If you produce welded tube, you are already aware that tube mills need constant monitoring. Many variables are at play, such as the dimensions, hardness, and edge condition of the incoming material; the heat input delivered to the steel; setup and the condition of the mill.

HFI or erw pipe & tube production is the fastest methods to produce tube and pipe. The industry faces several pressures such as high competition, both domestically and foreign, raw material costs, and client quality demands. As a sub process to the automotive assembly, erw pipe mills need to be efficient, and have high yield

To the layman observer, producing erw tube and erw pipe seems straightforward. Material goes into the mill and formed sections exit. People in the industry understand that the process is complicated and the challenge is to maximize efficiency and yield amongst the dynamics of the erw pipe production process.

Monitoring systems and tools are available to the automotive manufacturing department with the aim of increasing yield, efficiency and quality. From the entry to the mill to the exit of the mill, these systems provided by Invisual E Inc. offer tangible economic and technical benefit.

The process areas that are important and impact the quality of the welded tube are the following:

1. Butt Weld Detection : Monitoring the butt weld splice reduces tool wear
2. Edge entry Inspection: Monitoring the edge conditions as they enter the mill determine material quality and will impact the quality of the forged weld.
3. Weld Monitoring: Monitoring for lack of fusion, mismatch, seam roll, weld bead profile determine the quality of the weld, heat input, and weld pressure.
4. Post Scarf Monitoring: Monitoring for tool wear, tool depth and subsequent loss of wall material and tool chatter.
5. Sizing Monitor: Monitoring the sizing of the erw tube at the exit ensures that the mill tooling is properly setup and also tracks sizing roller wear

These systems are tied to a set of control limits and robust IO for operator alerts, mill integration and historian databases. Data mining the historian offers great opportunities for correlation modeling. An example of this would be the correlation of weld bead height to weld temperature or heat input.

About Invisual E. Inc.

Pierre Huot founded Invisual E Inc. in response to a desire to implement his vision to the market for identified needs for manufacturing. Huot’s adherence to a customer-driven development approach combined with his strategic abilities helping OEM, integrators and manufacturers deliver improvements on key objectives to build brands, expand markets and grow revenues through the implementation of control systems, process improvement and quality management systems

Huot possesses an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Ottawa. He is the author of several published case studies and white papers.