The importance of hose quality

Published:  31 July, 2014

For suppliers of hose assemblies, establishing a reliable reputation with customers/end users is critical in order to secure ongoing repeat business. Similarly, when dealing with a hose assembly supplier, customerswant to know they are sourcing high-quality hose, fittings and related equipment and services.

The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) believes the best way for customers to have confidence in their choice of supplier is for the hose assembler to have satisfied the requirements of becoming a member of the BFPA’s Approved Hose Assemblies Mark scheme. The objective of the scheme – which is only open for participation by members of the BFPA and British Fluid Power Distributors Association (BFPDA) – is to emphasise to new and existing customers that quality matters and that the hose assembler is dedicated to this goal.

The objective of the Approved Hose Assemblies Mark certification scheme is to assure customers/end users they have received hose assemblies from a supplier who has been inspected and awarded the Approved Hose Assemblies Mark by the BFPDA. The award certifies that at the time of inspection by the BFPDA inspector the supplier demonstrated that it is producing hose assemblies generally to the requirements set out in the document BFPDA/D8 published by the BFPDA.

While certification is not a quality certificate or guarantee of the hose assembly it does however certify the procedures and practices of the hose assembly producer’s workshop. It indicates that the hose workshop has the equipment, the resources, skilled personnel and that it has undertaken to maintain a full quality assurance programme in its hose assembly production as approved by the BFPDA.

Companies in the BFPDA Approved Hose Scheme who have been inspected and approved may use the Approved Hose Assemblies logo on their advertising, stationery and promotions, in addition to the BFPDA or BFPA logo as appropriate. It should be noted that certification is not transferable.

With regard to customers/end users of hose assemblies, the BFPA recommends that theylook for the Approved Hose Assemblies logo when contacting prospective suppliers.

Please note that certification, which is valid for a two-year period, is for the hose workshop only, and does not include mobile workshops/hose vans. There are a series of strict requirements for the scheme applicants. These include:

• As a BFPDA Certified hose workshop, quality is the key objective. This is to ensure that all hose assemblies supplied to the customer/end user are manufactured to a quality standard; that all manufacturers’ recommendations, tolerances and procedures are followed; that all Health and Safety regulations (including CEN standards) are adhered to and the procedures set out in BFPDA/D8 are generally followed.

• The practice of ‘mix and match’ is unacceptable, i.e. the hose and fittings for an assembly must be compatible by design, size, type and manufacture. The mixing of inserts and ferrules from different, or unknown manufacturers, or the use of unmatched hose and end fittings, is potentially dangerous and is therefore unacceptable.

• The use of unbranded or unmarked hose is forbidden.

• The use of re-ended hose is also forbidden (there will be more on this topic in the August edition of PWE).

• The practice of reworking used hose is potentially dangerous and it is banned by International Standard BS EN ISO 4413:2010. Any components found with damage or that may be suspect, should not be used again. Inserts from swaged hose couplings should not, under any circumstances be re-used.

• The BFPDA recommends that all hose be blown through with a filtered airline before and after assembly to remove all loose particles.

• One or more of the hose assembly company’s operators may be requested to make-up a test hose assembly during the inspection, so that the inspector can witness the producer's procedure in operation.

The BFPDA reserves the right to refuse certification or to cancel certification at any time on technical, ethical, or environmental grounds – the decisions of the BFPDA Hose Certification Committee is final. Should an inspection prove unsuccessful and certification is not approved, a further inspection may be requested, but the BFPDA Certification Committee reserves the right to refuse re-inspection. For more information, contact the BFPA/BFPDA.

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