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Equipment Showcase: Tools and Safety Products

Safety should always be a priority for any business, no matter the industry. This is particularly true for power generation facilities, which feature multiple pieces of complex machinery that can present risks to workers who do not have the proper tools and equipment to ensure proper operation and a safe workplace. Work conditions in power plants require a variety of safety gear, including protective clothing, eyewear, and headgear. The proper tools, which include those not only for repair but also preventive maintenance, are important to reduce downtime. Some of the leading manufacturers and service companies for tools and safety products for the power generation industry are featured here.

Innovative Tool Eases Flange Alignment

Safe bolting processes are a critical concern in all industries operating with controlled bolting applications. Power plant operators are looking for ways to prevent injuries and lost man-hours, and do so in a cost-effective manner. Hands Free Bolting understands the demand for these safety solutions that can be implemented into bolting procedures. The company’s latest addition to its safety accessory range is the Flange Alignment Pin, a fast, safe and simple method to lining up bolt holes. Simply insert the pin into the bolt hole with the largest gap, turn 180 degrees to align the bolt holes, insert bolts, then turn 180 degrees to remove the pin. Like every product in the safety accessory range from Hands Free Bolting, each pin also features an inbuilt safety tether attachment to further support safe working procedures by preventing dropped objects. Completely eliminating the need for a hammer, the Flange Alignment Pin is designed with a tapered end allowing access to offset bolt holes, ultimately speeding up the bolting process. Hands Free Bolting, Cramlington, UK

Essential Air-Powered Tools for Power Plant Maintenance

MILLHOG Rolling Motors and Tube Expanders from Esco Tool are air-powered and feature a torque control setting that stalls the tool when it reaches the desired tube expansion, preventing over- or under-expansion. This enables users to create a uniform and tight mechanical seal. These tube sheet expanders are easy to adjust and allow precise torque control from 25 to 325 foot-pounds. Available with 90-, 190-, and 280-rpm motors, the right angle-style MILLHOG Rolling Motors and Tube Expanders are offered as kits for tubes from 0.375-inch to 4.5-inch outside diameter (OD) and tube sheets to 5.375 inch. Supplied complete and ready to use with standard shop air, they are ideally suited for creating mechanical seals in boilers, heat exchangers, and condensers. Esco Tool, Holliston, Massachusetts

Safety Tips for Tube-Squaring Machines

Chip guard kits for the compact cutting heads of Tri Tool’s Model 301, 301DC, and 301SP tube-squaring machines provide an open design for chip fall-through while retaining excellent visibility of the cutting process. Some kits may require that legacy machines be returned to the factory for retrofitting of the guard upgrade. Chip guards for the larger Model 302 and 304 machines provide rugged, high-visibility, full-width, hinged acrylic covers. These easy-to-use covers are retained magnetically, so no fasteners are needed to open and close. Whether a machine has chip guards or not, workers must never place fingers, power cords, or clothing where they could come in contact with the rotating elements of the machine. Machines should always be safely disconnected from power sources before clearing chips, moving the equipment, or installing or adjusting the tool bit or tubing being cut. Tri Tool’s special engineering department can design and produce any level of chip protection needed to comply with individual workplace requirements. Tri Tool, Rancho Cordova, California

Improved Quality with New Arc Welding Process

A new computerized Plasma Transferred Arc Welding (PTAW) service optimizes the process of applying hard-facing overlay for wear resistance. The automated PTAW process from Stone & Webster, a unit of Westinghouse Electric Co., uses powder instead of traditional solid rods and is applied in very consistent bands, which significantly reduces the amount of filler metal required, the need for post-weld machining, and the waste generated from both. The process can be applied to a variety of metals, including carbon and stainless steel, nickel alloys, cobalt alloys, and more. PTAW can be applied on outside or inside surfaces on round products more than 30 inches in diameter. Worker ergonomics and fatigue are minimized, and quality and repeatability are greatly improved using this process. Once qualified for a given application, there is high lot-to-lot consistency with low levels of inclusions, discontinuities, or other imperfections in the weld deposits. PTAW has applications to benefit multiple sectors of the power industry, including for boiler circulation pump casing repair, replacement tube welding, and main steam piping repair. Stone & Webster, Charlotte, North Carolina

Grainger Offers Several Lines of Safety Equipment

Power plant operators know that working with dangerous chemicals and materials is an occupational hazard. Mitigating the risk is part of the job. Grainger, an equipment supplier for many industries including the power sector, offers a line of disposable clothing to ensure workers are covered from head to toe, protected against the dangers of hazardous chemicals, fire, and other potential dangers. The clothing line includes chemical-resistant and disposable aprons, coveralls, hoods, sleeves, gowns, pants, lab coats, smocks, shirts, and jackets, along with shoe and boot covers. Accessories for this clothing also are available, including visor lights that offer safety in low-light environments. Grainger, Lake Forest, Illinois

ETI Energy Tools’ Safety Products Serve Power Industry

ETI Energy Tools offers products that serve the energy industry and have multiple uses for power generators, including for solar, wind, and hydropower facilities. Safety products are a priority for the company, including descenders and rescue devices, harnesses, lanyards and work positioning ropes, and self-retracting lifelines. The company’s signature harness is the Ignite Ion, a safety harness designed for construction and maintenance applications. The harness features simplified adjustment options in the chest and leg area, and it is equipped with abrasion and wear indicators. ETI also provides industrial bag lift products, including vinyl bucket bags that are puncture-resistant and designed not to get hung up on latches. ETI Energy Tools, Bakersfield, California

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