Touchstone Compression Brings Heat To Homes and Businesses Using Hydraulic Torque Wrench Tools

By Rob Rohena and Denise Fedorow

You might not think about the processes necessary to deliver heat to your home or business when you turn up the thermostat, but hydraulic tools play a big part.

Justin Touchstone of Touchstone Compression explained that when they are drilling a well for natural gas, it comes out at low pressure so it has to be compressed to build enough pressure to get it into the pipeline.

When it gets to the plant or facility they strip all they hydrocarbons “and other yucky stuff you don’t want in your home” and re-compress the gas again to be able to get it back in the gas lines for heat services.

Justin said there are different applications for doing this procedure but basically they are stripping off liquids.

Touchstone started his career working for a pipeline company and other various gas compression companies. In July 2011 he went out on his own with his company, Touchstone Compression, which gets gas cleaned and ready for whatever application needed.

He deals with 1,000-1100 pounds of pressure and compressing natural gas 4,000-5,000 pounds.

He services the entire state of Oklahoma and the eastern part of the Texas panhandle.

“A lot of days I’m driving 500 miles a day,” he said.

Touchstone said because of his reputation for good work, when he decided to go out on his own, “I had work before I had a business,” he laughed.

He bought his truck, his tools and was ready to go. The bulk of his business is overhauling compressors, doing maintenance and troubleshooting.

“Everything runs on hours—after so many hours you do a check on the components and then reassemble the equipment.”

A lot of the issues he deals with are due to component failure.

“If a facility has 300 compressors you’re going to have a failure to fix once in a while,” Touchstone said.

The equipment he works on are all natural gas powered compressors like Caterpillar engines, Waha engines, Ariel and Gemini compressors and more.When he was looking for a way to make his job smarter, not harder, he turned to the Internet and found AMG Bolting Solution’s hydraulic tools. He used to have to deal with the huge, high torque bolts by hand—now with hydraulic tools he pushes a button and there’s no manual pulling, no standing on top of the machine to get enough leverage.That was a safety hazard and Touchstone said using hydraulic tools eliminates all the scenarios for potential safety hazards.

When he was looking for a way to make his job smarter, not harder, he turned to the Internet and found AMG Bolting Solution’s hydraulic tools. He used to have to deal with the huge, high torque bolts by hand—now with hydraulic tools he pushes a button and there’s no manual pulling, no standing on top of the machine to get enough leverage.That was a safety hazard and Touchstone said using hydraulic tools eliminates all the scenarios for potential safety hazards.

He used to have to deal with the huge, high torque bolts by hand—now with hydraulic tools he pushes a button and there’s no manual pulling, no standing on top of the machine to get enough leverage.That was a safety hazard and Touchstone said using hydraulic tools eliminates all the scenarios for potential safety hazards.

ding on top of the machine to get enough leverage.That was a safety hazard and Touchstone said using hydraulic tools eliminates all the scenarios for potential safety hazards.

He specifically uses TT1 & TTX 3 Square Drive Hydraulic Torque wrenches and extended reaction arms. He said a lot of people working in his industry may not be aware that extended reaction arms exist but Justin feels they are a necessity in order to be able to reach some applications.

He said a lot of people working in his industry may not be aware that extended reaction arms exist but Justin feels they are a necessity in order to be able to reach some applications.

He said a lot of people working in his industry may not be aware that extended reaction arms exist but Justin feels they are a necessity in order to be able to reach some applications.

He also has the Highflow Air Hydraulic Power Pack. The Highflow Air Hydraulic Power Pack has an air operated motor so it can be safely operated anywhere.

The Highflow Air Hydraulic Power Pack has an air operated motor so it can be safely operated anywhere.

“There’s no ignition hazard,” an important factor when working in a gas plant.

Justin knows what can happen if an electric powered compressor sparks—he knew of three men sent to a Lubbock, Texas hospital.

 

“I’ve seen the aftermath when things don’t go smoothly—it’s not pretty,” he said.“I see a lot o rookie mistakes.”

Touchstone said many in his industry are still using manual tools.

“There’s no sense in it. Some spend $100 million building a gas plant but they won’t spend $15,000 getting set up with the right tools? That’s not hard math to me. Why invest in the equipment if not going to invest in the tools?”

That’s not hard math to me. Why invest in the equipment if not going to invest in the tools?”

Why invest in the equipment if not going to invest in the tools?”

He said some situations are so physically tight there’s no good way to loosen the bolt except by brute force, which is hard on a body.

Unfortunately he’s seen times when it took someone getting injured for the decision to be made to get the right tools.

To those who think it’s an expense to invest in hydraulic tools, Justin said, “Some companies make hundreds of millions of dollars. I’m an independent company-if I can buy them surely they can.”

Touchstone said he did his homework before purchasing his tools and found that AMG Bolting Solutions products were, in some cases, 3 times less expensive than their competitors and of superior quality.

He bought his entire tool package at once about a year ago and has been very satisfied.

He also is very satisfied working with AMG Bolting Solution’s owner, Alan Gross.

“I can always get a hold of Alan and he’ll take care of me,” he said. He likes that Alan is a veteran and that his products are made in the United States.

Justin said he purposely seeks out smaller companies like Gross’s—and his own—believing that the service is much better.

Touchstone said using hydraulic tools has saved him two-three hours of labor. This year he was able to hire someone to work with him.

Aside from making the job easier, Touchstone said there’s another factor in having the right tools to do the job and that’s the impression you make on your clients.

“If you have tools of this caliber when you show up it shows how professional you are. It shows you have the right caliber tools to do the job and you’re not just trying to make something work,” he said. “When I roll out they think, ‘this guy’s got it going on—he has everything top of the line’. If you have the cheapest tools it says that you’re not serious about your work.”

He said he saw times when a guy’s first job was his last and it was a lost opportunity.

“I invested in myself and my equipment and it was the best investment I’ve ever made,” Touchstone said.

So, the next time you fire up your gas stove or furnace, you might think of Justin and his part in delivering that gas to you!