Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Video: Animation Shows How to Use Swagelok's Standard Gas Panel

Tue, Sep 18, 2018 @ 11:09 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Sample Systems, Custom Solutions

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Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple to operate. This 90-second animation shows an example.



Our customers need a reliable grab sample system that can be available across multiple sites and between site locations and still support specific application needs. That's why Swagelok has developed a number of standard grab sample panel designs for use in all types of plants and facilities where fluids are being processed.

Two system types allow for capture into one of two types of containers — pressure‑containing metal cylinders as found in the Grab Sample Module (GSM) or non-pressure‑containing glass or polyethylene bottles as found in the Liquid Only Sampling Module (GSL).

Standard panel designs

Part of the value of a Swagelok grab sample solution is that you're getting a standardized offering available in just about any location. That adds tremendous value for those with multiple sites. Plus, no need to worry about adjusting your sample because of a system limitation. We get it correctly configured from the start.

Easy operation

Another part of the value is Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple to operate (that's not the case with a number of other options we've seen). For example, to operate our Standard Gas Panel:

  • Turn sample valve to VENT
  • Release the quick connect (at the top of the cylinder)
  • Connect your sample cylinder to the quick connect and close the clamp
  • Connect the hose the cylinder’s bottom
  • Open the cylinder valves and turn the sample valve to SAMPLE
  • When the cylinder is full, reverse the process (watch the animation for details)

Three ways we can help you with grab sampling today

  1. Click to schedule an assessment—Improve your sampling systems reliability with an expert, in-depth evaluation of your sampling systems, from tap to grab sample station
  2. Click to use our Grab Sample Product Selection MatrixSee a summary of common system criteria and the grab sample system recommended for each combination
  3. Click to view our Grab Sampling Systems Application Guide—Browse the available Swagelok grab sample system configurations

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Inboard, Outboard, Internal Leaks... and Tips on How to Stop Them

Thu, Sep 06, 2018 @ 15:09 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Value Added Services, Cost Savings

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Any energy management program should include efforts to prevent and repair leaks


Engineer

Leaks can be costly in more ways than one. Download our Hidden Costs of Leakage PDF to explore how a leak in your system could be impacting your business and budget. 
Download: Cost of Leakage


Leak breakdown

In any fluid system, there could be one or more kinds of leaks:

  • Inboard leakage, where something is flowing into the system from outside
  • Outboard leakage, where something is flowing out of containment into the environment, or
  • Internal leakage, where something is flowing across internal seals within containment, such as a leaky valve seat

There can even be virtual leaks, where nothing is breaching the containment, but internally trapped fluid gets released into the system due to material out-gassing, absorbed or adsorbed fluids, entrapment in cracks or dead-legs, etc.

Leakage can take many forms, like:

  • Compressed air leaking out of a pneumatic system
  • Steam escaping from a processing line
  • Hydraulic fluid seeping out of machinery

Common causes 

Bad installation techniques are frequent causes of leaks. Common mistakes include failing to fully insert tubing into the tube fitting body, under-tightening, over-tightening, putting bends in the tubing too close to the end of the tube, and poorly preparing the tube. Surface defects such as dents and scratches can lead to leaks too.

Another cause of leakage is using components outside their rated temperature and pressure ratings or with incompatible materials. Also, low quality fluid system components also contribute to leaks. Proper selection of high quality fluid system components are an integral part of creating leak tight fluid systems.

(Recommended: Get local help with product selection.)

Isn't some leakage normal?

It's true that whether it's an inboard, outboard, or virtual leak, no man-made system will always be leak-free. But consider the following:

A group of 1,304 different process installations leak checked more than 600,000 fittings for a five-year period ending in September 2013, and reported the results to Swagelok Company. Almost 10% of the fittings that had been interchanged or intermixed with another manufacturer's components were found leaking, and pipe fittings had a leak rate of about 7 percent. In contrast, Swagelok tube fittings had a leak rate of about 1%. (This data is not offered as test results that are scientifically valid or statistically significant.)

