Katie Reid

Recent Posts

Meet Alecia Robinson

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, Dec 07, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

She makes sure our customers can easily find us in a variety of places


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Robinson, pictured fourth from the left above, described the Mustard Seed event as one of the highlights of this year.


Usually you'll see Alecia Robinson's name in the byline on these posts, but today we're turning the tables to put her in the spotlight.

She's our Marketing and Communications Specialist, the person who manages our presence online and our internal communication with associates in Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Drayton Valley. When you attend one of our events or visit our booth at a trade show, you see even more that Robinson helped create.

There's a lot to the job. Many people will see this post on our blog, for instance, but others will read it on LinkedIn or Facebook. We try to be wherever our customers and prospective customers feel the most comfortable meeting us. If you follow us on Twitter, you can connect with us there too.

And don't forget our brick-and-mortar office. We like it when people stop by in person.

Quick start

Robinson was working as a project manager for an industrial supply company in Edmonton last year when she heard that Edmonton Valve needed to fill a position. She went through a lengthy interview process, as all applicants do, because we want people who fit in well and will stick around.

"One of the questions I asked during an interview was what the turnover rate with the company was. And the average length of service at Edmonton Valve was around 20 years," Robinson says. "That was a pretty attractive answer to hear.”

We also like to take our time bringing people on board, often having new arrivals pick parts in the warehouse for a while so that they can get familiar with our inventory. But this time we had a deadline to deal with that was beyond our control: Robinson was going to take over the job from Katie Reid, who was about to go on maternity leave.

"When I got in, Katie only had a week left," Robinson says. Fortunately, it was nearly Christmas and business had slowed down enough that she could shadow a few people and get familiar with our operation.

She fit in quickly, getting involved with our Community Involvement group and participating in events such as our recent volunteer shift at the Mustard Seed in Edmonton, cooking, serving meals for 247 people and cleaning up.

"It was a rewarding experience," Robinson says. "It's nice that we are able to give back."

Always learning

As she nears the one year mark with Edmonton Valve & Fitting, Robinson has learned a lot along the way, including a new role.

After relocating to Fort McMurray branch in July she has added the role of customer service representative to her title. "Between the two roles I am learning something new every day." Robinson says.


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

Specifically Made for Alberta's Needs: The ZSML Fitting

Posted by Katie Reid on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 14:12 PM

Swagelok 1035 Grade Carbon Steel, MoS2 coating helps the tube fittings withstand the heat of steam-assisted gravity drainage


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Swagelok's ZSML fitting, as pictured above, is specially coated with a 1035 Grade Carbon Steel, MoS2 covering that was developed for the SAGD industry in Northern Alberta. If you would like more information on this product line, get in touch with us today.

GET IN TOUCH


Eighty percent of Alberta's oil sands are too far below the surface for open pit mining. To get the oil out, companies have to use methods such as steam-assisted gravity drainage. And for SAGD to work properly, it needs parts such as Swagelok's ZSML fitting. To understand why ZSML fittings are so important, take a quick look at how SAGD works.

Get moving

SAGD uses a pair of horizontal wells, one about 4 to 6 metres above the other. Steam is injected into the upper well, heating up the surrounding oil. That makes the oil less viscous. Gravity then draws the oil down to the second well, where it can be extracted.

The fittings on the steam generators must withstand high temperatures, and even Swagelok's ordinary carbon steel fitting won't do. That's why Swagelok came up with the ZSML fitting. This unique coating (1035 Grade Carbon Steel, MoS2) allows the fitting to withstand temperatures of up to 427 degrees C! But you won't find it in any Swagelok catalogue as it was designed specifically for Alberta and our extreme conditions. Swagelok even sent its engineers to SAGD sites to see the field conditions before creating the ZSML fitting. 

Inside knowledge

You might wonder how our customers know how to order the ZSML fittings if they aren't in the catalogue. Most of those who are involved in setting up SAGD systems are already familiar with this special fitting. We also can provide a value added service of going into the field to teach maintenance and repair crews about this specific part if needed.

