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Tube & Pipe

Precise profiles

By Lauren Duensing

Above: Automation allows HGG's stationary pipe cutter to create precise parts that align properly, saving fabricators time on cutting, fitting and welding.

Complex cutting and shaping equipment help a job shop diversify its customer base

October 2016 - Roughly 4,800 energy-related businesses are located within the Houston metro area, including more than 750 exploration and production firms and nearly 800 oilfield service companies, according to the Greater Houston Partnership. The city also is home to 40 of the United States’ 134 publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production firms. 

Because they are co-located in this energy hub, a trio of companies—one of which was founded last year—traditionally focused on the oil and gas sector, says Doug Stanford, president of Metal Cutting Specialists (MCS) and Houston Water Jet (HWJ). But due to the recent rough patch that sector has faced in the wake of a reduction in commodity pricing, the companies have “diversified into other markets that include railroad and OEMs. Our business model is not to make complicated parts for our customers but to first-step process raw materials to help our customers with their production needs.”

Strong roots

The third company, established in 2015 as Absolute Metal Products LLC (AMP), is helmed by people who have more than 100 years of combined product and industry knowledge. Richard Rose, president of AMP, purchased MCS and HWJ in 2014 and soon decided to expand their capabilities while forming a plate processing business. 

FFJ 1016 tube image1

HGG’s proprietary software helps users to cut angles from plus 70 degrees to minus 70 degrees.

Rose moved the three companies under one roof, to a facility that covers 155,000 square feet. “Along with the building, he purchased precision equipment to enhance MCS’s and HWJ’s existing services and equipped AMP with state-of-the-art equipment to compete in the marketplace,” Stanford says. 

MCS’s equipment includes cutoff saws; band mills that segment, notch and shape; and miter and angle cutting machines. The company can also cut large blocks, rings and forgings. Lastly, it sells band saws and band saw conveyors. 

HWJ operates five waterjet tables and has 5-axis waterjet capabilities. AMP handles plate burning, drilling and tapping; plate rolling; and sawing, drilling, mitering and profiling of structural steel. 

To attract new business, AMP recently added a chuck-type stationary pipe cutter, vessel and tube profiler fitted with a Hypertherm HPR 400 plasma system from HGG Profiling Equipment, Medina, Ohio. The SPC 1500 machine cuts carbon and alloy steel pipe from 3 in. to 60 in. diameters.

Vessel work

HGG’s line of pressure vessel cutting machinery combines plasma and oxy-fuel processes for 3D steel profile cutting and profiling of complex beveled edges. The equipment package combines robotics, a patented cutting head and proprietary software to enable users to cut angles from plus 70 degrees to minus 70 degrees. 

According to HGG, “this capability ensures optimal weld preparation for precision part alignment which, in turn, reduces welding and fitting costs by more than 30 percent.”

The SPC 1500 automates key elements in the fabrication process—integrating work preparation, layout, cutting and beveling into one machine. As a result, fabricators that use it will save time on their layouts, as well as down the line on cutting, fitting and welding. 

“Pre-fabricated vessels and piping parts need to be assembled under strict regulations,” HGG states. “By automating the vessel head cutting process and applying smart weld preparation techniques, the materials are ready for fast and easy fitting and welding. The automation of the vessel head cutting process also reduces weld volume significantly which can, in turn, reduce on-site labor costs by as much as 30 percent.”

FFJ 1016 tube image2

The SPC 1500 is a robust machine built to handle heavy pipe with large  diameters as well as thick-walled tubing.

Getting the inquiries

The SPC 1500 can handle complex cuts to ends of pipe and inlet holes in vessels. AMP purchased the machine because “we felt it met the majority of customer needs in the markets the company is pursuing,” Stanford says. The local HGG sales representative “was able to show us the machine in action—producing parts similar to what we felt we would be seeing in quotes.” 

Employing the HGG equipment, AMP can “profile tube from 3 in. to 60 in. diameters by 42 ft. long,” Stanford says. That range “gives us a wide variety of capabilities and customers to service.

“The installation of the machine was fairly simple,” he adds. “The majority of the components were already in place before the machine shipped to the United States. With the company being new and the machine being new, we did not have any existing work in the marketplace, so we were unable to test it out on production work at the time of installation.”

Since the installation, however, AMP has steadily increased sales on processed parts, Stanford says. “With its capabilities we are able to save vessel fabricators time and money in profiling inlet holes in all their vessels. Our machine is running six days per week [and there is] interest in creating a second shift.”

Customer feedback has been positive: They are happy with the parts coming off the equipment. “The customers we are going after make oilfield vessels. We take the plate, roll the plate into a cylinder, weld it and then we profile the holes as a value-add.” 

The HGG line has also given AMP new opportunities with existing customers. “Our processing capabilities enable us to provide services to our customers that improve efficiencies and costs in their production [process].” FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Beckwood Press Co. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters Triform

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. Mazak Optonics Corp. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC MC Machinery Systems Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

Murata Machinery, USA, Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC TRUMPF Inc.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group MTS Sensors Rolleri USA

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial Automec Inc. BLM Group
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies SafanDarley

WATERJET

Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

PUNCHING

Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc. Behringer Saws Inc.

WELDING

Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company

 

MetalForming Inc.

 

 

 

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

 

 

 

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

 


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