When Topring audits a facility, we’re looking for solutions or alternatives to help our clients with three key aspects: safety — efficiency — performance.
In working with Kenworth, our suggestions and alterations focused on safety and efficiency.
Context of the case study
Heavy truck maintenance and repair
For 30 years, Kenworth Québec has specialized in the sale of new and used heavy-duty trucks, parts, maintenance, and repairs. The company also leases trucks. In the winter of 2020, it opened its third location to be closer to its customers.
“For the past 30 years, our priority here at Kenworth Québec has been to provide an efficient environment with quality work tools. Our new location at Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures features a heavy vehicle and parts and accessories showroom, and an attached shop for our repair and maintenance department.
Our repair and maintenance department uses compressed air and nitrogen. Compressed air is used to operate impact tools, screwdrivers, inflation gauges, grinders, riveters, blow guns, etc. We also have several ceiling-mounted reels for our air hoses.
We used to have a steel piping system, with low-end fittings. It did the job, but it wasn’t the safest, or the most effective. For the new location, I knew we could find a solution that would give us peace of mind at work and minimize downtime due to air loss in the system, less-than-optimal tool performance, and so on. I wanted the best for my 20 employees, so they, in turn, can provide our customers with the best service. That was really important. Here at Kenworth Québec, our goal is, above all, to offer the ‘ultimate experience’ — and for us, that starts in the shop.
I chose Topring because I’ve used their products in the past. In my experience, Topring is synonymous with quality and safety. When I saw their offering, I discovered solutions I hadn’t heard of (like couplers and pipes) and I knew we’d be able to work with complete peace of mind.”
Service Manager, Kenworth Québec Inc.
Challenges and solutions
The challenge: set up a safe, worry-free work environment
Speed of execution and safety are top priorities at Kenworth. Productivity is impacted by any downtime or slowdown caused by a tool that’s not getting enough air or is underperforming, an unplanned repair, a work incident, or an occupational accident. This creates tensions for employees and financial losses for the company. The challenge is to create an environment where employees can work without fear of the unexpected and where customers are served in the shortest possible time.
“Over time, corrosion had built up inside the steel pipes and was limiting airflow, which slowed our productivity. We were also experiencing air loss in the system and our tools were less powerful. To prevent this from happening in our new maintenance and repair shop, we wanted a piping system that wasn’t going to corrode. Topring was offering a 100% aluminum solution, and that was just the solution we were looking for.” – C. St-Martin
The solution: an all-aluminum piping system
Using aluminum increases the performance and efficiency of compressed air systems. Over the long term, it’s beneficial in several regards:
- Airflow remains constant because the pipes won’t rust and deteriorate
- Air circulates freely, without friction with the pipes’ smooth walls (no more pressure drops due to air turbulence)
- The piping system is leak-free because the unique design and assembly of the pipes and fittings ensure their tightness
- It takes less time and effort to assemble and install the pipes because they are easy to handle
For the new location, Mr. St-Martin decided to install a Topring Compressed Air Piping System.
“Up to that point, we had only used steel. Topring suggested a system made entirely of aluminum — a great discovery I wish I had known about a long time ago! This piping system checked the box on all the criteria we were looking for. Needless to say, we chose it for the piping system in the new maintenance and repair shop.” – C. St-Martin
Safe, practical solutions for tools
“The time factor is very important. I was looking for solutions with good value for money, that are safe and time-saving. A lot of time gets wasted in the shop when employees have to connect and disconnect tools, untangle hoses, find a tool, etc. Topring offers practical solutions that reduce task execution time and improve tool performance. I chose to use Ultraflo couplers and Topring hose reels.” – C. St-Martin
Ultraflo safety automatic quick couplers
For consistency, Mr. St-Martin installed the Ultraflo line throughout the maintenance and repair shop. This means any hose can be connected to any tool. Ultraflo couplers also deliver the high airflow (50–80 SCFM) needed for the shop’s impact tools, screwdrivers, and grinders to perform optimally.
By opting for Ultraflo safety automatic quick couplers, Mr. St-Martin chose a safe, practical solution. Safe disconnection with a single push is quick and prevents dangerous hose whips.
- Resistant to impact and rough handling
- Non-marring coupler body prevents scratches to delicate surfaces
- The silicone-free composite body prevents compressed air contamination during paint or varnish applications
- Downstream pressure is automatically released upon disconnection to prevent dangerous hose whip
Diameters of each plug profile
Ultraflo profile delivers high airflow (50–80 SCFM).
Mr. St-Martin installed professional hose reels with technopolymer hoses. No more hoses piled on the ground, and no more accident hazards! For mechanics with Kenworth Québec, this makes hoses easier and quicker to access in their day-to-day work.
By opting for hose reels, Mr. St-Martin chose safe, practical solutions.
- Automatic rewind
- Adjustable winding guide for mounting on ceilings (and at heights)
- Rugged steel construction and durable, corrosion-resistant enamel finish
- Adjustable tension thanks to the multi-position ratchet lock
Our experience with Topring
“In my experience, Topring stands for quality and safety. I already knew a little bit about their products, and I’m very satisfied with the advice and help I got for this project. It’s pretty simple! Topring is a name you should know!” – C. St-Martin