While the 1% leak rate for Swagelok fittings is 7-10 times better than pipe fittings and intermixed/interchanged fittings, we believe that one leak is one too many. So, we strive to get to the root cause of every leak. We find that many Swagelok tube fittings are not installed according to our installation instructions. Poor installation practices, low quality tubing, improper tubing or fitting selection - all these contribute to leak rates. We have found that customer leak rates can approach zero when Swagelok tube fittings are used in concert with high quality tubing, a robust Swagelok safety and installation training program, and energy management services.

Isn't tracking down and stopping all the leaks expensive?

Possibly -- but not stopping them is likely to be expensive too.

The leak data noted above correlates well with a study performed by Dr. Arthur Sterling of the Chemical The-Hidden-Costs-of-Leakage.png Engineering Department at Louisiana State University in 1999. Dr. Sterling surveyed eleven industrial plants in the Louisiana area and determined that leaks were present in many areas of the plant. The average instrument air leak was 494 milliliters per minute. Using a cost of $0.40 per 1000 cubic feet of instrument air, the average fitting leak costs $0.31 per month.

Leaks can damage equipment, hurt production, cause product contamination, and create unsafe working conditions and other health hazards. All it takes is a small puddle of hydraulic fluid or a jet of steam to put someone in the hospital.

If that is not motivation enough to engage in proactive leak detection and prevention programs, fluid loss is also expensive. According to a study conducted by the Energy Department's Office of Industrial Technologies, even something as simple as a ¼” diameter leak of compressed air can cost as much as $8,382 a year using a rate of five cents per kWh and assuming constant operation and an efficient compressor.

How to find leaks

We have a few ways to spot leaks. One is to put the suspect parts under water in a chamber made of transparent polycarbonate and look for bubbles. Another is to apply one of our Snoop® liquid leak detectors. When the parts are pressurized, the leak will produce bubbles. Leaks are usually expressed as a flow — a volume per unit of time. Anyone using Snoop will get the basic idea instantly: the bigger the bubbles, the worse the leak.

Leaks can also be detected by measuring losses in pressure, and of course by simply looking to see if any fluid is escaping. Technology has added to the arsenal of tools. The list now includes thermal imaging cameras and ultrasonic (acoustic) leak detectors.

Leak detection + leak prevention = better safety and lower costs

Any good energy management program should include efforts to prevent and repair leaks. If you don't have such a program, start one. If you already are making the effort, make sure you document any resulting energy savings. You may be surprised at how fast leak prevention and repair can pay for itself. You'll have lower maintenance costs, less downtime, higher production, and safer workers. Lower overall system costs add up to more profitability.

Get in touch

Talk with our team about finding, assessing, and addressing leaks at your facility:

Message Us


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Swagelok: Helping Provide That Extra Source of Brainpower

Thu, Aug 30, 2018 @ 13:08 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Training, Value Added Services, Q&A, Resources, People

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Up to 50% of skilled workers could retire withing the next 10 years - we can help relieve that pressure


Brain

Building an effective training program can help maintain the skills of your experienced workforce and assist your new staff in getting up to speed. Let us help with our free resource, “Three Steps to Building an Effective Plant Training Program."

Download: Effective Training Program


Did you know last year alone Swagelok helped train approximately 40,000 individuals on their plant’s fluid systems? If you weren't one of them, we can assist you today. 

Building an effective training program

Not sure on where to start in building an effective training program for your plant and operations? Here is a quick overview on our free download:

  • How to meet the varied needs of your labour force
    (Step 1: "Don't leave anyone out")
  • Questions to ask when looking for a training provider 
    (Step 2: "Look for experienced instructors")
  • The proper follow-up for your people after training
    (Step 3: "Manage the 'forgetting curve' ")
  • Bonus tips for each step

Learn more about our training offerings, get in touch today. 

