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Tube & Pipe

Controlled coverage

By Lauren Duensing

Above: The DieTronic Antirust system works in-line to apply protective oil onto the surface of tubes, pipes and profiles.

Precise fluid application system allows tube manufacturer to reduce consumption and costs

April 2018 - For any project, there’s more than one way to get the job done. But there’s a big difference between merely finishing a job and completing it efficiently. For certain tasks, automated systems can help conserve effort, eliminate waste and save time and money.

Medina, Ohio-based United Tube Corp., which rolls A500, A513 and coated welded steel tubing in rounds, squares, rectangles and special shapes, wanted to refine the process of applying rust preventive (RP) to its tubing products, says David Collins, plant manager.

“We were using a Venturi draw nozzle. It was strictly air powered, and I had it wired into a solenoid so it would come on when the mill started running and shut off when the mill shut down,” he says. “Its performance was somewhat erratic. If you got a little bit of dirt in it, the nozzle would clog, and we would lose part of the spray pattern.”

FFJ 0418 tube image1

The Antirust system has a touchscreen panel with digital interface that helps monitor the coverage and fluid density.

Collins was in the process of researching better options for RP application and even actively trying to build his own setup when Ohio-based vendor Kent Corp. approached him with information about the DieTronic Antirust spray system.

Cody Kothera, sales engineer, says Kent was familiar with longtime customer United Tube’s operations and thought the company could benefit from a new way to apply RP. “They’re located close to Kent, they’ve got a Kent entry system, uncoiler, portable end welder and accumulator on their line. After talking with them, we saw a good application for the DieTronic system,” Kothera remarks.

“I was looking for a pressurized system, and DieTronic offered all the things I wanted—probably more than I needed. It was a natural fit for us, to be quite honest,” Collins says.

A proper amount

Kent has been around for more than 40 years, selling equipment to the tube and pipe industry. Kent partnered with Die-Tronic as its U.S. representative about four years ago, and United Tube purchased the first DieTronic system that Kent sold. Today, there are 26 DieTronic systems installed throughout the Americas: 17 in the United States, Canada and Mexico and nine in South America.

Tubing and profile producers use the DieTronic Antirust to apply RP fluid to prevent white rust, in addition to rust on carbon steel. Kothera says the system’s minimal footprint—it takes up a mere 6 in. to 8 in. of space—means it can be installed as part of a new rolling mill or retrofit to existing equipment.

“Typically, it sprays RP on the tubing before the cut-off [point of the line],” says Kothera. “It’s a more efficient way of putting on the RP because it’s controllable. You can put on the proper amount, rather than guessing and putting on too much and hoping it covers.”

The system also has an optional suction feature that removes overspray. “Anything that doesn’t end up on the tube will get sucked up and recirculated so it’s not wasted. It’s not getting on the floor, in the environment, in the air or on other machinery. It’s a very contained unit,” Kothera says.

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The system's spray box houses the nozzles in a closed design, preventing dangerous fluid dispersion.

Applying RP efficiently is important because otherwise, you’re either wasting it by putting too much on, essentially slathering the tube with extra money, or you’re not applying enough, which leads to rust and corrosion issues in service, defeating the purpose of the RP. Sometimes, that can lead to warranty claims.

Applying corrosion inhibitor efficiently “gets you right where you need to be—it reduces your costs on lubricants because you’re using the proper amount,” Collins says, adding that the system also is speed sensitive. “If you speed your mill up, then you’re applying more RP. If your mill slows down, it also slows down.”

Another unwanted result of applying too much, says Kothera, “is it’s going to drip, and you’re going to have lubricant where you don’t want it, whether it’s on the floor or on other equipment.”

Proven savings

That excess lubricant on the floor, in the air and on equipment is both wasteful and costly. Kothera says that many of Kent’s customers who have installed the Die-Tronic system save 50 percent on their lubricant costs. In addition, customers that have been using two lubricants: a more expensive one that’s used for certain items and another that’s cheaper but suitable for the rest of the product line “often are able to discontinue use of the cheaper lubricant, using the more expensive one across everything, while still spending less money on lubricant consumption overall,” he notes.

At United Tube, operators tended to overcompensate with the old system, especially if the nozzle was not functioning properly. “They made sure to put on plenty,” Collins says. With the DieTronic Antirust equipment, the tube manufacturer is able to “program it to a lower application level and still get a superior coating,” in addition to using the optional recovery system to collect the overspray and reuse it, saving approximately 50 percent on oil costs.

“When you are spraying, a lot of what you spray doesn’t hit the tube,” Collins says. “If you can’t gather that and reuse it, you’re spending a lot of money on oil that’s going into the coolant tank or out into the air.”

Beyond cost-savings, though, United Tube discovered a surprise benefit—especially for its coated products. Because now there’s no need to put a thick coat of RP on the tube to ensure it is protected, the company is now producing “a cleaner looking tube,” notes Collins. “Our galvanized and coated products have a nicer appearance.” 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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