The 12th May 2015 saw nearly 100 valve and actuator enthusiasts meet at The Celtic Manor for the annual BVAA Summer Conference and Golf Day.

The event kicked off at 9.30am with coffee & pastries served in the main conference room which also housed the exhibitors. This was better than previous years as the exhibition stands saw much more footfall. The exhibition aspect was also larger than before with a good mix companies exhibiting their products and services.

BVAA conference

The conference commenced with an address from Rob Bartlett The BVAA Director and CEO who then introduced BVAA Chairman and MD of Heap & Partners David Millar. David welcomed the delegates and then addressed some of the key issues affecting our industry including standards, the election, oil price etc then handed over to the speakers for the day:

First up was Chris Williamson from Bel Valves talking about their project to design and supply 900Bar, 10” bore HIPPS subsea valves for a major piece of work in the Caspian Sea. Chris talked us through the whole design & qualification process and discussed the various challenges met along the way with some very interesting pictures.

Next, David Anderson of Score Diagnostics presented on their intelligent valve monitoring solution “MIDAS”. David talked about the gap in the market they have filled with their valve leak detection system that’s basically an acoustic sensor that can hear a range of noises to indicate valve leakage. The solution purports to have already saved some large organisations hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and unplanned down time.

Alex Roff from PDL Solutions gave a very interesting session on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to assess valve performance and operation in extreme conditions. Alex was able to turn a highly technical subject into something everyone could comprehend and looked at how the computer simulations can be used to gain confidence and verify the performance of isolation and choke valves. This type of analysis will become mandatory for subsea valves.

A buffet lunch was served in the main room with more time to interact with the other delegates and look at the exhibition stands.

BVAA conference

The next presentation was by Economist Vivian Woodward who kept the audience captivated with his analysis and predications for the future of our markets. It’s been an interesting time with a 50% fall in oil prices, the situation in Russia / Ukraine and now the threat of ISIS in the Middle East it’s tough to make any accurate predictions but Vivian did and the future is not looking ‘too bad’. His full report will be available through The BVAA in October 2015.

Regular speaker at BVAA events Rod Westwood from Douglas Westwood gave his presentation on the future of the global oil and gas market. As mentioned before it’s been a very interesting time and no one could have predicted the falling oil price but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Rod predicted a slowly rising oil price and highlighted a few key areas of capital investment / growth areas in the industry. A full report can be obtained by Douglas Westwood direct.

To wrap up the sessions we saw Rick Faircloth from Cameron who talked about API 6D 24th edition update. Rick gave a comprehensive history on API 6D specification along with some major changes that will affect design, materials, quality control, marking, pressure testing and the minimum requirements for facilities manufacturing API 6D equipment. Rick also covered API 622 & 641, something we previously blogged about.

After a 3 hour break to enjoy the Celtic Manor facilities we all met in a private room with balcony overlooking the course for informal drinks / dinner. As usual the food was excellent and the drinks were flowing! The evening event is a great opportunity to catch up with customers, suppliers and industry peers and is a really useful part of the event.

Next morning we all met for the golf briefing (some of us were more awake than others) and received instructions for the golf event. As usual we played The Roman Road course and, as usual, the weather was glorious! The golf standards were mixed with the emphasis being on having fun and encouragement rather than criticism!

BVAA Golf Day

Overall this was a very successful event. As a business we met several customers, suppliers and potential customers and have already secured an order for actuators we wouldn’t have got had we not attended.

We’d like to extend our thanks to the whole BVAA team for their hard work.