The UK chemical industry is at risk of losing millions of pounds each year as confusion over industrial hose best practice is forcing end-users to over-specify unnecessarily expensive material
The chemical industry is strictly governed by a wide range of standards – dictating minimum requirements from health and safety, to material choice. As a result, there is now a tendency amongst chemical companies within the UK market to regularly over-specify the type of hose used to transport potentially hazardous materials around their plant and processes, to help safeguard both employees and plant.
Carl Lilley, Business Unit Manager at ERIKS
Industrial Hose, comments: “For better or for worse, the UK industrial landscape is not renowned for dipping its toe in uncharted waters and, given the highly dangerous nature of many of the materials handled day in day out in the chemical market, this specific sector is no different. Yet one area in particular where caution has been taken to the extreme is industrial hosing.
“Whilst being overly cautious, is not – in theory – necessarily a bad thing; in practice over-specification can soon become a hefty financial burden, as the cost of both buying and maintaining industrial hose, which may be over specified for the specific application, can collectively add up to millions of unnecessary expenditure given the volumes used across the industry.”
However, ERIKS believes the confusion is as a result of conflicting messages entering the market place from industrial hose manufacturers, leaving UK companies little choice but to adopt the most cautious – and often expensive – option. Mr Lilley continues: “In reality, this issue stems from the manufacturers. There is a real lack of clarity amongst those supplying the UK market, in terms of what hose material or technology may be suited to each application, with different companies offering varied and often conflicting advice when it comes to how their products may or may not be used.
“As such, UK companies regularly tend to select industrial hosing which, despite being suitable for their application, may be considerably more expensive than another product which can offer equivalent levels of both performance and reassurance.
“The most effective way to resolve the issue is to get in touch with a specialist industrial services support partner, such as ERIKS Hose Technology. With a thorough understanding of your market place and its demanding requirements, such a partner will be able to assess both your existing facility and it’s suitability for your application.
“In doing so, end-users will be able to find a balance where they can reduce their cost on chemical hose by not over-specifying, yet still maintain a safe but cost-effective working environment.”