On April 15th, we're offering our two-hour Tube Fitting Safety Seminar for only $15 each instead of $149
Join us Wednesday, April 15th at our Tax day special $15 Tube Fitting Safety Seminar. Space is limited. Sign up now! »
As you sweat over your taxes this month, Swagelok Northern California wants to give your company a break: Two solid hours of professional training, plus lunch, for only $15. We figured that since we can't give you a tax deduction directly, we'd do it by lopping $134 off the standard cost.
Think about it: Corporate tax rates vary from 15 to 35 percent. To cut your company's taxes by $134 you'd have to come up with anywhere from $383 to $893 worth of deductions. We give you the same result without having to fill out any IRS forms.
Such a deal
Even if you don't like to think about taxes (neither do we), think about how far $15 would normally stretch. You'd be lucky to get four lattes or a pair of movie tickets. It won't even cover an oil change.
But during April, that same $15 will get something of real value for your company.
Tube fitting class
First, there's our Swagelok Tube Fitting Safety Seminar. We call it a safety seminar because failure to properly install a tube fitting can pose real hazards. Our fittings are sometimes used in lines supplying toxic gasses to machinery. A bad seal exposes people to dangerous fumes. Some of our fittings are used in lines that run caustic chemicals. A leak can damage other equipment and cost thousands of dollars for repair. Even a simple water leak could lead someone to slip and fall.
While it's not difficult to properly install a Swagelok tube fitting, not everyone gets the message or remembers it. When we ask people in our training class to describe the right way to do it, we often get a lot of different answers. Maybe they were taught the wrong technique years ago, or maybe after years of doing the job the installation instructions have been forgotten. One of the biggest temptations is to tighten the fitting "by feel." Our April 15 class includes hands-on demonstrations showing why that's the wrong approach. (By the way, can you name all the components in a Swagelok tube fitting?)
We offer the training seminar monthly, but we've never offered it at $15 each. Sign up now, and then you can get back to those IRS forms.
Tube bending class
One day later, on April 16, we'll hold our Tube Bending Seminar. Good tube fabrication techniques can improve system performance and enhance the quality of a system. This skill often is passed on from craftsman to apprentice. That's great if you are learning from someone who really knows what he's doing. But how can you be sure he does?
With Swagelok's two-hour class, there's no guesswork. Again, the basics of tube bending are not difficult to grasp. But there's a lot more to learn than just bending a tube. For instance, it's important to be able to calculate the exact length of tubing you need for the job. Some companies have to scrap thousands of dollars of tubing each year because somebody couldn't get it right on the first try.
Since it is no longer tax day, you won’t get a tax break on this class, but at only $149 each (lunch included), you will quickly recoup the cost in productivity and scrap reduction. Sign up now!
With the help of our Application Support team, SEEO is saving time and money
Need help solving a fluid system problem. Our Application Support team is here to help Learn more »
For its new generation of high-tech batteries, SEEO Inc. in Hayward demands a lot from its research and manufacturing equipment. SEEO's DryLyte electric storage devices are nothing like the AA batteries that run so many of our tech tools and toys. The DryLyte products deliver 160 volts to 320 volts, and are designed for applications such as telephone backup power, or running electric vehicles.
SEEO's R&D processes include filtering a viscous polymer solution before supplying it to the rest of the system. The company had been using syringe pumps and disposable membrane filters, but the syringe pump could not handle the high viscosity of the polymer. Membrane filters were clogging every 10 minutes, which sometimes resulted in a safety shutdown. To keep the downtime to a minimum, someone had to sit right next to the pumps, monitor the process and replace filters.
The company was spending hundreds of dollars a day replacing clogged filters, and tens of thousands of dollars in manpower that could be put to better use elsewhere.
Cleaner and faster
Scott Mullin, senior scientist at SEEO, came to Swagelok Northern California for help. We connected him with Neil Ide, product manager for Custom Solutions, and Annamarie Armstrong from our inside sales team, to discuss the details of the application. Ide suggested a new design that did away with syringe pumps, and used components that included a Swagelok filter and pressurized gas.
The new solution was in place in a matter of months. A process that used to take two to six hours now takes only 15 to 30 minutes, with perhaps one filter change. It does not have to be monitored as closely as the old system, and the filter clogs much less frequently. SEEO is saving money on filters, and has recaptured lost productivity by taking one of its people off monitoring duty.
"We are very happy with our setup," Mullin says. "It's saved us a lot of time and probably a lot of money as well, both in having less consumables, and because we had a filter pump die that we no longer need to replace. They run about $2,000."