Maybe you have a special need and can't find the kinds of parts you are looking for. Don't assume that the catalogue tells you everything you'd want to know. Give Edmonton Valve & Fitting a call. We might know of a component that will do the job for you. And it's even possible that Swagelok would be willing to design something if it doesn't already exist.  Ask us about the ZSML fitting here.

 

 


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, Steam, Fittings

Use a Swagelok Regulator to Speed up Analytical Systems

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


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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.

GET IN TOUCH



Also see

Topics: Sample Systems, Regulators

Need Extra Protection for Hose? We Have You 'Covered'

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, Nov 03, 2016 @ 15:11 PM

Preserve your investment against abrasion, kinking, permeation and temperature with these 6 cover options

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Once you've figured out the right materials for a hose, consider giving it some extra protection with a cover. Not sure about the hose types or end connections, download our Hose Quick Look:

Download: Hose Quick Look


Hoses can be subject to a variety of outside forces that speed up wear and tear. With the right cover, the service life will be extended.

Here are some of your options:

  • Fire Jacket
  • Thermosleeve
  • Armor Guard
  • Spiral Guard
  • Nanogel Cover
  • Spring Guard

Fire Jacket

Fire Jacket is made of woven fiberglass coated with silicone rubber. It protects and insulates the hose from internal temperature extremes. It guards against molten splashes and flames, and helps resist hydraulic and lubricating oils.

Thermosleeve

Thermosleeve is a braided fiberglass cover saturated with a synthetic coating. By preventing direct contact with the hose, this cover gives some protection to people handling the hose in high-temperature service, and protects the hose from weld splatter, ultraviolet light and abrasion.

Armor Guard

Stainless steel Armor Guard covers offer highly flexible protection against hose damage from the movement of gas cylinders, or any other application that might put a crushing force on the hose. The strength of steel also can protect the entire length of the hose from kinking, without impairing hose flexibility.

Spiral Guard

Our helical plastic Spiral Guard cover can be applied to hoses already in service, making it a quick way to add highly flexible protection from abrasion. You can add it to the entire hose, or just to the ends.

316 Stainless Steel Braid

Braided stainless steel gives extra protection against external corrosive materials. It also increases the pressure retaining capabilities of the hose itself.

Nano-Gel Cover

This is the cover you need to protect hose from freeze-ups in cryogenic service.

Spring Guard

Made of helical stainless steel, Spring Guard is highly flexible, yet it helps the hose resist kinking and abrasion. This is another cover that can be applied either to the ends or to the entire hose.

If you would like to discuss or see the options for yourself, please get in touch with us today.

GET IN TOUCH



Also see

Topics: Hoses

Insulated Tubing Gives You Temperature Control

Posted by Katie Reid on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 @ 12:10 PM

Because it differs from ordinary tubing, so do the installation instructions


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There are times when ordinary tubing alone won't get the job done. One of those times is when you need to control the temperature of the fluid inside, or control the surface temperature of the tubing itself. That's when you might want to consider insulated tubing - download the catalogue below.

Download Pre-Insulated Tubing


Swagelok insulated tubing is designed for use in applications such as steam supply, condensate return, and gas and liquid transport lines, where weatherproofing and energy conservation are important. It helps protect personnel from hot process and steam lines, reduces heat loss, and offers a cost-effective alternative to field-installed insulation of small-diameter tubing systems.

Tubing lengths and bends

Because the tubing itself is different, so is the installation procedure.

First consider the length of tubing. You'll want to allow at least 12 inches of straight tubing before connecting it to fittings. For steam-trace tubing bundles, add enough length to connect the tracer to the supply connection and to the return connection. For electric-traced tubing bundles, add enough length to connect to the power supply. Include 6 inches for inside the junction box. Don't forget to include extra length to heat any other devices at the end of the bundle. Also, use the approved power connection and termination kits.

You'll want to use a centerline tool when you are bending tubing bundles to connect them to instrumentation. Start by cutting and removing the jacket and insulation on the tubing, so that you can see the process and tracer tubes. Insert the tube bundle through the seal boot in the tool, unscrew the center nut, and remove the center bend shoe. Now you'll be able to fully insert the tube bundle and gently bend the tubes against the outer shoes.

