Press-fit stainless steel pipes save time
As one of the world’s largest sheep meat processors, the farmer owned co-operative, Alliance Group has an ongoing programme to develop and invest in its processing plants, ensuring it can meet the growing demand from its global customer base for high quality meat and related products.
In July 2014, their Nelson plant undertook an upgrade project, installing a new tripe processing line. This required the reconfiguration of their runners processing line that was already installed in the same room. An upgrade of the staff wash down amenities in an adjacent room was also included in the project.
As part of the upgrade, new water supply pipework was required. As part of Alliance’s commitment to quality, the pipework had to meet food safety standards. The project also included replacing some previously installed 304 stainless tubes that had corroded after a relatively short time, an experience they did not want repeated.
After reviewing product options and chemically testing the water in the plant to ensure compatibility, Alliance Group selected Kembla’s KemPress press fit system for the project, and Nelson Plumbing to do the installation.
Being made of 316L stainless steel, the tube met Alliance Group’s food safety requirements, as well as providing long-term durability.
The flame-free KemPress press fit system meant that there was no on-site welding, which eliminated the need for hot work permits. It also reduced the installation time compared to welding the tube joints as done on previous projects on site.
While the KemPress system significantly sped up the pipe installation, good trade practices such as removing swarf by deburring cut tube ends was still required to ensure that this part of the project would be problem free.
Nexus Thermobreak foil faced tube insulation was used on the hot water lines. The aluminium reinforced tape made the insulation easier than traditional foam insulation tubes. The factory applied foil facing on the Nexus Thermobreak ensured the installation looked tidy, as well as preventing moisture ingress and ensuring the longterm durability of the whole piping system.
Being able to immediately test (there were no leaks) and commission sections after pressing meant the project was kept on the tight schedule to meet the start of the plant’s meat processing season.
This project was the first time a press fit tube system had been used at the Nelson plant. Brian Mills, Alliance Group’s Nelson plant engineering manager was “impressed with the speed and the finished appearance of the pipework installation”. He has now committed to using more KemPress in future upgrades and pipe replacement projects at the plant.
Steve Parkins of Nelson Plumbing said: “Following the training provided by Kembla at the start of the project, the system was straight forward to install. We will recommend and use it on other projects in the region.”
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