I thought I’d do a post about some of the tools used in engineering. And, as I never like to generalise or skirt over a detailed topic, I’ve decided to focus in on torque devices and nuts and bolts. Previously, I only knew a little about nuts and bolts. I do have some practical experiences dealing with various types and sizes of nuts and bolts to hold flanges and plate heat exchanger frames. That experience I gained when I was working as a process engineer a few years back.
Now, I realize that nuts and bolts are not just as simple or limited as that. There is more to explore, and more to learn. I just expanded my technical knowledge after reading a tremendous story about HTL (Hire Torque Ltd.), which began from a small 2 man operated family business in 1994. HTL focuses on the bolting business mainly to the oil and gas industry. However ultimately, the main business basically evolved around the art and technology of torque. By definition, torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist to an object.
Upon exploring their business from their website, I must admit that I am very impressed with the range of products associated with bolt. Just imagine, the main big product category are (a) Bolt Torque Equipment (b) Bolt Tensioning Equipment (c) Flange Spreading and Aligning (d) Nut Splitters (e) Hydraulic Maintenance Tools (f) JAG - Hydraulic Cutting Equipment (g) Seasnake and (h) Bespoke Pump Units.
(a) Bolt Torque Equipment
Numerous range of product under the torque-based products category can be found. This include back up wrenches, manual torque multipliers, tensioners, hand wrenches and nut splitters. The products are dedicated for specific needs and application. By using a dedicated bolt torque equipment, trust me, you will know the perfect time to stop tightening the bolt and nut.
(b) Bolt Tensioning Equipment
In heavier industry involving bigger machinery such as distillation coloum, air stack, pack column, high pressure boilers etc, you may require stretching bolts under tension. This is troublesome without the proper equipments. Normally such bolt tensioners are operated with compressed air. At HTL, numerous types of bolt tensioners are available such as hydraulic air driven tensioners, hand pump tensioners pump units, topside tensioners and subsea hydraulic bolt tensioners. All of the bolt thensioning equipments are tough and can work in the most diverse and harshest
(c) Flange Spreading and Aligning
Have you tried to separate 2 flanges that have been attached with 12 pairs of 10" long bolt and nuts with diameter 10mm and have not been separated for 24 months? I have experienced that myself and often by mechanically tilting the gap between the flanges with suitable equipment, we can separate the two. However, when it is too tight such as it were glued together, then we need to employ a flange spreading and aligning equipment. The aligning is necessary during the joining of the two flanges. With this tool, we can effortlessly join and separate the flanges easily. At HTL, related tools such as flange spreaders, flange alignment tools and flange splitters are available. All of these tools are tough, reliable and versatile. It will allow almost every type of flange joint
to be aligned or separated. This is very crucial especially during plant shutdown or turn around activities when extreme cleaning is required.
(d) Nut Splitters
The Hydraulic Nut Splitter is the ideal tool for
removing rusted nuts or nuts having no more threads (common view at the offshore platforms) which have seized up and corroded. This can avoid the usage of plasma cutter to remove un-removable bolt and nut. The tools are designed to work simply with a single acting spring return only, making it quick, simple and safe. This is a must have tool for mechanical fitters working in plants, refineries, engineering, shipyards etc.
(e) Hydraulic Maintenance Tools
When it comes to hydraulic maintenance tools, you are actually playing around with really heavy machinery. You cannot rely on your human power, instead you need the leverage of hydraulic strength. Various types of HTL hydraulic maintenance tools are available for sale and rent such as hydraulic parts and accessories, bearing maintenance tools, shop maintenance tools, jacks and others. As usual, all HTL hydraulic maintenance equipment are specifically designed for heavy industrial.
(f) JAG - Hydraulic Cutting Equipment
When it comes to cutting solid steel, pipe or tubes and if ordinary cutter could not do the job better, JAG Hydraulic Cutting Equipment is available from HTL. It is designed to and manufactured to excel in safety, quality, durability and ease of use making all the hard cutting jobs smooth and easy. No more trouble and other complicated cutting toolsneeded.
Any bolting issue on the land is not a big deal. But what if the bolting duties are required under water? That's when we need the "Snake" takes action. It is HTL's solution to deal with any bolting duties in any subsea environment where the pressure and temperatures are very extreme. The good thing with this is that no divers are required and can be controlled remotely. Snake is occasionally preferred as it avoids any fatalities resulted from the possibility of any subsea gas release and other deadly possibilities.
(h) Bespoke Pump Units
Another important product delivered by HTL is their capability in producing bespoke pump units based on customers requirement. Hence, any bolt and torque related to bespoke pump can be their in house specialty. All pumps are designed to clients needs and application and at the same time follows the international DNV standard. Hence, clients will have no problem applying the custom made pump in their processing facility.
The above mentioned are just some of the main products. HTL also have various subsea products and rent equipments. On top of that they provide services such as calibration, testing and training.
Such highly technical company like this really inspired me. This proofs that something that start small can grow and become such an establish technical and reliable business. Don't you think so?
I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!
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