Success Story: Process optimization at Berg Steel Pipe Corp.
The flexibly reacting welding current sources of ELMA-Tech optimize the root welding of longitudinally welded large-diemater pipes at the American pipe manufacturer Berg Steel Pipe in Florida.
The Berg Pipe Corp., belonging to the EUROPIPE Group, manufactures about 240,000 tons of longitudinally large-diameter steel pipes per year in Panama City. The production process strongly depends on high cycle times and high quality welding processes without breaks or faults.
For Berg Steel Pipe, however, the processes at the welding stations need to be improved: Cycle delays and some manual reworking occured due to malfunctions or even break-downs of the welding processes. In this context, the lack of flexibility of the current sources used by Berg Steel Pipe up to this point in time has proved to be particularly problematic, which simply kept up with the once set process parameters in case of failures and could not compensate for the disturbances that occur.
Against the background of this situation, ELMA-Tech installed 2 VARIO UG TS 3000 constant current sources including the corresponding VM2 process controls and wire feeds at Berg Steel Pipe in January 2017 for the root welding of the longitudinal seam of steel pipes (MAG welding process, constant voltage, with steel wire and CO2).
The "marriage" of the VM process control by means of a field bus with the plant control (PLC) of the corresponding welding station proved to be completely unproblematic. Already after a few pro-runs, Berg Steel Pipe was able to start the real production with outstanding results directly with the newly installed equipment.
The VM process control not only allows Berg Steel Pipe an optimal override of all process parameters, but also reacts with a readjustment to every different state of the welding process within 50 microseconds. Central parameters such as current, voltage and wire feed are thus optimally matched to one another continuously, which results in an immediate increase in the driving speed and thus in a shortened cycle time.