Customer saves money, gets better performance and increases efficiency with Swagelok U Series PFA hose
Swagelok U Series PFA hose can pass the test. Download two product test reports on insulation and steam cycling. Product test reports »
Swagelok PFA hose can benefit a company in several ways, as illustrated by one of our biopharmaceutical customers in Northern California. Swagelok Northern Califronia Account Manager, Drew Nagel was regularly on-site in the production facility for several months in early 2006 offering support for a large project to fabricate stainless steel sanitary “spool pieces” to exacting tolerances.
"I noticed that the engineers that we were working with were frustrated with the performance of the silicone hoses they were using." Hoses were failing often during demanding steam cleaning cycles and the only solution anyone in the plant had come up with was to replace them more often with the same type of silicone hose. At about this time, Swagelok had introduced its U Series PFA hose. Nagel’s plant operations and manufacturing support contact was the go to guy for solving problems. He was looking to improve the performance, reliability and safety of their process hose.
"When I told him we had a new product, he was anxious to try it," Nagel says.
It turned out that the silicone hose they were using could not keep up with improvements in the manufacturing process. As the plant introduced more effecitve and concentrated cleaning chemicals, one of those ingredients -- phosphoric acid -- was making the silicone hose brittle and subject to premature failure. Some of the hoses also were autoclaved every day at high temperatures for 45 minutes, further speeding up deterioration.
As demand grew for the the company's bipharmaceutical products, production had to step up. A hose failure at a critical time could result in having to scrap a costly production run or injure a worker.
Product test reports
To show what U series PFA hose could do, Swagelok conducted several laboratory product tests. The first test was a hose insulation test where the hose assemblies were tested to observe the surface temperature of the hose with various fluid temperatures being conveyed. The second test was a steam cycle hose test where the hose assemblies were tested to observe the leak-tight performance when the hose was subjected to internal steam and cold water cycles. The third test was a vacuum test where the hose assemblies were tested to observe the performance at temperature in a vaccum application. Each test revealed Swagelok U series PFA hose's unique capabilites and application possibilities. Get details on how to download the Product test reports »
Swagelok U Series PFA hose and FDA compliance
In a tightly regulated industry like biopharmaceuticals, plant operators can’t change parts on a whim. Fortunately, Swagelok U series PFA hose has all the necessary FDA compliance, and documentation comes with each hose certifying the materials of construction, and the pressure testing.
The process for changing to Swagelok U series PFA hose went smoothly.
Color coding and tagging
One of the challenges of biopharmaceutical manufacturing is hose management and ensuring that different process hoses are not inadvertently used in the wrong areas causing possible cross contamination. By color coding permanent labels (Perma Tags) on each end of the hose, the plant reduced the risk of cross-contamination with a strong visual and written indication on each hose. We showed them how our Perma Tag option could give them not only color coding, but the process, serial number, the date of manufacture and the lot number. These tags allow our customer to acurately follow their standard operating procedures and stay in compliance.
Versatility and flexibility
Swagelok U series PFA hose also gave our customer economies of scale. The non-aging and chemical compatibility characteristics of the PFA combined with the ultra-flexibility and outstanding kink resistance inherent in Swagelok's unique hose design have resulted in greater reliability and longer life performance than the previous hose. As a result, they have found other applications in their production facility where Swagelok U Series PFA hose has decreased costs and increased efficiency through better overall performance.
Check out Swagelok U series PFA hose for yourself to see all the technical advantages it can provide and then contact us if you would like to discuss your hose application. If Swagelok U series PFA hose is not right for your application, we have a whole catalog of hose solutions ready to go to work for you. You can download it now.
Installing Swagelok fittings and valves correctly -- so you'll get top performance
Get a taste of Swagelok training through this Swagelok Tech Tip Video. For more information on our Swagelok training click here »
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.
Reduce sampling system errors and improve process analyzer reliability with this 5-day PASS training from Swagelok Northern California
The Swagelok Process Analyzer Sampling System training from Swagelok Northern California will be taking place June 17-21st. Get the details »
Set aside the week of June 17 through 21 to attend our Process Analyzer Sampling System (PASS) Training class, led by a true expert in the field. Tony Waters has 45 years of experience with process analyzers and their sampling systems. He has worked in engineering and marketing roles for an analyzer manufacturer, an end-user, and a systems integrator. He founded three companies to provide specialized analyzer services to the process industries, and is an expert in the application of process analyzers in refineries and chemical plants.
