Ralph had been successfully selling industrial hose and other related products for more than 20 years and felt he had pretty much seen it all. During the weekly sales meeting, Ralph found out his new sales manager had signed up the entire sales crew to attend a hose and coupling workshop sponsored by a fitting manufacturer. Sales had been off recently, and Ralph viewed this day as one of lost opportunity (and lost commissions). After the meeting, Ralph met with his boss and pleaded not to go. He proclaimed that his way of doing things had worked well for quite a while and there wasn’t anything to be gained by his being at this meeting. But his boss insisted, and told Ralph that they might even teach an old dog like him a few new tricks.
Industrial hose, in general, can be used in many applications. These products convey air, steam, water, chemicals, and an almost unlimited assortment of other products from here to there. Sometimes they move under great pressure and travel great distances. When industrial hose and couplings are properly mated to the task, these assemblies perform their function flawlessly and without notice. Then again, there are tasks industrial hose assemblies should never be asked to do.
Life is full of choices. Each choice is a compromise. Do we take the expressway to save 10 minutes of drive time or do we take the scenic route with the great view of the lake and the countryside? Do you buy the green car that is loaded and at a great price, or the silver car with less equipment because you love the color? Do we make our own hose assemblies at the plant to save some time and money, or do we have a distributor, with their expertise, make them for us?
The salesman from XYZ Hose received an email from one of his long-standing customers. He was smiling as he reviewed the order for more chemical hose assemblies, but the words “We’ve been going through these more quickly the last several months” suddenly gave him an unsettled feeling. With hopes of resolving the problem, he quickly emailed his customer, thanking him for the order and apologizing for not stopping by in almost a year. After setting up a meeting for the next week, he phoned in the details of the order to his office.
Extracting aluminum and refining it into a substance that another manufacturer can use as an aluminum part requires many steps. The raw material, bauxite, is fed into a separator tank also known as a digester. Inside the digester tank are a series of wires that resemble a spider web. These wires carry an electrical current that separates the aluminum ore from the rest of the material. This process is known as electrolysis. The residual matter ends up layered on the walls of the tank. Periodically, this clay-like substance needs to be removed from the walls of the digester; pneumatically powered chipping guns do the job. Removing this residue is hot, dirty and strenuous work.
If you’ve ever endured road construction (and who hasn’t) while making the daily work commute or during the family vacation trip, you may have noticed the construction workers creating quite a bit of dust while using tools that sound like machine guns. Congratulations—you’ve just encountered a pneumatic jackhammer.
The process of making sugar from sugar cane has been around since before the birth of Jesus Christ. In many countries, sugar is still made the same way: The stalks are cut, the juice is extracted by ox-drawn crushers and then boiled to remove impurities, and finally it is evaporated to produce sugar crystals. Sugar was once a luxury item for the rich or presented only at special occasions. In the 1700s, sugar had another moniker: “white gold.” In today’s sugar processing plant, moving from sugar cane juice to the white crystals we see in the bowl on our kitchen table is done on a much grander scale. The equipment used in extraction, evaporation, boiling, centrifugal and, finally, packaging make this an amazingly quick journey. However, dangers are inherent to this automation, one in a most inconspicuous form: dust.
A customer’s truck pulled up to the hose shop and the shop leader went over to it to see what he needed. After a short conversation with the chemical plant driver, the shop leader motioned for another employee to come over. The shop leader explained that the customer’s hose had only been in service for a week and had gotten run over by a tanker truck. The hose was damaged, and it needed to be replaced, although the fittings were basically new, and the company had paid good money for them. He then told the employee to cut the fittings out of the hose, get the same style hose from stock, and put the customer’s existing fittings in the new hose. The shop leader instructed the employee to do it quickly, since the driver was going to wait.
Manufacturing is a fast-paced environment where every company faces the challenge to ramp up production as demand increases. The challenge becomes critically important in the food and beverage industry where complying with Food and Drug Administration standards while increasing production is a necessity. There are many ways to help production meet demand; adding people, extra shifts and equipment to name a few.
A sewer cleaning truck is a sophisticated piece of equipment. It has a pump capable of blasting a stream of water up to 2,000 PSI. Specialized nozzles, attached to a hose, use the pressurized water to clean and unclog pipes. The pump also pulsates the water stream, giving the nozzle a “jackhammer” effect to remove really tough clogs. When the task is complete, the nozzle is retrieved from the sewer pipe by winding the hose back up on a hose reel.