Following on from last year’s successes, Technofast Industries, Australia’s leading hydraulic fastening company, has taken out the Global Integration Award for 2015 at Manufacturers’ Monthly magazine’s prestigious Endeavour Awards.
Held recently at a gala dinner attended by over 250 Australian manufacturers at Melbourne’s glittering Crown Casino, judges of the highly respected and long-running Endeavour Awards program recognised Technofast’s considerable achievements on the world stage with its innovative hydraulic bolting systems.
Technofast is a worldwide leader and specialist in bolt tensioning, but as well as being able to provide innovative and effective technical solutions, the Endeavour judges felt that relationship building has clearly been key to the international success of the company. They concluded that Technofast is a role model for other companies considering an international presence.
On accepting the Award, held on the evening of May 28, Mr John Bucknell, CEO and founder of Technofast, was thrilled to win the award and thanked all his staff for their hard work over the year.
“This is fantastic achievement for us. We are a small company, based in Brisbane, but our innovative products, which are all developed and manufactured in house by our dedicated team, are now being recognised around the world for their quality, reliability and time-saving ability.”
He said Technofast has always sought to provide innovative ‘best practice’ solutions for bolting.
“In doing so we have created a niche market, allowing us to sell our Australian made products globally.
“It is often difficult for us, as metal product manufacturer, to compete head-to-head with those in other countries, so we rely upon technology to give us the edge,” Mr Bucknell said.
The manufacturing award followed considerable investment in time building relationships with key personnel in South Korea’s power generation industry and has led to Technofast’s products now being used on one of the country’s major hydro power projects.
Technofast’s innovative EziTite M125 hydraulic bolts are being used as an alternative to heater rods previously employed in maintenance programs.
The Award winning hydraulic bolting system is used to securely fasten together the shaft and turbine blades of the hydro electricity generating equipment, in place of the time-consuming heater rod technology formerly used. By using Technofast’s EziTite hydraulic bolts, the facility was able to reduce its maintenance downtime by 80%.
The hydraulic bolting system has proved to be so successful, saving both time and money, that funds have now been allocated to change all other water turbines onsite to Technofast’s EziTite® hydraulic bolts over a three year period.
Technofast EziTite TR Hydraulic Nuts have also been used at a South Korean electricity generating plant to tension boiler feed pumps.
This application involved 12 M110 x 4.0 studs, which were 110mm in diameter, with an outside diameter of 200mm, and in a high temperature environment.
The Technofast method resulted in an installation time of around thirty minutes using two personnel, compared with eight hours and four personnel using the previous method.
Mr Bucknell explained that time savings of this order, and better, are possible using the EziTite® fasteners instead of conventional methods involving sledgehammers, stud heaters and multi-jackbolt tensioners.
“Large nuts of this diameter can require terrific torque forces to achieve the desired tensioning, or require ‘jacknuts’ which have multiple forcing screws to bring the job within the power range of hand tools.”
Given the damage which can occur to the fastener components and joint faces when using torque tools, Mr Bucknell says some operators have opted to use these jacknut fasteners.
“However, large nuts such as those used on the boiler feed pump can easily have 24 of these forcing screws per nut, and they have to be progressively and sequentially tightened to a specific torque at each step, or the individual screws will be overstressed and fail. This can add days of downtime to a typical maintenance operation.”
Also, when jacknut fasteners need to removed, Mr Bucknell says the forcing screws have to be backed off in a strict sequence to avoid failure.
“If not, then excessive load will transfer to remaining screws and cause failures. The jacknut assembly will then need to be cut off,” he said.
EziTite® Hydraulic Nuts, by contrast, tension the bolt in one simple operation. They are rapidly applied by being screwed by hand onto bolt studs, hydraulically actuated to stretch the bolt to the precise tension required, then secured in place mechanically with an integral mechanical lock ring.
The charging pressure is relieved, and the EziTite hydraulic nuts remain in situ at the precise target bolt load.
The reverse procedure permits equally rapid disassembly when it is eventually required. All studs can be tensioned or de-tensioned simultaneously by manifolding them to a single hydraulic source.
In addition to their simple and swift operation, the EziTite Hydraulic Nuts used in the Korean application overcame multiple issues experienced with the former method involving heavy torque wrenches, including:
• Horizontal stud position, which made handling difficult.
• Torque damage to studs, hex nuts and abutting surfaces.
• Irregular torque readings that were difficult to relate to tensions applied (a result which can be caused by common issues such as corrosion, thread damage and other factors where multiple tensioning is involved).
EziTite Hydraulic Nuts removed all these difficulties, as well as achieving precise bolt loads over multiple studs through simultaneous tensioning achieved by hydraulically loading entire groups of fasteners at once (as above).
Simultaneous tensioning gives an extremely accurate and even load onto the flange/joint, enhancing its long-term security, safety and reliability.
The company offers a variety of products as standard, however if an application requires a different configuration, such as reduced diameter, higher output or special materials, then custom designed equipment can be produced to achieve optimum results.
Products manufactured at its Brisbane operation include EziJac Bolt Tensioners, EziTite Hydraulic Nuts, EziTite TR Hydraulic Nuts, EziTite Head Nut, CamNut systems, and other ancillary items.
Technofast has recently moved into a new, purpose-built premises, allowing the company to further expand its manufacturing capability for export markets with major distributors in international markets.