In a tube mill, production scrap can come from just about anywhere: tooling wear, bad material inputs, out-of-maintenance equipment or a process that is out of control. Regardless of where it comes from, the creation of scrap costs tube fabricators a lot of money and time. Since raw material accounts for the majority of the cost to make a tube, reducing the scrap rate by even a fraction of 1% can provide substantial savings to the tube fabricator.
Typical Scrap Generated from a Tube Mill
(photo courtesy of www.roll-kraft.com)
Traditionally, defects are found on a tube mill at the end of the production line by existing NDT equipment or alert operators. By placing an automatic weld inspection system right after the weld box, defects or weld zone variations can be detected earlier in the production process and can be removed from production prior to further value being added to defective products. By detecting the defects automatically right after the weld box and not manually by an operator or inspector at the end of the line after cutting or bundling, a complete length of tube can be saved by responding faster to the out-of-control process.
The result is material savings of scrap tube because the process can be brought in control sooner, avoiding producing extra lengths of defective tube.
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