Plant & Works Engineering
Skills for life!
Published:  08 July, 2011

The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) has launched a new ‘Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme’. PWE reports. 

The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) has introduced a new practical, workshop-based course titled ‘The BFPA Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme’. Following in logical succession to the Association’s complementary ‘Foundation Course in Working Safely with Hydraulic Hose and Connectors’ launched in January 2010, the Skills Course takes this basic level of knowledge and trains to a fully assessed level of ability in hose assembly techniques.

The Hose Assembly Skills Training Programme has been written and developed using the expertise available to the BFPA and sets out to establish a benchmark for training people involved in hose assembly. As part of the two-day course, trainees are provided with their own personalised, training manual featuring detailed colour images and diagrams, together with easy-to-follow technical guidance. The manual comprises six chapters: 

Thread awareness

This chapter sets out to: ensure candidates understand the importance of correct end termination identification; correctly identify the most commonly used end terminations (type and size) that candidates use in their place of work; identify and understand the processes used and questions that need to be asked in order to correctly identify an end termination that the candidate is not familiar with; understand that just because two threads appear to go together this does not guarantee that they are compatible/will seal correctly; understand several pros and cons for metal-to-metal and ‘o’ ring sealing and terminations. 

Hose assembly

This chapter sets out to: ensure that candidates can identify what equipment and supporting information is required to ensure that the hose assembly is correctly manufactured; understand the importance of ensuring that the gauges and other equipment used for the manufacturing and checking of hose assemblies is correctly calibrated; understand the reference points for measuring the overall length and angular orientation of hose assemblies: understand the reasons for undertaking pressure testing and the standards relevant to the pressure testing of production hose assemblies. 


This chapter sets out to: ensure that candidates can identify at least two different methods that can be used to clean a hydraulic hose assembly; identify how and why contamination enters a hose during the cutting process when a steel blade is used; identify what additional contamination can enter the hose when an abrasive cutting wheel is used; identify at least two problems that can be caused by blowing a projectile, (e.g. a jet plug) through the hose once it has been manufactured in to a hose assembly. 

Tightening of connectors

This chapter sets out to: ensure that candidates can understand the importance of using the correct equipment, (e.g. spanner size, or torque wrench and associated socket/claws) and procedures when tightening connectors; understand the effects that lubrication/thread sealant can have on torque values; identify at least two different methods commonly used to ensure that the connector is tightened to the recommended tightness; understand that just because two threads appear to fit together does not guarantee that they are compatible/will seal correctly.

Hose assembly routing & installation

This chapter sets out to: ensure that candidates can understand the importance of routing hose assemblies correctly; identify potential routing problems; understand how to overcome routing/installation problems; understand the correct use of hose clamps and where to use them; understand the factors that need to be taken into account in order to identify hose assembly length requirement. 

Hose management

This chapter sets out to: ensure that candidates can understand the reason for having recommended storage life for bulk hose, hose assemblies and stored equipment; understand the correct ways of storing bulk hose and hose assemblies and stored equipment; understand the reasons why it is not possible to state how long a hose assembly should last in service by giving examples of factors that influence hose service life; understand the importance of hose branding/hose assembly identification; identify how to reduce hose failures that can be attributed to abrasion/chaffing. 

During the course, trainees are taught to identify parts of hose and types of fittings, how to measure and cut a hose and how to assemble and install it correctly. As with the Foundation Course, key safety considerations are also explained as part of the Skills Course. After completing the course to the satisfaction of an adjudicator or trainer, trainees receive a certificate and are registered on the BFPA‘s national database.

Continuing the successful format of the Foundation Course, the BFPA is now in the process of franchising the Skills Training Programme to a number of experienced private training companies and institutions, as well as to independent freelance trainers. Trainees will then be able to attend the course at their own site location or at the trainer’s own premises. Some of the larger fluid power organisations have already assimilated both the Foundation and Skills courses within their own internal staff training regimes. The BFPA is also talking to other trade associations whose members regularly use hydraulic hose and related equipment with a view to encouraging these societies and their members to adopt the course as their recognised standard in hose assembly and safety.

BFPA director Ian Morris commented: “We introduced the Foundation Course at the beginning of last year in the realisation that there was a requirement for a one-day course that clearly spelt out how individuals can work more safely with hose and related equipment. This has proved to be highly successful; so far attracting around 330 trainees from both major hydraulic and engineering organisations as well as from smaller companies nationwide. The new Skills Course provides the natural next stage, providing more practical-based training and setting out to establish a recognised standard in hose assembly.” 

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