Technical advice crucial in choosing a hose reel

For a piece of equipment that performs a relatively simple function – deploying and retrieving hose – choosing the right hose reel can sometimes be a deceptively complex job.

Secondary considerations such as the operating environment, operator’s level of expertise, mounting position, hose bend radius and other factors can sometimes be overlooked after initial requirements such as size, length and pressure have been met.

In many cases this doesn’t affect the suitability of the reel to the job, however on occasion something as simple as what the reel is made of can have an effect on performance and safety.

In extreme cases, an assumption made at the time of purchasing can result in unfit-for-purpose reels or even an increased safety hazard.

For example, a foreman identifies a need for a reel to hold 60 metres of half inch water hose on a mine site. The water is pumped from a small tank at 3000psi pressure. Looking for something light that can be moved from site to site, the foreman opts for a reel made from aluminium. A simple reel is ordered, delivered and put into service.

On the job site, the workers proceed to use the reel without any instruction. A worker charges the hose (fills it with fluid) whilst it is still coiled on the reel. The pressure from the tanker’s pump peaks close to 3000psi and the accumulated force of sixty metres of pressurised hose crushes the soft aluminium spool, resulting in a reel that fails because it was not the right product for the job.

Managing Director of ReCoila, Michael Pawson, has a word of caution to operators looking to purchase poorly considered off the shelf solutions and workshop managers considering budget models.

“Technical advice shouldn’t be passed over in the selection and ordering process,” explains Pawson.

“Often a worker or purchasing manager will make a decision based on cursory descriptions, but the manufacturer’s expertise is there to be mined, so why not take advantage of that. A simple phone call or email can confirm if a reel is right for that individual job, putting the customer’s mind at ease and ensuring no additional hazards are introduced into the workplace.

For us here at ReCoila, analysing individual customer requirements and arriving at the best solution for the job comes naturally. After thirty five years in the hose reel business, our technical team is well-versed in the intricacies of hose management and can recommend the most suitable solution, for simple jobs right through to unique, complex situations.

If a model from our standard range cannot be matched to a job, our engineers can design and build from scratch, resulting in a truly customised hose management solution. For more information contact us at +61 2 9621 8988 or email sales@recoila.com.au

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Be informed about the term ‘Australian Made’

australian-made-hosee-reel

This article was originally published on Industry Update.

Some manufacturers may be exploiting the term “Australian Made”, an industry leader claims.

Mr Michael Pawson, managing director of ReCoila, a leading hose and cable reel company, says industry needs to learn more about the term Australian-Made. “The importance in supporting Australian-Made can never be understated, yet the term itself may need some closer investigation,” he says.

Mr Pawson says his company, which supplies products locally and overseas, constantly battles fierce competition from imported products, many of which are inferior to locally manufactured items.

“With the overall local component of manufacture effectively disguised, end-users are exposed to potentially inferior products on the belief they are in fact quality locally made product.”

This can lead to unexpected maintenance costs, warranty costs and failure costs as well as “other headaches.”

Mr Pawson says education should be encouraged about the true stipulations of Australian-Made and how it is potentially open to various degrees of exploitation. “Local industry should buy local product, he says.

“It is our obligation for the future success of local industry, local employment and technological advancement in the global market. Those supporting this ethical approach to succession should have faith that when purchasing Australian Made it truly is Australian Made and the buck stops here.”

Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Ian Harrison says the green-and-gold Australian Made kangaroo logo is Australia’s registered certification trademark for country-of-origin claims. The logo is trusted by 88 percent of Australians to identify genuine Aussie products, over and above claims made in writing or use of maps and flags.

Mr Harrison said the specifications for making a country-of-origin claim on a manufactured product in Australia differs by product category.
“But two rules remain constant – it must be substantially transformed in Australia and 50% or more of the cost of production must be incurred in Australia as well, he said.

“While goods may contain some imported components, they must have been manufactured or processed in Australia – not simply packaged or assembled – and a significant proportion of the cost of making the product must be incurred in Australia too.”

As a certification trademark, the Australian Made logo is governed by a Code of Practice, which sets out the guidelines for its use.

Companies must agree to comply with the Code of Practice in order to be issued with a license, and each year the product’s licence must be reviewed and approved.

The Australian Made Campaign also engages in random audits annually, and all complaints are investigated. If necessary, a company using the logo unlawfully will be taken to court.