Waters will be in Northern California in person to lead this five-day, hands-on training course. You may recognize him from our Pre-Engineered Subsystems (PrESS) webinar last year.
Learn valuable skills
When you finish the training, you’ll be able to:
- Recognize and diagnose sample transport problems
- Calculate pressure drop in a fast loop or return line
- Prevent or control phase separation
- Read and create sampling system schematics
- Design and build your own sampling system
- Return to work with valuable knowledge and skills you can apply right away.
This course is essential for technicians, chemists, engineers, or anyone involved in the design, building, operation, or maintenance of process analyzer sampling systems. It's appropriate for basic training or as a refresher for experienced professionals.
The textbook on sampling systems
Attendees will get a very special bonus to take home with them. Tony Waters has just distilled his half-century of expertise into a 744-page book titled "Industrial Sampling Systems: Reliable Design and Maintenance for Process Analyzers."
"I spent five and a half years on the book. It was a huge amount of work," Waters says. When he suggested the idea, Swagelok enthusiastically supported his effort. The book is based on versions of the PASS class, in fact.
"The class is engaging, very intensive, and covers a lot of material, after the course, when students go through the book at home a lot of what we covered will come back to life again," Waters says. That's where the book's section on the metric SI system of measurement will come in especially handy. It's the system most of the world uses, and the language that Waters will use in the class. So brush up on your meters and Pascals.
We're spreading the word about the PASS class now because space is limited, and our registration deadline is May 20. Learn more about the Process Analyzer Sampling System training and how to register here.
By the way, the PASS class will involve a lot of calculations. It's simple division, rather than calculus or trigonometry, but there will be a lot of calculations to make. Bring a sharp pencil.
Can't join us in Reno? Tap into our training right here at Swagelok Northern California
Get a taste of the tube bending training through this Swagelok Tech Tip Video. For more information on our Swagelok Tube Bending training and other training courses click here »
Mike Valentine and Jason Burns, our Swagelok Northern California product trainers, will share their fifty years of expertise next month at the 2013 Western Gas Measurement Short Course in Reno to participants in the natural gas measurement and regulation field. They will be conducting a training session on Swagelok Tube Bending and Swagelok Tube Fitting Installation, which covers tube bending basics, proper tube fitting installation, and best practices for tube bending and tube fitting installation. Technicians experienced or new to tube bending can increase productivity and reduce costs associated with product scrap and poor installation.
This Tube Bending and Tube Fitting Installation course is one of 75 classes to be offered at the four-day event, hosted by NV Energy at the Peppermill Resort Hotel and Convention Center. All the instructors are industry experts on gas control and measurement topics, so Valentine and Burns are in good company. Before joining our local team, Valentine worked for Swagelok Company in Ohio, where he led the teams responsible for the introduction of the 40G series valve, 60 series valve improvements, the launch of the analytical instrumentation manifold, and the Swagelok Tube Fitting advanced-geometry, hinging-colleting back ferrule design. He's been a sales and marketing manager at Swagelok Company’s Nupro Valve Division, and general industrial manager at Swagelok Company. Burns joined Swagelok Northern California twenty one years ago, and he has held a variety of roles in the organization including inventory management service specialist, warehouse manager, and his current dual role as our technical specialist/product trainer. If you have ever called our office with a technical question on Swagelok products, chances are you have spoken to him. When he is not helping customer with their Swagelok product technical questions, Burns does the product training for our customer service team and trains customers on how to use Swagelok tools like our Swagelok Welding System and hand tube bender.
If you get a chance to attend the entire event May 6 through May 9 at the Peppermill Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Reno, you'll learn a lot and get some great opportunities for networking with gas utility/transmission company technicians, supervisors and engineers. Manufacturers and service company representatives will also have 100 exhibits and some "What's New" presentations. Of course, we hope our class will be on the top of your list.
But if you can't meet us up in Reno, we can bring our Swagelok Tube Bending or Swagelok Tube Fitting Installation and Safety training to your facility to minimize the time your people need to be away from their regular duties. They are two of several training classes we offer on a variety of topics.
New microchip production processes demand better hoses - and Swaglok Northern California has them
Swagelok W Series PTFE hose can pass the test. Download two product test reports on surface temperature and insulation. Product test reports »
One crucial part of making microchips is the ability to accurately control the temperature of semiconductor tools. To do that, fluids are delivered via hoses to either heat or cool the space around the tool chamber. A stable process chamber means a stable chip yield, so hoses are a critical piece of the puzzle.
