Alecia Robinson

Recent Posts

Some Hits You May Have Missed In The Past Year

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 @ 14:01 PM

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.


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: Resources

These Free PDFs Proved Especially Popular This Year

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, Jan 09, 2018 @ 09:01 AM

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.


Additional resources


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


 

Topics: Downloads, Resources

We're Back!

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

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.


 

Emerging Associates Stretch Beyond The Basic Job

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 15:11 PM

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.


 

Topics: People

Small Bore Tubing Has Big Advantages Over Piping

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 @ 08:11 AM

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.  


Additional resources


 

Topics: Cost Savings, Tubing

Calipers, Combs, And Guides Help Make Sense of Threads

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Nov 09, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

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.

GET IN TOUCH

 

Topics: Valves, Fittings, Measurement Devices

Small Hole Creates A Big Advantage For Flush Systems

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 13:11 PM

Special Swagelok flange adapter with pre-drilled orifice simplifies design


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Threaded connections can be problematic when dealing with rotating equipment. Swagelok offers orifice flanges to reduce the number of threaded connections within your flush systems. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

GET IN TOUCH


Sometimes a small modification can make a big difference in a fluid system component. Take, for instance, Swagelok's flange adapters. We've written about them before, explaining how they provide a threadless, weldless transition from flanged pipe to tubing.

We have a special flange adapter made with flush systems in mind. For our customers with rotating equipment, we offer the Swagelok orifice union and orifice flange adapters. Because the orifice is pre-drilled into the flange, between the tube fitting and the flange itself, you get a unique solution that helps reduce the number of threaded connections in your flush systems. You no longer need to worry about threaded adapters leaking due to vibration or freeze-thaw cycles. You'll also save money by not having to weld the flange.

As with all our flange adapters, they reduce both the number of connections and the overall weight.

Typically the orifice is drilled out to 1/8 inch, but we can supply custom sizes too.

If you are already using flanges to simplify your system design, reduce weight and end up with fewer leak points, you already understand the value of these flange adapters for flush systems in rotary equipment. If you haven't yet made the switch to flange adapters, we can help you get started. All it takes is a call to 780-437-0640, or you can contact us through our website.


Additional resources


 

Topics: Tubing, Fittings

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.


Additional resources

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.


Additional resources

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

Meet Mike Taylor

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Wed, Oct 04, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

His earlier career with a puck helped break the ice with our customers


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You've probably seen Mike Taylor's name on the blog before and now you get to find out about the man himself.


Job titles don't always give a complete picture of what a person does. Take Mike Taylor, who is officially one of our account managers in sales and service. Most of the time he manages accounts for valves and fittings, but he also wears a few other hats.

For instance, we've flown him all over North America to conduct energy audits for clients. He's been trained on hose advisory services, too. In fact he's done a variety of jobs in his 16 years with Edmonton Valve.

Like most of our staff, Taylor started in the warehouse picking parts for orders and getting familiar with our inventory. Then he helped us start our mobile inventory management service. Taylor was in charge of building the routes and schedules. After managing mobile inventory for a while, he moved over to customer service for a few years.

A sales territory opened up when longtime associate Jim Begg moved over to the training side of the business, and Taylor move into Begg's old job.

"I don't call him Jim; I always call him Mr. Begg," Taylor says. "He did such a terrific job of managing that territory that I got really lucky taking over."

Second career

Even though Taylor joined us fresh out of college at age 22, this is his second career. The first was as a midget hockey player. He started out playing for his hometown Medicine Hat Tigers, and finished up his playing career with Bonnyville.

How does a person move from hockey to valves and fittings? Well, his father owned a steel company in Medicine Hat, so Taylor grew up with some knowledge of how industrial companies work. His brother started an engineering company. When Taylor was ready to pick up his college diploma and start a sales career, he asked his brother to name the best companies to approach. The list was short: only four names, and at the top of the list was Edmonton Valve.

"I pulled in to Edmonton Valve to drop off my resume at the front door," Taylor recalls. "They don't normally take an interview from somebody who drops off a resume, but somebody had canceled that day." He ended up talking with company president Keith Johns, and soon was on board.

Transferable skills

Playing hockey gave Taylor an unusual advantage when came to work for us. When he started our mobile inventory fleet, he took care of the western side of Alberta.

"I had played in a lot of those towns, and a lot of the Junior Hockey teams are supported by corporate donations. A lot of the donors are oil and gas companies," Taylor says. " When I started with the mobile truck, I ran into a lot of people who supported teams I played for or against."

It was a great way to break the ice, so to speak.

We've received some dividends from hockey too. For the past 12 years Edmonton Valve has been part of a yearly industrial hockey tournament. Taylor has helped run things both at the team and tournament levels. It's a great chance for him to work with some of our customers in a relaxed setting where they can get to know one another better.

Not surprisingly, Taylor is also one of the top scorers in Edmonton Valve's lunchtime hockey games. But having already proved his talents in midget hockey, Taylor sees it more as an opportunity to have fun.

Taylor lives south of Edmonton in the compact community of Beaumont. His neighbors include a couple of other Edmonton Valve associates, and their children have grown up as friends.

"They have been raised by the culture of Edmonton Valve, which is a highly respectful company that takes care of their employees and their families," Taylor says. "My family has always been floored and amazed by the understanding and generosity that Keith Johns has always had toward family."


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: People