Fines for misuse of country-of-origin claims can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ReCoila is a keen advocate of supporting Australian Made products and actively encourages more transparent Australian Made classification systems.

Streamlined search: New site makes finding a hose reel easy

ReCoila's new website

For quite a while now, we’ve been working away in the background on our new site, with the ultimate aim of creating an awesome user experience.

Our old site was well overdue for a revamp, so we have built a completely new interface from the ground up; resulting in a site that is fast, easy to navigate, and most importantly, answers your questions quickly and efficiently.

Here’s a few highlights…

  • REEL SEARCH:
    • Narrow down your search by hose ID, length, pressure, rewind type + more
    • Specific search tools for highly specialised reels such as electrical cable reels
  • DISTRIBUTOR SEARCH:
    • A simple postcode search with familiar Google map interface to find ReCoila distributors
  • HELP CENTRE:
    • Plenty of online support including common troubleshooting and servicing information
    • A dedicated FAQ section
    • A warranty area where you can now register your new hose reel warranty online
  • ENGINEERING CAPABILITY:
    • Lots of info on what we’re about and what we can do for you
    • Custom hose reel information and the design process
  • INDUSTRY INFORMATION:
    • Specialist recommendations for defence, firefighting, fuelling, plumbing / jetting, food processing, safety and more

We hope our site makes your life just a little bit easier. And of course, your feedback is always appreciated – leave a comment or drop us a line at design@recoila.com.au

Rock bottom price = rock bottom quality: how cheap products can hurt your business

Port_Santos

Image Credit

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Aussie and Kiwi manufacturers are a pretty hardy bunch.

We’ve weathered plenty of stormy economic times and predictions about the demise of the sector both here and in NZ, but when loopholes are discovered that permit cheap imports to land on our shores, local manufacturers need to band together and support their own.

We all strive for a competitive edge, but there is a difference between those displaying ethical competitiveness and those that gain a head start from evasion and half-truths.

The frustration felt by many reputable manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand is expressed succinctly here by Steve Hart, Editor of New Zealand’s widely read DEMM Engineering and Manufacturing magazine.

It appears the engineering and manufacturing industries – both here and abroad – are doing themselves no favours when buying cut-price goods. Whether they buy cheap imitations, or counterfeit parts that look great, but which can cause more financial damage than they are worth, some firms are essentially selling rubbish – crossing their fingers as their products leave the yard.

Competing on price, to undercut firms that stick to using quality parts and who employ skilled and qualified trades people, is a race to the bottom for the country. At some point the price-cutting has to stop and firms trading on quality, service, and that look after their clients’ interests, will forge ahead. That day can’t come soon enough.

It’s not just a counterfeit parts and sloppy service issue. It is a communications challenge for many business owners.

Customers need to understand how one firm can apparently provide a product for much less than their competitors. Those with good reputations, and who see a future for themselves in the industry, need to tell their story and explain why they may appear to be a bit more expensive than the joker down the road. You shouldn’t just shrug your shoulders and allow customers to walk away and buy over-priced rubbish. Whole life cost should play a major part in helping customers understand what they are paying for.

It seems that too many business owners or buyers are also looking at the bottom line price and not factoring in exactly what they are getting for their money. If something is too cheap to be true, then it is probably a knock-off that’s destined to fail – causing downtime, injury or death.

It is getting to the point that more time should be spent establishing that the items ordered are fit for purpose and are coming from a reliable and trusted source. If in doubt, contact main dealers directly and refuse to use counterfeit parts.

Trade on quality and reliability – not price.

Does this resonate with you? If so, we’ve got some tips for fair competitive manufacturing that we’ll share in the next few weeks.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming post from ReCoila’s Managing Director, Michael Pawson, on how to pinpoint imports that could be affecting  your business.

This article originally appeared in DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing May 2013 issue. The full digital edition can be found here. Authored by Steve Hart. Reproduced with permission. 

Collaborative problem solving

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.

Challenge met: our monster stainless hose reel

Australian reel designer and manufacturer ReCoila attributes its outstanding engineering skills as one of the major reasons it was headhunted to find a solution for a major global exploration company in the offshore energy sector.

With rugged, unpredictable working conditions and corrosive operating environments amongst the deepest challenges in this sector, ReCoila, along with other subcontractors, came on board to provide specialised input.