For a long time, the primary heating and cooling media were ethylene glycol and deionized water. Chip design is always improving, however, and new processes are demanding higher temperatures. Now chip manufacturers prefer to use dielectric media. That brings a whole new set of challenges. Some chip fabs in Europe even had to shut down when the new high temperatures caused the old hoses to smoke.
A hose has to satisfy a chip manufacturer on many levels at once: safety, performance, cleanliness and temperature capability range. If the exterior of the hose gets too hot, that's a safety issue. If the hose surface gets too cold and water starts condensing on it, water could drip on to some other important piece of equipment. A hose that doesn't insulate well also drains away profits, because the company has to use bigger chillers and heat exchangers to make up for the temperature fluctuations in the hose.
In addition, dielectric media is hydrophilic, which means it seeks out moisture. Even in a cleanroom, human beings add moisture to the air simply by breathing. So the hose must not let moisture in.
One of our customers was establishing a new platform for transferring dielectric media using fluids sold under the trade names Galden and Fluorinert. It was a big change for the company because they were upgrading to chambers twice the size they had been using. The new platform had to meet industry and OSHA requirements, and keep the fluids within a couple of degrees of specification for production. The new system also had to incorporate legacy dripless quick-connect parts.
Swagelok W series PTFE hose
We had the answer: Swagelok W series PTFE hose. In addition to meeting all the insulation criteria, it uses a carbon-impregnated PTFE core, conveying any potential electro-static charges to ground thus preventing potential arcing. The PTFE core in Swagelok W series PTFE hose also means these dielectric fluids will be conveyed contamination-free without concern for aging.
It's a five-layer hose with lots of mechanical strength. That means it will not kink when it is properly suspended from the floor to the chiller. For this application, a sixth layer (called Fire Jacket) was added for additional insulation. A Fire Jacket cover is available as an option on many Swagelok hoses. It acts as a secondary barrier to moisture, temperature extremes and particulates.
3/4 inch i.d.(inside diameter) W series hose also offers superior flow rates versus conventional 3/4” hose. Typical 3/4” hose has an inside diameter of 5/8 inch. W series hose is a 'full' 3/4" i.d.! It also offers significant routing advantages. Its o.d. (outside diameter) is significantly smaller than typical hoses: The o.d. of 3/4” W series hose is 1.375 inch while conventional hose can be 3+ inches. That becomes very important on a four-chamber tool, with separate supply and return hoses connected to each etching tool. That's eight hoses feeding through a bulkhead.
Product test report
To show what W series hose could do, we set up a special test. We hooked up several W series hoses to a heat exchanger, and then put thermocouples on the skin of the hoses. We charted the temperature and overlaid that line with the temperature of the fluid inside the hoses. The two lines showed how the hoses were able to insulate well and prevent heat loss. We also were able to incorporate the legacy quick-disconnect fittings, so the new designs will work on legacy systems. Product test reports »
W series hose not only passed the test, but showed that it could handle even greater temperature ranges. As production processes get more demanding, the W series hose will be able to handle it.
W series also gives customers economies of scale. They can also use it for plasma etch, chemical vapor depostion, physical vapor deposition, as well as thin film processes. Swagelok W series hose can serve 90 percent of their tool applications.
Check out Swagelok W series hose for yourself to see all the technical advantages it can provide and then contact us if you would like to discuss your hose application. We also have a whole catalog of hose solutions ready to go to work. You can download it now.
If you were unable to attend our webinar, here are some questions you missed and access to additional hose selection tutorials
In this technical briefing, Werrlein used his twenty years of hose industry experience to give a tutorial in hose selection. You can now access Werrlein's presentation slide deck and hose selection article. Hose Selection Tutorials »
Our April 4 webinar on hose selection was well received, and presenter Patrick Werrlein answered quite a few questions from the audience at the conclusion of his presentation. We'll put the entire webinar online soon. In the meantime, here are a few of the questions Patrick tackled:
Q: You mentioned static and dynamic bend radius. Could you explain what the difference is?
A: If you look in the catalog, at the technical data, you are going to see for bend radius the maximum amount of bending that a hose can do before it starts to kink. There will be two ratings: static and dynamic. Static is where the hose would go into an orientation and stay there. If it isn't going to move, that would be a static application. Now, if we took that same application and that hose was going to do a lot of movement, moving up and down, we would then take a more conservative approach on the bend radius, factoring in the material movement. So if the hose, when static, had a six-inch radius, you may see the dynamic bend radius be more around eight inches.
Q: Is there permeability data for the different core tubes and common fluids?
A: If we had a hose that was two feet long, and another hose of the same material that was 50 feet long, put into the same application, the 50-foot hose is going to show results of a much higher rate of permeability, particularly over a period of time. That's because of the exposed amount of hose. Now, if you took the same hose product, and you put it into different types of gasses, different types of pressures, different cycling of pressure up and down, you'll find the rate of permeability is going to be all over the place. To sum it up, it's almost impossible to answer without running a test mirroring that specific application.
I would say the rule of thumb is to start with the least permeable material: You look at an all-metal hose. In a lot of cases, there is a good-better-best scenario. So maybe the all-metal hose is great from a permeability standpoint, but you have a dynamic application and there's a lot of movement. You may want to look at a material that covers both. One that may not be as good with permeation but is better against flex fatigue.
Q: Any concerns about using static dissipative Teflon® hose in an application that does not require it?
A: The only exception is going to be a pharmaceutical type of application, where you have a really sensitive media, say, a vaccine facility or a food account where you are concerned about the product coming into contact with Teflon® that has had carbon added to it. The leachable or extractable rate on those is just about zero, but there's a concern that it could happen. Outside of that, if we are talking about any general industrial application, then no.
Q: Who should be checking hoses at our plant, and what are some indications that a hose is wearing out?
A: You certainly want to make sure you partner up with companies that have the expertise. We have a global distribution network. Northern California has certified people who are fully capable of doing integrity assessments at your facility, to look for improvements of mis-installations and mis-alignments. There are some easier ones to look at. Obviously if a hose is kinked or has braid wearing, for instance, there's a potential there. The pressure containment of that hose has been jeopardized. Or if you can see where a hose is bending against its natural curvature.
Q: The 7P Series hose says it is static dissipative. Is the polyethylene also mixed with carbon?
A: The carbon in Teflon® is what makes it static dissipative. The reason Teflon® has to have carbon added is that it is such a wonderful insulator. Good insulators are bad when it comes to static charges. The 7P hose is not Teflon®, so the material itself is static dissipative.
Q: What are typical applications where you see the wrong hose being used?
A: Just to give you an example: If you have a tire press application, where you have the mold coming up and down as the tires are curing. So in these the hoses constantly move up and down. If you are looking at all-metal hose because you want something compatible with steam, and is fairly flexible, it's a good choice. However, because of the dynamic application, that metal will wear out prematurely. You probably want to go with an alternate material. For that instance: convoluted Teflon® hose. It is far more flexible, and also steam compatible.
Now, in gas applications, if you had a helium or hydrogen line, or concern of any permeation, Teflon® is probably not the ideal choice. It gives you a lot of flex characteristics; it's smooth bore, economical. But it could present some issues. I'll give you one more: a push-on rubber hose is great for ease of installation, but water at elevated temperatures has an impact over time.
For more information on hose selection, download Werrlein's presentation slides and his article, Choose the Right Hose: A Practical Guide to Hose Selection. Hose Selection Tutorials »
Join us today at 10am for a 25-minute technical briefing on hose selection from Patrick Werrlein, a Swagelok hose expert who has managed the Swagelok hose product line and led Coreflex LLC
In this technical briefing, Werrlein will use his twenty years of hose industry experience to give you a tutorial in hose selection. Register now »
When hose is the right way to get a fluid from Point A to Point B, it's important to pick the right one. We'll help you do it with a free technical webinar today at 10 a.m. PT. Our presenter, Patrick Werrlein, will cover important hose terms, application variables, the pros and cons of various types of hose, the four main components of a hose and their importance in selecting a hose.
Werrlein joined Swagelok in 2008 and has managed hose products for Swagelok. Before that, he was principal of Coreflex LLC, the high-quality hose manufacturer that Swagelok acquired.
"A typical industrial hose is dragged, coiled, run over, kinked and subjected to all kinds of abuse," Werrlein says. "Selection of the proper hose will increase hose life, improve performance, and ensure safety."
As with all of our live webinars, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions directly after the main presentation. You'll also get the presentation slide deck and a detailed article by Werrlein on hose selection. Register now »
Important selection considerations and tips on correctly installing your Swagelok hose; join us for our Swagelok hose selection webinar to learn how to pick the right hose for your application
System pressures changes:
Be sure to allow sufficient hose length to accommodate changing system pressures. Learn more about proper hose selection at our webinar this Thursday. Register now »
In our previous blog, we talked about how there is a lot more to selecting a hose than most people realize. There is also a lot more to installing a hose than people realize. Here are two key Swagelok hose selection considerations and 7 installation tips that will help extend the life of your hose and prevent premature hose failure.
