Designing totally unique, custom made hose reels can be a tricky business. With so many different factors coming into play, rarely can we rely on our own experience alone. We’ve always consulted with customers and other industry experts as part of the quoting and subsequent manufacturing process, but a recent article over at Fast Company got me thinking more deeply about how we approach our design process and the benefits of a design born out of unbiased individual thought.
The article talked about the loss of uncorrelated wisdom in today’s hyper-connected world. The author wrote about how in our increasingly switched on and connected world, constant sharing of information can lead people to reshape their own opinions based on the opinions of others, resulting in a thinning of original ideas and diverse thinking – the very stuff that leads to innovation and creativity in problem solving.
Sharing everything you come across seems to have become the done thing of late – but fast-forward 10 or 20 years, and the increasing relatedness of everything and everybody might just be stamping out diversity, independent thought, and uncorrelated wisdom.
So what’s this got to do with hose reels?
A customer comes to us with a great depth of knowledge in his or her own field, and we come to the table with our vast experience in hose reels.
We gather the raw information from our customer and our technical guys retreat to their cave to design the best possible solution.
This is where the magic happens – of course consultation with our customers is always necessary at the outset, but the process that comes afterward, the quiet to think and sketch and gather unanticipated ideas is what really sets us apart when it comes to designing the ultimate solution for our customer.
So there remains an important place for independent thought within the over-arching team effort that is building a hose reel. And whilst we enjoy collaborating on projects – a little bit of independent thought at the heart of the process is how we ensure that we design the absolute best hose reels for our customers.
How does this affect you?
If you’re looking for a custom made hose reel, you can contact us here. But here’s a few things to keep in mind before you do:
Give us as much information as you possibly can at the outset. We’ve got an online form to help you out. The more info you can give us, the more accurately we can determine the best reel for your job.
Leave it with us. If it’s a unique job that we may not have tackled before, we’ll need cave time – we promise we’ll get back to you as soon as we’ve got a preliminary design and price for you.
Read through your quote carefully. To avoid any headaches down the track, take a good look at your quotation and the drawings and other information we provide to you. Alterations and fixes are easy on paper – not so easy in steel.
In a nutshell – the best path to getting the perfect reel combines both collaborative problem solving AND independent contemplation, to produce a strong, practical, beautifully designed product.
An Australian manufacturer supplying heavy duty hose and cable reels to many industries is now standardising the level of welding on its manufactured technologies in a very transparent way.
ReCoila, a reels specialist based in Sydney, has now made it an expectation that welders working in its production plant are trained and accredited to the skills set demanded by Australian Standard AS1554.
AS1554 is a certification that allows welders to perform down hand, vertical up and overhead continuous fillet and butt welds so the end user of its cable and hose reels recognises its product is made to an identifiable criteria and set manufacturing requirements.
ReCoila Managing Director, Mr Michael Pawson, says the heightened internal standards now properly reflect the direction the company is taking and the reputation it has gained across most industries.
“When you consider the varied applications of both our off-the-shelf technologies as well as customised solutions, they are often deployed in circumstances where breakdowns are very unwanted,” said Mr Pawson.
“And when you consider all the many welded parts in a hose or cord reel used in heavy industry, the quality of our welding is tested day in, day out.
“Our welding has always been of the highest order, but now welding done on a ReCoila technology will be under the auspices of AS1554 standards, we are declaring strongly to Australian industries that we don’t take second best.
“Because we supply the Defence Industry, oil and gas, shipbuilding and marine, heavy engineering, emergency services, food production, mining and agriculture among others, it gives us more gravity in quality of product.
“With our welders at ReCoila trained to AS1554 Standard it is a strong message to industry that quality is repeated in each and every weld on every single technology that leaves our production plant.”
Lubrication is the lifeblood of modern industry. More than just a ‘machine additive’, lubricants are crucial to the safe, reliable, efficient functioning of all machinery.
Without proper and timely lubrication, even our most advanced workhorses of industry would succumb to the frictional stresses of wear, overheating and corrosion.
Machine bearings are particularly susceptible to haphazard lubrication procedures. According to leading industry journal Machinery Lubrication, up to 80 percent of all bearing failures are the result of improper lubrication, with considerable potential to trigger not only catastrophic machine failure, but full assembly-line stoppages.
Indeed, beyond the more obvious – and onerous – repair costs, the potential fallout from lubrication-related failure can prove crippling for the today’s businesses: from protracted downtime, to the more insidious consequences of functional failure (whereby machines consistently under perform specifications), and premature failure (a reduction in the operational lifecycle of machine parts), both serious hogties on long-term efficiency.
Yet despite the critical importance of lubrication to basic mechanical functions, it appears more and more that the once routine process of oiling and greasing has fallen by the wayside. Whether through improper lubricant selection, substandard application, or simple neglect of lubricant degradation, it’s clear that this essential maintenance procedure is being sidestepped or, even worse still, entirely overlooked.
So what’s triggered this dangerously lackadaisical approach to this essential maintenance process? While many would claim it is simply poor in-house processes, some industry experts have cast blame on the success of today’s predictive maintenance programs.
Indeed, so effective are these programs in rooting out and resolving equipment problems, ‘we [have],’ according to Machine Maintenance, ‘[lost] sight of the fact that many components are failing early because lubrication best practices (right lubricant, right time, right quantity, clean, dry and cool) have not been established.’
So in our increasingly automated world, how can we ensure the consistent and reliable application of manually applied lubricants that protect our machines of industry?
