Tag Archives: Technofast

Technofast hydraulic bolting solution brings speed, safety benefits to Motion Australia

A company dedicated to optimising the safety and performance of industrial plant installations and maintenance is upgrading the safety of bucketwheel reclaimer head fastening with a Technofast hydraulic bolting solution available throughout North America.

Motion Australia – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company – uses Technofast EziTite® hydraulic bolts to precisely and swiftly secure iron ore reclaimer drive heads in Australia, doing the job multiple times faster than alternative methods – often four or five times more swiftly with less handling and more safety, according to the company.

The same range of products are applicable for reclaimer applications globally, according to Technofast founder and CEO, John Bucknell.

Technofast products are distributed throughout North America, with permanent and long-established representation in the region.

Motion Australia’s Engineering Services Manager, WA, Harrison Hart, said: “While eliminating high labour inputs, the big benefit of this technology that matters most to miners is the safeguards the EziTite fasteners offer against OH&S hazards. These include hand and fatigue-related hazards occurring with slower and less precise fastening methods.

“Because of their safety, speed, and precision in operation, we have adopted the technology widely, using hundreds of EziTite M56 fasteners on bucketwheel reclaimer heads over the last couple of years. We have introduced them as an integral part of our broader service solutions that respond to the needs of big primary producing industries, such as mining, which are absolutely focused on safety.”

He added: “The hazard reduction and accuracy of these precision-engineered, high performance, hydraulically operated bolt tensioning devices is immediately apparent to miners and OHS personnel in multiple industries that operate bucketwheel reclaimers.”

EziTite bolts are screwed into place by hand, then stretched hydraulically with direct axial force to achieve precise and repeatable tension and clamping force on the joint. When this force is attained, they are then locked in place mechanically for as long as they are needed. The process is simply reversed for maintenance: by reapplying the hydraulic pressure, releasing the simple, secure mechanical lock ring and then relieving the input pressure, allowing removal by hand, again saving time and manual handling.

“Rather than using torque methods to secure a nut, they can be set up and operated four or maybe five times faster than alternative methods,” Hart says. “They achieve highly accurate and measurable consistency over multiple bolts or sets of bolts.”

This same precision is possible even when the EziTite bolts are daisy-chained to apply joint clamping force simultaneously, or, as in this application, actuated individually.

Hart added: “The Technofast hydraulic fastening method ensures precise uniformity of fastening and clamping as required by individual applications. We have found its accuracy well in excess of other methods. It easily provides huge forces needed for large diameter bolts with consistent and even bolt tension for joint integrity, to make the installation stronger, longer-lasting and more durable, thus adding another layer of safety.”

Silver Technofast EziTite hydraulic fasteners installed by Motion Australial on a bucket wheel reclaimer head

Speed a bonus to safety

“Speed is mostly a bonus in this application, but a highly worthwhile value-add nevertheless when you consider that bucket wheel reclaimers are often handling anything from 500-20,000 t/h. With ore and coal prices fluctuating this year between a $80 and $130 a tonne, greater uptime and throughput is definitely a consideration. Labour input cost is always much more expensive than an EziTite bolt is ever going to be. We save on maintenance time and put the machinery to work sooner, shifting ore and making money.”

Speed and ease of use are illustrated by the fact that it typically takes Motion Australia about a minute to apply accurate pressure to one bolt. The old system has a long setup time, with the result that the Technofast solution is, according to the company, four to five times faster.

Hart says: “As a strongly service-committed solutions provider, whose integrity and advice are highly respected by these on-site partners, we are very pleased with the quality and prompt supply by Technofast of this locally manufactured product. We appreciate also the excellent support from Technofast’s WA Manager, Watson McIlveen, who always gives realistic timeframes and reliable undertakings.

“But the biggest plus – and reason we have introduced EziTite as part of our holistic solutions – is safety. By reducing handling and eliminating rotational hazards from the bolting process in this application, the technology responds to customer expectations upon us, as a trusted advisor and solution provider, for safer and more accurate solutions.”

Technofast Founder and CEO, John Bucknell, says the experience of people such as Harrison Hart speaks volumes about the global standards of quality and backup provided by the Technofast family of technologies.

Bucknell says: “Technofast technologies are in demand because of quality, service backup – and because we are local, typically halving delivery times for technologies such as fasteners, tensioners, and lifting cylinders up to 1,000 tonnes, which are in high demand from companies seeking to protect themselves against supply chain disruption.

“Motion Australia (formerly CBC) is dedicated to improving component performance and increasing plant up-time with safety paramount. Maximising safety and productivity are central to everything they do, providing their globally connected customer base with world-class solutions. They have an outstanding national reputation, dealing only with top quality suppliers, which is a great compliment to us.”

Technofast adds new layer of security for bolting-on equipment

An evenly tensioned series of bolted joints is critical to the safe, low maintenance and cost-efficient assembly and disassembly of many types of equipment used throughout the mining industry, Technofast says.

Secure tensioning of a series of bolts on equipment such as comminution machinery, gearboxes, motors, vibrating screens and turbines is critical, because bolted joints are designed so the individual fasteners apply a collective compressive load greater than the working forces, which try to separate the components. Any under-tensioned bolt sheds excessive load onto nearby fasteners, which may be overstressed and fail, thereby causing loss of mechanical integrity and severe damage.

Second and conversely, if bolts are overtightened, then the elastic limit of their steel material may be exceeded and lead to premature failure. Additionally, the area under the bolt head or the nut could be crushed with resulting damage to the joint components.

The ideal means of tightening a bolted joint is to energise all the fasteners simultaneously using a bolt tensioner or hydraulic nut. As these can be connected in a ‘daisy chain’, force is applied evenly and equally to each via the increasing hydraulic pressure applied from a single point source.

