New SPC4™ meter from Valley Forge is designed with mining in mind
To outside eyes, mining’s twin objectives of worker safety and maximum productivity can seemingly be at odds, but that’s never really the case. The truth is, ongoing technological developments consistently improve both. The latest product from Valley Forge & Bolt, a domestic manufacturer of patented bolting products for critical applications, offers a prime example of a manufacturer committing to helping mines perform more efficiently while improving safety.
The new product is the latest meter for its SPC4™ Load Verifying System. The SPC4™ 406A Electronic Meter (VF# SPC4-ASM-406A) is specially designed for accurate performance in heat, humidity, and other demanding environments found in mining. By taking into account mining’s unique environmental factors, the meter works as part of the company’s SPC4™ system to provide to provide accurate clamp load data for critical bolted joints, which leads to a full spectrum of aggregate benefits for total mine operations.
The SPC4™ system encompasses fasteners equipped with Valley Forge load-indicating technology, along with a wide variety of meters to fit a range of applications and environmental conditions. The meters, including analog, digital or Wi-Fi versions, measure tension directly from within the fastener to +/- 5% accuracy. The 406A meter joins this complete offering.
In total, the SPC4™ system directly measures fastener tension to provide the most accurate data possible about the actual load within critical bolted joints. In the field, this information is used to make both installation and maintenance faster and more accurate, create more effective maintenance schedules, and give crucial, early insight into fastener and equipment behavior that might lead to premature failure, allowing it to be corrected before problems arise. The net gain is increased productivity, performance, and safety combined with savings of time and money.
The 406A meter’s prototype was field tested on flange joints in Houston, Texas, and is already in use in mines in South America. It boasts a rugged design with a shock-resistant casing that is IP54-rated for protection against dust and particles. Its internals are specifically engineered to deliver high performance that is unaffected by extreme heat and humidity.
“With the 406A, our aim was to create a meter with the extra durability mining environments need while still maintaining the high degree of accuracy people expect from Valley Forge,” said James Brooks, Valley Forge & Bolt’s director of engineering and new business development.
In addition to these crucial performance factors, the 406A has other features designed with the mine in mind. The ergonomic handheld design was built for ease-of-use in the field. The one-touch operation with a large, visible button is easy to engage without removing PPE gloves, and its large digital display allows for easy reading.
Bluetooth compatibility provides scalability for remote data monitoring and data logging capability. This opens up even more maintenance planning options, as it creates an ongoing record of fastener load changes across a mine’s critical joints. The gathered information provides insight into changes in clamp load, and these data points allow for smarter and more predictable equipment maintenance over time.
“SPC4™ technology has been embraced by customers throughout the mining industry for its accuracy and reliability,” said Brooks. “The 406A meter now becomes the leading choice for mining operations that use handheld meters with their SPC4™ fasteners.”