Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Swagelok: Helping Provide That Extra Source of Brainpower

Thu, Aug 30, 2018 @ 13:08 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Training, Value Added Services, Q&A, Resources, People

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Up to 50% of skilled workers could retire withing the next 10 years - we can help relieve that pressure


Brain

Building an effective training program can help maintain the skills of your experienced workforce and assist your new staff in getting up to speed. Let us help with our free resource, “Three Steps to Building an Effective Plant Training Program."

Download: Effective Training Program


Did you know last year alone Swagelok helped train approximately 40,000 individuals on their plant’s fluid systems? If you weren't one of them, we can assist you today. 

Building an effective training program

Not sure on where to start in building an effective training program for your plant and operations? Here is a quick overview on our free download:

  • How to meet the varied needs of your labour force
    (Step 1: "Don't leave anyone out")
  • Questions to ask when looking for a training provider 
    (Step 2: "Look for experienced instructors")
  • The proper follow-up for your people after training
    (Step 3: "Manage the 'forgetting curve' ")
  • Bonus tips for each step

Learn more about our training offerings, get in touch today. 

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Video: How Swagelok's Grab Sampling Systems Compare

Thu, Aug 23, 2018 @ 15:08 PM / by Katie Reid posted in local expert, Sample Systems, People

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Straight talk from pros, including Swagelok Field Engineer Stacey Phillips, on the difference between Swagelok Grab Sampling Systems and other options on the market.


"Every customer has a different set up in their refinery or their their area that they're working in. We have that localized capability to customize and we can go out to their site and see exactly where they're putting them. In that sense we have a little bit of an advantage."

- Stacey Phillips, Field Engineer, Swagelok Edmonton


Grab sample systems should be tailored to exactly meet your needs and simple to operate. Achieving that means having local, on-the-ground support.

Key advantages discussed in this video include:

  1. Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple and easy to operate; that's not the case with a number of other options we've seen.
  2. A lot of our competitors work through distribution networks that don't have a lot of experience with fittings and valves; here, we are fittings and valves experts and we are adding another component to them.
  3. Some of our competitors really seem to operate as parts suppliers; we think in terms of fulfilling customers' exact requirements through design optimization, customization, fabrication, assembly, and ongoing support.
  4. Our forensic capabilities are unmatched; if, for example, an analyzer cannot get the kinds of readings needed or is getting faulty readings, an operator will come and take a physical sample and bring it back to the lab to either confirm or diagnose an issue with the actual processing unit.
  5. With Swagelok, customers know they are getting a standardized offering available in just about any location, that adds tremendous value for those with multiple sites.
  6. Our customers can actually view prototypes and handle modification and tweaks to their design on-site with our engineers.

Three ways we can help you with grab sampling today


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Swagelok at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary (June 12th-14th)

Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 16:05 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Value Added Services, People, Events

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Stop by our booth #1076 to talk about hose, Grab Sample Modules and watch burst demonstrations


GPS_2016

We are looking forward to heading south to Calgary for the 2018 Global Petroleum Show from June 12th - 14th. Not only are we teaming up with our friends at Calgary Valve & Fitting but with many Swagelok associates from across North America. Make sure you register to come to the show before May 31st for Early bird pricing - see you there!


Once again, Edmonton Valve & Fitting will join forces with other Swagelok affiliates for the big Global Petroleum Show in Calgary from June 12 through 14. We'll be in our usual spot: booth 1076, right inside the doors of Hall A. We'll have 16 people manning the booth in shifts, so you will find a knowledgeable fluid system expert any time from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first two days, and until 4 p.m. on the third day.

If you haven't been to the GPS in the past, you've been missing the leading exhibition and conference for oil and gas professionals. More than 50,000 trade professionals attend GPS, while more than 100 industry leading experts share their knowledge and understanding across the event’s expansive line-up of conference sessions.

The Swagelok advantage

At our booth we'll have Swagelok hose products on display, along with grab sample panels.

We're also excited to talk to you about MEP services, where we concentrate on three areas in a plant. The first is rotating equipment such as pumps and compressors. We have the specialized fittings that make working on those systems easier, such as Thermowell Tees to reduce the number of welds and up-sizing of pipe.

The second area is energy management and utilities. The third area is conversion from traditional piping to small bore tubing (2-inches and smaller).

Throughout the show we try to have some senior representatives in the booth, so you can have a serious conversation and expect to come away with some solid information. If we can't answer your question on the spot, we'll get your contact information and get back to you as soon as we can.

So excited we could 'burst'

We will also have our burst chamber on-hand that we use in our Swagelok Total Support training classes. Our Swagelok booth staff will be running demos and you can test your skills with pulling up a tube fitting and see what pressure the tubing bursts. We suggest you compete with your peers and see who has the higher burst pressure!

So stop by, say hello, and gather some free information and expertise.We look forward to seeing you in June.


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Gain Efficiency with Edmonton Valve's Inventory Management System

Thu, May 03, 2018 @ 11:05 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Value Added Services, inventory, People

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Free up labour while easily tracking where parts are being used


Fred

Fred Wedgewood, one of our mobile inventory truck drivers in the Edmonton area, shows off a Swagelok elbow in his Kenworth truck. If you want more information on our Inventory Management System and how we can partner this service with your business, contact us!

Contact Us


Can you think of a few places you'd rather deploy your labour force than on managing your parts inventory? At the same time, maybe you aren't ready to go all in on a high-tech product like the Robocrib system?

Not to worry. Edmonton Valve & Fitting has you covered with our Inventory Management System.

Simple tools

Our Inventory Management System requires only a smart phone and a handheld scanner to get you started. All you need to do is scan the barcode on the bin each time you take a part. Whenever you want, you can generate reports detailing how many of each component you are using, and where they are being used.

We'll drive our mobile inventory truck to your site on a regular basis and fill all the bins with the components you need. It's a dual-axle Kenworth truck, so you don't have to worry about us bringing enough to replenish your supply.

When the restocking order has been processed, our drivers are able to generate a priced packing slip on the spot and electronically send the information back to Edmonton Valve. This system reduces errors, saves time, and leaves the customer knowing exactly what they have received.

We can track what you are using and make sure you get timely refills.

Good for secure sites

Our inventory management system is a good option for locations where you don't have customers or contractors walking through the site, and you can operate it on the honor system.

In a fab shop, for instance, you don't have to wait for workers to tell you afterward what parts they have used. Just call up the ID number of the job, and you have an instant bill of materials.

This system is not product dependent. As long as the part has a bar code, you can track it.

We'll be glad to tell you more. Send us a note through our website or call us at 780-437-0640.


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Meet Alecia Robinson

Thu, Dec 07, 2017 @ 10:12 AM / by Katie Reid posted in People

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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.


 

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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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Meet Mike Taylor

Wed, Oct 04, 2017 @ 10:10 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in People

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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.


 

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Meet Derek Green

Fri, Jun 30, 2017 @ 08:06 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in Custom Solutions, People

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Our Custom Solutions Operations Coordinator keeps your special project on track


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Derek Green, pictured above, has been a vital part of Edmonton Valve team over the years. If you've got questions about our Custom Solutions capabilities, give Derek a call or follow the link below.

Custom Solutions


On our seven-person Custom Solutions team, Derek Green has a lot to do with keeping a project on track. He's likely to be the one scheduling your project and making sure we have all the parts on hand to assemble it quickly.

There's no such thing as a typical workday for Green. Custom Solutions covers a wide range of projects, from something as simple as putting the identical bend in a hundred pieces of tubing to creating a complex sub-assembly with panels, valves, gauges and special fittings. Green spends a lot of time figuring out price quotes. Sometimes customers present a complete idea of what they want, and sometimes we have to start with a more general concept. It sometimes takes a few attempts to nail down exactly what the finished product should include. We make sure the details are all on file in case you ever need us to duplicate the job in the future.

When Green is figuring out the logistics of getting the parts here, the vast majority will come from Swagelok. But there are times when other manufacturers are involved as well, so we count on him to track down the vital parts.

Careful start

Green has been with us for about four years. He already had some experience in fluid systems, but more in the areas of industrial pipe and flanges. So while he served many of the same customers he works with now, he had to learn about Swagelok products and the way Edmonton Valve & Fitting operates.

We wanted to know how Green operates too. Like most of our associates, he had to go through a long process of multiple interviews before we knew we wanted to offer him the job.

"They search for a good fit. They do things right," Green says. "They just seem to care about their employees. If someone is having an issue they get to the root cause and come up with a solution that works for you and them."

We know that a person who fits in well can stay with use for decades that’s why we pay attention to where our associates want to take their careers, and give them training to help them get there.

