ATPS offers education, networking opportunities for industry engineers, technicians
The reach of the Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University has long been global. That impact was demonstrated earlier this month when the Turbo Lab hosted its second biennial Asia Turbomachinery & Pump Symposium (ATPS) in Singapore.
The 2018 ATPS was held March 13-15, with short courses on March 12. Engineers and technicians, from novice to experienced, chose from a combination of seven short courses, 23 lectures, 16 tutorials, 12 discussion groups, 38 case studies and 11 technical briefs. The technical program is selected by the Asia Turbomachinery and Pump Advisory Committee and led by experts in their disciplines. Topics included compressors, steam and gas turbines, expanders, pumps and drivers, and auxiliary equipment such as couplings, bearings, gearboxes, dry gas seals and annular seals.
The conference is modeled after the Turbomachinery & Pump Symposia (TPS), founded in 1971 and hosted annually in Houston. ATPS debuted in Singapore in 2016 in response to a need for industry education and networking in Southeast Asia.
“ATPS is a very important platform to share our experience, learn from others, and to network,” said Minhui He, machinery specialist with BRG Machinery Consulting and advisor and technical session leader for ATPS. “Having this event in Southeast Asia is important because this area has a need for knowledge in turbomachinery. We come here to make new connections, hear what they are doing and what they need. It is an expansion of our network. It’s important that we connect with one another and share our knowledge.”
New to ATPS this year were two panel sessions, one on career and industry intended for students and young professionals, and one on successful applications of digitalization in oil & gas.
“Everyone is interested in digitalization, but not so many people understand, so we came together to discuss what it is, look at where we are and determine where we should go with it,” said Ishigaki Hiroyasu, digitalization panelist and general manager of information and communications technology operations of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor Corporation, top-tier sponsor of ATPS. “It’s very important to combine machinery knowledge and experience with computer science, including artificial intelligence, and data analysis for a more beneficial result. I think ATPS can play an important role in the digitalization movement.”
The technical program was paired with an international exhibition featuring leading companies and organizations from across the globe that showcased full-size equipment and the latest technological trends. Longtime TPS exhibitor Flowserve Corporation that also exhibited at the inaugural ATPS, was pleased with their event experience and praised the quality of delegate interaction at their booth.
“Flowserve is accustomed to participating in TPS each year. That is not the reason for being at ATPS, but it did make the decision easier,” said Torsten Bernicke a product manager in the compressor seals and systems/mixer seals division of Flowserve. “With Singapore being a gateway to Southeast Asia, India and China, it’s a nice location to present our products. My advice to companies considering ATPS is to give it a try. It helps to grow the visibility of your products, and you have the chance to explain your products better, and secure follow-up leads.”
ATPS hosted 670 delegates from 31 countries, and 30 exhibiting companies.
“I am very pleased with the quality of the program and the traffic in the exhibit hall,” said Dag Calafell, chair of ATPS. “We have seen some setbacks due to economics in the region, as well as challenges in the oil & gas industry. Still, we achieved success, thanks to the support of Texas A&M, the Advisory Committee, delegates and exhibitors. Our ultimate goal is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and practices that impact our industry, and we have certainly achieved that.”
Plans are underway for future events in the region, including a stand-alone technical program in 2019. The regular ATPS, with technical program and exhibition, is slated for spring 2020.