'Stronger Together'

‘Stronger Together’

The maxim ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was first brandished across posters in 1939. It was the year WWII began and the year the BVAA was founded.

Much has changed in 80 years. Yet that phrase – despite its trite adaptations for tea towels, fridge magnets and the like – seems particularly apt today. Faced with the fallout of Brexit, unpredictable oil prices, a ‘greying’ workforce and the pressures of digital transformation, it would be easy to panic. But our industry is resilient and continues to make progress, thumbing its nose at volatility and uncertainty.

Purposeful collaboration

By definition, an association is ‘a group of people organised for a joint purpose’. And the BVAA’s purpose is to advance the interests of British Valve and Actuator companies. Here at BVAA HQ we facilitate collaboration. But it’s up to members to seize opportunities and maximise them. Our biggest achievements are those where members work with us, each other or external bodies to drive positive outcomes. Here are three highlights from the past 12 months:

1. Shaping valve guidelines

We facilitated a joined-up effort to shape the Energy Institute’s new guidelines document for integrity management of valves in upstream and downstream hydrocarbon industries. Along with the BVAA’s Technical Consultant, valve engineers from several manufacturers met with the Energy Institute and operator representatives. Together, they discussed how to satisfy requirements for integrity management with practical guidelines rooted in technical knowledge. This shared investment of time and expertise means the guidelines are focused and realistic, which will benefit all valve suppliers to the energy industries.

2. Priming leaders of the future

Our Future Leaders Programme continues to make great strides, and has become a reference point for other industries looking to address skills and leadership gaps. In recent months, trade publications including Valve World, Inside Oil & Gas, Engineer News Network and EngineerLive have covered this initiative. It shows what we can achieve when members put competitive differences aside to focus on the greater good. The future of the British valve and actuator industry is brighter thanks to the efforts of FLP participants and their employers.

3. External collaboration

Our chairman Colin Findlay has had an excellent first year of tenure. Most notably, he’s represented our industry at high-profile events and with key influencers such as the Minister of State for Trade Policy. With uncertain times ahead, it is good to know that we have such a confident and competent individual guiding us.

Onwards and upwards

Nobody knows how the coming months and years will unfold. But one thing’s for sure: our industry’s greatest strength is its ability to face-up to difficult situations and tackle them together. If we continue in this vein, we’ll be poised to survive and thrive into the 2020s and beyond.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 48

Spring 2020 // Issue 52
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