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New generation hydraulic bolt fastening technology deployed at Australian iron ore port

EziTite hydraulic nuts from Technofast Industries
were used at an Australian iron ore port to enable operators of a 5000 TPA ship
loader to tension bolts during slew bearing replacement. Five times faster than
any conventional torqueing or hazardous manual methods, Technofast’s new
generation hydraulic bolt fastening technology radically cuts slew bearing
bolting time while enhancing safety.

A total of 72 specially designed Technofast EziTite hydraulic
nuts were used at the Karara Geralton Port to tension grade 12.9 studs that
secure the slew bearing of the loader, which is a vital materials handling installation
with long travel, luffing and slewing capabilities. Technofast EziTite
hydraulic nuts are simultaneously tightened in groups of four to further
enhance precision, speed and safety, and cut load scatter.

Part of a globally proven range of hydraulic nuts
used in mission-critical applications where speed, precision and avoidance of
downtime are paramount, the EziTite technology has a wide application range
from nuclear and conventional generators through to rotating, vibrating,
turbine, heat exchanger and mineral processing equipment including stamping,
crushing, dragline boom supports, high pressure grind rollers, hoists and
conveyor drives, motors and shells.

Technofast customers globally include Bechtel, BHP
Billiton, BMA, Monadelphous, OneSteel and Rio Tinto.

Technofast CEO Mr John Bucknell explains that EziTite
hydraulic nuts such as those deployed at Karara are ideal for tensioning all of
the studs on a flange, joint or cover simultaneously, loading entire groups of
fasteners at once. This simultaneous tensioning gives an extremely accurate and
even load onto the flange/joint, enhancing its long-term security, safety and

The EziTite hydraulic nuts at the Karara project were
simply placed in position manually, linked together in groups of four and pressurised
simultaneously, reducing bolt load scatter and offering dramatic time savings.

According to Mr Bucknell, it would have taken about
30 minutes to tension four bolts using torque wrenches, whereas the EziTite bolt
fasteners completed the task in less than five minutes. Safety is also ensured
with the elimination of pinch points; there is no need for the bolts to be
handled while being pressurised, eliminating potential accidents.

EziTite hydraulic nuts also overcome bolt load
scatter problems commonly encountered with standard slew bearing replacement
procedures using torque wrenches. Bolt load scatter, which arises out of a
single bolt being fastened at a time, could have caused undue wear on the slew
bearing, potentially leading to downtime on this particular application and on
scores of others where slew bearings are mission-critical.

Mr Bucknell observes that mining and materials
handling operations just cannot afford downtime, production losses and safety
risks at a time when they are stepping up output to compensate for current
prices. He adds that these industries are highly focused on eliminating
bottlenecks in their output systems including joint security issues.

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