The future of bolt fastening solutions

No matter how big and complex your machinery gets, at its heart, holding
everything together, is the humble little bolt.

Bolts are really the only way to join big pieces of equipment while
still allowing you to take them apart for maintenance, but there are many
factors that must be considered. Bolted joints must stay together until a
decision is made to take them apart. Regardless of the equipment or situation,
the purpose of every industrial bolting job is 100 per cent joint reliability.

A critical but costly exercise

Mining companies around the world are faced with the challenge of
accurate bolt fastening for torque-critical joints. These joints can be found
site-wide, from your excavators, dump trucks, earthmovers and wheel loaders to
your tunnel boring machines, infrastructure, pipework and upstream equipment.
It goes without saying that in a heavy duty, high risk environment such as a
mine site, accuracy of applied torque is critical.

Bolt fastening has traditionally been a labour intensive and
consequently costly exercise, using manual click wrenches that commonly
over-torque joints, hydraulic wrenches which are externally powered and bulky,
requiring two personnel to operate or air and corded electric nutrunners, which
require changing pressure on regulator with pressure to torque chart.

Inefficient operation is only part of the challenge, with the added
issues of indeterminate control and monitoring. Many companies are currently
using dated guesswork of manually recording torque goals with paper and pencil
in the field. While time is valuable, accuracy and consistency/ traceability of
performance are the cornerstones of a compliant and safe work site. Without a
precise auditing method, how can you be sure your tool is doing its job?

A fresh approach to bolt

Fortunately, commercial and compliance challenges often drive
innovation, which brings us to Ingersoll Rand’s QX Series Cordless Torque
Multiplier. This revolutionary tool has been specifically designed to replace
manual, inaccurate fastening methods with a traceable method that is quicker
and more effective.

Relatively new to the Australian market, the QX Series Torque Multiplier
employs advanced technology, communication and control features to ensure
accurate, repeatable bolting for industrial applications. The tool is available
in five different combinations of torque and speed capability, ranging from 30
to 1,475 foot-pounds (2000Nm) and 5 to 45 revolutions per minute (rpm).

The multiplier features a brushless motor paired with a premium Norbar
gearbox. At the heart of the Torque Multiplier is the Ingersoll Rand
closed-loop transducer, which is the key to delivering torque precision,
unmatched accuracy and traceable results. The tool operates on the Ingersoll
Rand IQV20 Series battery system and each 20-volt battery charge will run down
an average of 100 bolts.

Compared to manual and imprecise alternatives, this tool has multiple
user-programmable configurations such as torque, angle and gang count. These
functions can be navigated directly on the tool or programmed from a computer
and up to eight strategies can be stored at the same time. The multi-function display
module provides visual feedback via red, yellow and green lights, signalling
whether the bolt has exceeded, or not met, the torque limit or angle, or if the
proper gang count was reached. Your business will benefit immediately, with
improved efficiency and ability to hit nuts in faster sequence.

Replacing potentially erroneous and time-consuming manual record-keeping
practices, the multiplier can store records for up to 1,200 fastenings, which
can be downloaded to a computer via a USB cable or wirelessly transferred to a
dedicated Process Communication Module (PCM). Now reliable data is available
for review, analysis and record keeping at any time.

Finally, operators can move freely without the inconvenience of bulky
air or hydraulic hoses, or power packs, because the Torque Multiplier is
cordless and compact. The 360-degree adjustable handle provides the operator a
comfortable grip and provisions for a tethering point. These features allow
maximum flexibility when working on multiple joints and accessing odd angles.

Reaping the benefits

While the QX Torque Multiplier sounds great on paper, results are what
count when the tool is put to the test out in the field. The QX Torque
Multiplier has successfully been utilised across mining, heavy equipment, rail,
construction, infrastructure, military and process automation industries in the
US and Asia.

With customers including Airbus, Genie, John Deere, Hyundai, Eaton, CAT,
Iveco, Neway, Trinity Rail and much more, hundreds of businesses are reaping
the benefits of safer, faster and more economical bolt fastening.

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