Additional resources:

 

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Video: How Swagelok's Grab Sampling Systems Compare

Thu, Aug 23, 2018 @ 15:08 PM / by Katie Reid posted in local expert, Sample Systems, People

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Straight talk from pros, including Swagelok Field Engineer Stacey Phillips, on the difference between Swagelok Grab Sampling Systems and other options on the market.


"Every customer has a different set up in their refinery or their their area that they're working in. We have that localized capability to customize and we can go out to their site and see exactly where they're putting them. In that sense we have a little bit of an advantage."

- Stacey Phillips, Field Engineer, Swagelok Edmonton


Grab sample systems should be tailored to exactly meet your needs and simple to operate. Achieving that means having local, on-the-ground support.

Key advantages discussed in this video include:

  1. Swagelok grab sampling panels are simple and easy to operate; that's not the case with a number of other options we've seen.
  2. A lot of our competitors work through distribution networks that don't have a lot of experience with fittings and valves; here, we are fittings and valves experts and we are adding another component to them.
  3. Some of our competitors really seem to operate as parts suppliers; we think in terms of fulfilling customers' exact requirements through design optimization, customization, fabrication, assembly, and ongoing support.
  4. Our forensic capabilities are unmatched; if, for example, an analyzer cannot get the kinds of readings needed or is getting faulty readings, an operator will come and take a physical sample and bring it back to the lab to either confirm or diagnose an issue with the actual processing unit.
  5. With Swagelok, customers know they are getting a standardized offering available in just about any location, that adds tremendous value for those with multiple sites.
  6. Our customers can actually view prototypes and handle modification and tweaks to their design on-site with our engineers.

Three ways we can help you with grab sampling today


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Q&A: Swagelok Tube Fitting Pressure Ratings

Tue, Aug 07, 2018 @ 09:08 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Q&A, Fittings

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Customers often ask us about how to find out the pressure rating of a particular Swagelok tube fitting. Here's how our team provides the answer.

 Q1: What is the lowest-rated component in the system?

The pressure rating of a Swagelok tube fitting depends on the lowest rated component in the system in which it is installed.

Sometimes the lowest pressure rated component is a pipe thread, a pressure gauge, or a valve. Other times it will be the pressure rating of the tubing itself, and that will vary depending on the tubing's size, wall thickness and material of construction.  

Q2: Is the tubing softer than the fitting material?

Swagelok provides tables with the suggested allowable working pressure and suggested ordering information for tubing to be used with Swagelok tube fittings.

The key to selecting proper tubing for use with metal Swagelok tube fittings is that the tubing must be softer than the fitting material. Swagelok tube fittings are designed to work properly with the tubing that is suggested in the ordering instructions.

The tables show working pressure ratings of tubing in a wide range of tube wall thicknesses and outside diameters. Swagelok tube fittings have been repeatedly tested in both the minimum and maximum wall thicknesses shown in the tubing data tables. Swagelok tube fittings are not recommended for tube wall thicknesses outside the ranges shown in the tables for each size.

3. How will it be installed?

System performance also depends on correctly installing your Swagelok tube fitting. Check out this clip to see the kind of tube fitting installation training available in our seminars:

Brush up on fabricating, choosing tubing vs. pipe, applying thread sealants and lubricants, and more with experienced, Swagelok-certified trainers, and earn a signed Swagelok Certificate of Completion.


In a hurry or have a question? Please get in touch (we respond fast):

Message Us


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Edmonton Valve's Travelling Grab Sample System Demo Panel

Thu, Jul 26, 2018 @ 12:07 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Q&A, Valves, Sample Systems, Custom Solutions, Fittings

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If you can’t make it to our office, we can come to you with our new Grab Sample panel*


Grab Sample Blue ll

This past June we featured our new Grab Sample System demo panel, outfitted with clear tubing components and a clear cylinder. Interested in seeing a demo for yourself, send us an email and we can make that happen!*

Contact Us


There’s no better way to see how something works than to see it live in action. That’s why we have built a Grab Sample System Panel with clear components, so you can see the fluid running through it and get a better perception of how it all comes together.

