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The Future of the Heat Exchanger Market

precision-roll-threaded-bars-heat_largeHeat exchangers are essential pieces of equipment that transfer heat from one medium to another. They have become a key part in the chemical & petrochemical industries, power generation, pharmaceuticals, refrigeration, HVAC, pulp paper industry, food 7 beverage processing and oil & gas industries. However their biggest use is in the chemical industry.

The industry has grown a lot in the last few years alone, and it’s expected to grow at even faster pace within the next several years. One key reason for the growth has been advancements in technology of the heat exchangers. Areas like, China are currently experiencing the high heat exchanger demand. The global growth is largely thanks to an increase in industrial growth for these growing economies. The heat exchanger markets in other countries such as India and Japan are expected to grow exponentially as well as they produce heat exchangers domestically or source them from other countries. Other major countries in the heat exchanger market include the U.S., Italy, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

 

The market has been classified on the basis of construction, temperature range and fluid type. Additionally, it’s been identified by the various types of heat exchangers. The major ones include shell & tube, plate & frame, air-cooled and more. By 2018, the market is expected to be even larger than it is now, as it’s predicted that it will mainly be driven by growing demand for heat exchangers in the Asia-Pacific region. 

How Important is a “Made in the USA” Product?

Keystone TP Made in the USAAt Keystone Threaded Products, we manufacture and use products that are made in the USA. When it comes to consumers, however, just how important is it when purchasing a product that that product is made and manufactured in the US? At our company, we do a lot of our business in nuclear and defense fields, which requires made in the USA products. With these vendors come the commitment to preserving US jobs and providing products that are solely created in our country. Knowing this, should more manufacturers be working with vendors that sell made in the USA products? The answer is, of course, subjective, as it depends on each company’s, and consumer’s, individual needs in terms of what they look for in a product.

Products made in the USA range from a multitude of industries, everything from media to manufacturing and so much more. Many of them are thriving companies that do business all across the world. The US manufacturing industry has, in fact, seen noticeable gains in recent years. Since January 2010, the US has added over 520,000 manufacturing jobs and counting.

A key component that drives US manufacturing as well as aids in the circulation of made in the USA products is the spending power from the Chinese markets. Input from the global economy allows our nation’s economy to grow, and by focusing on strengthening our many products and industries, the US economy and manufacturing industry will only continue to see promising gains in the future.

Flood Control and Proper Gate Installation

FloodingAt Keystone Threaded Products, we make rods that move the gates up and down to block flooding.

Flood gates are adjustable gates specifically used to control water flow. They may be designed to add height to water dams, adjust flow rates, or simply stop water from flowing altogether. Flood control is an important part of many communities, because floods can affect anyone, regardless of the size of the neighborhood or proximity to a flood prone body of water. Project teams in charge of installing flood gates must be knowledgeable of not only all the latest techniques regarding proper installation, but also the engineering developments in other areas, particularly cities with long histories of flood mitigation.

By installing wider gates, it can help alleviate the issue of mass flooding, as they will allow water to flow away from homes more easily. Wide gates also allow for better control of lakes or other bodies of water by draining more water in a short amount of time in the event of a flood. The bottom line is that flood gates are essential because they can prevent any severe water damage.

Blanket Orders vs. Single Purchase

Keystone Threaded logo

We’ve been working with our customers to ensure on-time delivery while offering the best possible price. By examining the annual usage of our roll threaded products, we can provide a selling price based on that usage, along with secure material pricing and stock releases that will enable us to deliver as needed.

When balancing administrative costs against the need for quick and consistent deliveries of goods or services, blanket purchase orders provide a welcome advantage to a small business owner. If properly executed, a blanket purchase order can save both the buyer and seller a considerable amount of time and money.

Although the mechanics of a blanket purchase can vary, the theory behind them is always the same. The goal is to create a standing purchase order with predetermined terms and conditions that will save administrative time for buyers and sellers who wish to do an extended amount of business together over a period of time and within certain limits. The main components are a period of performance and some type of limitation on quantity or dollar amounts used.

We’ve saved customer money and eliminated the downtime due to a surge in business and the lack of necessary parts and components to keep production moving. We are happy to review your requirements and submit a proposal that will meet your needs.

Threaded Bars in Heat Exchangers

Keystone Threaded Products

At Keystone Threaded Products, we manufacture quality roll threaded products, and we use our threaded bars in heat exchangers. We specialize in the production of roll threaded products including acme threaded bars, precision acme components such as acme round nuts, acme cylinder nuts and mounting flanges. We work with a variety of metals, including various grades of carbon steel, alloy steel, heat treated metals and stainless steel. We also work with bronze, aluminum brass, titanium, alloys and exotics.

