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Valves & Fittings Turn up! Upswing Ahead for Valves and Fittings

| Author / Editor: Dominik Stephan* / Dominik Stephan

Fittings, faucets, drives and apps: Whetting the appetite for Achema 2018 at last year’s Diam. Not only did industrial fittings fair Diam record an exhibitor record of over 2000 experts, it also set new trends with the DDM seal fair. Fact is: manufacturers are getting fit for the digital age.

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Diam 2017 gave a preview on the world of fittings at Achema.
Diam 2017 gave a preview on the world of fittings at Achema.
(Source: DECHEMA, Hoerbiger, COG, Asco, Gemü, © greens87 - stock.adobe.com; [M]-Grimm)

From the refinery to the waterworks, from the ball and globe to butterfly valves: in production plants, pipelines and terminals, valves regulate the material flow, safeguard processes and reliably shut off pipes and tanks.

In fact, the world market for industrial valves could well grow to $ 65 billion adding more than $10 billion to current annual sales, forecasts say. More than 30 percent of the market will be in East Asia, where new infrastructure and heavy industrial spending will drive the growth. More power plants will be built in this region in the next five years than in the rest of the world combined. The growth in unconventional oil and gas could drive the demand in NAFTA-regions, as several states in the US west plan to expand their production of gas and oil from shale.

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No wonder that valves, pumps and compressors traditionally make for up the largest exhibitor group at Achema with 950 companies in 2015. Also in 2018, the crème de la crème of the manufacturer has announced to attend the world's leading trade fair for the chemical industry.

In addition to actuators, drives, flaps and Co. are also software vendors and app developers. Suppliers are heavily involved in the topics of IioT and Industry 4.0: Solutions such as the “Auxiliary App” assistant from actuator specialist Auma bring the fitting onto the smartphone, while engineering software providers score points with comprehensive component catalogs. In turn, 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize more than just spare parts management with additive manufacturing.

A first foretaste of the dynamics of the valve market was already given at the Diam 2017 - the German Industrial Valves Fair returned to the Ruhr area in 2017 after a guest appearance in Munich. With 170 exhibitors and about 2,200 visitors, the event turned into a performance show for fluid specialists.

For the first time in 2017, the industrial seals with a special show in the historical Jahrhunderthalle were. The signs for a continuation of the valve success story are good: If the export markets can maintain their strength, the German Machinery and Industrial Engineering Association VDMA expects an increase in sales of 4 percent for 2017.

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