Press-fit stain­less steel pipes save time

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - PRODUCT WATCH -

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.”

Con­tact: 09 274 0111 email sales@kem­bla.co.nz

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