As SEEO perfects its R&D process, the company hopes to create a large-scale version that will involve gallons of polymer at a time. Mullin already expects to seek out more advice from Swagelok when he reaches that point.
"I can't thank Annamarie and Neil enough," Mullin says. "The help and persistence was very valuable to us. I don't think we would have found such a clean and quick solution without Swagelok Northern California."
Standing by to help
Whether your business involves semiconductors, biopharmaceuticals, metallurgy or fluoropolymers, we have engineers and scientists that can support you. They can help you get the best systems for manufacturing, maintenance, repair and operation.
Not only can we suggest designs, we can save you hours of development, design, and drawing time with downloadable 2D and 3D CAD template drawings.
You may have been using a component that's no longer made, or one that was manufactured by a company that no longer exists. Swagelok Northern California’s can help you find viable alternatives. Or we can team up with your organization to prototype and develop components that will get the job done.
It's easy to explore your options. Contact our application support team online. Ask us a question, and we'll respond by phone or email.
"Blowing off a little steam" may be good for people, but it's bad for steam systems
Steam follows certain rules of temperature and volume. For instance, consider what happens when high-pressure condensate is discharged into a lower pressure area such as a condensate return line, a flash tank, or some other system. The steam travels from one environment to another through a steam trap, a control valve or some other device. As it enters the lower pressure environment, heat energy is released, causing some of the condensate to re-evaporate into steam. This release is called “flashing,” and the resulting steam is called “flash steam.”
Flash steam can cause a wide range of headaches. It wastes energy, and requires more make-up water. That inefficiency can slice tens of thousands of dollars off the company's bottom line, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if you didn't lose a dime on flash steam, it can cause water hammer if not properly piped.
There are ways to recover flash steam. A lot depends on whether you have a modulating or non-modulating steam system. We'll cover each set of circumstances in future posts in this series. In the meantime, it pays to understand flash steam.
Click here to read the complete steam system best practice: Flash Steam: Are You Venting (Flash) Steam to Atmosphere? and download a free, illustrated, three-page PDF of this best practice on flash steam. It includes the mathematical formulas to help you figure out what flash steam is costing you.
Lam Research rewards outstanding performance, commitment, and collaboration
Swagelok has won a Supplier Excellence Award from Lam Research Corporation, a major global provider of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. Swagelok was one of only six companies around the world to achieve the award.
These awards were based on pre-defined standards, including on-time delivery, quality, cost reduction, and several areas of flexibility and support. More than that, though, the winners stood out for their willingness to exceed performance requirements, according to Lam.
Swagelok has been supplying parts to Lam since 1980, the year Lam was founded. We currently supply Lam with a wide range of valves, fittings, tubing, hoses, pressure gauges and custom solutions assemblies.
"Earning Lam’s Supplier Excellence Award is a wonderful accomplishment," said Rod Fallow, president of Swagelok Northern California.
The award was not just for Swagelok Northern California, it is actually for Swagelok Company in Ohio and all the sales and service centers that work with Lam. Supporting Lam is a team effort.
"The team back there has performed miracles on numerous occasions to manufacture and expedite products to make sure Lam was able to meet their commitments to their customers," Fallow said. "In addition, they have on numerous occasions shared their knowledge and collaborated with Lam vice presidents, engineers, scientists, quality teams, and supply chain managers to provide even more value."
Locally, Josh Herndon and Mike Valentine manage the overall relationship with Lam and work to uncover opportunities where we can help them improve their business in some way. But Fallow was quick to emphasize that working with Lam is a team effort: Christine Anderson acting as our primary point of contact for customer service to Lam, Gabe Barron and the Custom Solutions team managing the quoting, Neil Ide working work with Lam engineers to help solve a problem or simplify an assembly. It seems unfair not to give credit to each individual who is involved, but the list would take an entire blog post by itself. Even the finance and accounting team is crucial to our success supporting Lam.
In evaluating its suppliers, Lam uses some objective criteria such as cost, delivery and quality. But there are subjective measures too, such as flexibility and support. Swagelok beats Lam's requirement of getting 95 percent of shipments to their destination by the promised date. With Lam working three shifts, that's vital to maintaining capacity.
Lam invests a lot of money into research and development to stay competitive. Thus, it needs suppliers that likewise care about R&D and look at the relationship as a collaboration, not just a series of transactions.
March promo: Buy the tube fitting and tube bending tools and toolbox, and get free admittance to two Swagelok training seminars!
