May 2-5, 2016, the Flow Control team enjoyed attending the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. Even with oil prices’ decline during the last two years, the 2016 event was one of the top 15 for attendance. The exhibition was the third largest in show history.

When the decline began in 2014, businesses shifted to a mindset of maintain what you have and optimize operations. This thought process prevailed at this year’s OTC. One technology at the National Instruments (NI) booth demonstrated how embedded technology will continue to shape the the digital oilfield. Periodic checks of asset health help with unplanned equipment downtime, but opportunities for premature breakdowns and failures may occur between checkups. In this demonstration, a pump-health monitoring system based on Industrial Internet of Things technologies and assembled by NI, HPE, PTC and Flowserve improves asset health visibility and reduces unplanned work stoppages. Brett Burger provides a detailed technical article on this system. More preventive maintenance information is presented in our cover series.

AT SKF USA’s annual technical press day on June 14, 2016, our staff heard about SKF’s efforts in the fluid handling industry. Some highlights from the presentation are:

  • SKF developed high nitrogen corrosion-resistant steel for bearings that helps maintain load requirements while resisting corrosion.
  • Friction is becoming a critical consideration when selecting shaft seal materials.
  • SKF has 45 apps including the Bearing Calculator, one that helps identify counterfeit parts, an SKF materials library and an app for upstream oil and gas professionals.

Help us choose the most innovative products for our 2016 Innovation Awards. Learn more about our nominees and vote today. Voting has been extended through July 31. Winners will be announced online in September.