When it comes to selecting the right heat exchanger, the process consists of a trade-off between the overall heat transfer measurements, which affect the pump head on the HVAC system. It also influences other factors including the pressure drop and surface area.

Generally, low pressure drop increases the surface area of the heat exchanger, which will then increase the unit’s initial cost. The key to choosing the proper heat exchanger is to find the smallest model with the same type of plate corrugation capable of handling the flow during both the summer and winter.

The next step in choosing the right heat exchanger is to simulate it with the largest surface area and plate corrugation type. This can be done by selecting the unit with the temperatures and flow profiles of the other season to obtain the duty value required for the season. The best solution is achieved when temperature, flow and pressure drop are all within the acceptable limits. Be sure to keep all of this in mind when looking for a heat exchanger so that it’ll last in the long run.

Getting Young Americans Excited About Manufacturing

traditionIt’s becoming well known throughout the manufacturing industry that there’s a skilled labor shortage, and that it’s projected to get worse. From machinists to metal workers, there are jobs out there, but not enough qualified people to fill them.

Manufacturing Day, which recently took place on October 4, sought to open up manufacturers’ doors and showcase the true value in American manufacturing, and the potential careers in it provide. With over 800 participating manufacturers and thousands of students and educators having experienced it, it was considered a great success.

However, we can’t stop at Manufacturing Day—we have to keep the conversation going, and continue encouraging students and young people to consider careers in the industry. A recent survey “found that 52% of teenagers 13 to 17 years old had little or no interest in a manufacturing career and another 21% were ambivalent.”* Furthermore, a “second survey found that many American adults no longer work with their hands, either for pleasure in their hobbies or to make repairs around the home,” meaning kids don’t have parents and relatives who can encourage them to do so.

So what’s to be done? While this is, indeed, a challenge, all hope is not lost. We as a country need to get together and encourage our children to study STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—and realize the importance of this. We need to show them that manufacturing is exciting, as is creating something tangible that so many people rely on. We need to show them that those computers they love can be used to create technologically advanced products.

After all, manufacturing is not what it used to be, and it’s important to get that message out there. It’s not a dirty job, nor is it menial. Today’s manufacturing requires skills, brains, and training. It also can be pretty cool—after all, nowadays, highly-technical robots are involved.

Manufacturing Day was a great first step, but it’s important to keep that going and consistently show young Americans how and why manufacturing careers are a great choice.

 

*Source: https://www.asme.org/career-education/articles/early-career-engineers/students-opting-out-of-br-manufacturing-trades

Reshoring: Why it Makes Sense for Everyone

Recent news stories and surveys are consistently demonstrating a positive trend in manufacturing: reshoring. Following a period of offshoring—sending business overseas where labor was cheaper—during which time American manufacturing suffered as a result, the time has finally come for the industry to make a comeback. It’s a trend that’s indeed very welcome.

keystoneSmall and large businesses alike are realizing the value. From Apple to Boeing to countless small and medium manufacturers, companies are seeing that there are solid reasons why manufacturing at home simply makes sense. These include:

1)      More competitive American wages; overseas workers’ salaries are not as cheap as they once were.

2)      Abundant and more affordable natural resources in the U.S.

3)      American innovation, technology, and quality.

In a recent article written on IEEE’s Today’s Engineer, it was said that the overwhelming support of reshoring “[makes] it clear that investing and producing at home is a priority and is the choice that most benefits shareholders, companies and country alike.”

The article points out that two separate surveys by the Economist and Boston Consulting Group show that businesses and consumers prefer at-home manufacturing; the latter survey demonstrated that Americans are even willing to pay more for Made in the USA products.

This is good news for everyone, including engineers. According to the article, “It is in the self-interest of engineers to encourage domestic manufacturing, because if their companies offshore manufacturing, engineering is likely to follow.” Reshoring keeps engineers’ jobs at home, while adding jobs throughout the manufacturing sector, strengthening the country’s competitive edge, and completely shifting the approach of all business models.

The logic behind bringing jobs and business back to the U.S. is at once simple and multi-faceted. It makes complete sense—for so many reasons. As the trend continues, we can all look forward to the return of the world’s best and most advanced manufacturing industry.

Fracking Vs. Renewable Energy

drilling rigWhile worldwide energy consumption continues to grow exponentially, the supplies of nonrenewable resources like oil and natural gas unfortunately continue to dwindle. Consequently, many people are beginning to advocate renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. One particular method of obtaining petroleum and gas, known as fracking, has become an especially hot topic among energy enthusiasts.

Fracking (short for hydraulic fracturing) is the process of shooting a highly pressurized liquid mixture into a pre-drilled hole in the earth to create small cracks in the bedrock. These cracks give us access to fuels like natural gas and petroleum that we would otherwise not be able to harvest.

There are a few reasons why fracking is getting such a bad rap. The primary reason is because the injected liquid is infused with harmful chemicals, some of which are even known carcinogens. Shooting this liquid into the earth can lead to groundwater contamination. Another aspect that people are taking issue with is the enormous amount of water used in the liquid mixture, water that could instead be used for drinking, bathing, or irrigation.

Still, fracking clearly has its benefits. The oil and gas we’ve been able to collect through the process has significantly boosted domestic oil production, leading to a reduction in gas prices. It also allows us to generate electricity with about half the CO2 emissions as generation using coal.

So, if fracking is so controversial, why don’t we just make the switch to renewable energy? Simply stated, it would cost way too much. Energy generators like solar panels, windmills, and dams are all expensive to install and maintain. Another big issue is that they’re not very reliable since they all depend on weather. And unfortunately, even when the sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and the water is flowing, they’re still pretty inefficient.

Despite these obstacles, the benefits of renewable energy have convinced many people that it’s worth the extra cost. Possibly the most attractive feature is that it doesn’t pollute the environment; it’s as clean and environmentally friendly as power production can get. And, unlike fossil fuels, we never have to worry about these sources disappearing. Renewable energy is especially advantageous in regions where there’s no access to a power grid, as is the case in many third world countries.

When it comes right down to it, the truth is that neither fracking nor renewable sources by themselves can produce enough energy to satisfy the needs of our power hungry world. Since fossil fuel supplies are finite, we do know that there will come a day where we’ll have to depend on renewable energy. Right now, however, we depend on both.

Who’s Capable of Doing More?

When choosing between companies to provide service, customers usually choose between a few key factors of the companies to see where they want to take their business.  Some of the major factors are usually location, customer service, and capabilities. The most important feature for many is capabilities. In any given area, there are more than likely many companies that can provide something similar to what you need done, and regardless of industry, good customer service is an ideology most companies live by. So it comes down to “what can this company do for me that the others can’t?”  That’s where we step in; Keystone Threaded Products is capable of more than our competitors.

custom_roll_thumbUnlike most of our competitors, we have the ability to thread rods up to 15 inches in diameter. Most other companies only have the capability to only go between 5/8 of an inch and under 15 inches. Depending on the size and weight of what you’re moving, most companies in this country can’t handle it –but Keystone can.  Not only are we capable of creating numerous variations of lengths, we also have the capacity to produce more at a fast pace. Recently one of our competitors turned to us to help with a project because they didn’t have the capacity to thread roll 39 in bars in house, but they knew we could.

Even more important than our capabilities is our dedication to making sure our products are made with precision and quality, which is why our products perform the in-process testing for Class 2G tolerances.  We want you to know that we are dedicated to meeting their needs on all levels. For your next roll threaded  project, let Keystone show what we are capable of doing for you.


 

DEFINITIONS AND TERMS in the ROLLED THREAD WORLD

Your applications deserve the best. And We lead the pack when it comes to precision and custom roll threaded products like acme threaded bars and acme precision components such as round nuts, cylinder nuts, and mounting flanges… plus our complete line of standard threaded products.

As you’ve come to expect, a good roll threading process produces a uniform, precise surface without tears, chatters or cutter marks.

How is it done? In roll threading, steel is extruded to form the threaded portion, instead of being removed as in done in cut threading. The product is fed or “rolled” through threading dies to form the threads. To help make this process even more clear, here are some roll threading terms and their definitions.

Class of Thread: alphanumerical designation indicating the standard grade of tolerance and allowance specified.

Crest: top surface joining two sides of thread.

Depth of Thread Engagement: radial distance, crest to crest, by which thread forms overlap between two assembled mating threads.

Helix Angle: The angle made by conical spiral, or helix.

Major Diameter: distance across the crests of thread of the major cylinder.

Minor Diameter: root diameter of thread of minor cylinder.

Nominal Size: designation for general identification based on the major diameter.

Pitch: axial distance from a point on one screw thread to the corresponding point on the next screw thread. Pitch is equal to the lead divided by number of thread starts.

Pitch Diameter: On a straight screw thread, diameter of an imaginary cylinder surface that passes through the threads at such points to make thread width and the width of the spaces cut by the surface of the cylinder equal. On a taper screw thread, diameter at a given distance from a reference plane perpendicular to the axis of an imaginary cone, the surface of which would pass through the threads at such points as to make thread width and the width of the spaces cut by the surface of the cone equal.

Profile of Thread: contour of a screw thread ridge and groove delineated by a cutting plane passing through thread axis. (Also called form of thread)

Root: bottom surface joining two sides of thread.

Root Diameter: diameter of an imaginary cylinder bounding the bottom of the roots of a screw thread. (minor diameter of thread)

Thread Series: Groups of diameter/pitch combinations distinguished from each other by the number of threads per unit of measurement.