Apex Designs Space Saving Solution for Multinational Corporation

Apex were recently approached by a multinational company specialising in geo mapping and technical infrastructure and construction projects

As a designer and manufacturer of bespoke hydraulic cylinders, Apex Hydraulics is familiar with producing a design that fits a complicated set of criteria. Their innovative ideas keep them at the forefront of bespoke hydraulic cylinder design.

Space Limitations and Double Acting Requirements

Apex were recently approached by a multinational company specialising in geo mapping and technical infrastructure and construction projects. The client was designing a pipe grab tool. The machinery was required to pick up a pipe lying horizontally at ground level, lifting it up and rotating the pipe into a vertical position. As the tool would be used on offshore projects, all parts had to conform with DNV-GL safety requirements.

The client had designed a highly customised piece of equipment which was compact and relatively lightweight. The client required a hydraulic cylinder to open and close the pincers of the pipe grab. They commissioned a hydraulic cylinder that could fit a very restricted space within the fabrication. It needed to be double acting, in order to both open and close the pincers and as the “close” position was required to be extremely secure for safety reasons, the cylinder would require a pilot operated check valve, which is a valve that holds oil within the cylinder in the advance position until hydraulically operated into the retract position.

Apex’ Solution

The biggest challenge of the project was that the cylinder had to be compact. A standard cylinder with protruding pipework leading to a valve manifold block would be too large. This type of standard cylinder would also run the risk of the pipework being knocked, potentially leaking. The safety measures for a heavy lifting tool such as this are extremely stringent and any margin for leaks or breaks has to be eliminated. Therefore the team designed a cylinder with a unique solid rectangular structure. The cuboid included the cylinder rod and valve functions, with no external pipework. This design fitted into the allotted space, ticking all the criteria for safety and design.

The cylinders were built by engineers in our top-spec Dewsbury workshop. After being manufactured and assembled in the machine shop and fitting shop it endured rigorous testing in the in-house inspection department, to the required pressures for DNV-GL approval in order to be able to deliver the appropriate safety certificates.

Unique Equipment

The result is a unique rectangular hydraulic cylinder, with no exposed pipes or valves, fitting perfectly into the client’s machine design. At Apex hydraulics we firmly believe that clients should be able to create their own design and commission a bespoke hydraulic cylinder to complement their fabrication; rather than having to fit their design round a standard cylinder. In this case, the client now has a compact working tool for this niche area of construction lifting, with full DNV-GL approval so it is ready to be used in offshore projects as well as on land.

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The Sectors

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Related Products

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