PERFORATOR has started producing drill pipe with the industry’s first automated friction welding machine, it says.
In July, the Walkenrieder, Germany-based company kicked off production with its brand-new robotic tube handling system, which comes with a friction welding machine for drill pipes.
“This friction welding was developed according to our specific requirements and is unique in the drill pipes industry,” Johann-Christian von Behr, CEO at PERFORATOR GmbH, says. “We needed it to work for a maximum range of products, from very small to extra-large diameters. We are now able to friction weld all kinds of drill pipes within this range: 40-220 mm diameter; 4-25 mm wall thickness; and 0.5-13 m length.
“At the same time, it provides additional functionalities that enable us to perform our friction-welding processes much more efficiently and with more flexibility.”
The new system was assembled and installed on site during the past 10 months, in close cooperation with several providers. Special features include the automated loading and unloading system – made up of individual separating and conveyer systems – and two robots that allow more flexible use of the friction welding machine.
Set-up and training times have been reduced and the loading system obtains its data automatically from the controls of the welding machine, according to PERFORATOR. In addition, the cycle time can be lowered.
von Behr explained: “We were looking for a welding machine with automated loading system that could accommodate our various demands. As we couldn’t find a suitable complete solution on the market, we contacted various suppliers and, together with them, we were able to engineer an individually designed machine.”
With this “unique” installation, PERFORATOR says it has been able to improve the quality of its products and improve its process reliability through friction-welding, a process, it claims, is more efficient than traditional arc welding technology.
With this investment, PERFORATOR says it has enhanced its competitive position, particularly in the drill pipes industry.
PERFORATOR, a Schmidt Kranz Group company, is specialised in the design and manufacturing of a wide range of horizontal and vertical drilling technologies. Its core competencies are in the field of drill pipes, drilling tools and injection and grouting pumps.