Selected articles from June 2012 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
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.
Editor Eric Lundin visited Gordon Branch, the guitarmaker featured on the cover of the June 2011 issue of TPJ, to see what Branch had come up with in the last few months. In addition to a new model, 33 1/3 Degree, made with round tube, Branch had developed a similar model made with tube shaped like an airfoil.
Interviews with several TUBE exhibitors revealed that the energy industry remains the biggest driver in the tube and pipe industry. The opportunities aren’t just in oil and gas, but also wind and even nuclear, despite the Fukushima incident. Meanwhile, a few vendors have come up with machines and processes that reduce tube and pipe consumption and waste, helping the industry deal with fluctuating metals prices.
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