Tube and Pipe Fabrication Articles

The tube and pipe fabrication technology area covers sawing (band, circular, and friction) and other cutting processes, such as abrasive, flame, laser, oxyfuel, plasma, and waterjet. It also discusses forming processes, including bending and end forming. Finally, it includes a handful of miscellaneous processes, such as trimming, beveling, finning, grooving, threading, and spinning.

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FCAW

8 FAQs about orbital FCAW

August 8, 2007

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Mechanized pipe GTAW was first introduced about 50 years ago for nuclear power plants, and then for steam-generation components and process piping. Orbital FCAW was developed to overcome the limitations of orbital GTAW for large-diameter, heavy-wall pipe. With orbital FCAW, deposition rates of 8 lbs./hr. are achievable. Just as a power saw is a tool for a carpenter, orbital welding systems are a productivity tool for the welder that empower him or her to weld faster and more accurately.

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Tube bending

Constant radius or variable radius?

July 10, 2007

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While rotary draw bending is the mainstay of the tube bending industry, variable-radius bending is making some headway. Variable-radius bending offers many advantages, primarily more sophisticated bends and faster cycle times. However, it has limitations, too. A main one is that an initial bend must be a minimum of approximately 15 degrees.

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Anodizing process

Top five questions about anodizing architectural tube

July 10, 2007

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Anodizing combines with nature to create one of the world's best metal finishes. It is the process of electrochemically controlling, accelerating, and enhancing oxidation of an aluminum tube, creating a durable, scratch-resistant coating on the surface comparable to a sapphire. Architectural anodize finishes are limited to certain colors, and it is impossible to produce a perfect color match. Perform as much bending and forming as possible before finishing.

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Tube unloader

Tube fabricator, machine tool builder automates to accelerate

June 12, 2007

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Stealth Manufacturing Inc., Savage, Minn., is a tube fabricator, and machine tool builder that automated its tube punching, laser cutting, and material handling to improve the efficiency of manufacturing its gas heater tubes and other tubular products.

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Rotary cutting blades

4 Troubleshooting tips for rotary cutting made easy

June 12, 2007

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Following four specific guidelines for operating the rotary cutoff machine can help you avoid making simple mistakes in setup and operation that can cause downtime.

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Jay Hall President of Harco Metal Products Inc.

Tube fabricator bends with industry changes

June 12, 2007

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As customers look for ways to add to their bottom-line performance, Harco Metal Products, Tempe, Ariz., has stepped forward with services that make the tube fabricator more valuable to its customer--and harder to replace.

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Electric tube bender machine

All-electric tube benders in control

May 8, 2007

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All-electric tube bending machines use electric, closed-loop servomotor axes to control the motion and speed of the bend tooling, providing programmable control over the range of each axis. Otherwise, all-electric tube bending machines are basically rotary draw benders—the design of which have not changed significantly for 50 years.

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High speed cutting tools

High-speed cutting, end-finishing

April 10, 2007

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Leading Edge Hydraulics improves tube cutting efficiencies with a high-speed cutter, plus integrated end forming for its fluid power tube manufacturing.

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Image of tube cutting laser

Turning a machine shop into a fabrication shop

April 10, 2007

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Senior Editor Eric Lundin traces the history of a machine shop-turned-fabricator. Founded in 1984 as Target Boring, the company changed from a machining shop to a fabrication shop when, in 1994, it purchased its first sheet and plate laser cutting system. Now named Target Laser & Machining Inc., it boasts three lasers for sheet and plate (two 2-D machines and one multiaxis machine) and one for cutting tube.

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Automated tube bender

Reducing tube bending cycle times

March 13, 2007

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Because any multiple-step manufacturing process is only as fast as the slowest machine, fabricators interested in purchasing an automated tube bender might suddenly find his production line saddled with bottlenecks. It's necessary to analyze the entire production line and learn about the equipment that is available before automating the bending process.

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Tube bender diagram

Safeguarding tube benders with laser scanners

February 13, 2007

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Tube benders require safeguarding around the perimeter of the machine and area in front of the machine, where the tube is bent, and in the back where the tube is fed. Laser scanning devices offers several advantageous features. Because laser scanning is a noncontact method, it minimizes interference with the machine operation, and because the scanner mounts at the foot of the machine and out of the way of the tube bending action, it allows full access to the work area.

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Laser cutting

Fabricator finds tubular niche

November 7, 2006

Production Cutting Services was founded in 1985 as a machine shop to supply parts to agricultural equipment manufacturers in and around East Moline, Ill. It used saws and CNC machining centers to provide tubular parts, but later realized it needed to add more value. It purchased two lasers from Mazak Optonics Corp. It hasn't abandoned CNC machining, though. It uses the lasers to complement its other processes.

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Luminous aluminum makes light work

October 10, 2006

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Hapco Aluminum Pole Products, Abingdon, Va., fabricates aluminum light posts that must be beautiful while standing up to wind, and the forces of nature.

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Lasers loom larger in tube, pipe cutting

October 10, 2006

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Laser technology has a new, larger role in cutting tube and pipe. It's suitable not only for niche applications, but also for broader tube cutting applications such as cutoff.

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French tube fabricator meets volume increase with orbital welding

October 10, 2006

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CMI Enterprise is a 107-person fabricating shop located in the scenic region of Saint Sylvain D'Anjou, France, serving the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries. CMI began experiencing growing pains. For the process equipment and heat exchanger projects, CMI selected orbital welding equipment from Polysoude [U.S. division is Astro Arc Polysoude Inc.]. to increase productivity rates. A welder can make more welds per day because the weld presents a regular geometry without overlay, and requires no secondary operations, such as grinding or cleaning.

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