The Hybrid Series Rapid Hawk produced positive results almost immediately. With roll consistency showing a significant improvement, Alfa Laval was pleased with the accuracy of the system. “We aim for an 8% reduction and the Hybrid Series gets us to that range so well,” said Ryan Pitre, Manufacturing Engineer. “The quality and roll consistency is so much better. It takes into account all variables and executes precisely.” The Hybrid Series rolled tubes within 2% of their target wall reduction every time, whereas their previous tube rolling method had as much as 6% variation. This increase in consistency significantly reduced the number of man-hours attributed to re-rolling tubes, with virtually zero leaking joints at hydro testing.
The Hybrid Series was also able to reduce the tube-to-tube expansion cycle time and the overall cost to complete a project. “The Auto-Lube system has been huge, with a time savings of 50% per tube and a cost savings of ~$60,000 annually,” Ryan said. Not only did the auto-lubrication system save man hours from lubricating tooling, but it also significantly reduced the time spent cleaning up excess lubricant.
The Direct Torque™ control not only increased accuracy, but it also benefitted operators. The guesswork that was necessary with their previous tube rolling system was eliminated, allowing them to complete their job faster. Additionally, the Auto-Cycle reduced the amount of time spent between expansions by starting, stopping, and reversing automatically. It also reduced the amount of manual force required to complete a job: “It [Auto-Cycle] makes it so easy to use. It draws itself into the tube and pushes itself out, so virtually no operator force is needed,” Ryan said.
With the significant increase in accuracy and consistency, the Rapid Hawk Hybrid Series was able to help operators increase productivity. Overall, the Alfa Laval Team was extremely pleased with both the performance of the system and the support gained from the Elliott team. “Support was the reason we went with the Elliott equipment,” Ryan explained, “The product is great and the people we worked with have been great.”