Efficient pipe production
by Hans Diederichs
Al Gharbia Pipe Company has successfully taken into operation its new LSAW (Longitudinal Submerged Arc Welded) pipe plant. The new LSAW large-diameter pipe production facility was built at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), by a consortium of Larsen & Toubro Limited and SMS group as the EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) partner. The plant is designed for a production capacity of 240,000 tons per year. The pipes to be produced on the LSAW facility supplied by SMS group, will mainly come in grades suitable for use as onshore & offshore line pipes, including sour-gas applications. Al Gharbia is going to produce up to 12.2-meter-long pipes with outside diameters ranging from 18 to 56 inches. The maximum wall thickness is 44.5 millimeters; steel plates up to grade X80 can be processed.
SMS group was responsible for the engineering and supply the process equipment for the large-diameter pipe production facility, Larsen & Toubro Limited for the civil works, balance-of-plant and erection of the equipment.
Besides the engineering and project planning, scheduling and coordination, SMS group supplied all core machines and the process equipment including workshops, laboratories and a manufacturing execution system (MES). The production line comprises an edge milling machine, a crimping press, a second-generation JCO® pipe forming press with modular frame design, tack-welding machine, inside and outside welding machines, mechanical expander and a hydrostatic pipe tester.
The JCO® pipe forming process provides numerous benefits. For example, the plant operator can quickly change over to other pipe dimensions allowing even smaller batch sizes to be produced economically and with utmost precision. The Shape Automation System developed by SMS group directly determines the optimal machine parameters and fully automatically controls the forming process. The system minimizes the effect of yield strength deviations in the plates during forming guaranteeing a consistently high pipe quality.
The JCO® pipe forming press and the crimping press are equipped with variable speed pumps (VSP), assuring an efficient hydraulic system, that dispenses with any proportional valves. As a result, abrasion is reduced and hydraulic pressure losses minimized. Further benefits include short piping paths and small oil tanks and the possibility to feed compression energy back into the network as electrical energy. Compared to conventional hydraulic systems, this reduces energy consumption by up to 50 percent.
Al Gharbia Pipe Company can now manufacture large-diameter longitudinal welded pipes made of quality steels − mainly for the energy sector − targeting markets in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
Source and photo: SMS group