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Maximize StoryMinimize StoryPronal palletisers optimise productivity when handling bottled food and beverages - December 2012

Pronal palletising grippers from Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd are engineered for high reliability and grip when dealing with a wide variety of bottled food and beverages.

The tough but highly flexible Pronal MC and ML grippers are made from hot vulcanised elastomer-coated fabrics engineered in France, where they were designed for the glass industry to optimise productivity by providing a secure method of gripping bottles for palletizing and de-palletising.

The grippers are typically used in multiple banks of gripping lengths configured to user requirements. Available in standard sizes of 1230mm and 1460mm, special lengths are available on request as part of Pronal's expanding range, for which pneumatic actuation and isolation specialist Air Springs Supply is national distributor.

"Pronal grippers' strength and tenacity is combined with a soft touch to accommodate minor variations in bottle positioning during rapid movement, enhancing their use in modern high speed production lines, "says Air Springs Supply National Sales and Marketing Manager Mr James Maslin. This makes the grippers highly compatible with rapid automated bottling and packaging systems.

In addition to the highly versatile standard range of grippers, special models have been created for complex situations, including:

  • Bottles or flasks of complex shapes, which can be palletised with Pronal's short neck models (MCC or MLC)
  • Grippers with a second in/outlet. A second inflation point can be added to your requirements upon request.
  • A half-inflatable range, which has been specially adapted to the latest generation of bottles and bottle shapes.

Pronal palletizing grippers complement Firestone AirPicker® and AirGripper® end-effectors, also available from Air Springs Supply for high-speed bottling, packaging and palletising. These precision-engineered product handling devices incorporate neoprene bladders which inflate gently and evenly to manipulate delicate products or containers as light as 20 g or as heavy as up to 20 kg. AirPickers work by being inserted into products while deflated, then inflated outwardly and evenly to hold onto the product's interior walls. AirGrippers surround a product with a collar from which a rubber sleeve is inflated inwardly to grip the product's exterior.

Information about Pronal Palletising Grippers and AirPicker and AirGripper ranges and about expanding range of Pronal products can also be obtained through the website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, www.airsprings.com.au which is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply's national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 10 Angas St, (Cnr of Underdale Lane), Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph (02) 9807 4077, fax (02) 9807 6979, sales@airsprings.com.au.


 
 
 

 
Pronal palletisers optimise productivity when handling bottled food and beverages
Pronal palletisers optimise productivity when handling bottled food and beverages

Maximize StoryMinimize StoryBoiler tube maintenance time more than halved with greater safety for diverse industries - September 2012

Boiler tube maintenance can be a time-consuming issue for the many industries dependent upon extensive heating and cooling technologies.

Some boilers contain thousands of boiler tube bends that must be separated, inspected and, where necessary, replaced to ensure energy efficiency while preventing downtime in industries as diverse as mining and energy, primary processing and manufacture, oil and gas processing and food, beverage and chemical industries.

One method that has been used to more than halve the time to perform essential boiler maintenance safely is the use of inflatable Pronal flexible lifting cushions from Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd to part the pipes to replace defective components during programmed maintenance to maintain optimum system reliability.

In one major boiler maintenance operation Pronal cushions measuring 1020mmx320m and exerting up to 24 tons of initial force at a maximum of 7 bar were quickly deployed to repair any in-service problems boilers that each incorporated extensive piping with 2000 bends.

During routine maintenance work crews found about 10 per cent of the bends needed replacement, so it became a major undertaking which benefitted greatly from the increased efficiency and safety with the Pronal cushions to replace the previous process in which chains were attached to each side of the boiler pipes, which were braced and pulled apart.

"Our customer encountered a great deal of repetitive setup and actuation work previously," said the National Sales and Marketing Manager of Air Springs Supply, Mr James Maslin.

"The new method involved simply inserting the Pronal bag in between the bends and inflating them to smoothly open up the gap required. Once inflated, maintenance staff inserted padding to secure the gap, for safety, and went about their work. The new operation was completed with more safety and in about 20 per cent of the time required previously," said Mr Maslin.