Get the ultimate set of fabrication tools in the Swagelok®
Tube Fitter's Toolbox, and get free admittance to two Swagelok training seminars Now »
They say a craftsman is only as good as his tools. If you are going to invest in the right tools for the job, it only makes sense to take care of your investment. Yet far too many people simply toss their tools into a big box on the back of their truck. The tools rattle around and get lost under other tools. So, we’re offering a nice incentive to take care of your tools. Buy the Swagelok Tube Fitter's Toolbox for $1,699 and get free admittance to two Swagelok training seminars ($258 value). That way, you can brush up on how to use the tools at our Swagelok Tube Fitting Safety Seminar and Swagelok Tube Bending Seminar. Our next two seminars are next week, Tuesday, March 10th and Wednesday, March 11th. Get more details here »
Finding the right tool for your next tubing job will not be an issue when you have the Swagelok Tube Fitter’s Toolbox on the jobsite. The toolbox contains a complete set of Swagelok hand tools designed specifically for fabricating tubing systems. The set is designed for use with the three most common tube sizes: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch (outside diameter) tubing. All of the tools are securely contained in a lockable, water resistant case.
The Swagelok Tube Fitter’s Toolbox (part number MS-FSTOOLS-KIT) contains the following hand tools:
• Hand tube benders in three sizes
• Tube cutter
• Tube deburring tool
• Gap inspection gauges in three sizes
• Tee wrenches in three sizes
• Ratchet wrenches in three sizes
• Pre-swaging tools in three sizes
• Swagelok's Tube Fitter's Manual
Time saving tools
We always tell our customer base that you don't need any specialized tools to install our tube fittings, and that's true. But our tee wrenches and ratchet wrenches do make the job easier and speed up the work. For instance, one advantage of Swagelok tube fittings is that they can be disassembled and reassembled. We offer the pre-swaging tools so you can do some work on the bench and then take the assemblies to the field and put it all together. That can be very helpful if you are working in tight spaces, over your head or down by your feet.
Compact case, compact price
So start March off right, by organizing and caring for your tools. Buy the Swagelok Tube Fitter's Toolbox for $1,699 (carrying case is made by Pelican, one of the best tool case brands in the nation) and then register to attend your two free Swagelok training seminars. The case is lockable for security, and is equipped with wheels for easy transport. Inside, the foam lining gives each tool its own space, and protects it from dirt and debris. That's important, because a damaged roller wheel on a bender could cause scoring and result in bends getting rejected by an inspector.
The case is our own design from Swagelok Northern California. The tools and case are such a useful combination that other Swagelok Sales and Service Centers have asked us to make some for them and their customers.
We build out Tube Fitter's Toolboxes as needed, so how fast we fill your order depends on which tools we have in stock. Usually a few weeks of lead time is plenty.
If you already own the tools, you can still buy the case separately. Even if you aren't ready to buy the whole package, you can buy the case now and fill it with only the tools you need.
No matter how you approach it, the Tube Fitter's Tool Box has you covered. Order one now »
The Bloodhound Supersonic Car is designed to go faster than a speeding bullet
This 30 second video debuted in Northeast Ohio during the 2015 Super Bowl. It features the Bloodhound Supersonic car's pursuit of the land speed record.
A team in Bristol, England, is rolling out an amazing vehicle that will attempt to set a new land speed record of 1,000 mph in 2016: The Bloodhound Supersonic Car. Behind the wheel will sit Andy Green, a wing commander in the Royal Air Force and the man who already holds the land speed record of 736 mph.
Helping him achieve his goal is Swagelok.
Swagelok components play a few key roles in the car's rocket engine oxidizer system, which uses concentrated hydrogen peroxide known as High Test Peroxide (HTP). These include Swagelok fittings, hoses, pressure regulators, and valves. And several Swagelok components are found in the car's hydraulic lines that connect the brake pedal to the air brakes – Andy’s primary means of slowing down. These include Swagelok fittings, quick connects, and a hose.
The solid aluminum wheels will spin at over 10,000 RPM at top speed. It's not enough for Green to zoom across the land faster than the speed of sound. Swagelok is helping him get into the record books safely. The video below describes how Swagelok is helping to make engineering history.
Long, lean and powerful
The Bloodhound looks so low and sleek that it's easy to miss how gigantic it is. The car is 44 feet long and weighs 17,000 pounds. To get a monster like that moving at 1,000 mph takes a lot of muscle, and the Bloodhound has it: three engines with a combined 135,000 horsepower.
