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Vallourec’s VAM® Academy offers a multidimensional training experience

With a long tradition of creating opportunities for comprehensive learning, Vallourec’s VAM® Academy recently held a two-week training program for its technicians aimed at strengthening their field expertise.

Enhanced by insights from a range of departments, this session cultivated a collaborative environment that prepared the trainees to deliver exceptional performance through result-oriented application of concepts in real-world conditions.

Vallourec’s VAM® Academy provides training to equip field technicians with a high level of understanding to enhance customers’ operations. Organized at least once a year at varying locations around the world, this year’s program took place over two weeks in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Here, VAM® Field Service (VFS) technicians joined employees from research and development (R&D) as well as sales departments to grow their operational and product expertise.

Leveraging their deep industry experience, VAM® Field Service Quality Manager Rafael Cortado, together with Senior Technical Manager Alastair Brodie, guided trainees through the course.


The objective is to discuss and demonstrate how to use new and legacy VAM® concepts, tools and services to achieve skillful application of knowledge, with this training, we equip colleagues to enhance their ability to effectively apply our products in the field.

Rafael Cortado
VAM® Field Service Quality Manager

From theory to field application

To ensure a comprehensive learning experience, the Abu Dhabi workshop was divided into three parts. The first phase involved classroom training that explored concepts and theoretical applications at the root of VAM® products and services. Next, trainees were taken to a rig to practice running of these products, test theories and concepts and acquire a general idea of common troubleshooting scenarios in the field.

Integral to this practical phase of training was understanding the process of aligning one tubular to another using barrettes. Done right, the system indicates a good connection with the right torque. “Our main objective is to supervise that the VAM® connections are being run correctly,” Rafael says. This lesson strengthens the understanding of how to effectively run connections, which is crucial for optimizing field operations.


Finally, participants moved to the Vallourec Tubular Services Abu Dhabi yard site. Here, they gained hands-on experience on the Tubular Management Services (TMS) offer, which helps operators optimize pipe yard storage. The trainees also witnessed rig preparation and pipe inspection services and a quick demonstration of the use of automated In-Pipe Rovers. By taking part in these critical steps, they were able to grasp the importance of proper handling and preparation that would ultimately result in an organized and successful field execution. The collaboration between VFS and TMS teams thus plays a vital role in enhancing the reliability and efficiency of customer field operations.

What we learn in the classroom is applied on the rig and in the yard,” Rafael says. “That’s part of the holistic learning experience VAM® Academy offers. Our goal is to impart an understanding of operations from all sides.” That’s where the benefit lies in including VFS technicians as well as R&D representatives in the program. While R&D teams share technical knowledge behind connections and new tools, technicians exchange feedback from their experiences utilizing those products in the field. This exchange bridges the gap between upstream, field service and end-user experiences. This collaborative environment is instrumental in harmonizing procedures and techniques across different functions, ensuring that all technicians are aligned with the company’s high standards of quality and service delivery.


Integrating new technologies

VAM® Academy participants are also trained in new technologies designed to streamline operations. Key among these innovations is TallyVision, a digital solution that ensures the efficiency and accuracy of pipe installation by ensuring pipes are run in the planned sequence. Another innovation is the Pre-Installed Cable Protector (PICP), which promotes operational benefits in terms of time-saving and safety by moving cable clamping operations from the drill floor to the yard.

While these tools present considerable security, cost and time-saving benefits, introducing new software into traditional workflows presents its own set of challenges. “Because technicians often have their own time-trusted methods, a solution like TallyVision can take some getting used to,” Rafael says. “But through training, they get to see the advantages.

Demonstrating new technologies while emphasizing the importance of practical expertise is a crucial approach foundational to VAM® Academy. “The importance of having a technician in the field is still there and will always be,” Rafael says. “Visual inspection—being in the field and seeing the application and specific conditions—is essential.” Throughout the training, technicians are encouraged to integrate new solutions into their proven methods to improve their work efficiency and safety.

Cultivating a global knowledge network

The diverse mix of attendees at the VAM® Academy Abu Dhabi session created a unique level of high transparency across different operational perspectives, enriching the learning experience for all involved. “Exchange between technicians and R&D team members plays a vital role in enhancing customer field operations,” Rafael says. “During our session at Abu Dhabi, that collaborative chemistry was definitely in the air.

The added fact that attendees traveled from different countries to take part contributed to the magnitude of diversity at play. “Given the international nature of the session, VAM® trainees from Saudi Arabia to Angola could spread best practices back to their regions,” Rafael says. This perspective extends beyond a two-week course: the Abu Dhabi training session fostered a community of professionals equipped with Vallourec’s precise standards, ready to circulate their newly gained knowledge from different corners of the globe.

Elevating industry standards


Through a holistic framework of teaching augmented by cutting-edge technologies, Vallourec’s VAM® Academy session in Abu Dhabi elevated participants’ expertise while fostering a high exchange of intellect across departments. Technicians are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to address complex challenges in the field, ensuring that Vallourec’s solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently. VAM® Academy is a testament to Vallourec’s dedication to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction. By investing in the continuous development of its technicians, Vallourec is not only enhancing its service delivery but also setting new standards in the oil and gas industry.