Schuler acquires ATIS
PUBLISHED: 16 Apr 12
Top: View of a spiral pipe plant; bottom: A spiral-welded pipe is checked using water pressure in the so-called hydrotester. (Photo source: Schuler AG)
Group strengthens expertise in field of large pipe production
Pipelines connect the world: they transport what humans need for survival – oil and gas, petrochemicals and drinking water. As the various extraction areas become increasingly remote, the requirements placed on the pipelines become ever greater. With its acquisition of the engineering company ATIS, Schuler is now well placed to meet these challenges.
The demand for large pipes for the construction of pipelines is currently growing. Schuler AG, based in Göppingen, Germany, has reacted to this trend and expanded its product spectrum to include turnkey systems solutions for the economic production of large pipes. This was made possible by the company’s acquisition of ATIS GmbH, an engineering firm specializing in this field based in Deggenhausertal, near Lake Constance, Germany. Schuler and ATIS made a joint announcement of their plans at the opening of the "Tube" fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, on March 26. The respective contracts are to be signed in the coming days.
As the market and technological leader, Schuler can contribute over 170 years of expertise in the field of metalforming, as well as extensive know-how in research and development, large equipment manufacturing, project processing, and – not least – its global service network. ATIS will be providing detailed knowledge of the planning, development, delivery and modernization of complete pipe equipment and systems throughout the world. "This strong partnership offers numerous benefits for our customers," says Jochen Früh, Managing Director of Schuler Pressen GmbH.
Subjected to tremendous loads
Pipelines have to span huge distances across inhospitable terrains and are often exposed to extreme conditions. Temperatures well below freezing and enormous pressures, such as on the seabed, exert huge loads on the pipes. At the same time, the pressure inside the pipes is being constantly raised in order to extend the distances of the transported materials.
"The stability and absolute quality of the manufactured pipes is therefore all the more important," explains Dietmar Rieser, Managing Director of ATIS. During their manufacture, pipes are carefully scrutinized using ultrasonic devices, x-rays and water pressure (with the "hydrotester"). There are two basic methods for the production process itself: "Large pipes are either welded together as spirals from a long metal coil or bent to an "o-shape" with a longitudinal weld," explains Manfred Wischnewski, Managing Director of Schuler SMG GmbH & Co. KG.
Up to 3,500 millimeters in diameter
Spiral-shaped pipes can be manufactured in lengths of up to 24 meters with diameters of 450 to 3,500 millimeters and wall thicknesses of 6 to 25 millimeters. The forming and welding stages can directly follow each other ("online process"). Longitudinal weld pipes with diameters of up to 1,625 millimeters and wall thicknesses of up to 65 millimeters are produced using either crimping presses, u-forming and o-forming presses, or equipment for the step forming process – such as Schuler's Linear Feeding J-Press (LFJ press). Longitudinal weld pipes are usually produced in lengths of 12 or 18 meters. The new LFJ press can also produce lengths of up to 24 meters.
A lower-priced alternative to stainless steel pipes – needed for the transport of aggressive or sensitive substances – are so-called lined pipes: a combination of thin-walled stainless steel and conventional carrier pipes. They are produced using the hydroforming process during which the pipes are also sized. They can be produced in lengths of up to 12 meters and reach diameters of up to 530 millimeters.
Schuler acquires ATIS