Cumulus was an exhibitor recently at the Downstream 2019 Conference and Exhibition in Houston. On June 11th, Mark Litke of Cumulus and I sat down at the conference and discussed his company’s product – Smart Torque System.


Mark Litke (right) at Downstream 2019, June, Houston, TX

Cumulus is a new, startup company that began as a project at Shell Oil. The goal was to track bolting methods and correlate the activity to flange leaks. Mark says that 20 to 30 percent of all flange leaks are due to the technique used in bolting the flanges.

Many states, counties, and cities throughout America have the option to require that pressure vessels be designed according to ASME Section VIII. Although there is an industrial bolting standard, PCC1, this standard is not enforced by law. Thus, it serves only as a guideline and every company has its own variation of how they carry out the bolting activity.

Mark states that the Smart Torque System is an attempt to prevent flanges from leaking due to improper bolting and maintenance. This is done by embedding Blue Tooth chips within manual torque wrenches, hydraulic tightening tools, and bolt tensioning devices. This data is collected in the field with handheld devices and tablets. The date the work was done, who did the work, project completion, along with the torque data are all categorized and stored in the cloud. This is a paperless endeavor.

The Smart Torque System, says Mark, is the first of a suite of software, the Internet of Tools, that will be used to develop a consistent and reliable way of bolting flanges and torquing. Data analytics will be included and allow companies to predict flange leakages.

For more information, please visit their website:


Maddie Devore

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