Waco Instrumentation Technology

(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Instrumentation Technology program recently began using 10 new portable control valves for students to use in lab sessions.

The valves, which were made by Fisher Controls International LLC, cost about $6,500 each and were purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, said Savannah Clawson, an instructor in TSTC’s Instrumentation Technology program. Each control valve was installed on a rolling wooden stand that was built by TSTC instructors.

The equipment is used by the second-semester Motor Control class, the third-semester Distributed Control and Programmable Logic class, and the fourth-semester Instrumentation Calibration class. In the classes, students disassemble and rebuild the equipment and learn how it functions.

Garrin Bentley, a second-semester Instrumentation Technology student from Killeen, was enamored with how the control valves looked when he saw them.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh, shiny,’” he said.

Bentley is applying for a summer internship at a company in Midlothian where he hopes to gain more experience in the instrumentation field.

“It’s good to see some of the new as well as the older equipment,” he said. “It’s good to have exposure to both.”

Control valves are used in any process that needs flow control, Clawson said. The control valves used in industry are much larger than what the students are working with in classes.

The control valves replace equipment that has been used by students as far back as the early 1980s, according to program faculty members.

Randall Alexander, a second-semester Instrumentation Technology student from Aquilla, said he has liked comparing the older and new models of control valves.

“You see what they add to the new stuff and see how they work more efficiently,” he said.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

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