Keller & Associates Inc. Finds The Best Bead In The Market

Keller & Associates Inc. Finds The Best Bead In The Market
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Quick Summary

The Challenge
  • Provide the best quality work for their customers.
  • Air hammer and beading tool were too labor intensive.
  • Existing vendor’s beading expander did not provide a smooth bead to tube sheet transition.
  • Poor support from their existing vendor left them with little options.
The Solution
  • Operators tested Elliott’s 4480 Single Roll Beading Expander on a production job.
The Results
  • Produced a smooth bead to tube sheet transition.
  • Saved labor costs compared to manual beading.
  • Extended tube life compared to a ridged bead transition.

The Challenge

As Operations Director of Keller & Associates Inc., a boiler contractor and repair shop in Lakeland, Florida, Ted Keller wants retube tools that will do the best job for his customers while minimizing time and costs on his end.

A roll beading expander that will roll, bead, and reroll the tube in one operation is an important tool for firetube boilers.

Keller & Associates’ operators tried using an air hammer with beading tool but found that it was very time consuming since the three separate operations of rolling, beading, and re-rolling were required. Additionally, the air hammer was very hard on the body, making operators sore after just a few tubes.

Then they tried a single roll beading expander manufactured by a competitor of Elliott Tool. While the expander performed the three operations of roll, bead, and re-roll in only one function, thus saving time and labor costs, it did not produce a smooth bead to tube sheet transition. In fact, the bead had an evident lip (edge) on it.

A lip on the bead restricts the flame that is going through the firetube boiler tube which places stress on the tube. This stress decreases tube life which means that customers must get their firetube boilers retubed more often than they should need to.

Ted Keller actually called the single roll beading expander manufacturer to improve the quality of their bead since they want to do the best quality work for their firetube boiler customers. The manufacturer responded that they were working on the problem but Ted Keller never heard back!

The Solution

The Keller & Associates operators tried Elliott’s Single Roll Beading Expander and immediately appreciated its key features:

  • Rolling and beading in one operation together with fast feeding boosts productivity.
  • Easy on body compared to air hammer and beading tool.
  • Eliminates the high torque requirement of others’ Double Roll Beading Expanders.
  • Only minimal component part changes to enable expansion of different tube gauges.
  • Smooth bead to tube sheet transition to increase tube life.

Although Keller & Associates were extremely pleased with all of the above features, they were most impressed with the smooth bead to tube sheet transition that Elliott’s Single Roll Beading Expander produced.

In fact, Keller & Associates employees, including Ted Keller, did a side by side beading test using the Elliott expander versus the other manufacturer’s expander on the same firetube boiler. All agreed that Elliott’s Single Roll Beading Expander clearly provided for a better bead than the other beading expander.

Ted Keller was impressed to see that Elliott’s Single Roll Beading Expander solved the problem that he was experiencing with his current roll beading expanders so that he could provide the best quality to his customers.

I like the smooth bead to tube sheet transition because it eliminates stress on the tube to make it last longer. I have been asking another roll beading expander manufacturer to improve the quality of their bead and they said they’re working on it.”

Ted Keller, Operations Director

The Results

Elliott’s Single Roll Beading Expander saves Keller & Associates on labor costs as compared with the manual method of using an air hammer and beading tool which takes three operations instead of one.

The Elliott Single Roll Beading Expander also produces a smooth bead to tube sheet transition as compared with the other single roll beading expander manufacturer. The smooth bead allows firetube boiler tubes to last longer than those with ridged beads.

Keller & Associates knows that with the Elliott Single Roll Beading Expander, they are providing the best quality to their customers.

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