The flexible lifting bags involved are manufactured by the same company, Pronal, that produced the enormously strong inflatable bags used to lift sections of the liner Titanic from nearly four kilometres deep in the Atlantic. Their power, safety and reliability are demonstrated by their use internationally in the safety kits of fire and rescue services, says Mr Maslin.

Manufactured from plastomer and elastomer coated fabrics vulcanized in a vacuum at 140°C, Pronal lifting cushions are designed for loads up to 70 tons to perform mechanical functions such as pushing, pressing, guiding, clamping, blocking, damping, lifting, moving, wedging and materials handling.

The cushions are also easy to integrate into mechanical systems, such as presses, moulds, conveyors, handling robots, lifting tables and other machinery.

In addition to allowing a better job to be done for a safety and efficiency conscious client, the cushions are compact when deflated, for easy transport and storage. Their reduced overall dimensions permit use where a small gap (down to 20mm) is required, while their thrust is evenly distributed over a wide area (vs point loads of alternative systems, for example).

Mr Maslin says the cushions – weighing just a few kilogrammes each – are very easy to adapt to tasks, requiring minimal setup and no costly additional equipment required where standard factory air or mobile compressed air is available. Because they have no sliding seals, they are ideal for high reliability applications in the latest lightweight process lines or for mobile operations in construction, engineering, mining and maintenance.

Mr Maslin says the highly diversified range provides an easily transported and cost-efficient alternative to hydraulic actuation and craneage across a wide range of industries.

Using technology proven worldwide in land and sea operations, Pronal products are available in standard square and rectangular shapes (100 to 1000mm side dimension), one or more stages, and up to 7 bar inflation pressure (12 models). Customized rectangular, tubular or round shapes of diverse sizes are available on order, with multiple accessories available to adapt equipment to different industrial, engineering and physical requirements.

Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, www.airsprings.com.au which is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply's national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 10 Angas St, (Cnr of Underdale Lane), Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph (02) 9807 4077, fax (02) 9807 6979, sales@airsprings.com.au.

Pronal cushion used to part boiler tubes
Pronal cushion used to part boiler tubes

 
diverse shapes in the range
Diverse shapes in the Pronal range

Maximize StoryMinimize StoryVersatile Vari Plugs provide watertight seals for testing, maintenance and emergency - July 2012

One of the most versatile inflatable pipe stoppers in the global Pronal elastomer range is the Vari Plug range, which is used for for maintenance, testing and emergency tasks.

Vari Plugs are part of an expanded range of Pronal technology exclusively distributed nationally by Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd to fit pipe diameters of 70-1500mm in municipal, industrial and infrastructure applications.

Inflated by compressed air from factory outlets or compressed gas cylinders on remote sites, the tough, polyamide-reinforced stoppers can be used to seal concrete, plastic and metal pipelines carrying potable water, stormwater, industrial and municipal waste water and non-petroleum based solutions.

"These light, easily manoeuvred and easily postioned stoppers are typically employed for uses ranging from routine pipeline maintenance and testing through to emergency stopping of polluted water," says Air Springs Supply National Sales and Marketing Manager Mr James Maslin. "They might be employed to block a leakage of waste entering the surrounding environment or waterways, for example, or to provide a tight seal upstream of a pipeline fault so it can be repaired in a safe, clean and clear environment."

Vari Plugs are available with or without a flow-through bypass. In a pressure testing application, for example, a blank (non-bypass) stopper may be installed upstream in a pipe with another bypass-equipped stopper downstream so liquid or gas can be pumped into the space between.

"Where water flow needs to be stopped, inflatable stoppers are an efficient solution. By creating an airtight seal within the pipe, they effectively stop the water flow to enable professionals in different industries to do their job and resolve the situation. They can also be used in testing air and water pressure, locating leaks, and even allowing the injection of chemicals into a pipeline without a hazardous backup.

"Inflated at the specified pressure and with a back-pressure of up to 1 bar for standard types (10m water column), each stopper can be used within a range of pipe diameters. For example, a range of just four stoppers is needed to span the 100-1200mm diameter pipe sizes," says Mr Maslin

In addition to VP stoppers, Pronal stopper types available from Air Springs Supply include:

  • Uni-Plug collapsible pipe stoppers from 20-3000mm that compactly fit around obstacles, corners and into previously inaccessible areas of surface, underground and underwater pipelines.
  • Pollu-Plug and anti pollution stoppers permanently fitted in stormwater and sewerage lines ready for rapid inflation by remote triggering as soon as an emergency arises in industrial, civil and municipal applications.