The Challenges of Modern Lubrication
Lubrication is a deceptively fine art. Too little lubricant, and internal mechanisms will be exposed to frictional wear; too much, and the lubricant’s base oil will rapidly churn, thicken and disintegrate, leaving little grease to effectively lubricate the bearing.
With a countless array of fittings and access points, the complexity of modern machinery presents its own difficulties for maintenance crews. Indeed, one of the chief obstacles to effective and consistent lubricant delivery is the difficulty posed in simply accessing the machine’s grease zerk nipples. As a result, what was once a simple greasing process has become cumbersome and time-consuming rigmarole.
What’s more, the physical demands of the lubrication process can prove a serious workplace hazard. Awkward positioning of grease fittings places maintenance workers at risk of severe grease injection injuries. The consequences of a high-pressure injection injury can be devastating: from tissue damage to potential loss of limb.
As such, the key to a successful lubrication regime is to incentivise maintenance crews with the tools, skills and know how to ensure consistent, accurate and safe delivery of lubricant.
5 Steps to Foolproof Machine Lubrication
1.Abide by the lubrication recommendations of the machine manufacturer, including quantity and type of lubricant (e.g. oil or grease-based, viscosity requirements etc.); avoid the temptation to over-lubricate bearings.
2.Be mindful of WHS requirements. Ensure workers can easily access grease ports: awkward positioning could induce high-pressure injection injuries and may affect the consistency and accuracy of lubricant delivery.
3. Keep an eye on machine gauges (such as temperature) for early indications of problems and under-lubrication; optimal operating temperatures for bearings are between 35 °C and 70 °C, though this can vary greatly depending on external environment.
4.Listen for noise or unusual machine vibrations.
5. Watch for any fluid leaks, which could indicate over-lubrication or other serious mechanical faults.
The Reel Link to Successful Lubricant Delivery
Achieving successful lubrication requires regular, precise and targeted lubricant application.
As one of the chief delivery mechanisms for machine lubricants, the hose line is the forgotten hero of the manual lubrication process. A quality industrial-grade lube hose is essential for the effective maintenance of both mobile and plant-based equipment, offering seamless access to the most hard-to-reach grease access ports.
Built to withstand the extreme pressures of oil or grease conveyance, industry-grade lubrication hoses offer maintenance crews superior handling and quantity control over lubricants for manual grease or oil top-up, critical to dispensing lubricant in a consistent, safe and precise manner.
Yet a lubrication hose cannot exist without a quality support reel.
Industrial-grade steel framed reels help to deliver convenience, protection and ergonomic support for a vast array of lubrication hoses.
Safety is at the forefront of today’s industrial hose and reel designs. These ultra-robust systems are specifically designed to with stand the environmental extremes of the plant floor, helping you meet stringent workplace health and safety requirements.
As Australia’s premier supplier, manufacturer and distributor of industrial-grade hose reels, ReCoila is dedicated to delivering superior quality hose reels for the most challenging industrial requirements.
ReCoila’s expertly engineered hose reels are built to deliver safe and measured conveyance of lubricant. These ultra-robust reels offer maximum ergonomic support throughout the lubrication maintenance processes, whilst supporting consistent, predicable and measured lubricant flow.
The loose hose line presents one of the more obvious ‘trip and slip’ hazards on the work site. A quality spring-retractable reel significantly reduces the risk of kinking, knotting or straying of hoses, eliminating this niggling work site hazard. With a gentle tug, these robust auto-rewind reels offer safe and secure storage for hose lines, markedly increasing their operational lifecycle.
With reliability, safety and quality at its core, ReCoila can recommend the best hose reel for your unique lubrication needs.
This article was produced in conjunction with Cirrus Media and was published in Manufacturers Monthly
On the 18th October, a long-haul B-double freighter travelling to Fremantle caught fire. Thankfully, the driver escaped unharmed, and for the most part, so did the two hose reels on board that were destined for one of our clients at the Port of Broome.
The entire truck was engulfed in flames and although the two reels were deemed unsalvageable, they stood firm, a testament to ReCoila’s rigid design and our engineering team’s quality craftsmanship.
The reels were custom designed and manufactured at our Sydney facility for a unique offshore fuelling application. To effectively dispense the large volumes of fuel required by the surrounding offshore gas operations, our client installed high flow bunker points on the Broome wharf so that large volumes of fuel could be delivered by specially designed and metered bunker trucks fitted with fuel hose reels. This system is necessary due to the massive tidal fluctuations in Broome rendering normal fuelling methods impractical.
This state of the art marine fuel facility is one of the most modern in Australia, and despite the fiery setback delaying delivery of the reels to our client, a fresh new set of hose reels are due to be installed at the port shortly.
Our custom manufacturing team designed and built two RF Series hose reels, each to hold 25m of 3″ ID hose to enable high-flow refuelling. Each reel has a 415V electric drive system with forward / reverse and speed controls.
The reels are constructed of heavy duty 3mm steel plate to ensure rigidity and strength, and mounted on heavy duty castors to enable the fuelling hoses to be easily moved from one fuelling point to the next.
Our team are experts at solving hose handling problems – if you need a hose reel for your job, chances are we can design one to suit.
To find out how our hose management solutions can reduce risk, reduce ergonomic and handling issues and improve safety and efficiency, give us a call on (02) 9621 8988 or email our technical team.
ReCoila is Australia and New Zealand's premier hose reel supplier, with over 30 years experience and more than 3000 different reels, plus a custom hose reel design and manufacturing facility at our head office in Kings Park, NSW. Read more...