In light of the upcoming event, Pump Engineer recently had the pleasure of meeting with Kerry Millen, Piping Systems Engineer, to discuss her role as Chairman of the eagerly anticipated Hose + Coupling World Americas Conference & Expo 2020. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Millen brings a wealth of knowledge to the role, which she aims to use to provide high-quality learning opportunities for guests and exhibitors at the event.
Millen takes time to highlight the benefits for members of the valve, hose and pump communities to attend the event, and provides insight into many of the important topics that will be focused on during the conference.
Advocating the importance of understanding the function and properties of each application in a workplace is a common practice for Millen. Through her experience, she has gained expertise with industrial hoses and couplings in various industries including: Refining, Oil and Gas, and Power.
In each of these industries, Millen has made it her goal to exceed the necessary maintenance and safety standards required to achieve a secure and danger-free environment for every employee. “People tend to overlook hoses because they think they are a minor piece of equipment, but they are not,” stated Millen. “Selecting the proper hose and coupling is integral to the safe and effective operation of each process.”
The versatility of hoses allows them to be used in a wide range of applications such as: uploading, offloading, utilities, and for the transfer of liquids, chemicals and sludge.
As many of these applications have an element of risk involved with their operation, it is important that the user understand the limits of the equipment they have selected for the task at hand. “There is a lot more involved with hose selection than most people are aware. Material selection, maintenance requirements, and hose pressure and temperature allowances are all factors that must be taken into consideration before selecting and using a hose,” explained Millen. “That is why attending conferences and expos like the Hose + Coupling World Americas event is so important. It gives individuals the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the applications they are engaging with.”
The Benefit of Attending Conferences
In general, Millen is a strong supporter of attending conferences. “Not only do you have the opportunity to see new technology, you also have the chance to network with other industry professionals. Vendors that are exhibiting at the conference, as well as committee members, speakers, and other attendees, are all good people to meet and build relationships with,” expressed Millen. “With the Hose + Coupling World event,” she continued, “attendees simultaneously have the chance to broaden their knowledge of material selections, engage with new applications, and explore current market trends.”
Despite the hose centric nature of the event, Millen stresses that attending the conference is also in the best interest of members of the valve, and pump communities. “If a valve vendor is in the market to supply complete packages to his/her client, it would be very beneficial for him/her to come to the hose event,” stated Millen. As valves are typically used to connect hoses to receiving stations, they play an integral role in ensuring that the supply of essential services, such as utility services, are transferable. “By attending the event, valve professionals have the opportunity to learn about the types of valves that are best suited to different hoses and be better able to offer products that meet their customers’ needs.”
An individual from the pump industry, would similarly gain from attending the event. Small pumps and pumps on skids often use flexible hoses to transfer the material they are pumping from one location to another. “The ability to disconnect, move and reconnect pumps, without having to interact with hard parts, is highly beneficial from a time efficiency perspective,” explained Millen. “It would therefore be advantageous for individuals from the pump industry to attend the event to learn about which hoses and hose materials should be used to transfer various liquids, gases and materials. It would also be good for pump vendors who wish to offer their clients the whole package.”
One of the principle challenges for individuals in the hose industry are problems that arise due to misapplication.
“I think hoses are something we take for granted in this industry. As we always see them being used and they are always around, people tend to forget that they are designed for specific use in specific applications,” stated Millen. “That is why I believe that our goal of focusing on topics such as establishing maintenance programs, material selection, specialty applications, and developing relationships between distributors and suppliers, is so important.”
Ensuring that there is a good maintenance program in place, where the integrity of the hose can be monitored while ensuring that it is used for the appropriate applications, will mitigate the risk of workplace injuries and reduce costly delays of production. “There are different applications, different scenarios, different types of corrosion, different pressures and temperatures all of which have a huge impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the hose. If you select the wrong type of hose or hose connection, and it is un¬ t to perform the operation you have tasked to it, it could cost somebody their life,” stated Millen. “Couplings will blow-off of the end of the hoses when pressurized if they have not been designed to withstand high pressures and a hose's inner tube will collapse if it is not designed for high vacuum or high temperatures. That is why you have to ensure that you actually do your due diligence and learn how to select the correct hose application.”
For first-time attendees to the event, Millen recommends going to as many workshops as possible. “Picking the right application and understanding its properties is a team effort. We never know everything, so always work very close with your supplier and do your homework to ensure that your selection is the correct one.”
As an industry that has been around for over 100 years, Millen is confident in her conviction that the hose industry is here to stay. “Technology, materials and processes will continue to evolve and improve, and I am excited to see where they take us. By partaking in as many workshops as possible and networking with others in hose community, the industry has the opportunity to continue to move forward.”
The Hose + Coupling World Americas Conference & Expo 2020 will be held at:
San Jacinto College
LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology (CPET)
For more information, please contact: