Gas company safely punching above its weight

Friday, 10 June, 2016 | Supplied by: Enerpac Div/Actuant Australia


Before gas cylinders can be thrown out in Australia, they must first be completely unusable to stop people re-using faulty and dangerous containers. Standard practice has been to puncture a hole in the cylinder; however, NSW-based gas company SupaGas has found a safer method — and that is with Enerpac hydraulic tools.

The company said it uses an Enerpac RC single-acting hydraulic cylinder with a lathe dead centre permanently fixed onto the standard threaded saddle, powered by an Xvari XA-Series air-over-hydraulic foot pump. The high-strength alloy steel cylinder quickly punctures a hole into a gas cylinder, rendering it unusable and therefore safe to be recycled or disposed of. 

“The Enerpac tools are the most reliable and efficient that we’ve used,” said Sam Priestly, technical engineer, SupaGas. “We tried a cheap workshop press once, but it lasted about two days. Some of our similar Enerpac gear is still going after more than 10 years.”

Priestly said that after a press had broken, his team had to temporarily use a pickaxe to puncture the cylinders, which was unsafe and inefficient.

“Not only did the manual force lead to strains on workers, but the fast motion greatly increased the risk of sparking. The controlled motion of the Enerpac tools dramatically decreased the risk of sparking and gives us a much safer work environment overall,” he said.

“Our guys find it easy to use and they can get through a lot more cylinders than the old presses. SupaGas literally punctures hundreds of these a day using the Enerpac equipment.”

The RC series uses high-pressure, 700 bar technology to reduce weight and size while maximising compact pushing force. The foot pump allows continuous hydraulic oil flow in the product’s retract mode, providing good operational control of the tool that the pump is powering. 

The Enerpac range can be found through distributor South West Hydraulics.

Top image: Sam Priestly using an Enerpac RC cylinder and Xvari foot pump to safely puncture old gas cylinders for safe disposal. Bottom image: The finished result. Images courtesy Enerpac.

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