Mr Maslin says the Pronal stopper range is one of the most extensive ranges available nationally and internationally. In addition to standard products, Pronal customised products include low and high pressure resistance models (according to the application). Custom-build models also come in a variety of shapes - cylindrical, egg-shaped, square – and up to 3,000mm diameter. Special models can be manufactured to meet particular specifications.

"Pronal products are based on more than 20 years of producing specialist pneumatic elastomer designs for demanding applications, including government, military, heavy industrial, emergency service, sub-sea and exploration" said Mr Maslin, whose own organisation, Air Springs Supply, also has more than 30 years specialist national experience in applying pneumatic actuation and isolation technologies.

Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the Pronal website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, www.pronal.com.au. Air Springs Supply's complementary website, www.airsprings.com.au is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply's national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 10 Angas St, (Cnr of Underdale Lane), Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph (02) 9807 4077, fax (02) 9807 6979, sales@airsprings.com.au.

Versatile Vari Plugs provide watertight seals for testing, maintenance and emergency

Maximize StoryMinimize StoryPollu-Plugs offer simplest and quickest reaction to prevent contamination of waterways from spills - April 2012

One of the simplest and quickest ways to prevent accident contamination of waterways from spills into water and sewerage lines is provided by Pollu-Plug stoppers from Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd.

The proven range of Pollu-Plugs manufactured by global elastomer specialist Pronal are permanently and unobtrusively fitted in water and sewerage lines ready for instantaneous inflation by remote triggering as soon as an emergency arises in industrial, civil and municipal applications.

Pollu-Plugs are triggered when an emergency arises, such as the urgent need to contain toxic fluid spill or to prevent spreading of firefighting or contaminated process water into the pipeline and into the environment downstream.

When pipelines are not subject to an emergency, the uninflated stoper allows normal non-polluted contents to pass beneath the elastomer-coated Pollu-Plug, which is located flat inside the top of a pipeline. It is connected by an air supply line to an all-weather control panel and nitrogen inflation cylinder supplied by the customer and located outside the pipe.

Pollu-Plugs are available in diameters of 100-1000mm and lengths of 450-2050mm (both measurements when empty). Custom sizes can be produced on request.

"The beauty of this product is its absolute simplicity, efficiency and near total lack of maintenance," said Air Springs Supply National Sales and Marketing Manager Mr James Maslin.

"The quality and durability of the product – and of related Pronal pipeline products - is backed by Pronal's global experience in elastomer technology, with more than 3,000 global customers relying on Pronal design projects in fields as diverse as military, aerospace, offshore, industrial, mechanical, hydraulic, nuclear, water and waste water and environmental areas."

Pollu-Plugs are part of an extensive Pronal range of inflatable emergency, rescue and maintenance equipment used by industrial, military and civil defence organisations worldwide (including transportable water and fuel tanks and lifting cushions used to raise equipment such as mining plant and pipelines needing installation or maintenance).

Inflated at pressures of between 40 and 120 KPa, depending on pipeline diameter, they complement Pronal's extensive range of OFR stoppers designed for maximum sealing diameters of 770-2115mm. They also feature rapid inflation for tight sealing to prevent accidental pollution.

One of the major advantages of Pronal technology – in addition to its proven performance globally – is that its inflatable elastomer products can also be custom-fabricated to suit particular applications, said Mr Maslin. Air springs supply also has more than 30 years specialist national experience in applying pneumatic actuation and isolation technologies.

Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the Pronal website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, www.pronal.com.au. Air Springs Supply's complementary website, www.airsprings.com.au is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply's national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 10 Angas St, (Cnr of Underdale Lane), Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph (02) 9807 4077, fax (02) 9807 6979, sales@airsprings.com.au.

Pollu-Plugs offer simplest and quickest reaction to prevent contamination of waterways from spills