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Air-driven torque tools rely on Moduflex air preparation

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Hi-Force, a manufacturer and distributor of high-pressure hydraulic tools, is using Parker Hannifin's Moduflex air preparation system within its high-reliability, air-driven products.

Air-driven torque tools rely on Moduflex air preparationParker Hannifin is supplying its Moduflex air preparation system to Hi-Force, the international supplier of high-performance hydraulic tools, for use in its air-driven pump units that complement its hydraulic torque wrenches. Parker's modular filtration system combines high performance with compact design and ease of installation.

Hi-Force has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-pressure hydraulic tools for over 20 years. The company's extensive product range includes bolting tools and hydraulic torque wrenches specifically designed for accurately tightening and loosening threaded fasteners.

The wrenches require the use of hydraulic pump units, available from Hi-Force as electric and air-driven versions. As the products are used widely in the oil and gas, refinery and petrochemical industries, air-driven tools are often preferred over electric.

Reliability is essential

Kevin Brown, Managing Director of Hi-Force, explains: "In many cases hydraulic torque wrenches are required to operate continuously, sometimes 24 hours a day, especially during plant maintenance shutdowns, making reliability of performance absolutely essential. The reliability of air-driven hydraulic tools is entirely dependent on a regular supply of clean, lubricated compressed air, making it necessary to include an integrated air line filter, regulator, lubricator and pressure gauge alongside the pump motor. Conventionally, these elements are bulky, poor quality, difficult to repair and replace, and require additional bowls."

To resolve these problems, the engineering, purchasing, sales and operations team leaders at the Hi-Force head office in Daventry were tasked with finding a more efficient and less problematic alternative. Parker was invited to submit samples of its filter, regulator, and lubricator units to Hi-Force for test and assessment.

Kevin Brown continues: "The Parker Moduflex system was chosen for a number of unique benefits that it could offer over competing products. The unit's compact dimensions and modular construction greatly simplifies pipework connection systems, with cast aluminium protection for both filter and lubricator bowls making the product extremely robust. An integral shut off valve for the air motor was also available, which previously had to be sourced and fitted separately. While price was important, quality of the filters was the key requirement in order to maintain the strength of our global brand and to ensure that there would be no negative impact on sales."

Faster assembly

The Moduflex modular system enables combinations of air preparation units to be built in a fraction of the time taken by more traditional systems, thanks to innovative Cliplok technology. Combinations may be assembled quickly and easily, with the individual units combining face-to-face with no intermediate block and no increase in overall dimension. Units can be fitted together without the use of pipe connectors, saving space while providing constant mounting centres. The Cliploks slide into the units from the front and rear and can be locked into place, while Cliploks with integral wall brackets are also available for wall mounting.

Parker's Moduflex series features 5micron elements as standard, with 40micron elements available as an option. Further options include coalescing units for the removal of oil and water aerosols, and adsorbers with activated carbon elements for the removal of hydrocarbon vapours. The one-piece body design eliminates the need for a separate bowl, featuring an easy-to-access baseplate for filter element removal. The element cartridge is a snap fit, one-piece cartridge assembly that is easy to remove and replace for servicing with no tools required.

Kevin Brown at Hi-Force is happy with the results: "Customer feedback on the torque wrenches incorporating the Parker air filtration system has been extremely positive. As well as the high quality of the Parker products, the company's extensive support network allows us, in turn, to provide our customers with an excellent level of technical support. We look forward to continuing to receive outstanding service from Parker Hannifin."

 
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