Install the center bend shoe and tighten the center nut. Bend the tubes against the center shoe until the tubes are parallel. Insert the tube bundle through the seal boot again, and remove the tubing bundle from the tool. To protect the insulation, seal the bundle ends with a heat shrink end seal boot.

Need further assistance on installation or have questions on our pre-insulated tubing bundles? Call our office, we are here to help at (780)-437-0640



Also see

Topics: Training, Tubing

Customers Rate Edmonton Valve's Performance

Posted by Katie Reid on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 14:10 PM

Our surveys tell us where we shine and where we needed a little more polish


Swagelok's President and Chief Executive Officer Art Anton, speaks in the above video on the importance of continuous improvement and how our customer's feedback and insight are helping drive our future actions. 


The only opinions that really matter in business are the opinions of our customers. So that's what we measure. "We" in this case means Edmonton Valve & Fitting, Drayton Valve, Fort McMurray Valve, and Swagelok Co. Last year more than 10,000 Swagelok customers took time out of their busy schedules to participate in Swagelok’s 2015 Global Customer Survey.

The short answer is that our customers like us, but there are a few areas where we could do even better.

Looking good

The most basic measure is the Net Promoter Score. We ask our customers: “How likely are you to recommend Swagelok to a friend or colleague?” NPS is based on the idea that customers can be divided into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors. For the 2015 global  survey sample, 57 percent of customers are promoters, up from 53 percent in 2014.

Beyond that basic metric, Swagelok is being recognized for its services as well as its parts. For instance, nearly half of respondents say Swagelok has evolved beyond being a supplier of components.

Swagelok set a worldwide goal of having regularly stocked items sitting on the shelf 90 percent of the time when an order comes in. Actual performance hit hit 93 percent.

Of the thousands of orders we receive for make-to-order products (products that are not regularly stocked), the goal was to meet the delivery date 99 percent of the time. Since February 2016, we are doing better than 98 percent and still improving.

Taken as a whole, Swagelok’s brand scores are very strong, competitive with industry benchmarks and, in some cases, at or near world-class levels. We scored highest when it came to reliability, our excellent reputation, product quality, meeting customer needs, being easy to do business with, and being helpful. Basically, customers say we are strongly aligned with their expectations.

However, there are other areas where Swagelok needs to improve:

  • We need to work harder to be recognized as an expert partner, with services that go beyond those of a components supplier.
  • We need to do a better job of demonstrating our overall value and impact on our customers’ business performance.
  • We need to create more regular contact with our customers and share more information.
  • We need to do better on lead times for make-to-order products and response times to inquiries.

The boss gets it

In a special video (posted above), Art Anton, president and CEO of Swagelok Co., explains how that information affects us.

"We know that our quality is excellent and our service is excellent. Those are two things we don't want to change," he says, addressing customers directly. "But we realized you want us to be quicker, and you need us to be most specific with regards to your own fluid system needs. We get very upset when we disappoint. But we know we're not perfect, and we're working real hard to get better."

In fact, we had two initiatives under way even before the 2015 survey results came in.

In 2015, Swagelok held 30 continuous improvement events on our shop floor, and in 2016, we aim to hold 50. These are called Point Kaizen events, something we learned from a tour of Toyota in Japan. It requires that we are out on the shop floor, embedded in work cells, and experimenting with alternatives to improve speed.

Swagelok also we completed our SAP implementation for corporate manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, and finance areas. This new system makes it easier to quickly address issues related to delivery times. Now, Swagelok is moving on to two related projects: supply chain optimization and a SAP implementation for sales and service centers such as Edmonton Valve & Fitting and our branches. These and other ongoing improvements will yield more automation and faster response and lead times for our customers.

So if a representative of Edmonton Valve & Fitting or one of our branches ever asks you how we're doing, don't hesitate to give us a straight answer. We appreciate the compliments, but we really appreciate when people point out areas for improvement.


