Swagelok Installation Training Ensures the Job Is Done Right
by Jeff Hopkins, on 5/9/13, 7:00 AM
Installing Swagelok fittings and valves correctly -- so you'll get top performance
As a manufacturer of tube fittings, Swagelok can control the design, the quality of the materials, and the manufacturing process used to make our tube fittings. We are well-known for the quality of our products, especially our tube fittings. However, since we do not install every tube fitting we sell, we encourage our customers to train their installers on proper installation, including tubing selection and preparation, as well as following Swagelok tube fitting installation instructions. We not only encourage training, but we also offer hands-on training courses for customers.
Costly installation errors
A good case in point is the training we had for a Northern California city that was upgrading its wastewater treatment plant. Specifically, it was putting in a new hydraulic system for its sludge digesters. The city got off to a good start with a large order for Swagelok fittings and high quality stainless steel tubing. Before long, though, the maintenance engineering supervisor at the plant found the contractor had done a poor job of installing the tube fittings. For instance, after cutting the tubing, they did not de-burr the ends of the tubing as they should have. This meant there were sharp metal fragments at the ends of the tubing, and filings inside. The supervisor was worried that those metal fragments would cut through O-rings and cause other problems in the system. All the work up to that point of the poor tube fitting installation had to be torn out and redone. This delayed the project further and caused unplanned expense for the contractor.
To ensure this problem did not repeat itself, we offered a training class to the contractors on proper installation. This is an informative hands-on one day training which helps customers understand the importance of properly installing Swagelok fittings and tubing. The first half of the session focuses on the proper installation of Swagelok fittings. The second part of the day covers accurate and proper tube bending. A written test and practicum is given at the end of the training. As part of the practicum, we have each participant use quarter-inch tubing and tube fittings to build a tubing stand. Each trainee’s project is taken back to our office to have a pressure test performed. If the fittings and tubing are properly installed, the tubing will burst before the fittings leak. As a memento and a reminder, we return each participant's project, along with a certificate of completion.
All day or two hours
Does it really take all day to learn the proper way to bend tubing and install fittings? Yes and no. We offer all day classes on mulitple subjects, or we can do shorter two hour classes on one subject. Either way, your installers will learn valuable best practices and practical skills that is well worth the time and money invested in attending our training courses. Take the matter of de-burring tubing. The original problem the city encountered was that de-burring was not being done at all. We have also run into instances where the installers were overdoing it. They were scraping the ends of the tubing so much that they made the edges razor sharp, which causes its own set of problems. We also run into problems where Swagelok tube fittings are over-tightened or under-tightened both of which are problematic as well. Swagelok training can help you and your team avoid the costs associated with these and other common installation errors. Click here for more details on the training courses we have to offer.