As ReCoila carries more than 30 years proven experience supplying to all major Australian industries as well as export markets, it was seen as the right solution for a very difficult challenge, says Managing Director, Mr Michael Pawson.

Stainless steel hose reel for offshore gas - marine application

The finished reel stood nearly three metres tall

“This was no ordinary assignment – the reel is transported onboard a ship that supplies offshore platforms with an anti-corrosion chemical which is used to flush the insides of the pipes on offshore rigs.

“We were approached for many reasons to assist in this project; arguably the main reason is that our expertise is long-time renowned. We design as well as construct, we are based in Australia, meaning we’re quick to respond with technical support and maintenance, and of course we focus strongly on the needs of the customer.

Stainless steel offshore hose reel

The reel presented unique engineering challenges for ReCoila

“The engineering required was also fairly complicated and we are well equipped to provide this level of input.

“In addition, some components and fittings were purpose-built because they were not available off-the-shelf.

“Yet again, this is another example of our flexible and comprehensive engineering capabilities that saw us chosen for this project.”

Stainless steel was the material of choice. This was used for life cycle and corrosion control as the finished product will spend a lot of time offshore, immersed in salt-laden air and exposed to sea water.

ReCoila designed and manufactured the reel to a high life-cycle expectancy, and the project included a long list of safety factors such as complete guarding in and around the unit for safe operation and product protection.

Test procedures were in abundance before dispatch to the client.

Load testing and QA procedures available from ReCoila hose reels

Load testing the gooseneck

The reel formed part of a transportable pumping facility which was designed to withstand 2.4 Gs of force, and a test load of 10 tonne was applied to ensure structural integrity against the sudden, violent movement on board a sea-going vessel that can often be operating in 10 metre swells.

Breakaways – where a sudden movement or ‘drift-off’ can jolt a hose to disconnect from the reel – minimise damage to the environment, to the reel and hose, and of course to personnel as well.

The hose reel also had to be designed so that it could be dismantled within the frame of the pumping station and the components that were situated around it.

Load tests on the gooseneck of the finished hose reel were equivalent to 900+ kg.

Stainless steel hose reel 316

The reel was built entirely from 316 Stainless Steel

“At all times ReCoila worked in conjunction with other subcontractors to meet quality and expertise standards required by the end client,” said Mr Pawson.

“The finished result was a stainless steel reel so well engineered and constructed for its demanding environment that I would expect it to outlive humanity.”

full stainless steel 316 hose reel

The finished hose reel

Are you in the market for a custom made hose reel? ReCoila can help. You can contact us at design@recoila.com.au or call +61 2 9621 8988 to discuss your project, or complete our Request for Quote form to get the ball rolling.

 

This article was written by journalist Val Pavlovic and will appear in local Australian mining, oil and gas media over the next couple of months.

From the ashes: engineering that passes the ultimate test

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 burnt-out B-double

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 virtually intact, with the drive systems and speed controls still fixed to the reels

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.

Port of Broome

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.

RF Series custom made hose reel to hold 25m of 3 inch hose. Fitted with forward / reverse and speed controller and 415V drive system.

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.

Raising the steaks in meat industry hygiene

ReCoila hose reels for meat and food processing

Best Practice: Washdown

Although most businesses operating within the meat and food processing industries have strict hygiene procedures in place and washdown procedures are part of everyday operations, often the finer details involved in washdown can be missed.

Washdown hoses are frequently exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals, fats and oils which can shorten the hose’s life span. And if hoses are coiled on a hook or stored on the floor, dirt and debris can also build up on the hose.

Animal fats are notoriously aggressive and can cause hoses to fail before the end of their natural life span, and when hoses are repeatedly in contact with these fats, the hose can quickly become compromised.

If hoses are not stored or managed properly, they can also become an ergonomic or occupational health and safety hazard.

Use a hose reel for a safer, cleaner environment

Most Australian industry standards mandate that ‘hoses when not in use shall be stored on reels or racks’. Storing your hose on a hose reel keeps the hose up off the floor, clean, tidy, not tangled and always easy to find. The hose itself can be washed down at the end of your clean-up procedure ensuring fats, cleaning chemicals and dirt are rinsed away and your hose is kept in good condition for as long as possible (for more tips see my other recent article on extending the life of hoses).

