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Looking Towards 2019 at Power Gen and Valve World

Kate Kunkel http://www.valvemagazine.com 2018-12-18 12:13:43
Two recent events last month brought together valve manufacturers and end users, and VMA members and staff were there to learn everything new in the industry.

At the end of November, the Valve World Expo biennial took place again in Dusseldorf and, according to Stephane Meunier, director of international business development at Cowan Dynamics, the show showed that the valve industry is still strong. "Despite a small number of exhibitors, the show was very well attended," he said. Older companies have presented some of their latest technologies along with some new names for the global valve and actuator industry. "With many of the industry leaders pursuing various realignment activities, the pulse was indicative of an exciting 2019 in advance."

Arie Bregman, vice president & General Manager of DFT Inc. considered that the show was well attended by both exhibitors and participants in the show.

"Economic sentiment in Europe is very different from that in North America or the United States," he said. The US economy is in many ways powered by oil and gas. "But Europe is not a producer of energy, only a consumer, so European countries are experiencing a much lower rate of GDP growth, so my impression is that valve consumption in Europe will be low in the coming years. 12 months ", predicted Bregman. "However, project engineering in the Middle East and the Far East is enjoying some strength, so it will be important for valve and actuator manufacturers to stay close to E & C companies in Europe for the opportunity to participate in projects outside the EU. "

Jeff Kane, director of sales and marketing at DFT Inc. has noticed numerous international visitors stopped by the company's stand. "Virtually everyone we meet is potential representatives for distribution," he said. "We can see some end users, but the majority are current representatives or potential representatives or distributors."

Kane noted that this year, everyone seemed to be excited about what happened in 2018 and positive for 2019.


According to Bill Sandler, president of VMA, the 2018 version of Power-Gen International in Orlando has been somewhat at odds with VMA and some exhibitor members. The number of exhibiting companies has declined and many VMA members who previously had a strong presence at the show have chosen not to participate this year. Furthermore, a number of companies have reduced the size of the stands.

However, while participation decreased this year, a lot of valuable information was exchanged during the event, with the theme "Where conventional meets renewables". In addition to the conference presentations, the new well-received Knowledge Hubs have provided educational content at various points in the exhibition plan.

The 2018 conference presented several tracks for hydropower, solar, wind and microgrids as well as traditional tracks such as gas turbines, plant optimization and energy storage.

There were also two key speeches from GE's Scott Strazik and former White House economist Todd Buchholz.

Scott Strazik, the new CEO of GE's newly refurbished Gas Power division, illustrated in his keynote speech the transition of gas to coal as the most important fuel in the US power generation mix. He stressed that around 700 GW of coal and nuclear power will be withdrawn over the next 20 years. Renewable energies are on the rise, but they need a resilience partner and argued that natural gas generation offered the most foolish partner.

"Basically, renewable energy is growing faster," said Strazik. "When you look at fuel dynamics, there are many opportunities for natural gas".

Strazik also noted that increased use of natural gas for energy production has made a major contribution to reducing carbon emissions. Statistics show that two-thirds of the 27% decline in CO2 in the past years is due to the transition from coal to gas.

Keynote speaker Todd Buchholz was director of economic policy for the first Bush administration. He said that free markets promote prosperity, but "the free market is not a painless market.When new companies, new products and new business partners arrive, some people get hurt."

Facing the changes in the electricity grid, he stressed that throughout the network cities acquire power directly for their residents. "Companies like Alphabet (Google) are switching to utilities to buy their own electricity, and homeowners are installing solar panels to flood the grid, of course not all brokers are eliminated, but in this hyper-competitive economy, the burden of proof it is up to the intermediary to prove that he deserves a piece of the action, a slice of the profits. "


Robert Yeager, president of Power and Water Solutions at Emerson, challenged the notion of digital twinning. "For me, when people talk about a digital twin, they talk about a picture," Yeager said. "This is something that is already obsolete, out of sync, the twin is not alive."

What is needed, he said, is something digital that has the same DNA as the implant, which uses collaboration and experience both inside and outside the company. Because it has been developed over time to incorporate cloud computing, interconnectivity, machine learning and artificial intelligence, it would automatically update when the actual situation of the plant changes.

Yeager believes the industry is already working to achieve those goals, which allow operators to solve it before they break. "This is the digital future, which is about the future of collaboration," he said.

Even the small hydro is benefiting from the technology. One example came from ABB's Glen Harrison who discussed a low-cost operations center for eight small hydropower plants in Ontario, Canada. All the plants were approaching or had exceeded 100 years. In order to reduce the cost of operations in progress, the owner cooperated with ABB to consolidate operations in a primary control center that was about 2,000 km from the plants. Using a modern HMI SCADA package, the customer is now able to centrally control all units.


These two fairs have left participants confident that 2019 will continue to bring positive changes to the valve industry. The biggest challenges will be to adapt to technological changes and find qualified people to fill vacancies.