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The Fluid Systems Engineering and Management Blog

by Swagelok Northern California

Steam Systems: Do you know yours like the back of your hand?

by Tony De Luca, on 8/14/12 12:00 PM

(And do newer members of the crew know it just as well?)

steam systems

By the time a steam system needs a serious going-over, senior staff who knew it best may have retired. Through Swagelok Northern California you can access a team of full-time field engineers.

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Set up properly, a steam system can be easy to deal with for a decade or more. Oddly enough, that longevity can sometimes pose a challenge for the newer members of maintenance crews.

In the “old days”, veterans had time to pass along years of acquired knowledge before they retired. In today’s tight economy, companies are running with leaner crews. By the time a steam system needs a serious going-over, the senior people who knew it best may have been retired for a couple of years. The people now responsible for maintaining and operating the steam system might hesitate when it comes to tasks outside the normal routine – like condensate removal, flash steam recovery, or how to eliminate water hammer.

More and more, they are turning to Swagelok Northern California and Swagelok Energy Advisors for help. Swagelok Energy Advisors has a core team of full-time field engineers in North America. They’re on the road three out of every four weeks. In 2011 they conducted 62 steam system reviews, held 26 training events and supported clients on several large projects.

Independent review by steam system specialists

The team is made up of mechanical engineers with experience working with steam systems in a variety of industries, such as oil and gas, food, beverage, and dairy, and petrochemical. Altogether they have about a century of hands-on experience. Not only do they know steam, they know how it is applied in various processes. So even if it is a new process, they understand what is going on with the system. Swagelok Energy Advisors won’t just tell you that you need a valve in a particular spot, they’ll explain why.

Onsite customized training

Recently, Swagelok Energy Advisors have delivered more customized training. Courses include the Ten Action Points of a Steam System, Steam Trap Examiner’s Training, and more comprehensive courses ranging from full system review to Boiler Plant Operations.

Unlike general training that is conducted in conference centers, customized training involves coming out to your site. Often the advisors will come out the day before to discuss specific issues, then tailor the next day’s training to address them.

In addition, the field engineers’ recommendations won’t try to squeeze a Swagelok component into a steam configuration if it’s not the best part for the job. In fact, Swagelok Energy Advisors like it best when they can be in on the ground floor, helping customers design systems properly right from the start.

Steam is a stable technology with a lot of history behind it. Swagelok Energy Advisors help keep up that tradition. With targeted training and education, you can improve safety, increase productivity, and keep abreast of the latest fluid system technology.

Steam system training and assessments

Learn more about getting assessment and training from steam system experts. More »

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Tony De Luca is an SEA Specialist at Swagelok Northern California. Contact our team »


We perform under pressure

Your fluid systems can't fail—and they can't leak. That's why Swagelok Northern California offers mission critical solutions for the petrochem, semi, power, and oil and gas industries around the Bay Area and into NW Nevada. We manufacture and assemble reliable, customizable components that get the job done. Contact our team today to learn about custom solutions for your plant or refinery.

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Fremont, CA 94538
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