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The Control Valve Whisperer

The Control Valve Whisperer

Meet Rob Hansen, Valve Services Specialist. Rob has been part of the Emerson family for over twenty years, assisting with the planning and coordination of control valve repairs in power plants, chemical facilities, and refineries. As part of Experitec’s Emergency Response team, he’s used to phone calls in the middle of the night or needing to drive 10 or 12 hours to help a customer. In short, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to resolve a problem. With an associate degree in Control Systems Technology, a bachelor’s degree in Project Management, and decades of field experience, he also mentors some of Experitec’s junior technicians, as part of his daily responsibilities. Learn more about Rob from our interview below.
Q: Why Do Customers Like You?

A: I get the job done; I know what I’m doing; and I’m pretty friendly. A lot of our customers don’t know the details about how things work, just that something is not working correctly, so I get the opportunity to educate them and explain things—which they appreciate. The problem may not always be the valve itself, but we have the appropriate diagnostics tools and experience to determine what is wrong. Once we determine the issue, I’m the person to coordinate the repairs and make sure that everything is up and running.

<span style="color:#00488d">Q: What’s Your Favorite Middle of the Night Story?</span>
Q: What’s Your Favorite Middle of the Night Story?
A: Recently, a pet food company called us at midnight. Over the phone I was able to analyze the problem and figure out what parts were needed. This plant uses steam to control the temperature of the food during cooking, so it was essential to get it up and running—especially with the current pet food shortages. At first, they thought they could wait until the next morning for repairs, but then they realized they needed the parts that night. I drove to the plant, made the repairs, and got the situation rectified. The plant was up and running before the morning shift and the customer was ecstatic that we could get the job done so quickly—and overnight.
Another customer, who was located 12 hours away, had an issue with a start up at their steel mill. Part of the valve on one of their steam units broke and fortunately, they were able to describe enough of the problem that I was able to walk them through how to repair it over the phone. I was able to solve this because I understood their problem and had been at their plant many times before. It was my field knowledge that enabled me to envision what was wrong and describe how to fix it to a non-expert.
<span style="color:#00488d">Q: What Are Some of the Tools That You Rely On?</span>
Q: What Are Some of the Tools That You Rely On?
A: Diagnostics. For our more advanced customers, we run diagnostics each year to predict how long their critical valves will last. There’s little to no downtime because we can foresee problems a year in advance. This works for older valves, too, even those without smart devices. From our customer’s point of view, this helps them plan their next outage and know what parts to buy or keep in stock. We call diagnostics 'a budget maker' because most of our customers use that knowledge to create their fiscal budgets. The additional value of diagnostics is that we can determine what not to fix—enabling valuable resources to focus on unplanned repairs.
Q: To What Do You Attribute Your Success?
A: Building very close relationships with our customers is vital to our success. There’s no babysitting; they can call us at any time; and throw any problem our way. In fact, most of our customers call me directly without going through our emergency response hotline because they know, with certainty, that I’ll take care of them.
Experitec’s Emergency Response team is available 24/7/365, by calling 888-268-6437, in the event you do not have one of our Account Manager’s or Technician’s numbers handy.
Emergency Support