“50% of new RAC installations will be braze-free in five years” says pipe specialist
Conex Bänninger head sees boom in ‘press-fit’ fuelled by time-savings and lack of hot works
The man who helped to develop press-fitting pipework systems for the heating sector 25 years ago says the cooling industry is ready for a significant shift towards the braze-free technology.
Mano Bakhtiari, md of Conex Bänninger , said that the ability to produce pipe joints of a consistent quality within 5 seconds would drive the cooling sector to make the cultural shift away from brazing.
He said: “This is not about ‘getting rid of the engineers of today’, this is about giving them additional skills – we call it ‘smart skilling.’. We believe it is an opportunity to lead the industry into new techniques. Brazing has a failure rate of 2% and at best it is a variable process, it is not predictable, whereas press fit takes 5 seconds and is predictable. Brazing provides a one-year warranty, whereas ours is 5 years.”
With several manufacturers either entering the cooling sector with press-fit kit, or making plans to, he predicted a ‘revolution’ in the way cooling systems are joined.
He said: “We think that 50 per cent of the installation market in RAC could be press-fit in five years. We have addressed the issues faced by earlier brazeless jointing systems – we have addressed the failure rate and the cost.”
The Stourbridge-based manufacturer, which is rolling out its cooling-focused >B< MaxiPro system to contractors and end-users, believes the systems will prove a huge advantage to engineers and their customers.
The Conex system uses dedicated clamping tools by tooling specialist Rothenberger to create a three-point press around an O-ring, for a permanent joint for refrigerant pipe in pressures up to 48 bar. The patent three-point press offers a series of benefits, including a 5-year guarantee of the joint and a 19kN consistent clamping force – the only manufacturer to have this, the firm claims.
The firm also believes that the lack of hot works will be increasingly influential for the press-fit systems. UK Business Unit Manager Bill Barlow said: “We had an engineer telling us that he had to apply for a new hot works permit for brazing every morning, then he was required to do a fire watch for two hours at the end of each day. This enables engineers to reduce their hours on site.”Posted by Main Commercial Cooking & Refrigeration on November 2nd, 2017