Product Watch

Up skill your maintenance team to reduce downtime

Do you know how much your plant costs you to maintain?

Do you know the costs of downtime at your plant? 

Have you considered economical solutions for maintenance repair and operations? 

While past trends in preventative maintenance practices have seen significant reliability and cost down improvements, the latest research tells us that many companies are not investing in upskilling due to their reduced maintenance labour force and tight production schedules. Therefore, the best time to ensure and maximise the skill set and capability of the existing maintenance work force. 

Cost effective training is best done on-site and in-house. maintenance repair and operations (MRO) solutions have the potential to save costs, improve efficiencies, improve worker skill levels, safety and productivity and deliver reliability to plants – benefits companies simply cannot afford to overlook. 

Using the right products to properly maintain equipment is vital to the overall profitability and success of businesses. Providing workers who are in contact with this equipment with the necessary knowledge, skills, products and training for maintenance can help deliver the best equipment performance and reliability. 

Equipment that is maintained poorly can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars. For example, a hydraulic leak at one drop/second at $12/litre equates to $18,396 lost per year. Similarly, an air leak of one mm at 600kPa at 15c/Kwh can cost $360 lost per year. And in the competitive economic landscape of today, every dollar counts. 
At the end of the day, high quality products can only be as good as the people who use them. 

Up skilling via on-site and hands on maintenance and repair workshops
You only get out what you put in. And this notion of training is being taken to the next level by Henkel, offering a variety of Loctite training opportunities in an ongoing commitment to education using engineering adhesives, sealants and composite repair technologies. Loctite Maintenance and Reliability Workshops (MRW) offer a unique customer training service that has been successfully running for more than a decade in Australia and New Zealand. It can be tailored to meet the needs of any plant/workshop and is conducted on-site; providing hands-on training to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of their maintenance operations, with reviews of common failure causes and prevention methods. 

Attendees of Loctite MRW have the opportunity to learn the best practices in MRO as well as the latest technology in engineering adhesives, sealants and composites. 

The Loctite MRW syllabus includes threadlocking, thread sealing, lubrication, gasketing, retaining and bonding. Attendees gain insight into such things as how a threaded fastener works, why gaskets fail, causes of leaks, potential fit problems and possible solutions of retaining, why assemblies seize, bonding basics and much more. 

The Loctite MRW runs across industries including manufacturing, mining, energy and food processes, and is suitable for all levels of personnel. Two hours of hands-on training and an in-plant follow-up will give your workforce the knowledge and tools to save time, improve reliability and equipment safety. 

When it comes to enhancing the skills of your team in MRO, maintenance engineers need look no further for a training solution that can also deliver cost savings and provide reliability to their plant. 

For more information on Loctite Maintenance and Repair Workshops or to register your interest, call 0800 109 030 or email  


Taking fumes seriously

Workshop managers and their employees are taking safe removal of airborne contaminants more seriously says, Geoff Ebdon, sales manager from New Zealand Duct & Flex. “So often our staff are approached or we get phone calls from workshop managers who have just had an ‘inspection’ and been advised that their poor or even non-existent extraction is not compliant. With budget restrictions, they are often primarily concerned about cost first and consideration for effectiveness sometimes comes second.” Good extraction is always inexpensive compared to the short and long term effects for workers directly exposed to (and co-workers indirectly) breathing contaminated air. But there are many options available that are very cost-effective.

Vapours, gases, dust and fumes all behave differently and the manner in which they move around mixed or suspended in the air is complex. Fume clouds from welding tend to be dense but are only partially visible – “It’s not what you can see that is causing the problem,” says Ebdon, “It’s what you can’t see”. Inhalable particles, i.e., those small enough to be ‘breathed in’ are anything from 0.01 µm up to 100 µm but the dangerous particles that can penetrate deeply into lungs and cannot be expelled are less than 10µm – these are invisible to the naked eye.

The smaller particles also remain suspended in air longer and move with the local current streams in the workshop/room – often carrying them a long way from the source to affect other staff who are not welding at all. Neal England, NZ Duct & Flex Engineering Manager, confirms he has often been asked, on a pre-install site visit, why it isn’t just possible to open more windows to solve the problem, but the further away from the source the contaminants travel, their dispersion only makes it harder to safely capture or control.