“Whatever the reason for unevenly tensioned bolts, the outcome is never good. The fault ultimately affects machinery reliability, maintenance downtime – and potential risk to people working around them,” John Bucknell, CEO of Technofast precision engineered solutions, said.

Different versions of Technofast’s hydraulically-actuated EziTite® hydraulic nuts and CamNut® tensioning systems provide solutions to such issues where they are used to speedily apply and release bolted joints. Technofast’s bolting products are used to accelerate and make safer assembly and disassembly of machinery in applications in mining, particularly those production-critical applications under high pressure or heat, or those subject to intense vibration, Bucknell says.

Applications include machinery used globally across extractive industries including those for coal, copper, gold, iron ore, nickel, aluminium, bauxite, potash, silver, lead, uranium, ilmenite, zinc, zircon, lithium as well as quarries for sand, gravel, road base and construction materials.

“Rather than tightening the bolts by torque methods – that is rotation of the nut by hammering or use of torque wrenches, or alternatively, by using bolt heating methods – Technofast CamNut and EziTite HT hydraulic nuts use hydraulic force to stretch multiple bolts axially,” Buckell said. “They achieve exact tensions across a series of bolts by exerting the exact amount needed for the particular application on all of them simultaneously. They are then locked with their individual screwed Lock Rings to achieve reliable, even and precise tensioning the first time. Up to 100% of all the fasteners used in a particular daisy chain can be precisely fastened or released simultaneously.”

This type of speed and safety offered by standard and custom-made EziTite hydraulic nuts and CamNuts is valuable on mine sites, as shown by an application involving Newmont’s Boddington gold mine in Australia, which is one of the world’s largest gold mines.

Newmont’s particular high-stress application involved gearbox couplers on Polysius-Polycom PM8-24/17M high-pressure grinding roll machinery. Originally, installation was performed with two hydraulic bolt tensioners that required multiple passes of the bolts (40 in total).

Removal was then carried out with the use of a hydraulic torque wrench, which, in this application, was an extremely time-consuming process in a difficult and confined location.

“There was also the issue of inconsistent bolt loads in this application, plus the occupational health and safety issues with the use of hydraulic torque wrenches in this tough and time-consuming operation, which involved 10-12 hours and a team of six personnel,” Bucknell said.

The solution to the time, efficiency and safety issues involved a series of special M48 x 3.0 ultra-high tensile EziTite hydraulic nuts linked together over the 40 nuts involved.

Benefits borne out by this application included easy installation, as well as removal for maintenance (installation and removal are by the same method). In addition to fewer handling and fewer occupational health and safety issues, precise bolt loads were achieved across all the fasteners involved and installation and removal times improved dramatically, according to Technofast.

Bucknell said: “Compared with the 10 hours and six personnel involved previously, the new technology resulted in installations involving just three hours and three personnel. This radically improved time efficiency and costs, while substantially increasing safety, because the tensioning and release process was carried out remotely, simultaneously and immediately under precisely controlled conditions.

“The Technofast team working with the client in this application designed a special nut to achieve required size and particular strength requirements. Project management staff commented on the ease of fitting and the fact that the tensioning has reduced the overall time by two thirds and personnel from six to three. They said the implementation of the new setup allowed them to achieve the timelines required for shutdowns on these machines.

“These are typical benefits of Technofast hydraulic bolt tensioning over many installations and many countries, including those organised by our US office in conjunction with our global headquarters in Brisbane, from where we service Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe.”

Complementing Technofast’s EziTite hydraulic nuts, the CamNut system is designed for applications where longer bolts for standard bolt tensioners are not available or desirable, and for situations with elevated operational temperatures, such as pumps and steam valves.

Technofast EziTite fasteners secure place in comminution equipment setup

A new way of securing vibrating screen and crusher motor bolts has been shown in service to save two-thirds of the time previously taken for the installation and maintenance of the drives of this comminution equipment, according to Australia-based Technofast.

Technofast EziTite® Hydraulic Nuts are used to secure vibrating mechanisms and drive motors to sieves, screens and comminution equipment so as to avoid downtime and maintenance. They are actuated simultaneously to give accurate, even and simultaneous torquing across sets of bolts used in crusher screen applications such as mineral processing and the sorting of industrial materials.

The EziTite fasteners for vibrating and crusher applications incorporate a poly washer for extended service, eliminating problems such as hex nuts vibrating loose, lack of control of the bolt load, and physically demanding and hazardous use of flogging spanners, the company says.

Technofast Founder and CEO, John Bucknell, said: “One of the issues facing operators of this type of equipment is the propensity for bolts to loosen under the constant vibration and cyclic loading. We have alleviated this issue by incorporating a flexible poly washer to augment the outstanding performance of the EziTite fasteners in service.

“One typical quarry and mining application in Western Australia dramatically cut the installation time of the motor bolts from a six-hour operation needing two or three personnel, to a two-hour operation involving two people. The machine operator involved reported that using the poly washer as a shock-resistant component and tensioning them simultaneously with precise accuracy is a game changer.”

He added: “Not only did the application benefit from easy installation and safer handling, but also the simultaneous and precise tensioning of the EziTite nuts produced highly accurate bolt loadings without the ‘cross talk’ coming from individual torque tightening. This resulted in a safer, more secure and longer-lasting joint.”

Technofast has more than doubled the size of its Brisbane, Australia, premises in recent years as a result of expanded global demand for its products, which are typically used where rapid, simplified, and safe maintenance is important and secure and long-lasting joints are integral to safety. Applications range from the servicing of nuclear reactors and conventional turbines, through to partnerships with the likes of Framatome and Siemens in areas such as mineral processing, motors, crushers, dragline drums, cranes, mantle nuts and gearbox coupler.