ORLANDO, FLA. — Inoex LLC has debuted pipe technologies in North America that drastically cut downtime in pipe-diameter changeovers, and that simplify precise pipe diameter measurement.
John Mann, Inoex vice president of sales and marketing, said the Advantage system, new to North America, completely automates changes in pipe exterior diameter while the line is running, allowing diameter changes “on the fly.” Not only does the system save on scrap, it can eliminate frustrating downtime.
“Typically, to change pipe diameter, the line is shut down and then restarted,” Mann explained in an interview at the Inoex booth at NPE 2015 in Orlando. “It can take hours or even a few days for the changeover.”
An Advantage system was on display at the Inoex booth. Advantage is designed for polyolefin pipe, Mann said. In early installations outside the U.S. it is often used to scale down the outside diameter from 24 inches to about 14 inches but it will handle smaller and larger diameters. Productivity is high because of the absence of investment in dimensional equipment for calibration, pipe support and seals.
The heart of the Advantage is the calibration sleeve, which offers an unusually high setting range that spans diameter ratios of up to 1:1.8 in infinitely adjustable increments. Settings can be as high as 36 inches. Pipe can be extruded using the same extrusion die for the changed diameter.
The Advantage pipe support is flexible and does not have to be changed when pipe dimensions are changed. The support can handle very high loads. The iVT vacuum tank is modular, provides optimal cooling and the seals hold vacuum well. Vacuum generation generates little noise due to frequency-controlled vacuum pumps.
Mann also showed Inoex's Quantum non-destructive pipe wall thickness measurement system. It is based on tetrahertz frequencies, which are near infrared frequencies on the optical spectrum. Tetrahertz frequencies are used in airport personal scanners because they are harmless to humans. A well-known use of tetrahertz scanners was checking quality of plastic foam insulation on the Space Shuttle.
Quantum can check wall thickness of smooth pipe, foam pipe and corrugated pipe. Measurements are independent of temperature and no calibration is required. Mann said Quantum's tetrahertz technology is unique for pipe measurement and is highly accurate. The unit's scanner circles the pipe precisely, giving 360 degrees of measurement.