Even 60 microns of contaminants—the equivalent of 1 grain of pollen—can damage a hydraulic system. In fact, 80% of hydraulic failures are due to contamination. That’s why buying a clean, custom-cut hose is so important.
“Any debris left in the hose can contaminate the hydraulic fluid and damage the valves and pistons,” said Tim West, Senior Product Manager of the Industrial Rubber Products Group (IRPG) at IBT Industrial Solutions. “Hydraulic hose can be very dangerous. That is why every assembly that IBT ships goes through our 6-step process.”
The IRPG team at IBT prepares over 100+ custom hose assemblies every day at their facility in Merriam, Kansas. They cut and crimp a wide variety of hose, including hydraulic, industrial, and metal hose. In addition to crimping hose, the team at IBT also has the ability to swage hoses.
“Our shop is always in a high state of clean readiness,” said Michael Gebauer, the Production Manager at IBT. “We often turn orders around the same day, or even while the customer waits at the counter.”
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ISO requires that hydraulic hose has no more than 5-15 microns of dust inside—a tricky feat if the hose must be cut and crimped. To make sure that every hose is delivered to meet customers’ exact requirements, as well as manufacturer specifications, the IBT team follows a rigorous, 6-step cleaning and shipping process:
- Cut—exactly to customer specs
- Ultra Clean—cleans the inside of the hose 3 times, ensuring there is less than 15 microns of contamination inside (1 particle of salt is 100 microns)
- Crimp—using a Goodyear PC650 system, which recalibrates itself to the correct specifications
- Test—ensures assemblies meet NAHAD/UL guidelines; all assemblies are also tested to a 4:1 safety factor
- Seal—seal and cap the ends of the hose—so no contamination gets in during shipping
- Label—heat- and chemical-resistant self-vulcanizing labels, completely customizable with logo, part number, system name, or test pressure
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Only STAR-Certified Facility in 5-State Region
IBT’s facility is also STAR certified for clean hose by the Underwriters Lab (UL). That means that they meet or exceed all the criteria for cleanliness and hose safety set forth by the National Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD).
UL annually audits IBT’s equipment, processes, and people—right down to the calibration of their gauges. To maintain STAR certification, the team must consistently meet tough guidelines for storage, temperature, hydraulic testing, cutting, and assembly methods.
“We never send out a hose that doesn’t meet the proper specifications,” West said, adding that IBT is currently the only STAR-certified hose distributor in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Tracks Every Hose from “Cradle to Grave”
As part of their STAR certification, the team at IBT uses the Hose-Trakker software to track every piece of hose produced in their facility.
“At the customer’s request, we can follow any hose we produce, from cradle to grave,” West said. “When we cut the hose, we tag it and log it. Utilizing the Hose Trakker system, if your hose was assembled at IBT, we can now look up where it was made, the fittings used, the exact specifications, even when it was put into service—so that we can replicate it later.”