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Enhancing Pipeline Safety and Efficiency with RAD Torque Systems Tools in Southern California
This article was originally written for BIC Magazine.
With more than 3,526 miles of transmission pipelines running throughout Southern California, maintaining this infrastructure is a significant challenge. This massive amount of pipeline represents no small task. The premier pipeline contractor in California, Henkels & McCoy, has taken on a large share of this responsibility.
“We work with gas companies to safeguard the integrity of their pipeline system and ensure all the pipes used in their transmission lines are kept up to the national standard,” said John Munro, Welder & General Foreman at Henkels & McCoy.
INLINE INSPECTIONS AND PIPELINE REPAIRS
“We perform inline inspections on their transmission lines, running pipeline inspection gauges and smart tools through the lines,” he continued. “If we find any bad sections on the line, we go out and dig them up, replacing or adding new sections of the pipeline.”
Working on these transmission lines is a specialized business. It involves challenges posed by both the type of work required and the often-remote environments. And you need the right tools to get the job done most efficiently.
THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF RAD TORQUE TOOLS
“Without question, RAD Torque Systems tools are our preferred tool of choice,” explained Munro. “We use a variety of RAD torque wrenches in our work every single day.
“Many of the systems used by the gas companies we work with, and really across the nation, are bolt up systems. We’re constantly unbolting and fabricating new pipelines and building new systems to bolt together,” he continued. “The RAD Torque wrenches work great for this kind of work.”
Munro offers a great example: “One time I was called to repair a leak on a transmission line out in the middle of the desert. There was a leak in the ground, so we dug it up. We discovered that it was because of existing flanges, bolted together, that had loosened over time.”
“Luckily, I had a RAD Torque tool in my truck,” he explained. “So, I pulled it out, set it to the torque value that Southern California requires for that size of pipe—it was a 30-inch pipe, so we torqued it down to 3,300 lbs. like it asked—and it stopped the leak. We fixed the problem, and we were able to backfill the excavation and walk away.”
Having the RAD Torque tool that day really made the difference for Munro. “A regular impact tool wouldn’t have done the job,” he said. “What saved the day was that I had a RAD gun in my truck, I was able to set it to the torque pattern I needed, and it fixed the issue. That’s the biggest thing—just knowing that the torque values are accurate. That’s the confidence of using a RAD Torque tool.”
EXPERT ENDORSEMENTS AND SAFETY BENEFITS
Charlie Carmichael, Manager at Alltorc, the Master Distributor of RAD Torque Systems tools to Henkels & McCoy, further RAD’s approach. He explained how RAD answers the specific needs of the pipeline industry:
“Oil and gas crews can’t afford downtime because every moment is critical—they need to get transmission lines back up and going,” said Carmichael. “The crews need tools that will speed up the process, so they choose a battery RAD torque tool over a hydraulic tool at every opportunity they get. No generators to tow, just a couple of batteries.
“Thanks to RAD Torque Tools, we use fewer resources in the field, utilize our people more efficiently, and accomplish more in a shorter amount of time,” Carmichael said.
“Most importantly, RAD Torque tools offer safety advantages,” he explained. “The RAD gun is a one-person tool. There is no chance of miscommunication—the user controlling the gun is the same one applying the torque. This significantly reduces potential hazards.”
In addition, RAD Torque Systems is the only tool manufacturer to carry a tool with a Class 1 Div 2 certification. The B-RAD Select tool is certified not to spark, making it the most viable tool for any use on an oil and gas job. Carmichael said: “Moreover, this certification is essential in the oil and gas industry.”
Carmichael proudly stands behind the RAD tools. “I highly recommend and encourage anyone to test the RAD battery range of products. I believe they are the best and most durable in the industry.”
“The only tools I use for torqueing are RAD Torque wrenches,” Munro added. “In fact, I’m getting a new shipment tomorrow!”