“Behind the scenes” look

We first showcased this Grab Sample panel in our Swagelok booth at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary this past June.What makes this panel unique is that we used clear components (tubing and sample cylinder) and ‘Swagelok Blue’ water running through the system. This gave those watching a detailed look at how the fluid moves through the system and fills up the cylinder as the sample.

“Seeing the fluid run through the system with the clear components was really cool and it gave me an unobstructed view of how this product works,” says one customer visiting our booth. “It was also great that I was able to get a description from the Swagelok account manager on what was happening in real time and answer my questions right on the spot.”

New to this system?

If you weren’t able to make it down to see the Grab Sample demo panel during the show and maybe aren’t too sure what the system is all about, here is a breakdown of what Grab Sampling can help validate:

  • Process conditions
  • The end product meets quality specifications
  • The online analyzers are ‘fit for use’
  • Quality of product during custody transfer

We also have a great resource page that goes into more details on Grab Sample Systems, with information ranging from covering the basics to system designs, and accessories. Access that information here.

Coming to you

Getting a live demo can really showcase what our Grab Sampling Systems are all about and we have our Grab Sample System set-up in our Edmonton office to do just that.  We will provide demonstrations to you and your staff, plus answer all your questions that you may have. Can’t make into our office? No problem. We can coordinate with your account manager to visit your location with the demo panel and give you that one-on-one time at your own leisure. Just give us a call or send us an email and we will get it set-up.

If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to call one of our experienced reps for further advice. Please click here to get in touch.

*Note: Grab Sample Panel visits can only be set-up in our Sales & Services area but we would be happy to get you connected to your local Swagelok distributor - so still send us your request!

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Breaking Down the Facts on Why You Should Never Interchange Swagelok Components

Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 14:07 PM / by Adam Telenko posted in Q&A, Valves, Fittings

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We take a closer look at the dangers of “interchanging” Swagelok components and how it can impact the performance of the parts.


fittings cluster

Swagelok fittings should never be interchanged or intermixed with parts from a different manufacturer as this will lead to voiding of the Swagelok warranty and other major risks to the components themselves.. 

Contact Us


With a seemingly endless number of tube fitting manufacturers on the market, we are often asked about the practice of “Interchange” or “Inter-mixing”. This practice is summarized as removing at least 1 component from a Swagelok tube fitting, and replacing the component(s) with those from a different manufacturer.

Is this a safe practice? Will the fittings perform to satisfactory standards? Who is liable if something goes wrong? What are you trying to achieve by ‘inter-mixing’ components?

These are all great questions! Let’s look at some of the issues involved:

  • CRN (Canadian Registration Number) deemed VOID if intermixing components
  • There is NO Commercial Design Standard for tube fittings
  • Swagelok has over 200 active patents for our proprietary design
  • Swagelok Warranty applies to Swagelok fittings only – intermixing voids any and all warranty
  • End Users absorb full liability if inter-mixing fittings
  • Field data clearly shows inter-mixed fittings carry the highest leak %

Swagelok policy

Over the years, we have become aware of many manufacturers with products, which purport to be interchangeable and intermixable with Swagelok-designed products. We do not believe that any manufacturer can reliably, repeatedly and uniformly replicate the products of another manufacturer. For this reason, we believe that interchanging and intermixing component parts made by different manufacturers can result in unpredictable performance and increased costs. We believe also that this is an unsound practice and can be dangerous in critical applications.