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, People

More than Just a Facelift: Our Edmonton Valve Website Is Easier to Use

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 16:10 PM

Our redesigned site works just as well on your phone or tablet as it does on your desktop


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Noticed a change when you come to our website? The updated site is easy to navigate and gets you to where you want to be in fewer clicks. Plus it looks great on your phone or tablet! 


We've been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make our website work better for you. Now we're showing it off and asking for your opinion.

Yes, we tried to make the site look better, but there's a lot more to it than that. Now when you visit Edmonton Valve & Fitting online, you'll be able to get more information, get it faster, and see it easily no matter what kind of device you are using.

Continuous Improvement - always

We really began beefing up our website back in 2012. That was the same year we launched this blog and started to make our most-requested written materials available on our site. We started posting to social media sites too. Since then we've constantly been adding content and tweaking the organization.

Along the way we noticed that we had to adapt to a fast changing tech world. New web tools come onto the market, and people adopt new ways of using them. We became aware that our old navigation tools were getting harder to use as we added more and more material. So we have worked out a better roadmap for our site.

Like every other company with a website, we realized that our content didn't always look the same on a smartphone or a tablet as it did on a standard desktop computer. Now you should find the site just as easy to use no matter what device you choose.

Reorganization

We didn't stop there, though. We also wanted to take a step back and make sure our information was presented in the most logical way. We analyzed which parts of our site were most popular, and tried to make them easier to reach. Think of it as being able to take more direct flights to the information you want instead of having to make a stopover first.

We've introduced product pages where you can get all the available literature on a given product category such as tubing, regulators, filters, and more. We have collected our video files under our Resources link, along with plenty of catalogues. As part of making it easier to get information, we've reduced the number of forms we ask you to fill out.

More to come

This isn't the end of our list of improvements. In fact, it's only the beginning. Technology will continue to evolve, our content will continue to grow, and Swagelok will continue to set new standards for fluid system components. We are excited to share out that content with our readers.

Come back often to see what's new. And let us know what you think, your opinion matters to us! Email marketing@edmontonvalve with your feedback, comments - thanks!


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, Q&A

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. 

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"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

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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

Golf Tournament Gives Swagelok Staff a Shot at In-house Fame

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 15:09 PM

This one's for the associates, with proceeds going toward fire relief programs in Fort McMurray


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Many of our associates and their guests got into the afternoon with flashy golf outfits - too bad there was no prize for the most fashionable!


There are a lot of people at Edmonton Valve & Fitting who have never had the chance to play in our annual charity golf tournament for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. And it's not because they wouldn't enjoy playing, but because that tournament is primarily an event held for our customers.

But on September 10th associates from our Edmonton, Drayton, and Fort Mac offices got the chance to show off their golfing skills as we launched the first Edmonton Valve Associate Open. With associates and their spouses in attendance the event took place at the Mill Woods Golf Course and each player’s entry fee going to support the Fort McMurray Food Bank to help with fire relief.

No experience required

"It was a pretty relaxed day," says Richard Llewellyn of our customer service desk, who is one of the tournament organizers. "The weather started out a bit chilly and wet but it definitely improved and the sun came out for a great afternoon of golf.”

All associates and guests had a great time on the course. There were 4 first-time golfers and half a dozen golfers who have only hit the greens once or twice before. There were a few near-misses with golf carts almost being hit by stray golf balls but everyone got away safely.

Recognition

The day ended with a barbecue dinner and awards for longest drive for men and women, closest to the pin, and a few other categories including the top team prize and the most honest team! And although there were no prizes for best dressed, there were some associates that took their golf fashion to the next level.

IMG_3452A.jpgPictured above is the winning team, from left to right - Steve, Heidi, Jon, and Chris - great job team!

Overall the event is considered to a great success. Everyone in attendance had an awesome time with lots of laughs both on and off the green, and most importantly raising money for a cause that we are happy to support. With golf season coming close to an end we are already looking forward to the next associate event and sharing it with our readers – stay posted!


In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch - we respond fast! Or call 780-437-0640


 

Topics: People, Events