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Thread: A more efficient method to make hose kits

  1. #1

    A more efficient method to make hose kits

    Wondering if anyone can help? We are a small manufacturer and during our busy season we will make a significant number of hose kits. These are simply 12 foot lengths of pvc braid reinforced hose with hose barb fittings in both ends and aluminum ferrules crimped to retain the hose barbs, then the hoses are 'rolled up' into a roughly 10" circle and taped to retain. It is all done 'by hand' and not very efficiently or repeatable. We have a big 1500 ft spool on a rack. We pull off the hose to a mark on the floor and cut a bunch of 12 ft lengths, one at a time, and just drop them on the floor. Then, we grab one, insert the fitting and put the ferrule on, then crimp it with a hand operated crimper mounted to the wall. The crimper has no stops, so the insertion of the fitting is a careful, eyeballed affair that occasionally leaves a sharp edge. Then, we 'coil' them up to a 'comfortable' diameter and tape them once with black electrical tape in one area to keep them from unraveling.

    1. I am thinking that the measuring (from the supply spool) and the end coiling process could be combined. ie. the measuring could be from one large supply spool onto a 'measuring' spool where the hose is then cut and secured with two cable ties and becomes ready for end insertion.

    2. Is there a good way to 'apply' the cable ties? ie. with a machine or a technique that makes it easier? (i am thinking at a minimum that the measuring spool might have a couple of dimples in it that would allow for an easy insertion of a cable tie under/around the coil.

    3. if the coil is wrapped so that each end is 'available', then the hose barbs and the ferrules can be inserted and crimped while the hose is coiled.

    4. an pneumatic crimper would be better, are these available?

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow Kelly_Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Bold Springs, GA
    Pictures are always helpful on forums...

    You say “Significant number of hose kits” - I assume you know how much time/costs to assemble a hose kit. Also knowing your quality rejection rate is helpful in determining your process simplification effort.

    Obviously, you’re going to have to invest money into the process and methods to save money – so be sure you do the math. I definitely would explore automating as much as possible.

    Not having actually seen the product I can visualize that perhaps a method to consider to get the hose rolled up and ready would be to feed the hose assembly into a deep enough circular tub. Have you ever seen the Alaskan crab fisherman show? When reeling in a crab pot they feed the large diameter rope into a half barrow coiling the rope nice and neat.

    You could manually and/or automatically feed a known hose length into the hose-tub- holder. BTW, there are simple machine that will roll-out, measure and cut the length of hose you need. This unrolling machine could feed the hose directly into the following.

    One hose end would have been placed into a holder allowing access to install the hose ferrule. This would eliminate at least one step and if designed properly you could then crimp as need. Also after feeding the hose into the tub hose coil-er you could then tie-wrap or what ever to secure the hose for final shipping.

    Ultimately the hose coil-er would be the right diameter and allow convenient access to both hose ends to install the ferules by manual or automated means.

    And yes, there are all kinds of electric, pneumatic and other power assist machines that will crimp your ferrules quickly and efficiently.

  3. #3
    Project Engineer CCR5600Design's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central USA
    We used to make hydraulic hoses here at work and I am familiar with the process of which you speak. I think your idea of uncoiling material from the large supply spool to a smaller work spool and tying it off prior to crimping the fittings on has merit. The challenge will be designing and building a work spool which will allow for the tie wrap to be installed and the coiled material to be removed with little effort. My first thought is to convert an old wire-type welding wire spool for your application.

    I have not seen a pneumatic crimper for what you are doing, but I have seen, and operated, an electric over hydraulic crimper. They are slick units and DEFINITELY a time saver. Check with your hose and fitting supplier as they should have access to the crimping equipment or use your favorite search engine for the words "hydraulic hose crimper."


  4. #4
    Technical Fellow
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Well, in line with my KISS approach to life, here's what I would do.

    Go to HomeDepot and look at the electrical wire measuring device used for random lengths of wire. See who makes it and get one of the measuring things they make.

    Use your idea of rolling up the hose as it is taken off the bulk roll. Make sure the rolled diameter arrives with the hose ends pointing out parallel, like a "U" on it's side. Tie the small roll with twist ties in two places, maybe 3" back from the ends. A lot less finicky than trying to thread cable-ties tails into themselves and them pull them tight and cut off the excess.

    Next, get a chunk of steel and drill a hole just the right size for the Barb.
    Mount that to a bench about waist high.
    Bolt the hand crimper you have to that chunk of steel in just the right position for the ferrule when there is a fitting in the hole.

    Holding the rolled up hose, stick the barb of the fitting into the hole in the steel.
    Slide on a ferrule and push the hose onto the fitting.
    Pump the crimper and done.
    Do the other end.

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