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The End of NARs

If you could completely eliminate manway related NARs, prevent leaks and reduce loading times, would you be interested? How much are you paying in fines? Better still, what if you could totally do away with expensive gaskets and eye-bolts and all torque requirements while significantly simplifying the entire loading and unloading process… What if all these claims came at nominal cost?

Currently -

Currently there are dozens of manway designs in use. The problem is not the quantity of bolts, the style of lid groove, the bevel on the nozzle, and the choice of gasket or torque procedure used. It is all of the above. In other words, the current manway design is inherently flawed.

Whenever a rubber or PTFE gasket in compressed, it will either compress or creep. It does not matter whether it is soft or hard gasket. Regardless of procedure or torque specs, the gasket will deform and the bolts will loosen – Fact!

Shippers currently have to purchase and inventory an array of gaskets, eye-bolts and other fittings. The opportunity for human error is enormous and yet we continue to repeat the process every day.

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Standard Manway Fitting

Single Bolt Manway Fitting                 

Illustrated above are the two most commonly used manway systems. The standard fitting typically comes with either 6 or 8 bolts. It suggests greasing the bolts and then using a 3-pass/ star pattern torquing procedure. The single bolt system uses a strap arm to clamp the lid to the nozzle and eliminates the costs and risks associated with eye-bolts. However, both designs require a gasket to be compressed which will result in the loss of bolt yield and therefore loose bolts. The standard design creates pinch points where the bolts meet the gasket. The single bolt design suffers from uneven gasket load as the straps apply greater pressure towards the rear of the manway and less towards the front.

The Solution -                               TransQuip's New Manway

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This the first and only manway system to offer a metal-to-metal closure for the tank car industry. This innovative new design incorporates a Teflon o-ring that slides inside the stainless steel nozzle. The o-ring is never compressed, provides almost universal chemical compatibility and unless damaged from human abuse, when tested lasted over 20 cycles without issue.

Approved for impact wrenches, the single bolt ram evenly closes the lid to the nozzle. Packed with additional safety features and no torque specs, the entire opening or closing process takes less than 1 minute and requires no retorquing.

Click here to view a short video that better illustrates all the amazing features of this design:

What everyone already knows -

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The AAR last published NAR data in June 2014. Of the 451 reported incidences, 238 (53%) where manway related. The two major and reoccurring causes being loose bolts and issues with the gasket.

It is agreed within the industry that this data is conservative at best and grossly underreported. For all of the AAR’s specifications, gaskets are inexplicably not required to satisfy any standards or tests. Ask anyone and it is quietly acknowledged that current practices will never work and that fines are an inevitable cost of doing business. This does not need to be the case.

Perfect timing -

According to the AAR, currently there are 404,959 tank cars were in service, with 114,360 parked for storage. Unfortunately many of these may never be brought back into service, both as shippers evaluate respective demand or the relative benefits of upgrading to purchasing new DOT117 cars. Similarly, traffic for repairs is trending up and rumors abound of new builds being quoted for the end of 2017 and early 2018.

There is no reason to continue managing a bad situation. Consider upgrading your fleets at nominal cost to a technology that will eliminate NARs and the need to repair and replace costly components. Upgrade to a system that requires less than one minute to operate and does not require cars to be held or delayed to allow for a final retorque. Upgrade to a system that speeds that removes the potential for human error.

For more information on this innovative manway system, please feel free to contact TransQuip.

Emanuel Guerrero