Welding fumes are best captured close to the source and removed in a smooth flow – for example, fume arms with external hinging and articulation not only last longer because the moving parts are on the outside, they also contribute to a beneficial smoother airflow, minimising eddies occurring in the capture hood that could push contaminated air back out. The hood needs to be as close to the process or source as possible, therefore it should be metal to withstand working temperatures, ideally with easy-to-grasp handles for constant changes, as the hood needs to be positioned so the fumes are extracted away from the welder, i.e., not so they pass in front.
Ebdon recommends purchasing managers check the manufacturers stated airflow at the hood before making a decision and it is not an option to connect any old fan with a length of flex available to solve the matter. If fumes are not to be filtered, then it is important to check who is in the vicinity – they might also be affected.

An example of good practice is a recent install requested by Steve Palmer, Site Engineer for University of Canterbury, who needed extraction for the welding bay in the site workshop.

The existing work area was fitted out to a very high standard and one of the stipulations was that the new extraction installed would be completed in a similar way. The maintenance staff carry out a lot of galvanised welding and these fumes are particularly toxic and irritating for staff with effects felt for many days, so an effective solution was critical. The area is not large, however, Palmer was impressed with the ease of the three metre reach achieved from the European-made fume arms distributed by NZ Duct & Flex.

NZ Duct & Flex employs its own install team and they ran modular Liplock ducting from two 160mm dia fume arms to a single exit. Each arm is linked to its own 0.7kW fume arm fan and the exhaust was the most efficient route – out through the ceiling. The Dektite was mounted onto a neat galvanised flashing plate as profiled roofs must be sealed off correctly. The gooseneck rain cover for the exhaust was created in minutes using a series of Liplock bends and the wide rubber seals on the lever lock connectors are ideal for sealing outside.

Fume arms are a very effective way of removing fumes away from the welder, capturing them and ensuring they leave the work area, not causing a nuisance to other workers further away. The robust metal powder-coated tubes use exterior hinging, i.e., all the articulation is outside of the tube, ensuring airflow is not interrupted, and the hinging does not become inoperative due to build-up of particles. An easy all round grab handle allows the operator to position the hood exactly where it will be most effective. This simple system is good value as all the components can easily be reconfigured if the workshop changes in the future.

For more information call 0508 69 38 28 or visit 

Tame the energy hog of process heat

Industrial ovens and furnaces used for high temperature heating in variety of industries and applications, from aluminium smelting and oil refineries to manufacturing and food processing, are the energy hogs of your business. Now it’s time to tame this wild animal to save on fuel and to reduce emissions, and the prescription is simple: reduce, recycle and recover. Here are some examples how:
Reduce excess air. Make sure your burners are operating at their minimum excess air level. Lowering excess air levels lowers the furnaces energy requirements. Reducing excess air by 15 percent on a furnace running at 10,000˚C will reduce the energy usage by more than eight percent. That’s eight percent less emissions, and eight percent lower fuel costs. 

Recycle the energy being lost to atmosphere by preheating your incoming load. Preheating a load by 2,000˚C on a heating furnace running at 10,000˚C will reduce the energy usage by more than 15 percent. That’s 15 percent less emissions, and 15 percent lower fuel costs. 

Recover the energy by preheating the combustion air. Using the exhaust gasses to raise the combustion air temperature by 3,000˚C on a furnace running at 10,000˚C will reduce the energy usage by more than 20 percent. That’s 20 percent less emissions, and 20 percent lower fuel costs. 

Not sure where to start? Contact us to carry out a survey of your furnace and to get recommendations for the fuel saving option that suits your application the best. 

We can upgrade your current system or design and supply a new system to optimise the performance of your furnace. Among the equipment we supply there are burners, controls, safety systems, gas trains and combustion air blowers from the leading European and American manufacturers. 