Take into consideration hose movement, system pressurization, and thermal expansion when determining hose length. Installing hose that does not have sufficient length to accommodate these factors may reduce hose life.
Minimum Bend Radius
Follow minimum bend radius requirements for your hose. The Swagelok hose catalog and most other hose manufacturers' catalogs list the minimum bend radius for each hose. Installing hose with smaller bends may kink hose and reduce hose life.
Hose rupture or leakage
Hose Rupture or leakage may result from bending too close to the hose fitting end connection.
Elbows and adapters can be used to relieve hose strain.
Distribute movement and prevent bends smaller than the hose's minimum bend radius by providing sufficient hose length.
Allow for changes in length resulting from amchine motion and tolerances.
Bending in one plane
Avoid twisting the hose by bending it in one plane only. For a compound bend, use multiple hose pieces or other isolation methods.
Length and minimum bend radius are two of the key considerations when selecting a Swagelok hose. This Thursday, learn more about hose selection by attending our webinar, "5 Steps to Selecting the Right Hose for Your Fluid System". Register now »
The right Swagelok hose with the right end connection will keep your process performing safely and cost effectively
In this five minute Swagelok Tech Tip video, one of the five steps in selecting the right hose is discussed: end connections. Join us for next Thursday's webinar on hose selection to learn about the other four steps in selecting the right hose for your application. Register now »
There's a lot more to selecting the right hose than some people realize. One look at our hose and flexible tubing catalog quickly reveals the myriad of hose choices and decisions that need be made when selecting a hose.
A lot of choices
Swagelok Northern California offers 20 series of hose and flexible tubing with a total of 34 distinct offerings. Materials of construction include flouropolymers (PTFE, PFA, carbon black-filled PTFE), 316L stainless steel, nylon, polyethylene, buna N, and more. Hose cover choices include Stainless Steel (316L, 321, 304, 300) silicone, polyurethane, aramid fiber braid, fire jacket, thermosleeve, armor guard, spiral guard, and more.
End connections and options
Depending on the Swagelok hose, there are over thirty five different end connection types available in various materials. Pressure and temperature capabilties differ between Swagelok hoses ranging from vacuum to 5000 psig and -325 degrees F to 850 degrees F. Not to mention the various options available including pressure testing, special packaging, tagging, length, and delivery. With all of these choices, it can be difficult to choose which hose is right for your particular system and its specific temperature, pressure, media, and other application variables.
Swagelok hose selection help
We are here to help you make the right choice. In addition to offering technical support through our account management and customer service teams, we provide additional support through this blog by offering regular technical content on hose and hose selection and other topics.
To that end, we are offering a hose selection webinar, Thursday, April 4th at 10 am. Our presenter, Patrick Werrlein, will draw from his over twenty years of experience in the hose industry to give you a tutorial in hose selection. Join us Thursday, April 4th at 10am to learn "5 Steps to Selecting the Right Hose for Your Fluid System". Register now »
Make sure you are getting the full picture on Swagelok hose through these blogs and our upcoming webinar on hose selection
In our upcoming webinar on hose selection, Patrick Werrlein will explain the importance of proper hose selection and show you how to do it in five steps. Takeaways include the presentation slide deck and Werrlein's article on hose selection. Register now »
In case you haven't been following our blog closely, here's a quick roundup of hose-related posts with links and a snippet about our upcoming webinar on hose selection.
- Want to make sure you are choosing the right hose for the job? Make sure it is S.T.A.M.P.E.D. It's an easy way to remember important elements of hose selection.
- When it comes to flexibility, our PTFE core hose ties other hoses into knots with our unique coreflex fiber braid technology.
- A hose has to do a lot more than deliver a fluid from one place to another. It also has to stay cool, be flexible and stand up to whatever fluid is flowing through it. Swagelok hose for dielectric media meets these challenges.
- Capping off our list is our upcoming hose webinar. On April 4, presenter Patrick Werrlein will explain the importance of proper hose selection, and show you how to do it in five steps. You can learn more about it and register here.
We hope you will join us for the webinar, and please let us know if there are any fluid system topics that you would like us to tackle in future blogs or webinars. Don't forget to sign-up for the webinar. Register now »