Innovations: Making Connections

December 8, 2011
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New connectors offer “some distinct advantages” to the pressure testing market.

The FasMate FN-Series connectors’ split-collet design creates instantaneous connections to female thread ports. Source: FasTest Inc.


The FN-Series provides versatile connectors, capable of performing three styles of actuation: automated pneumatic, thumb valve and lever operation. Source: FasTest Inc.

While connectors are nothing new to the industry, the FasMate FN-Series connectors’ split-collet design creates instantaneous connections to female thread ports, eliminating the need for thread sealant and wrench tightening and preventing costly port thread damage and unnecessary downtime. “There are some distinct advantages with this new FasMate series of connectors that are innovative,” says Grant Bistram, vice president of marketing, FasTest Inc. (Roseville, MN).

These advantages include enhanced repairability and durability. By utilizing an innovative internal seal, these connectors enable simple, in-the-field repairs-requiring only common tooling. “The simplified design allows for field maintenance and repair rather than having to send the connectors to the manufacturer, so the cost of ownership is significantly reduced,” says Bistram.

Constructed of stainless steel wetted parts, anodized top housing and rated for pressures up to 5,000 psi, the series delivers reliable performance with a long life span, even in demanding applications.

And speaking of applications, to provide increased application compatibility, the connectors offer an extensive threaded port sealing range of ⅛-inch to ½-inch NPT, as well as SAE, BSPP and metric sizes for use in pressure and vacuum testing, filling, flushing and performance testing.

In fact, the company also can provide for specialty applications. “A special connector for the metrology and calibration market was introduced in July of 2009 at the NCSLI show and with an official press release in 2010,” says Bistram. “The base connector is essentially the same with some special construction at the working end to accommodate the shape of the transmitter ports. For this application, we called the connector the Lever Series.”



The FasMate FN-Series connectors are constructed of stainless steel wetted parts, anodized top housing and rated for pressures up to 5,000 psi. Source: FasTest Inc.

Versatility

The FN-Series provides versatile connectors, capable of performing three styles of actuation. “This modular back end of the connector allows you to quickly change the actuation method from automated pneumatic to thumb valve to lever operation in minutes,” says Bistram.

Squeeze Lever: Provides simple, straightforward operation.

Pneumatic Thumb Valve: Contains an ergonomic thumb button that allows insertion or removal of the connector from the port when depressed.

Pneumatic Pilot: Requires a separate air valve and is ideal for applications that require technicians’ hands to have freedom of movement.



For enhanced safety and reliability, FN connectors are equipped with pressure-assisted sealing technology, which securely locks them to the port, eliminating any risk of separation. The lever design has no pin and linkage, which are susceptible to failures. Plus, their extended front housing offers an ideal solution for applications with spacing confines. “The FasMate connectors cannot be removed under pressure accidentally or intentionally,” says Bistram. “The comparative model we distributed could not claim this safety feature.”

According to Bistram, the need for lower cost and lead times were driving forces to develop the application. “The patent for the technology was filed several years ago but we continued to distribute another product during that time,” he says. “When a new opportunity presented itself in the metrology and calibration market in 2009, it was decided to refine the product and introduce one connector model for connections to transmitter manifold ports.

“With design and development being done domestically instead of from our international supplier of the past, we have been able to lower the price barrier to the end customers and significantly reduce lead times for products,” says Bistram.

Response to the new connectors has been positive since their introduction in mid-September. “One particular representative was able to sell six new connectors within hours of our introduction at a meeting by making a few phone calls,” says Bistram. “We have also had some nice opportunities where a few manufacturers have taken a number of these FasMate connectors prior to the official launch and used them in their manufacturing processes.”



For more information, contact:

FasTest Inc.

1646 Terrace Drive, Roseville, MN 55113

(800) 444-2373

www.fastestinc.com



Specifications

Seals: Nitrile

Materials: Stainless Steel

Temperature: -40 to 250 F

Pressure: Vacuum to 5,000 psi

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