Contact Ph: 09 274 51211 or email  

EMC Valves – providing solutions and dependability

As one of the most professional solenoid valves manufacturers to the European market, E.MC provides a wide range of solenoid valves designed in different configurations to support different medium – air, water, gas, oil, nitrogen, and conditions temperature, sizes etc, widely used in many areas of fluid control.

E.MC pneumatics has a big team to develop easier low power solenoid valve solutions. After four years study of low power field, the creative E.MC R&D team brings a selection of super low power solenoid valves with 2~8 Watt solutions for overheating of solenoid valves in temperature-sensitive areas. 

To meet increasing industry demand, E.MC continually provides innovative solutions, including N series directional solenoid valve with below 1W power, CC type compact directional solenoid valve, CN series valve with high performance, 5/2-3/2 inter-exchange Namur valve, together with classic V series solenoid valve and air valve, mechanical valve, hand pull valve, hand push valve, foot valve, rotary valve – a very wide range of air direction control valves to match every application. 

Contact or phone 022 323 1297  

Scientific automation: high measurement accuracy over a large frequency range

The new EL3773 power monitoring terminal for the Beckhoff EtherCAT I/O system is designed to monitor the condition of a three-phase AC or a DC mains network. It collects instantaneous values of power and voltage at an extremely fast sampling rate of up to 10,000 samples/sec and makes them available to the higher-level PC controller for calculation or analysis. The input channels are transferred via oversampling; this results in the acquisition of actual values with a significantly higher resolution in terms of time than the communication cycle time. 

The EtherCAT distributed clocks method is used as the basis for the highly precise acquisition of measured values in the EtherCAT Terminal system. These distributed clocks synchronise the EtherCAT devices with very high precision, independently of the PLC cycle. The EL3773 EtherCAT Terminal measures voltage and current via three channels in each case. The six channels are measured simultaneously based on the EtherCAT oversampling principle with a temporal resolution of up to 100 μs and passed on to the controller. The maximum sampling frequency for each channel is 10 kHz. 

On the basis of the data supplied, it is possible with the aid of a PC to calculate true RMS values, power, power factors and frequency, and complex user-specific algorithms via the voltage and current curves. The fast sampling rate also enables the measurement of voltage and current peaks. Using the EL3773 power monitoring terminal, interference can be detected and corrected promptly in order to avoid damage to devices, increased electricity costs and downtime and to optimally boost the productivity of manufacturing facilities. 

For further information Ph 09 281 2736 or email  

MAG B1 battery-powered mag flow meter

Arkon flow systems provide customised and flexible technology to the water and process industries, for the measurement of flow in a multitude of applications. Products focus on accuracy, reliability and the ability to communicate with a multitude of applications.

The MAG B1 is a battery powered mag flow meter for applications such as irrigation, where an external power supply is unavailable. The incorporated battery has a life of up to five-years, which ensures maintenance-free monitoring for remote sites. The integrated Data Logger records 1820 Records with selectable sample intervals from 5 min to 24 hours.

Arkon Flow Systems, is involved in the design, production and distribution of electromagnetic flowmeters. The range of products are complimented with ultrasonic flowmeters, Parshall flumes and flow indicators. Product options can be found on the following

Contact Ph. 09 526 0096 or email 

The challenge of safely storing flammable liquids

Since the advent of the industrial revolution, the use of non-water based chemicals has increased dramatically. For those of us working with them, the exposure to the associated hazards has also increased.

One potential hazard is flammability and to prevent fires, hazardous liquids require special precautions in storage, handling and use. 
The current standard in place to manage these is AS1940-2004: The Storage and Handling of Flammable And Combustible Liquids. 
For some industries, special costly structures are necessary for storing the large amount of flammable liquids held on site. However, for the bulk of New Zealand businesses, only smaller amounts are used and therefore a much faster and economical solution is available in approved metal cabinets. These cabinets must meet the following criteria, among others, as set out in the above standard:

  • The walls, floor, door and roof should be of double-walled sheet steel construction, with a space of at least 40mm between the walls.
  • The inner base of the cabinet shall form a liquid-tight compound of at least 150mm deep, and shall be designed to prevent the compound from being used as a storage space.
  • Any shelves shall be perforated to permit free air movement, and shall be capable of carry the maximum possible load.
  • All cabinet doors shall be self-closing, close fitting and held shut automatically by catches of two or more points.

