lenging. Factor in the cost and time involved in recruiting,
training and retaining staff, and outsourcing becomes a more
attractive option for many end users.
This creates continued opportunities for quality OEM-authorized service providers that can deliver the products,
service and expertise end users need.
Another emerging trend is the use of “smart” valve diagnostics technology. This technology has evolved greatly in the
valve industry in the past 10 years, and just as a new car can
self-diagnose many problems, so, too can many of today’s
valves. Valve performance is monitored and the data is collected so this information can be used to identify causes of
performance problems and even predict a problem before it
disrupts a process.
The following example illustrates how this works: A
“smart” device with on-valve diagnostics is placed on a valve
to monitor its performance in real time. Over time, a condition, such as excess friction, is identified and a warning message is sent to a remote help desk. The local service provider
is called. The technician sees the warning message and the
potential cause of the problem. He might use a tablet computer to access the asset management system that contains
the valve’s specifications, maintenance history and troubleshooting guide. He could then identify the parts needed to
complete the repair, check the service firm’s on-hand inventory and even view reference videos produced by the OEM.
This technology is available today from OEM providers,
and its use will go from a growing trend to common practice
in the future. Remote monitoring of valve performance helps
end users identify which valve is experiencing performance
issues, determine when a valve needs to be repaired, and how
critical the valve may be to the process. Quality OEM-author-ized providers understand this technology and can help end
users develop a thoughtful plan for adopting it.
These trends can all be boiled down to a growing preference for that grocery-story development: the desire for one-stop shopping. Increasingly, end users are seeking a single
valve service provider that can provide service, parts, valves
and advanced maintenance planning technology across an
entire facility, regardless of type and make. By diversifying
offerings to meet this demand, service providers can position
themselves for success in the years to come. On the other
hand, end users who partner with quality providers that can
deliver this breadth and depth may find significant opportunities to improve their facilities’ performance. VM
GARY OSTROWSKI is director of product management – aftermarket with GE
Energy’s Masoneilan and Consolidated product lines ( www.ge-energy.com).
Reach him at email@example.com.
Turn it on now!
8th Biennial Valve World Conference & Exhibition
November 27 – 29, 2012
Va Wo Co e
The VALVE WORLD EXPO presents continual growth,
outstanding innovations and the highest level of technology
at the Düsseldorf location again in 2012. Valves and the
complete range of accessories as well as valve-related
technologies are the focus. As the most important event
for the industry, the Valve World Conference analyzes the
future of markets against a backdrop of fascinating develop-
Turn it on! Again in Düsseldorf.
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