Why do I need to provide so much information? all I need is a price?
By Ryan Blanchette
Flex Pipe USA Inc.
Nobody wants to be that person that everyone glances toward in the next production meeting. The meeting room is quiet as everyone shuffles in. Members of your company and a few employees from other contracting firms and organizations. The Project Manager walks in and describes what is happening in a current expansion project or new manufacturing process. You are in charge of Purchasing or maybe a Product Design Engineer. The products that were custom designed with a 4 week lead time finally showed up, whew! You were able to meet the product timeline for your department or team. Everything is good to go, right?
It is all too often that a contractor ordered a specific part for a system, it was installed, and now we have issues a month down the road. I have heard every response in the book. "I ordered a part from you, can you re-send the specification." We ordered a part on a PO now the inspector said it will not work." You had everything covered, at least you thought. You gave your vendor all the information for a quote. There was only a couple things, but they would extend the lead time on the overall project. It was only a metal or rubber expansion joint. It's not that big of a component compared to the overall system.
When sizing up an expansion joint, it seems like a daunting task just to get the right size and length requirements. As long as the material is all 304 or 321 Stainless it is good to go, right? Wrong. I provide products online as a convenience for a buyer. This does not mean that there is no follow up involved. It is one thing if a customer orders a small rubber hose assembly for a home air compressor, but when it comes to commercial industrial products this is a different story. The last thing you want is a returned item that failed or a concerning phone call. This is learned very quick in this industry. I learned from the best mentors in this field. I wanted to be fast and design products quickly. There is nothing wrong with this, but the requirements and specifications MUST be met. I remember a long time ago when I heard the term "150 lb. Flange." This must have meant that the flange is rated for 150 Psi. The customer always told me, "My application has 150 lb. flanges so it needs to be rated for 150 Psi." It seems simple, but if you are young and do not have a lot of experience it is not so simple. (Yes, I was soon given a Laddish manual, Weld-Bend Book, Chemical Resistance Guides, Etc.) All of these manuals are now available online. I will put a link below.
The lesson here is that it may take time to get the necessary information, but it will save way more time than having to replace components or worse case scenario, someone is injured due to failed high pressure or steam applications.
If you are not sure about your application whether it is a certain chemical, pressure, temperature in your design. Feel free to contact me by E-mail Ryanb@flexpipeusa.com or Feel free to call my cell phone: 763-238-4061.
Rubber Chemical Resistance Guide
FSA Technical Handbook
Metal Compatibility Chart
*Above information for reference only. Consult your Manufacturer for detailed information regarding your application.
Flex Pipe USA Inc. has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided "as is". Flex Pipe USA Inc. does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on this website.