The application of Intermac’s Waterjet technology at Tenaris

Tenaris, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of steel pipes for the energy industry and for other industrial applications, is listed on the stock markets of New York, Milan, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City, and has an integrated network of steel pipe production units, research and development laboratories, and service centres throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as a direct presence in most of the world’s largest oil & gas markets.

Customer: Tenaris
Actual Work City: Dalmine
Country: Italy
Product: Primus Series,

In fact, with an annual production capacity of 950,000 tonnes of finished product, over 2,300 employees, 5 production facilities, and an independently operated 120 Mw power station that renders the facility in Dalmine energetically autonomous, TenarisDalmine is Italy’s leading domestic manufacturer of seamless steel pipes for the energy, automotive, and mechanical industries. Within the scope of TenarisDalmine’s rich production scenario, which consists of extremely high numbers, the company also operates an efficient testing laboratory: a structure run by the Quality Management department that manages and executes all the destructive and non-destructive pipe testing activities of a mechanical, chemical and corrosive nature.

The laboratory”, explains Daniele Persiani, Laboratory Coordinator for TenarisDalmine, “is divided into 5 sections: test preparation, mechanical testing, metallography, corrosion, and chemical analysis. We receive approximately 5,000 pipe sections from all of our Italian facilities on a monthly basis, from which we obtain an average of about 12,000 finished test samples per month (with peaks of up to 16,000). A new section called Special Testing was recently created, which handles special tests only required by clients who work in certain countries and for specific industries: examples include the burst test on pipes for airbags, or the collapse tests on pipes for oil wells. Prior to delivery, each pipe must have passed all the tests required by the client”.

Due to the need to manufacture pipes of increasingly greater thickness, the test preparation section has been equipped with waterjet machines in order to expedite the preparation of the test samples with more efficient pipe section cutting operations. “For us, waterjet technology is the solution that best satisfies our requirements”, confirms Marco Perletti, Laboratory technician, “and in 2010 we purchased our first Primus 202 system by Intermac. Based on our positive experience with this system, which has shown itself to be extremely functional for our types of processing activities, in 2011 we decided to make a second investment by purchasing a machine similar to the previous one, but entirely customised to meet our specific needs.

Case Histories Tenaris: Photo 1
These machines are equipped with two 5-axis working heads that work by projection and not by adhesion. Today, thanks to our two waterjet systems by Intermac, we are not only capable of processing pipe sections up to 33 mm thick in a much more efficient manner with respect to traditional machine tools, but we can even boasts the exclusive capability of processing sections up to 66 mm thick. Featuring a useful cutting area of 2,000 x 2,200 mm2, our machines can handle sizes ranging from 80 to 512 mm in diameter, and are designed to process four families of steel (which we refer to as soft, medium, hard, and custom), all of which require specific cutting parameters. Furthermore, we are even capable of cutting tempered materials”. “In addition to having gained the ability to process thicknesses and tempered materials that were previously impossible, thus obtaining significant advantages in terms of flexibility”, Persiani continued, “we have also succeeded in improving our productivity. In fact, when we used traditional CNC machine tools, we were only able to process one section at a time. Now, on the other hand, we can process up to 8 sections of pipe at a time, even of various sizes and with the possibility of obtaining multiple test samples from each section. What’s more, there’s even the possibility of dividing each system into two parts thus allowing the loading/unloading operations to be carried out in masked time. Finally, we also obtained significant savings thanks to the lower cost associated with the use of the abrasive with respect to inserts and utensils for extracting the shavings, and the possibility of entrusting both systems to a single operator. During peak work times, the machines are even used for three shifts a day and for seven days a week. The reliability of these machines is also therefore extremely important, and they are kept in optimal working conditions thanks to the scheduled maintenance program, which involves periodic inspections and maintenance interventions (whenever necessary) by Intermac technicians. Having incorporated the Primus 202 within our laboratory three years ago”, Persiani concludes, “I must say that we are extremely satisfied with our investment, as it has provided significant advantages in terms of both production and economy. The role that Intermac played during the pre-sales phase was decisive in maximising the machines’ results on both a mechanical and software level, as the resulting configurations were designed to meet our specific needs.
Today, with these two installations of Intermac waterjet systems, we can not only work tube lengths up to 33 mm thick in a more advantageous, compared to conventional machine tools, but we can also work, in an exclusive manner, the thicknesses higher up to 66 mm.
Daniele Persiani Laboratory Coordinator in Tenaris
Case Histories Tenaris: Photo 2
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Case Histories Tenaris: Photo 5
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