Ever wonder if you’ve tightened your sanitary Tri-Clamp enough? Do you see operators using a screwdriver to tighten wingnuts? Seeing frequent links at Tri-Clamp Flanges? In today’s post, we wanted to highlight a new product from Dixon Sanitary that is designed specifically to address these issues – the Clever Clamp. The Clever Clamp from Dixon provides fast and consistent pressure to both rubber and PTFE gaskets every time. We’ll kick the post off with an overview of the product and then get into how the Clever Clamp stacks up against other torque products on the market and applications we think it’ll be a great fit for. So let’s get started!
Let’s start with the basics- materials of construction and functionality. The Clever Clamp is made of 304SS and uses a lever closure for consistent compression. Because we use a lever and not a threaded wing nut to create the compression, the design is totally threadless. The Clever Clamp is also adjustable with settings for both Rubber and PTFE gaskets. This design means we’ll get consistent, repeatable compression every time that can be validated or proven. Eliminating over compression means we eliminate the risk of extruding the gasket into the process line, creating internal bacterial traps, especially with PTFE or Teflon gaskets. And the lever design eliminates the needs for torquing tools.
The Clever Clamp is available is sizes 1.5”, 2”, and 3”, so it covers 90%+ of the unions we’ll see in a food processing plant. The Clever Clamp also features a lockout ready design that makes cable locking fast and easy. There is also an option for a self-locking compression pin as well as interchangeable food grade silicone ID bands that allow us to color code our lines easily without much additional cost.
Well that’s all great, but how does the Clever Clamp compare to other commercially available controlled compression products? Let’s compare the Clever Clamp to the two other commercially available products we’re aware of- Live Loaded Nuts and Rubberfab’s Smart Clamp.
Live loaded nuts have been around for a while and use a Belleville washer to maintain constant tightening force on clamped unions. One advantage to a live loaded nut is that they can be retrofitted onto any existing Tri-Clamp. Drawbacks include exposed threads and the need for tools to tighten nuts. You also have to make sure you have the correct nut based on the elastomer you’re using- with 30 and 50 inch pound options available for rubber and Teflon gaskets, respectively. The Clever Clamp addresses this by eliminating exposed threads and the hinged lever design eliminates the need for tools. As mentioned above, the same Clever Clamp is adjustable and can also be used for both rubber and Teflon gaskets.
The other controlled compression product we see is the Rubberfab Smart Clamp. The Smart Clamp is a great product that’s been around for a number of years. Functionally, it’s similar to Clever Clamp, allowing for adjusting torque setting based on elastomer and simple quarter turn actuation. There are also no exposed threads on the Smart Clamp. Unlike the Clever Clamp though, the Smart Clamp does not have a self-locking feature and is harder to equip with a lockout tag. We also can’t offer the Smart Clamp with a color-coded bands like we can with the Clever Clamp.
To wrap this post up, consistent gasket compression is essential for repeatable cleaning. Over or under compressing a gasket can create an areas in your process line for product to accumulate and bacteria to grow. Dixon’s new Clever Clamp addresses this issue by creating consistent, repeatable compression every time. The Clever Clamp offers other advantages to competitive products including the elimination of exposed threads, ergonomic and lockout ready design, tool-less tightening and adjustable settings for rubber or PTFE gaskets. If you have any questions about the Clever Clamp or any of your sanitary fitting needs, contact a Triplex Sales Engineer today!