VMA's Valve Basics Course, Oct. 2-5 in Houston, Helps Fill the Skills Gap

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The Valves, Actuators & Controls 101 course was developed by the Valve Manufacturers Association for industry newcomers, as well as those who have been working in the flow control industry and are seeking more comprehensive knowledge about the products used in industrial valve applications.

At the top of the list of concerns for most industrial companies today is how to fill the gap of knowledge that has occurred as experienced employees retire at the same time the numbers of unfilled positions rises. This reality is one of the main reasons the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) created its Valve Ed program in 2009—to offer a course that provides a primer on valves, actuators, controls and related flow control equipment.

The next basics event is Oct. 3-5 at the Houston Area Safety Council in Pasadena, TX, a state-of-the-art training facility chosen because of the need for expanded space for one of the most popular parts of the program: hands-on learning.

The three-day event features VMA’s Valves, Actuators & Controls 101 course, which starts with a general introduction to the industry followed by learning the different types of valves (e.g., linear, check, quarter-turn and pressure-relief) and actuators (manual, fluid-powered and electric). In addition, solenoids and control valves and systems are explained, as well as on/off panels for controls. Lessons also cover topics such as packings and fugitive emissions, valve materials, critical service applications, valve data feedback, and maintenance and repair.

To enhance their learning, attendees have the opportunity to see some of the products discussed through a tabletop exhibition on Oct. 3, and each day also includes trips to the "Valve Petting Zoo," a hands-on experience where attendees can touch and see the equipment discussed in class, as well as ask questions of the presenters.

The sessions are taught by long-term experts in the industry, and the conference appeals to a range of professionals—from newcomers to the field to those who need refresher courses on the basics or an expanded knowledge of flow control products, along with those who sell into the industry or buy from its vendors. End-users, personnel from EPC or AEC firms, distributors and manufacturers all participate, with numerous opportunities available for networking. In addition, senior-level mechanical engineering students are invited to attend at no cost.

VMA provides a price break for companies with more than one attendee. The cost is $1,150 per person for a single attendee and $1,050 for each subsequent registrant. Participants receive 18 PDHs (professional development hours) upon course completion. Also included is a manual and electronic copy of the slides and notes.

The complete program, exhibitor materials and online registration is available at http://www.VMA.org/ValveBasics

About VMA: Poised to celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2018, the Washington, DC-based Valve Manufacturers Association of America represents nearly 100 U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of valves, actuators and controls, as well as distributors and suppliers. The membership accounts for about 80% of total industrial valve shipments.

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