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Penstocks: Tradition Just Got a Makeover.

In the 100 plus years of penstock design and manufacture not much has changed.  Tradition has reigned supreme, and for a reason.  Reliability, integrity and performance is key to a successful penstock, why fix something that isn’t broken? 

In the 21st century there are new factors affecting all products, especially the need to revisit and optimise successful designs in light of environmental pressures as we head for a carbon neutral planet.  Ham Baker is now on their journey to contribute to Net Zero.

Ham Baker, the recognised world leader in the design and manufacture of penstocks, has listened to their customers and reviewed extensively the whole process from design and manufacture through to installation of penstocks.

The result is a new range of penstocks, entitled the S- Series offer countless benefits to end users.  Central to the review was Ham Baker’s engineering team. Tasked with devising a new design tool and modelling system capable of automating the parameters surrounding penstock construction and performance.  They applied updated materials technology, manufacturing processes and enhanced design analysis to generate the new S-Series of penstocks that match and exceed water industry specifications, including British Standard and WIMES. 

The new fabricated stainless-steel S-Series range is up to 30% lighter through a reduction in materials used.  This was achieved by concentrating material strength where required resulting in less welds. 

The new design tool produces a detailed bill of materials utilising standardised components resulting in reduced manufacturing times.  This results in environmental benefits of less energy needed to manufacture, so a CO2 saving for the planet and facilitating the end client to demonstrate a reduction in their carbon footprint by deployment of the new design.

The modelling system has brought about the opportunity to seriously reduce lead times from enquiry to delivery as with base parameters provided by the client, the system generates a detailed specification, drawings, validation and cost in an easy-to-understand format empowering the client to make an informed decision to move ahead with their project. 

The improved workflow has been matched by a streamlined manufacturing approach that realises efficiently the new design specifications to deliver a quicker to market product. The new S-Series penstock incorporates a standardised sealing system that ensures the integrity and performance of the penstock.  This weight reduction and design approach has added benefits, a lighter door requires less energy to operate and for actuated penstocks the capability to downsize the actuator and thus cost.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceDavid Pye, Sales and Marketing Director for Ham Baker said of the new penstocks.

“I was delighted when the design team brought the new S-Series to the table; the benefits of a lighter, compliant and quicker to market penstock is being well received by our customers.  Add the fact of the reduced carbon footprint for this new range, it’s a win-win for all”Ham Baker, constantly evolving as a business, has the expertise and people to make a difference to the water industry and this new range of fabricated steel penstocks is a perfect example of this in action.