3rd-party opinion statements

  • “It is certainly not ABSA’s position to suggest that it is alright to inter-mix components from different manufacturers….. The user of such a hybrid would be assuming a significant safety liability, in addition to contravening the (Safety Codes) Act.” TSSA (Canada) memo ABSA (Alberta Boiler Safety Authority), a branch of TSSA (Technical Standards & Safety Authority)
  • “Experimental tests and finite element analysis has shown that the swaging and sealing mechanisms of fittings are different despite seeing geometric similarities. It was evident that no two companies produced components to the same dimensional or metallurgical specification and that pressure testing alone should not be used as the only means of validation." Intermixing Twin Ferrule Tube Fittings-Is it Safe?  Journal of Engineering Design, Mihsein and Seymour Vol. 10, No. 4, 1999

Not worth the risk

With the information above, an inter-mixed ‘hybrid’ fitting does not retain a CRN#, possesses a high likelihood of leaking or catastrophic failure, and does not carry a warranty. In other words, inter-change opens up users to high levels of risk in various aspects. Keep your Swagelok fittings in-tact and experience the benefit of our over 70 years of manufacturing the highest quality tube fitting components in the industry.

If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to call one of our experienced reps for further advice. Please click here to get in touch.

 

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High-Pressure Corrosive Environment? High-Temperature Vacuum Environment? Meet Our FX Series Metal Hose (Video, Cutaway)

Thu, Jul 05, 2018 @ 06:07 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Downloads, Catalogues, Custom Solutions, Hoses

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You want the performance of stainless steel tubing, but the flexibility of hose. Swagelok has the solution: FX Series metal hose.




Swagelok FX hose is specifically designed for high pressure chemical, compressed gas, cryogenic, hydrogen & fuel cell, marine, oil & gas, power, and pulp & paper applications.

Get Hose Literature


Flexible hose with the strength of steel

Copy of section_nobg

Meet Swagelok's FX Series metal hose, a double-braided hose series offering 1/4-inch to 2 inch nominal hose sizes with a temperature range of –325 to 1000°F (–200 to 537°C) and working pressure ranges from vacuum to 6000 psig through vacuum to 1122 psig.

It's all corrosion-resistant metal, from the 316L stainless steel annular convoluted core to the 321 stainless steel double braid layers to the 316 stainless steel end connections, which are welded to the 304 stainless steel collar. It can handle high pressure corrosive environments, high-temperature vacuum environments, and is an excellent choice anywhere permeation is undesirable.

Range of end connection options

You have your choice of end connections: Swagelok Tube Adaptors, Swagelok Tube Fittings, female VCO O-ring Face seals, SAE 37-degree (JIC) female swivels, female pipe threads, male pipe threads and tube butt welds. And, as with many other Swagelok hoses, you can get optional hose covers, hose tags and helium leak testing.

Assembly

There's a second kind of flexibility that comes with our hose: the flexibility to have our certified technicians provide and assemble components to meet your exacting requirements. We can provide high-volume tube bending and swaging, orbital welding, custom hose cutting and end connection selection.

Get the literature or get in touch

Good news: In one step you can get the Swagelok hose and flexible tubing catalogue, Hose Quick Look poster, and six product test reports. The catalogue contains detailed information on Swagelok's FX Series metal hose starting on page 11:

MS-01-180

Get Hose Literature

In a hurry or have a question? Please click here to get in touch.

 

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How the Right Tool Rentals from Edmonton Valve Can save You Money

Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 11:06 AM / by Katie Reid posted in Equipment Rentals

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Rentals cost a fraction of the purchase price, and we can train you too

Cone and thread tool

Edmonton Valve has you covered for whatever tools you need for the job, ranging from tube benders and swaging units to straighteners and cone & thread tools (pictured above). Just let us know what your needs are and will help you get the job done. 

More on Tool Rentals


You don't need to be wealthy to have a wide range of good tools at your disposal. Just come to Edmonton Valve & Fitting, and we'll rent out what you need to build and maintain a high-quality fluid system. You pay only for the time you use the tool, whether that's a month, a week or only a few hours.

We previously mentioned how you could rent our orbital welding equipment. Here are some of the other popular and useful tools in our rental stock:

Tube benders

We have several varieties of tube benders. There's a handheld model for light work, a benchtop bender for more involved jobs, and an electric bender for the heavy stuff up to 2 inches in diameter. If you aren't sure which is right for you, tell us about your project and we'll help you choose.