Green's training started where so many people start: in our warehouse. There's nothing like picking parts for a few months to help a person get familiar with the Swagelok inventory. From there he moved into customer service, then to outsourcing non-Swagelok parts.

Along the way he earned a diploma in Supply Chain Management from the University of Alberta, as well as his PMP designation as a Project Manager.

The combination of experience and education made Green a good candidate when we had an opening in Custom Solutions. It also makes him a good person to talk to when you want to find out how our expertise can make your life easier. Call us at 780-437-0640 or contact us through our website to find out.


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We're Trying On Our Chef Hats At Mustard Seed

Fri, Apr 07, 2017 @ 08:04 AM / by Alecia Robinson posted in People

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Our Community Involvement Group gears up to take on a more ambitious project


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Delia Roman of our Community Involvement group is pictured with one of the goal thermometers posted around the Edmonton office. With less than one month left in our fundraising efforts we are feeling optimistic that we can reach our goal.


Our Community Involvement Group has been getting more ambitious in 2017. You may recall reading about the radiothon they participated in earlier this year to help the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. Now the group has signed up to take an evening shift at the Mustard Seed in Edmonton, cooking, serving meals and cleaning up. We've signed up to be there May 6 from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Mustard Seed has been serving people dealing with poverty and homelessness since 1988, when it opened in the old Central Baptist Church on 96th Street. Since then it has become a haven for low-income individuals and families. Today, hundreds of people rely on the organization for food, clothing, counseling and other support services such as housing assistance, employment coaching and spiritual development.

Casting a wider net

Two things make our May 6 event more ambitious than previous projects. The first is that we need at least a dozen volunteers. Fortunately, many coworkers outside the Community Involvement Group have been asking how they could participate in some of these events. In fact, that's one of the reasons we sought out an event that could involve more people.

The other challenge is that we need to raise $1,000 to cover the cost of food and to contribute toward the equipment we'll use to prepare it. Some people have donated cash and we've been collecting material to sell for recycling. That includes scrap stainless steel and copper from our in-house fabrication work. We also have held a couple of drawings. As of April 5th we are just shy of our $1,000 goal.

We had plenty of time to raise the money because a lot of groups want to help Mustard Seed, so we had to reserve our turn months in advance.

One or two members of our team have participated in similar events in the past, but most of us will need some help finding our way around the kitchen. We're grateful that Mustard Seed will make sure we get all the instruction we need before they turn us loose.

Edmonton has been good for our company, and we're looking forward to a new way of giving something back.


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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Edmonton Valve Helps Raise $1.3 Million for Stollery Foundation

Thu, Feb 02, 2017 @ 13:02 PM / by Alecia Robinson posted in People, Events

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Our Community Involvement Team was standing by to take everyone's calls


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Our Community Involvement Team was up early taking phone calls for the 18th annual Corus Radiothon. Pictured above from left to right - Delia, Andrew W., Tammy, Andrew B, and Gary - great job team!


For the second year in a row, the Community Involvement Team from Edmonton Valve & Fitting spent an early morning taking pledge calls for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. Wearing matching T-shirts, the five of them showed up at 5 a.m. on Jan. 19 for the 18th Annual Corus Radiothon.

It was the second day of a live, two-day broadcast on Corus Entertainment radio stations CISN Country 103.9, 92.5 Fresh Radio and 630 CHED. From the lobby of the hospital, dozens of young patients and their families shared their stories over the air, while volunteers staffed the phone bank.

Faithful donors

"The neat thing we really noticed is that even though there has been a general economic downturn, people were still making the donations," says Andrew Worthington of our Community Involvement Team.

This year's Radiothon raised $1.3 million for the foundation's Direct Impact Fund, undesignated funds used for the Hospital’s most urgent equipment, research, training and program needs.

Busy venue

Our team was right out in the main lobby of the hospital, giving them plenty of visibility as people came in and out. It also meant a lot of commotion to work in. But the team held their concentration. We even got a brief moment of fame when one of the stations interviewed one of our team members.

"We definitely enjoyed doing it," Worthington says. "It is kind of a sought-after volunteer event. I'm looking forward to doing it next year, if we get the opportunity."

After handing over the phones to the next shift at 9 a.m., our team stretched their muscles and headed to Edmonton Valve & Fitting for a full day of work.

 


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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