MAHWAH, N.J. (July 25, 2014) — When an industrial tool manufacturer recommends using multiple tools for safer, simpler operation, critics may assume it’s simply to increase the size of the purchase order.
At every trade show HYTORC demonstrates the use of four tools simultaneously and its representatives often hear things like, “We’re not in that much of a rush. We’ll be fine with just one tool.”
This is understandable if a job normally takes an hour and a plant manager can’t justify the benefits of completing it in 15 minutes. But, what if the bolting job usually requires two people and takes up to five days?
This was the case when Dan Daube, site project manager for RetubeCo Inc., was responsible for adjusting the spring compression plate on the main surface condenser spring boxes in a power plant. Each of the four springs on the spring compression plate must be lengthened within one thousandth of an inch of each other to reduce the upward force on the turbine exhaust neck. The main surface condenser spring boxes are on the critical path for the outage. If the required precision is not achieved, it can put stress on the turbine exhaust neck that can result in very costly damage and/or unscheduled shutdowns.
“Our business is ultimately about saving our customers time and money,” said Eric Junkers, president of HYTORC. “Through the use of multiple tool systems on critical bolting applications, we can accomplish both of these goals.”
In the past, Daube and his team used a HYTORC Avanti-8 hydraulic bolting system, which is capable of achieving a maximum torque output of more than 8,000 foot-pounds. The job had to be done in many increments, and nearly five full days with two operators were required to achieve the necessary precision. It was one of the most difficult bolting jobs during the outage. While this fell within the requirements of the plant’s timeline, Daube knew there was room for improvement and time savings.
During the most recent outage at the same plant, Daube decided to take advantage of the HYTORC SimulTorc system using a bolting system comprised of four Avanti-8 tools connected to a single pump. With a tool on each corner of the spring compression plate and one man operating the pump, the job was completed in a single day. Not only was the job done four days ahead of schedule, the springs were all lengthened within one-half thousandth of an inch of each other, which was accurate beyond the plant’s requirements.
“When we told our contact in the plant the job was complete, he didn’t believe us,” Daube said. “It was a huge win for us.”
When production time is on the line, any time savings is a win, but four days of extra production is extraordinary. In addition, the use of four tools required half the amount of pressure used in the past, so less stress was put on the tools, which is definitely good news for Daube and RetubeCo.
“Retube discovered the power that HYTORC can bring to a job by using SimulTorc and is one of our many very satisfied customers,” said Jason Junkers, chief operating officer of HYTORC.
Photo: A SimulTorc (multiple tool) System on the dollar plate of a heat exchanger at a Valero refinery in Texas.
HYTORC is the world’s largest and oldest manufacturer of industrial bolting systems. The international company is family-owned and operated, and has been in business since 1968. With a focus on world-class customer service, the company has more than 50 locations in the United States and a comprehensive network of dedicated distributors and service centers worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.hytorc.com.