Quantum Leap – July, 2017

WE CONTINUE TO SIGN DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENTS

Clover Tool Co, based in Houston Texas, also has a presence in Aberdeen, UK, Asia and the Middle East. They are manufacturers of a wide range of industrial bolting equipment and associated accessories as well as standard and bespoke, high pressure hydrostatic test units. They have recently entered into a glob- al OEM agreement with Torq-Comm to offer their range of products to complement their own. They will be marketed as the Torq-Comm/Clover Commander range as the name “Torq-Comm” is now globally synonymous with market leading data collection systems.

Clover’s President, J.R. Russell commented: ”Clover Tool Co. has been in the bolting industry for over 36 years and we are pleased to be partnering with Torq-Comm. We believe this product has been long overdue and will make a huge impact in the bolting world. We fully agree and support the statement “Without Data………It’s Just an Opinion”.

CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO GATHER BOLTING DATA?

We all know there have been some terrible disasters in the oil and gas industry over the years, Piper Alpha and Deepwater Horizon just to name a couple. Dangerous and lethal accidents aren’t just limited to oil and gas either. Petrochemical, chemical, process industries etc. all have systems containing high pressure, high temperature, corrosive and poisonous liquids and gases flowing through them all over the world every single day.

Each system can contain hundreds or even thousands of bolted joints and each of these joints is effectively a weak link. Preventative maintenance scheduling and general health and safety considerations have improved over the years, reducing the likelihood of a release or catastrophic failure but they can and do still happen.

When they do happen and somebody is injured or worse still there is a fatality, everything, (continued production included), comes to a halt and second to the subsequent investigation by the local health and safety authority. It is often at this point that the recorded data for the failed joint is found to be lacking, incomplete or missing completely, resulting in heavy fines and bad publicity.

Ensuring that every industrial bolted joint is tightened correctly and storing easily accessible data to that effect is now imperative to keep our operators and the general public safe. The Commander XT hand held devices and cloud based software from Torq-Comm remove much of the potential for human error and tick all of the boxes.

GLOBAL PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

In this regular feature, we will be introducing one member of our rapidly growing team of global partners. We work with a wide range of partners from OEM’s to exclusive distributors with one common denominator – we ensure all our partners are fully trained and supported before unleashing them on you. This ensures you will receive the same support from them as you would if you contacted our techies and boffins in our US head quarters.

This month’s spotlight is on our exclusive UK distributor Torque Solutions. The company is owned and operated by Peter Allsopp and his wife Ruth and is still very much a family company. This is reflected in the excellent customer service that Torque Solutions gives all of its customers as standard (I’ve worked with them myself and the service is second to none, ED).

The company offers sale and rental of a wide variety of bolting equipment and they are also exclusive distributor for Titan hydraulic torque tools. Recently joined by Nick Murphy formerly of Chicago Pneumatic who is responsible for developing sales and new business, Torque Solutions really are investing in the future of bolting.

We wish you and your team every success Peter and Ruth!

THE LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

There are millions of bolted joints in a wide variety of industries across the world. Many carry noxious, corrosive, hot or dangerous liquids and gasses with the potential to cause serious injury or worse or indeed irreparable damage to the environment.

It is for these reasons that the industrial bolting sector has developed progressively better ways to assure the integrity of these joints.

Correct tooling, trained and certified personnel and traceability of the details of each bolting operation now form the foundations of joint integrity assurance. The latter, traceability, is the most recent development to catch up. Granted, paper records of bolting operations have been kept for many years but there is scope for data loss, incorrect input and the timescale between data collection and centraliZed storage could be measured in days and sometimes weeks. Recovering the data if not lost was also a lengthy and laborious task.

With the advent of data storage software, many of these issues were solved although the data acquisition part of the process was still manual and fraught with the potential for errors. More recently, data collection devices have been developed to bridge this gap. The Torq-Comm Commander XT series of devices and pump control modules are leading the way in this cutting-edge part of the industrial bolting sector. Data is now gathered and can even be monitored, real time, from anywhere in the world.

So, what is the key to joint integrity assurance despite all this technology being used?……PARALLEL CLO- SURE. We must credit Hytorc at this point, as they pioneered the multi-tool approach, aiming for parallel closure in the early 2000’s. Parallel closure is key to avoid leaks. A non-parallel closure will result in a variation in load across the face of the joint, encouraging a leak path. This often occurs sometime after the joint has been closed which can be a dangerous and costly phenomenon.

Despite the development of all this technology, tooling and trained technicians, there is still the scope to fail to attain parallel closure, or at least there was until now. Parallel closure is attained when the joint is closed in a controlled and parallel fashion. Whether using one, two or four tools, the key is having them on the correct bolts.

Leaks are often caused when one bolt is missed during one pass or the bolts are tightened in the wrong sequence. On large flanges with multiple bolts, this is re- markably easy to do. The TorqTag® has been developed to bridge the final gap between the data collection device and the flange face. They are a set of rugged magnetic discs, each with an individual number and corresponding barcode printed on them. During the data collection process, the Torq-Comm Commander XT de- vice, scans the TorqTag® to ensure the correct bolt is being tightened. If the wrong bolt is scanned, the Commander XT will not allow the technician to proceed.

Finally, with the development of the Torq-Comm and TorqTag, joint integrity through parallel closure can be assured, each and every time, without exception, guaranteeing a leak free joint. There is little wonder the bolting world and asset owners are sitting up and taking notice of these new developments.