Author: Charli K. Matthews
A few weeks ago, I attended Valve World 2016 in Dusseldorf Germany, which also included the 2016 European Pump Summit – how awesome is that, pumps and valves together!
This wasn’t my first European tradeshow, but it was definitely my biggest. Three years ago, Carter and I attended the MCE (Mostra Convegno Expocomfort) in Milano, Italy, which was a great introduction for me to European manufacturers and also a time for me to realize just how much I had to learn about the market. So how could I pass up another opportunity to learn more about the European valve market, its challenges, and the chance to network with a new group of industry professionals? Because these are some of my top passions, Valve World gave me the necessary push to leave my family the day after Thanksgiving and jump on a plane to fly to Germany; a country I have wanted to visit for awhile that my apprehension and excitement were both running high.
If you follow my blog, you know that Pumps are my life passion and that I am active in so many different ways to support the process industries here in the US; from being a sponsor for the Pump Summit Americas ran by KCI in June of this year, to actively supporting the Fluid Sealing Association [FSA] in its goals to develop best practices and standards to help the industry. So I was very excited to see a number of familiar names and topics on the workshop agenda for both Valve World and the Pump Summit. There were even a number of my Partners exhibiting here as well, which of course really made me happy because I got to see them in a different environment than what I was used to.
I have written before that the European Sealing Association and Fluid Sealing Association have a close relationship and a common goal to help the process industries, so I thought that the fact they were both going to be there really showed their commitment.
Participants from the FSA included Phil Mahoney, FSA President, and Henri Azibert, FSA Technical Director, who co-presented a paper at the Pump Summit with David Edwin-Scott from the ESA on Energy Efficiency from Compression Packings in rotodynamic pumps.
All of this gave me a very good feeling because it’s important that globally we recognize the challenges facing industry, and all work to find solutions that help while at the same time support the need for natural resource usage reduction, improved plant safety and efficiency, train others on how to implement technical solutions, and to create future leaders.
It was great to meet so many amazing people at the event. One of the most memorable was getting to sit at dinner and talk to Norah Pierdant from Sealweld Corporation, who gave a Complete Valve Maintenance Program presentation. It always makes me happy to meet and talk to female professionals, especially when they are technical leaders in the industry. Another great moment was meeting Jamie Kingsley, Divisional Communications Manager at The Weir Group. I had first seen Weir’s video coverage on Twitter, then was able to hold a full 3D Printed Valve, which was very cool!!
While I was at Valve World, I loved seeing our Partners – PPE (high performance sealing solutions), Donit (Grafilit), and Chesterton (meeting standards and reducing emissions), displaying their products and solutions!
I got to spend time with some of my favorite industry experts from the FSA and ESA. I also had a nice surprise when Frank Taaning Grundholm from Danfoss Drives, another great Empowering Brands’ client, happened to be in town from Denmark. He also took time to show me some of the best sites in Dusseldorf! I call him my ‘European tour guide’ since we also had a great meeting in Milano on my first visit to Europe with his amazing team.
I hope y’all saw my posts on Twitter as I walked this very big show for 3 days! It was nice to have a little fun on this trip as well, especially as I left just after Thanksgiving and missed a second helping of pecan pie at my in-laws. Being able to tour the Dusseldorf Christmas village with Andre Davanzo and his KCI-publishing team from Canada was great! (In case you didn’t know, KCI runs the Valve World events all over the world).
The craftsman market, 100 year old merry-go-round, and beautiful twinkle lights really helped me get in the Christmas spirit. I also got to eat great food and drink German beer; how can you not love pork and potatoes?!
I was sad to leave but happy to have made so many new friends and business relationships. After those few days, I was ready to get home, see my kids and start getting ready for Christmas with my wonderful family. Plus… I took a little Valve World Home for the Holidays. To all the people working in the Pump and Valve Industries, Happy Holidays!!!