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Less Is More

Mon, 11/06/2006 - 6:48am

Fewer Discs for Better Performance

Have you ever asked yourself: "Do we really need this many rupture discs in our inventory?" Typical plants carry 30-50 percent excess stock because of rupture disc selection practices and manufacturer pricing that encourage higher volume purchases. Following are guidelines for reducing disc inventory while improving performance and boosting flexibility. They are provided by the technical experts of Elfab Limited, a manufacturer of pressure relief safety devices including pressure relief bursting discs and bursting panels. Specified by plant engineers, maintenance personnel, and contractors, rupture discs are used for pressure relief in a variety of plant applications for protecting pipework and vessels or as part of purchased equipment. Without careful coordination, it's easy to end up with a variety of disc designs from many different manufacturers. Add the fact that discs are extremely price sensitive — you can often buy three discs for the price of one — and the result is a slow-moving inventory of too many discs. Consolidating similar disc specifications allows you to take advantage of rupture disc quantity discounts while actually lowering inventory levels. Let's review four ways to accomplish such consolidation. • Burst Pressure: Specifying a tighter burst tolerance or manufacturing design range will allow you to consolidate similar burst pressures. • Material: You can consolidate similar discs that use different materials by selecting the superior material. • Burst Temperature: You can consolidate discs with different burst temperatures depending on disc tolerancing. Most disc manufacturers have available temperature coefficients on common materials. You can use these to evaluate your consolidation potential. • Size: Although difficult to do with existing disc placements, you can consolidate specifications by size on new disc installations. There are high-performance reverse discs that are manufactured to tighter tolerances and come standard in better materials, making them suitable for consolidating disc specifications. For example, you can consolidate three 4-inch scored forward-acting discs with similar burst pressures in 316 stainless steel and Hastelloy into one specification using a tighter tolerance non-fragmenting reverse rupture disc in Hastelloy. The number of discs in your inventory will be reduced, their total cost will be lower, and the new Hastelloy discs will last longer in service. As a result, you will be able to extend disc maintenance cycles, leading to additional parts and labor savings. Although the potential for disc consolidation will vary, 30-60 percent reductions for plants using a large volume of rupture discs is common. More information is available by contacting Elfab Limited, Burlington, KY, at 877-882-2880 or visiting www.elfab.com.

HK Systems Inc.

HK Systems Inc. in Milwaukee has announced the appointment of Michael L. Gonzalez \par to the position of president and COO. In his new role, Gonzalez will report to \par John W. Splude, chairman and CEO. He will have operational responsibility for \par the company's material handling and logistics software business.

Masscal Corp.

Masscal Corp. has relocated its headquarters from Chatham, MA, to Orlando and \par appointed John W. Furry as CEO. Masscal Scientific Instruments, which is Masscal's \par operating division, designs, manufactures, markets, and maintains laboratory instruments \par for chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, engineering, and research laboratories. \par Masscal also offers contract laboratory services including exclusive analytical capabilities for thin films and nanotechnology.

Midland

Midland Manufacturing, a leader in railroad tank car safety valves and equipment \par and a division of OPW Fluid Transfer Group, has appointed Joe Fiore as vice president \par of operations. In this role, Fiore will be responsible for providing overall direction \par for engineering, quality, and materials management for the company headquartered \par in Skokie, IL.

Civacon

Civacon, a leading provider of cargo tank components and systems, has appointed \par Simon Hill as director of engineering. Hill will be responsible for all elements \par of mechanical and electronic engineering including product development, manufacturing, \par and technical support. In addition, Hill will oversee the electronics manufacturing \par facility and all quality control, ISO, and product management functions for the \par company headquartered in Riverside, MO.

Schofield

The Chemical Heritage Foundation has chosen "The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: \par A Study of His Life and Works from 1773 to 1804" to receive the Roy G. Neville \par Prize in bibliography or biography. The work is the second volume of Robert E. \par Schofield's definitive biography of Priestley, considered to be one of chemistry's \par greatest practitioners.\'04 \par } n
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