The tube and pipe production technology area encompasses mills and all of the equipment that makes a mill run successfully: tooling, welding units, nondestructive testers, bundlers, scarfing equipment, straighteners, scrap choppers, and washing systems.
October 24, 2013
Superior Tube Co. Inc., Collegeville, Pa., a fabricator that draws tubing for small-diameter applications, recently set about to improve material flow through its plant. Realizing that moving 60- and 70-year-old draw benches likely would damage the motors and motor controllers, which were the original equipment, the company developed a plan to upgrade the hardware at the same time. The result is a quantum leap in motor efficiency and monitoring capability.
September 6, 2013
For tube and pipe producers, testing the product on the mill is necessary, but not necessarily optimal. The line speed might be too slow, the mill might have some maintenance issues, and other factors can interfere with online testing. For these reasons, many supplement the online test with an offline test.
July 19, 2013
Tube and pipe producers have relied on GTAW and plasma for many decades, and CO2 lasers for more than a decade, but recently another choice has emerged: Fiber lasers. Relying on a solid fiber rather than a gas to generate the laser beam isn’t ideal for every material and wall thickness, but it will change the industry in a profound way.
April 19, 2013
The welding done in a tube or pipe mill ruins the galvanic or aluminum coating intended to keep the product corrosion-free, so remetallizing the weld seam is a common practice. Remetallizing creates a large amount of metal dust, which usually is considered a big nuisance and an expensive disposal headache, but in some cases it can be recycled for a profit.
March 7, 2013
The forge-welding process is one of the most efficient methods of making tube and pipe from 1/2 to 24 in. diameter, but it’s not limited to this range. An ERW mill’s capability can be expanded by adding a cold-stretch-reducing section, allowing it to make smaller diameters.
February 1, 2013
After realizing he was spending too much time traveling, risk management consultant Hank Padilla decided to take a dramatic career detour. He did some vocational coursework and opened a fabrication shop, serving the local area (Littleton, Colo.) with precision tube bending and GTAW for roll cages and exhaust systems.
January 18, 2013
In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, Trinity Products devised a trinity of improvements: worker knowledge and skills, equipment upgrades, and management training. Assisted by Lincoln Electric in selecting equipment and developing its training programs, the company doubled its throughput from 2,000 to 4,000 tons per month.
October 8, 2012
Founded in 2003, American Hydoformers Inc. arrived on the scene a little too late to catch the first big wave of interest in hydroforming. A few automobile manufacturers had been oversold on the technology and were cautious to continue to convert parts to hydroforming, but AHI didn’t stumble and fall. Wise investments in equipment gave the company a unique and thriving position in the industry.
September 3, 2012
Many industrial processes generate quite a bit of heat, so keeping workers cool is a top priority. Wheatland Tube Co., Wheatland, Pa., added portable cooling units to lower the temperatures in its galvanizing and cutting areas. This initiative increased the time workers spend in these areas and eliminated heat-related incidents.
July 16, 2012
Years ago tube and pipe producers relied mainly on eddy current testing and ultrasonic testing for detecting short- and long-duration weld faults, respectively. These testing systems are still useful and in many cases required, but the spread of electronic technology has provided many more types of testing equipment for use on tube and pipe mills.
June 8, 2012
The essential tube and pipe production processes on a weld mill haven't changed much since the 1920s. Some new processes are available, such as laser welding, and the line speeds are faster, but much else hasn't changed. One factor that has undergone some change is how the weld bead, also known as scarf and a stringer, is handled. The conventional method was to wind it up as it came off the tube, but OD scarf choppers reduced operator exposure to this strand of red-hot, razor-sharp metal. Similcut has taken safety a step further by introducing a self-feeding OD chopper and wheelless, cantilevered ID chopper.
March 9, 2012
The type of inspection needed for piping systems depends on which code or standard is invoked for the project. Understanding the order inspection requirements can make or break a contractor. This article should shed some light on the various pitfalls that can be avoided by understanding the relevant testing requirements.
February 1, 2012
Chlorinated lubricants, which have been phased out in Canada and Europe, are still used in many metal-forming applications in the U.S. This class of lubricants is under scrutiny in the U.S., so it makes sense to test alternative lubricants now. Evaluating a lubricant for drawing tube requires much more than simply measuring the draw load during a pull. A comprehensive test evaluates ease of cleaning and finished tube quality also.
December 21, 2011
Overlooking a small component on a tube or pipe mill—even something as seemingly insignificant as the roller bearings inside the inboard and outboard stands—can lead to excessive downtime. Learning the proper way to install and maintain these bearings can extend their service life and improve the mill’s uptime.
October 10, 2011
As the use of thick-walled pipe for API applications grows, so does the need to verify that it has been correctly normalized. Use of 2-D simulation verifies that the temperatures and heating pattern needed to obtain the desired strength and toughness have been achieved.