First there's a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, originally designed to sit in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane. For extra thrust, the Bloodhound also has a Nammo hybrid rocket. Then, as an auxiliary power unit, a Jaguar supercharged V8 engine drives a pump to supply high-test peroxide at a rate of more than 9 gallons per second to the rocket.
The rest of the car is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front half made of carbon fiber and the back half made of metal panels. Altogether it has 3,500 components. One hundred and ten man-years have been invested in the design, build and manufacture of the Bloodhound.
Land, sea, air and space
It is a tribute to the integrity, quality and innovation of Swagelok parts that they were selected to help this record be achieved safely. From the ocean floor to the surface of Mars and everywhere in between, Swagelok is a part of missions around the world. Swagelok has field engineers, technology and service centers with the purpose of collaborating on specialty custom designs – or supplying top quality fluid components – whatever our customers need.
The Bloodhound has one more role in addition to setting a land speed record. The project is intended to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers by showcasing this car’s unique design and accomplishments. That is something we all feel really proud of here at Swagelok Northern California.
After all, at Swagelok we’ve been growing and serving customers for 60 years. Isn’t it nice to know we’re still racing to stay ahead of your needs?
From record breaking applications to basic water lines, Swagelok is there. We would enjoy hearing how you are using Swagelok to propel your applications into the future. Please tell us about it and we will send you a Swagelok koozie. Tell us about your application here »
Stop by the Swagelok booth at the annual "Vacuum Show" in San Jose on Feb. 19
Visit us next Thursday at this year's "Vacuum Show", enjoy a free lunch, and learn more about Swagelok® Hose Solutions More info »
Vacuum systems have become an essential part of many industries, which naturally means that Swagelok takes a keen interest. That's why we're once again heading to San Jose for the annual Vacuum Equipment Exhibition sponsored by The Northern California Chapter of the American Vacuum Society. This year the "Vacuum Show" falls on Feb. 19. The free event is once again to be held at the Holiday Inn, San Jose Airport, (1350 North First St.) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The event is free, lunch is provided, and there will be an evening hospitality session with food and drinks. We hope you'll hang out with us at Booth 34, where we will be displaying Swagelok products for vacuum-related industries.
But there also will be a full day of speakers at the official symposium, which starts a bit earlier, at 9 a.m. Topics include nanotechnology, oxitronics and magnetron sputtering.
A different world
When the pressure is negative instead of positive, fluid systems enter a whole new world. Familiar terms take on different meanings. For one thing, high vacuum is a lower pressure than low vacuum. There are very few absolutes, and even some common terms can cause confusion because of conflicting definitions. We can provide guidance for customers in the semiconductor industry or any business using vacuum systems.
On display we’ll have products such as fittings and valves used in vacuum service, along with our tube fittings guide. We'll have different types of hose and flexible tubing for vacuum service too.
Assembled to order
This year, we will highlight our hose solutions capabilities. Our team of certified assembly technicians can build hose assemblies to your specifications. All are pressure or leak tested before delivery, and they are backed by the Swagelok limited lifetime warranty. Learn more »
Newbies and veterans both benefit from our classes on how to do the jobs right
Join us next week for our Swagelok® Tube Fitting Safety and Tube Bending seminars get more info »
Tubing and fittings form the heart of a fluid system. If they aren't handled and installed correctly, the system will cause headaches for the people who have to work with it, and it will cost the company time and money.
Next week we have a pair of two-hour seminars that cover the key elements of properly installing tube fittings and bending tubing. On Wednesday, Feb. 11, we'll present our Swagelok Tube Fitting Safety Seminar. The next day we'll have our Swagelok Tube Bending Seminar. Both will be presented at our Fremont location from noon to 2 p.m.
A good fit
Notice that the class title includes the word "Safety." Leaks can be a real safety hazard, especially in systems that use hot or caustic fluids. Even a puddle of water on the floor can cause someone to slip and fall. When Swagelok fittings are installed correctly, they won't leak.
But many people learn on the job, and sometimes pick up bad habits from others. They may learn to tighten fittings by "feel," which often leads to under-tightening and leaks. Our class will identify this and other common installation errors.
The class also will cover:
• Evaluation of tube fitting design and function.
• Identification of good tube system fabrication procedures.
• The importance of proper tube selection, care and handling.
• A comparison of a tube system and a pipe system, and their strengths and weaknesses.
• Safe plumbing practices.
• Proper application of thread sealants and lubricants.
Our class is designed for anyone responsible for designing, installing and maintaining leak-free tubing systems: engineers, draftsmen, fabricators, contractors, quality control personnel and safety engineers.