The SE Series is perfect for food processing areas

Stainless reels

ReCoila imports a range of high quality stainless steel spring rewind hose reels perfect for use in food processing industries. Our SE Series stainless steel hose reels are strong, reliable and hygienic, and can handle pressures up to 400 bar. The reels are supplied bare (if you need a hose assembly we can arrange that for you) and are suited to air, cold water or hot water. A heavy duty mounting system enables the hose reel to be fixed to the wall, the ceiling or under your workbench or butcher block.

HW Series hot wash reels are available with or without a fully insulated heavy duty washdown gun

More options

We’ve also got a number of Australian made reels that are well suited to the broader food processing industries, including manual hose reels in stainless steel, polypropylene spring rewind reels for hot water washdown (shown above), hose reels for food and liquid transfer, nitrogen hose reels for use in wineries and drinking water hose reels.

If you’re interested in making a ReCoila hose reel part of your hygiene  management scheme,  give us a call on +61 2 9621 8988 or email our sales team.

ReCoila hose reels integral to subsea works

Ocean Trenching Technologies is an Australian company providing installation and trenching of submarine and umbilical cables. Ocean Trenching operates crawler class ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) as part of its specialist marine services, each capable of 3.3m cable burial by either chain cutting, jetting or rock saw attachment.

Ocean Trenching recently contracted ReCoila to design, manufacture and deliver two unique hose reels that are hot-dip galvanised to ensure longevity in a marine environment. One of the reels is being put to use as a water hose storage reel, the other as a hydraulic hose umbilical reel that runs up to a hydraulic power unit and goes down subsea to link with the crawler class ROV; this reel holds six bundled 100m hoses.

“We enquired through a high-end industry connection for advice on who could best supply customised hydraulic hose reels, and they pointed us towards ReCoila,” said Ocean Trenching’s Tom Wilson.

“We are a global supplier ourselves and have demanding clients that require subsea installation of power cables, communications lines, pipelines, fibre optic cables and also drilling services.

“It is critical we avoid downtime, so the customised reels ReCoila designed for us were engineered for extensive duty cycles – regardless of whether demand is low or high.”

ReCoila custom designed and manufactured both these large reels at its head office and manufacturing plant in Sydney. For more information on custom made hose reels contact design@recoila.com.au or read more about ReCoila’s capabilities here.

Made to measure: hose reels for your unique job

With over 30 years experience in designing and manufacturing hose reels and cable reels, ReCoila is well placed to offer custom a design and manufacturing facility for all types of applications.

Can we build it? Yes we can.

We build reels from polypropylene, steel, stainless steel and aluminium to suit all types of industries – mining, offshore oil and gas, petrochemical, marine, food processing, firefighting, pressure washing, electrical, manufacturing, industrial and more.

If you need a hose reel and those in our standard range don’t fit the bill, we can build one from scratch to suit your unique application.

Previous work

Here’s a sample of some of our recent custom builds – click through for more details.

How to work out what you need

So you know you need a hose reel. Before you get in contact with us, think about exactly what you want your reel to do. Sounds obvious, but there is a swag of options to choose from and our recommendations are guided by what you tell us, so the more information you can provide, the better.

This becomes more apparent if you’re contacting us on behalf of  the engineer at your company who doesn’t like calling suppliers. “Call these guys and get some prices,” he says. But try and press him (or her) for specifics first – at a minimum, we’ll need the hose size, pressures, temperatures, bend radius of the hose (your hose supplier can provide this information), what the reel will be made from, the rewind method, and what will be flowing through the reel.

It also helps to ask where the hose reel will be positioned, who will be operating it, and what kind of hose will be put on the reel. (Whilst we usually quote custom reels without hose, the type and size of hose used will ultimately affect how we build the reel, so we need this info too).

To avoid any headaches down the track, take the time to confirm these specs, then later on, carefully review your quotation and the drawings and other information we provide to you. Alterations and fixes are easy on paper; not so easy in steel.

Contact us for a quote

To quote accurately, we do need quite a bit of info from you. The specs detailed above sound like a lot – but it enables us to recommend the best reel for your unique application.

To get the ball rolling, you can complete the detailed online quote request form (with help text to guide you through) and one of our technical sales staff will be in contact within a day or so.

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