As the valve turns

The first project I worked on out of college was the design of a large chemical plant. I spent a little more than a year as part of the design team and then volunteered to go to the field to provide I&C support during construction. It was a super exciting opportunity! Over the next year and a half I would get to see a design that I had worked on for my entire professional career (all 12 1/2 months of it) rise from the ground and come to life. At the time I volunteered, I knew it was going to be a “stretch” opportunity (which really meant that I had no idea what I would be doing, or how to do it, but that in all likelihood I would be able to figure it out along the way before I crashed and burned too spectacularly). What I didn’t know at the time was how little I actually knew, not only about engineering and construction, but also about how important your ability to work with others and present ideas is. Below is a story of one instance in which that became a little bit clearer.

The project used a type of control valve that like many valves, has a specific flow direction noted on the valve body. We found ourselves in a situation where many of the valves positioners were facing a wall or pipe and completely inaccessible. This was noticed shortly after installation of the first group of valves so I, the bright eyed and bushy tailed young engineer, requested…

Read Full Article: InTech Plus Automation Perspectives: As the valve turns