Graduates of the class will take home a portfolio of useful reference materials and a certificate of completion.
Seeing past the bend
Our two-hour Tube Bending Seminar teaches the basics of tube bending and a lot more.
You'll learn the math needed to cut tubing to the proper length. Remember, good tubing isn't cheap. Some companies end up throwing out thousands of dollars of scrap tubing each year because it wasn't cut to the proper length before bending.
Good handling practices are important too, because tubing performance suffers with every ding, dent and scratch. We'll explain how to care for your supplies.
We also teach some time-saving fabrication techniques. Because it's a hands-on seminar, you'll get a chance to try them out. Past participants have singled this out as one of the best parts of the training.
Our seminars cost only $149 per person, and we'll knock that down to $129 apiece if you sign up for both. Not only that, but we'll serve you lunch. So register online now.
As we move full-speed into 2015, here are some highlights from last year
By now most of us have broken our New Year's resolutions, have worked through any backlog that awaited us at work on Jan. 2, and are diving into the work of the new year. As we return to full speed, let's give one last salute to some of the most popular 2014 blog posts from Swagelok Northern California.
It was a year when we got into video in a major way with our series, "When Will It Burst?" We had a blast setting up various combinations of tubing and hose and seeing how much pressure they could handle before they burst. Along the way, we were able to demonstrate that Swagelok® tube fittings, when properly installed, will hold up without leaking even as the tubing or hose ruptures.
The video series was part of a recurring theme in 2014: How to get the most out of Swagelok products and services. Topics included Swagelok University, Swagelok Energy Management Services, and our tube bending training.
We also introduced a few of the people who make Swagelok Northern California what it is. That includes our president, Rod Fallow, our Will Call team of Matt Kearns and Joe Fermandez in Santa Clara and Peter Fraser in Fremont, and steam systems engineer Casey Rivera. For a brief look at some of the other folks who work here, check out our entry in one of the big trends and most successful fundraisers of the year, the Ice Bucket Challenge.
We put a lot of serious, valuable information within easy reach in 2014 too. Swagelok's Tube Fitter's Manual, a classic for more than half a century, made its online debut. Thanks to our eDTR™ software, the freshest versions of Swagelok's parts catalogs are always available on your desktop computer. We've made it available for the iPad too as a mobile application.
It's tempting to link to every single post from 2014, because each one contains information that helps you better understand Swagelok products and services, and the team here at Swagelok Northern California. But the above samples highlight a great year for our blog. Now we're hard at work trying to top that in 2015.
Check out the resources that our customers found most valuable last year
Choosing Swagelok valves: Valve Sizing Technical Bulletin and the article, "Matching Valve Type to Function"
Choosing the right valve is an essential part of a quality fluid system. These two resources will put you on the path to successful selection.
Selection and Sizing of Pressure Reducing Regulators: A Guide to Finding the Right Fit
Download a guide that demystifies flow curves and explains how to size a pressure reducing regulator using its flow curve.
Plan Your Steam Systems Success eBook
Our free eBook helps you understand steam and condensate leakage and how it impacts your plant's bottom line.
Swagelok Pressure Gauges Available from Swagelok Northern California
Swagelok Northern California has pressure gauges for a variety general industrial, process, and sanitary applications: general purpose, miniature, low pressure, safety, reinforced, positionable, panel mount, sanitary.
Training Classes Available From Swagelok Northern California
Improve safety, increase productivity, and keep abreast of the latest fluid system technologies with our comprehensive customer training and education programs.
Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual
Get access to the definitive book on tube fittings and tube fitting installation by the company that invented the tube fitting
See Swagelok Hose and Flexible Tubing Available from Swagelok Northern California
Hoses for a wide range of applications are custom assemble right here at our Fremont facility. From stainless steel braided PTFE hose to flexible metal to rubber hose, we have 20 different series of hose and flexible tubing each with options and accessories.
Swagelok Ball Valve Catalogs
Get access to 17 Swagelok Ball Valve Catalogs including One-Piece Instrumentation, General Purpose and Special Application, Trunnion, Alternative Fuel Service, Medium-Pressure, Multipurpose, and more.
The Swagelok® Stainless Steel Tubing Catalog and Tubing Data Sheet
Swagelok offers general industrial and high purity stainless steel tubing. The Swagelok Tubing Data Sheet provides suggested allowable working pressure for tubing when used with Swagelok® Tube Fittings.
Download Details on Swagelok Tube Fittings Available from Swagelok Northern California
Both of these are essential resources for anyone working with or designing tubing systems.