Swaging units

You'll also speed up the job by renting one of our hydraulic swaging units to pre-swage Swagelok tube fitting ferrules onto tubing prior to assembly. The final assembly will take less time and less torque. In fact, you can't get by without one when working with any fitting over one-inch in diameter. It's a popular tool on construction jobs because you can get a lot of work done without wearing out your arms.

Straighteners

Our two-plane tube straightener can relieve a lot of frustration if you are unspooling tubing from a coil and you want it to lie flat, such as when you are installing a steam tracing line on a process pipe. The straightener uses a series of ten rollers, five oriented horizontally and five vertically, to do the job. The straightener does have it's limits — you can't use it to take out a 90-degree bend. But if you drop some tubing and put a "wow" in it, this is the tool to get you back on course.

Cone and thread tools

If you've read our posts on high-pressure connections, you know that our heavy-walled tubing and fittings require a threaded tubing end. We're glad to prepare the ends right here in our shop, but sometimes you need to do it in the field because you aren't sure what lengths you'll need until you are at the site. With our cone and thread tools, you'll be ready to go.

Training

If you don't regularly use these tools, you might feel a bit rusty when it comes to best practices. Or maybe you are getting ready to use some of them for the first time. We can train you on all of them. We want your job to go smoothly, and we want you to take good care of our tools

Availability

We keep an eye on demand and try to stock enough of everything, so that we have the tools you need, when you need it. However, the more advance notice you can give us, the better. If we need to, we can even call another Swagelok distributor so we can borrow their tools.

If your job takes you longer than expected, you can hang on to our tools until you finish the job. We'll automatically switch you from the daily rate to the weekly rate if that turns out to save you money. You may even discover that you have enough work to justify buying a tool instead of renting it. If that is the case, we'll be glad to sell it to you.

Send us an email about your equipment rental inquiries and we will get you started!


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Stay Organized with Edmonton Valve's Instrumentation Tool Kit

Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 15:06 PM / by Katie Reid posted in Equipment Rentals, Sample Systems

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The hard case and foam cutouts protect your tools and make them easy to find

tool kit

To give your tools the protection they need, we suggest using our Instrumentation tool kit. Not only does this kit have all the equipment you need housed in one place, but it keeps your tools safe, both in the travel to and from job sites, and safe from other elements in your surroundings. If you want to learn more, send us a note and we would be happy to get you started. 

Contact Us


When you make an investment, it's smart to protect it. So how best to protect an investment in high-quality Swagelok tools? Buy the tools and the protection at the same time with our Instrumentation Tool Kit.

The hard plastic case from Pelican Products keeps tools safe from dirt and damage. Inside, each tool has its own cutout in the foam liner. You can tell at a glance whether everything has been returned to its proper place, and whether someone has borrowed a tool and not yet returned it. The lockable case is only about four inches thick, slim enough to slip under the seat of a truck.

Take a look inside

The Instrumentation Tool Kit has all you need to assemble the three most popular sizes of Swagelok tube fittings: 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch.

You get hand tube benders in three sizes, a deburring tool, a tube cutter, ratchet wrenches in three sizes, pre-swaging tools in three sizes, an inspection gauge, and tee wrenches in three sizes.

While you don't need any specialized tools to install Swagelok tube fittings, our tee wrenches and ratchet wrenches make the job easier and speed up the work. The pre-swaging tools allow you to prepare tubing 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.

To top off the deal, we include a copy of the Swagelok Tube Fitter's Manual, the go-to reference for fluid system engineers, designers, and technicians. Its 11 chapters cover all you need to know about tube fittings and fitting installation, with a balance of theory and practical examples. The manual also contains tubing specification and ordering information, troubleshooting tips, pressure ratings and more.

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. That makes no sense. When you have the right tools for the job, the next logical step is to have the right case for the tools. Get in touch with us today and we can help you get the necessary protection for your tools.


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