Why Rotec Hydraulics is backing ‘#ChooseQForQuality’

11 Dec 2020

We spoke to Paul Prouse, Managing Director at Rotec Hydraulics about why he feels it’s important to belong to the BFPA Approved Hose Assemblies Scheme and what it means for his customers.

The applications for hydraulic hoses can be very varied. In our business, we have customers from agriculture, offshore, military and other high-risk areas to name a few. As we know in the industry, hydraulic hoses are used within a system to convert mechanical power into fluid power, and are under a wide range of pressures. If that fluid was to exit unannounced from a hose it can cause a lot of damage, serious injury or even death.

That’s why the ‘Choose Q for Quality’ campaign from the BFPA is so important. The role of the campaign is to highlight why every business should ensure that they have a hose supplier that carries the Q mark and is a member of the Approved Hose Assemblies Scheme, just as we are.  The Q mark is a sign and a guarantee that you know your equipment is manufactured and assembled with highest safety standards.

Being a member of the Approved Hose Assemblies scheme means we are audited by the BFPA, which proves to our customers that we take safety and quality extremely seriously. We manufacture and produce hose assemblies in accordance with both manufacturers’ guidelines, SAE standards and in accordance with BFPA protocol.

No room for complacency

There may be a temptation by customers who are under pressure to save costs and when it comes to hose maintenance, might be looking for someone to re-end their hose. We took a stance many, many years ago that we would not re-end hoses under any circumstances. Re-ending increases the risk of failure and is never covered by the hose manufacturer’s warranty, so it really is a false economy.

In the same way, we also won’t mix and match different hose assembly parts. Whilst they might be manufactured and assembled to recognised SAE standards, they won’t have any defined compatibility testing when different manufacturers hoses are combined.

Fluid under pressure can be lethal, travelling like a liquid bullet if it escapes, but there can be tendency for complacency to set in. All people see when they work with machinery that includes hydraulic parts, are rubber hoses, forgetting the high pressure they’re under.

Education and training is really important. I believe that anyone who uses high pressure hoses should undertake training  – our entire workforce has taken one of BFPA’s courses and is well equipped for advising our customers. That education often starts at our trade counter when a customer might ask for a hose repair and we have to explain why re-ending is a serious malpractice.

Literature is also helpful. We have posters at our counters and copies of the BFPA’s ‘Fluid Injection Injury Emergency – The Facts’, a booklet that is a very useful resource to keep on hand. Not only does the booklet contain risk management strategies but also crucial information on what to do in the event of a fluid injection injury.

These types of injuries are infrequent and for this reason medical staff can be unfamiliar with them. There is a recommended window of just six hours to have a fluid pressure injury treated before damage becomes permanent, and taking the official booklet along to hospital when seeking treatment can really help to explain the urgency. I suggest to all our clients that work with high pressure, that they have a copy of the BFPA booklet on file.

Guaranteed efficiency

While the Q of the BFPA campaign stands for quality, it also represents efficiency and productivity. If your high pressure equipment is serviced by a Q member company, it simply means less down time for you because the hose is less likely to fail and cause stoppages. This in turn means projects are completed faster and business operations remain uninterrupted, and as we all know, time is money!

Everybody is under constant pressure, particularly at the moment, to save costs. But it’s just not worth cutting corners; the ramifications of the risk, not just to personnel but to your reputation and the industry, are too great if you have a high pressure hose accident.

Efficiency and productivity are the additional qualities that that Q scheme represents. Adopting the BFPA hose accreditation scheme provides our business with an audited platform that we are proud to display. It provides the assurance that things are being done to the highest possible industry standards and gives the peace of mind our customers in their own high pressure situations, need.