Hydra-Flex Featured in the Spring 2014 Issue of SECWA's Wash Street Journal
Hydra-Flex, Inc. is an innovative engineering and manufacturing company specializing in chemical delivery systems and nozzles. An expert company in fluid dynamics, their core values of innovation, reliability,and accuracy are evident in the products they develop – products that are engineered using the most reliable, longest lasting, and chemically resistant components. Their growing product line offers operators unique solutions that stretch from bucket to arch.
History of Hydra-Flex
Hydra-Flex, Inc. was founded in 2002 by Jaime Harris and Gary Brown, who had met while working together in product development at a prior organization. HFI Manufacturing originally began as two men, a beer fridge, and a machine shop, but the company was quickly transformed by their desire to “find a better way” to manufacture innovative products for the vehicle wash industry.
In 2006 Hydra-Flex introduced the Chem-Flex Injector™, first used by a major OEM with their line of in-bay automatic equipment. The owners recognized the need to provide vertical solutions, and expanded the product line from an injector, to valve manifolds, to complete chemical dispensing systems that have revolutionized the way the industry washes cars. Today, with thousands of sites in operation, Hydra-Flex has become the most trusted name in chemical dispensing.
Hydra-Flex equipment is used by chemical and equipment manufacturers around the world and is available through a wide distribution network. Hydra-Flex equipment owners have even been known to sell product, touting the measureable savings in chemical and water that they have achieved. According to Jaime Harris, CEO, “Our customers are our most valuable asset. We are only as successful as we are because they have been believers and strong advocates for us. ”
The company’s Burnsville, MN headquarters is home to a talented team of accomplished engineering, manufacturing, sales, and support staff. The site includes a 20,000+ sq. foot manufacturing facility, and they just recently installed a fully functional wash bay and separate high pressure station in their elaborate test lab. The owners encourage continuous improvement by driving the message and even marking the walls with the mantra of What Gets Measured Improves.
Hydra-Flex was recognized in 2013 by Twin Cities Business Magazine as one of Minnesota’s leading inventors, whose “dreaming, tinkering, and old-fashioned hard work have propelled the state to the forefront of innovation.” The company’s mission is to continue to develop innovative products that solve problems, save precious resources, reduce operating costs, and provide exceptional results for their customers.
The Blast-Tec Pro™ Rotating Turbo Nozzle was designed specifically for high-pressure vehicle wash applications including wheel blasters, undercarriage wash, rinsing, and high pressure cleaning. The heavy-duty, high impact nozzles are constructed with a corrosion-resistant stainless steel housing and tungsten carbide wear surfaces to withstand harsh environments and provide longer life than ceramic nozzles. Operators using these nozzles have reported significant reductions in water usage, some even over 40%. Greater impingement allows users to install smaller nozzle sizes of the Blast-Tec Pro while getting the same or better impact as traditional nozzles with higher GPM flow rates.
Aqua-Lab Chemical Dispensing Systems™ combine water with chemicals using a regulated Venturi injector to deliver consistent and accurate mixed solution to the applicator(s). After chemical is mixed, air may be introduced into the solution line to generate foam at the arch or gantry. Complete systems include booster pumps, injectors, metering tips, manifolds, electronic controls, gauges, and regulators pre-mounted, and pre-plumbed for easy installation and maintenance.
Aqua-Lab systems were developed with the goal of doing more with less. Aqua-Lab systems will improve vehicle coverage and improve chemical performance while using less water, taking up less space, and requiring less maintenance than traditional dosing and pumping systems. One of the main features of the system is its proprietary pneumatic-actuated valve. The air-actuated valve offers enhanced dependability over electric solenoid valves by allowing particulate to pass through, thereby preventing fail to close errors.
The heart of their Aqua-Lab Chemical Dispensing Systems, Chem-Flex Injectors™ are the most chemical resistant injector on the market. These long lasting injectors are manufactured using Kynar Venturi inserts, stainless steel connections, a Hastelloy spring, a Teflon check ball, and an exclusive XFC o-ring material. The injectors are colorcoded based on the water flow needed for each individual application, and combine with color-coded chemical metering tips to proportion the precise chemical mix ratio.
A variety of Aqua-Lab Dispensing Systems are available to meet the needs of self-serve, in-bay automatic, and tunnel/conveyor sites. This spring, Hydra-Flex introduced the latest evolution in chemical dispensing – The Aqua-Lab EVO. This latest release is a fully integrated yet modular chemical dispensing system designed for use with in-bay automatic/rollover machines. Hydra-Flex partnered with Istobal USA on the development of this platform, which is now included with the sale of all new MNEX-22 and MNEX-24 machines.