McElroy introduced its first fusion machine in 1969. Since then the name McElroy has become virtually synonymous with the term ‘butt fusion’, and continues to be the forerunner in the design and science of joining polyethylene pipe. These improvements in design have one common focus: increased productivity.
An earthquake rehabilitation pipeline project in the state of Washington recently utilized McElroy’s newest line of fusion equipment, the TracStar. Since its introduction in 1997, the TracStar line has revolutionized the industry of pipe fusion. The major advantage of the TracStar is that the machine is mounted upon a rubber track system and has an onboard generator, making it both mobile and entirely self contained.
In the case of the Washington project, three different pipes sizes were fused together with two separate fusion machines, the TracStar 500 and TracStar 900. The sprawling construction area made for several different fusion staging areas.
The fusion machine and its generator have to be loaded, transported a short distance and then unloaded many times, and this can be time consuming, with three employees needed to operate the equipment for relocating the fusion equipment.
The biggest advantages of the TracStar are the time saved transporting from one location to the other and the ‘in ditch’ fusion capabilities. The operator simply drives the TracStar to the next fusion staging area and pulls two pins if the fusion joint needs to be performed in the ditch. The carriage is then ready to be lowered in for the fusion procedure.