22 September, 2017

Abdex raises the bar with BFPA hose training courses (Oct 2011)

22 November, 2011

Staff at Abdex, the specialist manufacturer and distributor of high- and low-pressure hose assemblies, recently took the British Fluid Power Association’s ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ and ‘Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme’. The Skills Course takes the basic level of knowledge covered by the Foundation Course and trains to a fully assessed level of ability in hose assembly techniques. Training took place at Abdex’s premises in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

 
Benchmark
The Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme has been written and developed using the expertise available to the BFPA and sets out to establish a benchmark for training people involved in hose assembly. During the course, trainees are taught to identify parts of hose and types of fittings, how to measure and cut a hose and how to assemble and install it correctly. As with the Foundation Course, key safety considerations are also explained as part of the Skills Course. After completing the course to the satisfaction of an adjudicator or trainer, trainees receive a certificate and are registered on the BFPA‘s national database.
“Everyone within the company was involved; both factory- and office-based,” explained Abdex managing director Oliver Bain. “Our staff completed the foundation course, and then had a break for a couple of weeks before moving on to the skills course, which took a total of three days to complete.”
According to Bain, Abdex staff had varying degrees of knowledge concerning hose safety and skills before taking the courses. “After everyone had completed their training we held a meeting to gauge what each of us took away from it,” he explained. “And although for some individuals it was in part a refresher for what they already knew there was definitely a lot that had been gained overall.”
 
Key takeaways
Bain reflected that probably the most important aspect of the training that Abdex production personnel took away from the courses was greater awareness of the importance of hose safety and the dangers of burst hoses. “We produce up to 15,000 hose assemblies per month up to 3000 or even 4000 bar working pressure, and it was important for our team to fully appreciate what could happen if something goes wrong,” he said. Bain added that the courses also helped in terms of Abdex’s quality and inspection regime. “As a result of the training we have changed things, such as separating repairs and test areas,” he explained.
Bain also pointed out that Abdex is soon to take delivery of an 80,000 psi test rig. “We felt that, moving forward as a company, safety was critical,” he said. “We had thought for a while that some of our equipment could benefit from being updated, and as we move forward we certainly want the best equipment on site as well as the best trained staff.”
 
Value add
As a UK distributor for Uniflex crimping machines, Abdex recently introduced a new initiative at Offshore Europe whereby when customers purchase a Uniflex crimping machine they are also offered a free BFPA ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’. Bain explained that Abdex is keen to ensure that customers not only get the best from their Uniflex machine but also have the best knowledge related to hose best practice and safety at their disposal.
 
[photo caption] Oliver Bain, Abdex 
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