Self-propelled fusion machine joins 6- through 20-inch pipe

Self-propelled fusion machine joins 6- through 20-inch pipe
TracStar 500 Series 3 fusion machine from McElroy

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The self-contained, self-propelled TracStar 500 Series 3 fusion machine from McElroy has an indexer-mounted heater and facer, economy engine throttle offering 11 hours of operational fuel capacity, and hydraulic clamping, eliminating the need to manually clamp and unclamp machine jaws from pipe.

The machine is available in standard and automatic models. The automatic version controls and monitors the heat, soak, fuse and cool cycles. The system guides the operator through the step-by-step procedure. Both standard and automatic models can record fusion parameters using McElroy’s DataLogger.

Powered by a three-cylinder Kubota diesel engine, the machine is designed to butt-fuse 6-inch IPS to 20-inch OD pipes. Dual-speed, hydraulically driven tracks enable the machine to be unloaded and set up on job sites, and allow for minor adjustments underneath the pipe. Other features include dual hydraulic pipe lifts and a removable carriage.

The attached heater eliminates the need for manual insertion and removal as well as manually pivoting the facer into the fusion carriage. The indexer-mounted heater and facer are powered by hydraulic cylinders that work at the touch of a button.

Equipped with three throttle settings — high, low and economy — the machine throttle can drop to low when the heater cycles off. High-flow hydraulics are not required, saving fuel during the pipe joint cooling cycle.

Once positioned on the job site, the onboard hydraulic pipe lifts work in conjunction with pipe stands or the McElroy PolyHorse to feed and align pipe into the carriage jaws, says Brandon Jackman, project engineer with McElroy. “The jaws are clamped around the pipe, which is then faced off by the hydraulic rotating facer that contains three blades per side. Once the pipe is faced, the heater is rotated into place and the pipe ends are brought into contact.”

Heat is allowed to soak into the pipe ends using prescribed pressure and time cycles. Once the heat soak is complete, pipe ends are brought together under pressure and held until cool. Pipe is then pulled through the machine for the next joint or the machine can be driven to the end of the fused pipe.

The removable carriage enables the fusion machine to be used in tight confines and configured in several different ways to meet user needs, Jackman says. “The four-jaw carriage can be separated and used with the heater and facer mounted to the hydraulic indexer. The outer fixed jaw can be removed from the four-jaw configuration to allow fusion to pipe fittings that interfere when clamped in the inner jaw.”

The heater and facer also can be removed from the hydraulic indexer and lifted in using on-site heavy equipment. Power for the heater is supplied by an onboard generator.

In addition to routine engine care (oil, filter, cooling system), maintenance items include hydraulic oil and filter changes and grease points on the indexer slide, pivot bearings and rubber-tracker undercarriage, which should be cleaned after use in mud to prolong component life. McElroy also offers training for proper troubleshooting. 918/836-8611;


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