Our very own Ron Clarke has received the distinguished honor of being recognized by the Industrial Fasteners Institute for the Soaring Eagle Technology Award for 2017.  He received his award at the latest IFI meeting in March.  Upon acceptance, Ron of course commended the entire team at Valley Forge for receiving this award, “It takes a team to receive this sort of recognition.  This award is for the entire company.”

We are extremely proud of our fearless leader for being such an innovator in the industry for over 4 decades.

“The IFI Soaring Eagle Technology Award recognizes individuals who have extensive experience in the industrial fastener industry who have made significant contributions to the technological advancement of the fastener industry.  Contributions may be through extensive work on fastener standards committees, the publication of widely acclaimed principles or documents and/or through the development of fastener related equipment products, or processes which have been widely acknowledged as advancements in fastener technology.”

As taken from www.indfast.org

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

At this year’s ASME Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference, in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada, Valley Forge’s Rusty Flocken presented results from testing performed in collaboration between Valley Forge and Shell Oil Company.  FEA/FFS Specialist Dr. Gong Jung with Shell directed test efforts and offered for Mr. Flocken to co-publish and present the results as part of the annual conference.

The project goal was to significantly reduce man-hours required to complete bolt-up of a flanged piping connection while at the same time, maintaining or improving the joint’s capacity for sealing.  This was accomplished by selecting a tightening pattern with the fewest moves, a torque tool capable of faster, continuous tightening, along with the use of Valley Forge’s patented SPC4™ load indicating fasteners for control and monitoring of bolt load scatter.

When tightening a flanged piping connection, it is common practice to use the Legacy tightening pattern along with a cassette-type hydraulic torque wrench.  This combination is one of the longest used and most widely used methods available, and therefore was used as a bench mark against which to measure improvement.  To provide the greatest improvements in time-savings and bolt load scatter, a tightening system was selected using a modification of the Legacy pattern known as the Alternative #3, along with a pneumatic torque multiplier.

Results from testing show a 15% reduction in scatter, however the time taken to perform the task was reduced by approximately 63%.  In addition to the direct benefits shown, if fastener load can be monitored directly and reliably on in-service joints, using load indicating fasteners or similar tension measurement method; studies similar to this one could be conducted using option 1 presented in ASME PCC-1 for developing new alternative procedures.  This would allow practical, meaningful data to be collected while reducing the risk inherent with testing new assembly procedures in the field.

Presentation at Maintenance Solutions Seminar
Indianapolis, IN


Held at the Westin Indianapolis and sponsored by the AIST Maintenance and Reliability Technical Committee, the 2015 AIST “Maintenance Solutions – A Practical Training Seminar” featured 28 events. Presented by industry leaders and subject matter experts, topics covered ‘Best-In-Class’ practices on Reliability, Hydraulics, Maintenance, Bearings, Lubrication, and Assembly of Bolted Joints.

Attended by 78 members of the Association of Iron and Steel Technology from the US and Canada, the guests were from a diverse background with a common interest in steel making.

Presenting for Valley Forge & Bolt, Jay Palmer educated and informed the “Bolting by Design” session attendees on the importance of assembly, as the often overlooked and frequently most critical aspect of insuring a reliable bolted joint. By covering the quality checks involved in all the steps of fastener design and manufacturing, it is quickly evident that conventional assembly processes have the least amount of controls with the fewest measurables, for proper tension when using methods like torque. Recognizing this common deficiency in assembly methods, the ASTM created F2482. F2482, the “Standard Specification for Load-Indicating Externally Threaded Fasteners”, takes bolt load to a higher level by creating a measurable quality standard for assembly that equals the manufacturing processes to make the bolts. To qualify for F2482, a fastener must provide a means to verify the desired clamp load upon installation and in service.

The group was very intrigued with load indicating technology as it uses elongation to precisely determine load. The need for accurate tensioning for safety and reliability is obvious and the attendees embraced the concept whole-heartedly. Numerous questions and positive feedback followed, accompanied by heads nodding in agreement. Follow-up ‘lunch and learn’ presentations are being scheduled for maintenance crews at mills.

To learn more or to get your copy of the presentation click here.



The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

London-Forum-9-16-15At the great Victoria in London, Barry Thomas presented “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” to the London Forum of the Heat Transfer Society on September 17th, 2015. Barry talked about bolted joints and explained the advantages of Load Indicating Technology. He has wide experience in bolting technology going back to 1972, including specific experience in the oil and gas industry and applications in structures, mechanical equipment, cranes and pressure vessels. If you happen to be in London make sure to stop by!!

Proudly Sponsored by Valley Forge & Bolt.

VF Bolts KOEA-Annual-ForumVFB once again sponsored the KOEA annual meeting and dinner held in May at the Sheraton Brookhollow in Houston. This year’s event featured speakers from Shell Oil, Hyundai, Samsung and Wood Group Kenny. With hundreds of offshore engineers the event offers an opportunity to learn about current and future oil and gas projects as well as the ability to talk and network with like-minded industry professionals. Anyone interested in joining can visit http://www.koea.co/content/membership.html.