Gartech International Pty Ltd has developed a polymer pipeset package that it can install twice as quickly as traditional metal pipelines, without the time and cost of specialist labour.
"Not only is there less friction in the pipeline, but also CalAir's secure jointing system means you don't have to bend pipes around corners and restrict the flow of contents. This means you can set compressors, for example, at lower pressure levels and make further savings in addition to the cost of installation and maintenance. It is an altogether better system," said Mr Ashby, whose most recent installations include the new 3600 sq m workshop of Ryde Toyota in Sydney.
In conjunction with CalAir, Gartech has developed for installations such as Ryde Toyota a special high-pressure pipeline for carrying oil. The special Oil-Pro product (oilgar3), coded brown for easy identification, can withstand pressures of up to 500psi (approx 35 bar, which is considerably greater than usual in-service requirements). The aqua CalAir Pro-Pipe, meanwhile, carries compressed air at approximately 100psi (7 bar) and green, black and beige pipe carry water, coolant and waste products.
"One of the major issues with expensive pneumatic tools and sophisticated paint equipment is to ensure maximum purity of air supplies, so you don't get impurities from corrosion and the like" says Mr Ashby. "This is where polymer piping really comes into its own, because it is used by major international companies to maintain world standards of air supply cleanliness. Users include HSV Special Vehicles, for example, and food and beverage exporters who are obsessed with product purity and cleanliness."
At Ryde Toyota, air and fluids are carried by Pro-Pipe of up to 50mm inside diameter. Oil is pumped from holding tanks through a relief valve set at 350psi to individual service bays. The new Ryde Toyota installation has been expanded from two work bays with hoists to eight with hoists and several more without. These new workshop facilities require several hundred metres of air and fluid reticulation equipment, which emanates from a single plant room on Gartech's easily installed and easily reconfigured racking system, which can carry multiple pipelines to the service destinations needing those services.
"In modern commercial and industrial buildings, it is important to be able to get your product installed quickly with minimal dependence on costly skilled labour. Similarly, as building roles change with refurbishment and updating, you need to be able to change and re-route piping systems with minimal disruption and waste. Rather than having to throw out rigid piping systems, it is more economic to have a system that can be easily cut, reconfigured and re-used in new roles," said Mr John McNab of Calair Pipe Systems.
"What's really good also is that if you have to go back to a customer and put in a new service line to cope with new demands, you just cut it in and connect it up, with no brazing or fuss. Typically we can install a whole workshop now in little more than a week, whereas previously it might have taken three weeks. Additions and reconfigurations are so much easier again, because you have cut out the high labour content and the number of skills required on-site to do the work."