These requirements are stringent (for good reason) and the Chemshed cabinet range has been designed and engineered to meet or exceed each one of them. Whether your business needs a small single door 60L cabinet, a large double-doored 350L or something in between, this range is your answer to the question of safely storing flammables in your workplace. Other unique features like sequential door closing, flush mounted latches and adjustable galvanized shelving, make Chemshed cabinets a sound safety investment.

Civilquip Ltd are the national importers of Chemshed and with distributors right across the country, there’s bound to be a supplier not too far away. 

Contact Civilquip today on 0800 688 844 for your nearest dealer or email 


What to do with difficult “working at height” issues

A lot of businesses are wrestling with awkward working at height situations that have in the past been accessed by a standard ladder or other (at times dubious) pieces of equipment. With the safety authorities now viewing this trusty old ladder, and other unconventional shortcuts as unsafe to work from, these same situations that were no bother before, are becoming real posers.

That’s exactly why Equiptec developed their ever increasing fleet of VRS Platforms. VRS, an acronym of Vertical Rise Steps, has now grown to answer multiple challenges in a big range of industries. As every VRS model has an adjustable range of platform heights, they are both ergonomic and multi-use. A diverse fleet in three different ranges now covers almost any application from 700mm to 5m platform heights, from workshops to stores to construction sites, and there is very likely to be a perfect answer to your access problems within the comprehensive line-up.

And now, Equiptec is pleased to introduce another new VRS platform… the VRS Monkey 24. With an adjustable platform height range of 1.2m to 2.4m, this unit is ideal for the trucking industry, equipment workshops, warehouses and factory applications etc.

Not only are there a lot of models, but also an awesome range of options that extend the VRS adaptability even further, and help to customise to your exact requirements with off-the-shelf designs. And the development never stops! There is more innovation coming through the Equiptec design team as you read this, so, don’t limit yourself – whatever your height issue, take an efficient step forward – contact Equiptec today.

Phone 0800 84 00 00 or email:




Better air source solution for high demand applications

Air treatment units (also called air preparation units) don’t do the job directly like pneumatic cylinders and solenoid valves, however, they play a very important role. They pre-treat the air source from compressors, which is influential in how long the pneumatic cylinder and solenoid valves can continue working, including the air filter, air regulator and air lubricator. 

To meet industry field applications, E.MC provides multiple designs for FRL, providing very dependable and stable quality for over 20 years. The range includes a series for environment protective FRL, economic FRL and Compact FRL, with space-saving technology of the gauge integrated inside the body. The range includes pressure switches, auto-drains and high-precision regulators, all designed and tested for high-pressure environments. 

The new E/EI series FRL has all the features gathered from the E.MC development, testing and body design, providing top technology in the FRL Field. 





Trapped Key interlocks from Active Safety

Castell’s Trapped Key Interlocks allow for in excess of 50,000 combinations. With this level of available codes, entire factories and plants can have trapped key systems without codes being repeated.

The steps towards creating a trapped key solution with access by personnel would require an application for either part body of full body. This is just one example of many types of solutions.

1. Isolation: Releasing a key from the disconnector when it is in the open position thus isolating the disconnector.
2. Key Exchange: If necessary this key can be inserted into a key exchange box to release multiple keys.
3. Access Control:
   a. Part Body; has only one lock and the isolation key is used to open this. Whilst the access lock is open the key cannot be removed and therefore the process cannot be started. Only once the lock is closed can the isolation key be removed and the process restarted.
   b. Full Body; has two locking mechanisms, the first step in the process is to insert the isolation key. This will allow the personnel key to be removed and then access can be granted by opening the bolt. The isolation key can only be removed once the personnel key has been inserted. Therefore whilst the personnel key is removed and the lock is open the process cannot be started. Only once the lock is closed and the personnel key returned, can the isolation key be removed and the process restarted.

Ph: 021 774 932 email: