>B< MaxiPro: The pressing case for fast pipe jointing
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The warehouse operates with more than £100 million worth of aero parts in stock. The six main 65 metres pipe runs for the air conditioning go through the warehouse so >B< MaxiPro press fittings were preferred because they eliminated the risk of fire.
Press fittings for copper pipe offer a secure, long-life, leak-proof joint and flame-free installation.
We asked Mark Harris, Customer Consultant at Brymec, and Paul Goldstein, Managing Director of Climachil about their experience using Conex Bänninger’s >B< MaxiPro.
Although press fitting has been widely used in Europe for more than two decades – enough time to prove its benefits in a range of applications – it is still regarded by many as a novel development. Press fitting is a relatively simple cold process that creates reliable, tamper-proof pipe connections from the single action of a special compression tool.
It offers a number of advantages over conventional ‘hot work’ pipe connections. For example, press fitting is flame-free so there is no risk of fire on site and no need to obtain a hot works permit. Furthermore, no brazing or oxygen-free nitrogen purging is required, which accelerates installation and enables installers to be more productive.
One of the biggest advantages of press fittings, particularly on the 3-point press variants is that it offers the installer extra security because he or she can be assured that the joint is sealed correctly. Traditional pipe fitting methods leave open the possibility that the connection could be flawed, for example, the installer is unable to ensure solder flows properly around the joint.
“Because of these and other benefits”, said Mark “I believe press fitting for pipe jointing will continue to take off over the coming five years.”
Its growing popularity reflects the desire of the HVAC industry to complement the benefits of air conditioning and refrigeration copper tube with press joining and techniques that make installation simpler, faster and ultimately cheaper.
“The press fitting system Brymec recommend for air conditioning and refrigeration applications is Conex Bänninger’s >B< MaxiPro for copper pipework connections fixed by specialist tools from ROTHENBERGER. It involves a 3-point press, one on each side of the bead and one compressing the O-ring. The O-ring material compresses when the fitting is pressed, filling the gaps to create a permanent leak-free joint.”
Conex Bänninger recommends ROTHENBERGER press tools to make the press fit joints. They can be operated one-handed and incorporate a safety latch to ensure the jaw doesn’t come out during operation.
“The system has been successfully applied at an aerospace warehouse in Burgess Hill, Sussex, where the customer Climachill replaced VRF systems that failed in the summer with Daikin heat recovery VRV systems on the ground and first floors.”
Focusing on the high-volume, low-cost side of the aerospace supply chain, Climachill’s customer operates its warehouse with more than £100 million worth of aero parts in stock. The six main 65 metre pipe runs for the air conditioning go through the warehouse. For this reason, press fitting to connect the pipework was preferred because it eliminated the risk of fire and that is why Conex Bänninger’s >B< MaxiPro press fittings proved ideal for this application.
Paul Goldstein, Managing Director of Climachill, explained: “We managed to install 390 metres of pipework in two days which indicates how quick the fittings are to install. Besides, if you do hot works there is always a risk of fire and you have to go through a certain procedure. There is normally a two-hour watch window where you have to consistently go and check what you’ve worked on to ensure a fire hasn’t started.”
>B< MaxiPro fittings come with a standard one year warranty. A ten year warranty will come into effect when >B< MaxiPro fittings are installed in accordance to the guidelines, by a certified installer who has completed the official training programme.