unable to post fresh material to our blog, and you may have received an email from us with some links that didn't work properly, we apologize for that.

The good news is that we had everything untangled for the start of the new year. We have some great new content planned for 2018. As always, we're looking forward to helping you with anything related to fluid systems.


What you may have missed


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


 

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Emerging Associates Stretch Beyond The Basic Job

Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 15:11 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in People

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Program offers a chance for newer and younger associates to explore and grow


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During this emerging associate meeting our group of associates participated in a few team building exercises, including the one above where we had to work as a team to untangle this cluster of hands.


While there can be a lot of satisfaction in a job well done, many people delight in a chance to stretch a little and acquire fresh skills in new areas. Our company president, Keith Johns, saw such a program in action a few years ago while visiting Swagelok headquarters. He wanted to give the associates at Edmonton Valve & Fitting a chance to participate in something similar. And so we started our Emerging Associates program with about a dozen people.

The Emerging Associates program has two main components. One subgroup focuses on the social side of our business, finding ways for our associates to start conversations with others at Edmonton Valve outside their normal day-to-day contacts. For instance, the group gathered on a Saturday earlier this year for some team building exercises. It was a fun way to improve our performance as a group and to help associates improve themselves as individuals.

The other subgroup focuses on community engagement by taking on some charity projects. So, for instance, we got involved in a blood drive as part of the annual Edmonton Corporate Challenge. We had an evening of slow pitch with a barbecue afterward. And we've participated in some obstacle course races.

There can be some crossover as well. The charity projects draw participation from associates throughout the company, including those in the social subgroup.

A free hand

The details of the subgroups' operation are up to the associates. They come up with an annual plan for the group. Human Resources manager Ben Grant and a couple of other managers help them get the necessary internal approvals and figure out where funds will come from.

While we try to keep things casual. Primarily an associate has to be interested in improving some aspect of our business. We typically ask for at least a one-year commitment from each associate in the group. We want to foster the chemistry and bonding that comes from tackling a project with the same people over time.

Now we're getting ready to refresh the program by having some associates "graduate" and bringing some others aboard. Since we have only about 65 associates at Edmonton Valve, we prefer to keep the Emerging Associates group at its current size, while maintaining a good cross-section of disciplines.

A strong, cohesive group of associates helps us do our jobs better, which means giving better service to our customers.


Additional resources


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


 

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Small Bore Tubing Has Big Advantages Over Piping

Wed, Nov 22, 2017 @ 08:11 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Tubing, Cost Savings

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It's light, it bends, it creates a smooth flow path, and the installed cost is lower


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Threaded connection points are the most vulnerable areas to leakage in a fluid distribution system so why not reduce the number of threaded connections and switch your pipe system to tube.

Tubing Data PDF


Let's bust a myth about small-bore tubing. Too many people still think it's more expensive than pipe. That might be true if all you did was buy the tubing and leave it in a pile on the floor. But whether you buy pipe or tubing, you still have to install it. That's where tubing makes up the cost difference, and then some.

If you are welding pipe, you'll need a hot-work permit, plus a welding expert who will cost you about $100 to $150 per hour. A regular tube fitter can assemble small-bore tubing with only a half-day of training. And we offer the training as well as the tubing.

If you are installing pipe with threaded fittings, someone still needs to cut all the threads. With tubing, assembly is quick and easy. By the way, the reason pipe walls are so thick is not to hold more pressure, but so that material can be cut away to make the threads. The fact is, tubing has a much higher ratio of strength to weight than pipe does.

Extra advantages

Your piping design options will be restricted by the limitations of pipe. Pipe has to make a straight run from one connection to the next, whereas tubing can be bent. The bending means you can change direction without having to add a series of fittings. That means fewer potential leak points, and a smoother flow path than you would get with the sharp angles of piping.

Aesthetically, tubing looks a lot nicer too.

When it comes to weight, tubing is the obvious choice over pipe. That's important not only for the weight of the fluid system in place, but also for shipping. If you are an OEM and building an assembly, more weight means higher shipping costs.

Tools and training

Despite the name, small bore tubing is small only in comparison to the pipe it replaces. It's actually larger than most tubing, and includes anything from 3/4 inch on up. That means it requires special tools and training. But don't worry: Edmonton Valve & Fitting provides both. You don't even have to buy the tools, because we rent them.

Over the years, we've seen demand increase for our hydraulic swaging units and tube benders, which tells us that more companies are realizing to the advantages of tubing

Will small-bore tubing really save money compared to piping? We have a cost calculator that can show you. Call us at 780-437-0640 or contact us through our website, and then tell us the lengths of pipe you need, how many fittings, and other details of your project. We we can come up with an estimated cost comparison if you use small bore tubing instead.  


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Calipers, Combs, And Guides Help Make Sense of Threads

Thu, Nov 09, 2017 @ 12:11 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Valves, Fittings, Measurement Devices

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Scratching your head about threads? We have three tools that solve the mystery

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  The Pipe and Tube Sizes board (pictured above) is at our back counter. Bring in your fittings and we can help determine the sizing.
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  The thread pitch gauge is another tool we use to help with thread size - it's even available for purchase! To get more info on sizing, download the Thread and End Connection ID Guide PDF.

Can you tell the thread size and thread pitch on a component just by looking at it? Neither can we. That's why we have tools that eliminate the guesswork.

When you look at a thread, you'll see peaks (called crests) and valleys (called roots). The part in between the crest and the root is called the flank. The first thing you want to find out is whether the crests are all the same diameter. That would mean you have straight threads. So we get out our calipers and measure the first, fourth and last crests. If the measurements are the same, you have straight threads. If you get three different measurements, you have tapered threads.

There's another way to tell, provided that you are working with Swagelok parts. Other than standard NPT, Swagelok fittings are uniquely marked to indicate ISO tapered or ISO parallel threads.

Some people are surprised to learn that straight threads are not designed to seal on their own. They require a gasket, O-ring or some kind of metal-to-metal contact to finish the job.

Tapered threads are designed to seal as the mating threads are drawn together. In addition, some kind of sealant is necessary to prevent leaks. That's usually PTFE tape or a product such as SWAK.

Here comes the "pitch"

Next you need to know how close together the crests are. That's the pitch, usually expressed as the number of threads per inch.

Straight threads come in three standard kinds of measurements. The most common are SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), ISO 228/1 (also known as British Standard Pipe Parallel), and metric. Tapered threads also have several standard forms of measurement: NPT (National Pipe Thread), ISO 7/1 (also known as British Standard Pipe), and metric.

The flanks can come in different angles, known as Whitworth, unified, or metric.

To discover the pitch, we use a thread comb, also known as a pitch gauge. It looks a bit like a pocketknife, but the blades have saw-tooth edges that fit into the thread roots. We simply try different blades until we find an exact match. Some fractional and metric thread forms are very similar, so we take the time to make sure it's a true fit.

You also can turn to the Swagelok Thread and End Connection Identification Guide, which you can download for free. It has all the terminology, thread ID reference tables, and step-by-step instructions for identifying threads.

Lastly, Edmonton Valve & Fitting has a board with various sizes of threads. If you come in with a part, we can see which sample it fits.

Obviously, the threads on two parts have to have the same size and type of threads if you want to connect them. But you don't have to guess. Check in with Edmonton Valve & Fitting and we'll work with you to get the right answer. Give us a call at 780.437.0640 or get in touch below.

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