Diameter & Ovality Measurement

pipe-diameterIn the world of tube and pipe manufacturing, it is all about making the best product with the least amount of waste in the fastest time possible. These key ingredients allow for firms to be competitive and be profitable. New innovations regularly receive attention when they increase a mill’s productivity and efficiency. Cutting edge techniques have begun to streamline an industry that once required tedious and time-consuming efforts to ensure quality. Inline diameter and ovality measurement for tube and pipe producers ensures stability in the process, information to the mill operators, compliance of client or industry tolerances and increased profit.

The basic principle of diameter and ovality measurement is to place sensors equidistant intervals around the outer surface of the tube or pipe. As the material passes through the scanning section, the sensors scan at a rate of 1kHz thereby providing a constant stream of data. The sensors have a wide operating range therefore a client should not have to make mechanical adjustments once the system is installed.

A calibration procedure is required once the system is installed to orient the sensors in space and provide the proper measurement for calculation purposes. We recommend a minimum of 4 sensors, however the system can accommodate up to 12 scanners.

Installed the system will measure diameter, ovality and the axis in which the ovality is occurring. These values are tied to a set of control limits. The user inputs the nominal value, and the control limits are set against the tolerance spec. Further integration into the production process includes saving the data tags to file and propagating the measurements automatically into the client side manufacturing ERP software.

One of the main benefits of diameter and ovality measurement is visibility in real time of the material and mill dynamics. For threaded Oil and Gas producers, real time diameter and ovality data has significant benefit prior to entry to the threading operation. Diverting suspect pipe saves on costly thread repair, time and tool damage.

With recognized benefits such as:

  • Inline measurement in real time.
  • Quality Assurance strategy
  • Visibility of process dynamics for quicker decision making
  • Productivity improvements and quality improvements.

pipe_diameterThe sensor head contains a CMOS camera, and one laser source which projects a laser point on the surface. The lasers act as a light source, and sends a surface data point back to the application software. The camera views the laser point directly under the sensor. The multi-point data cloud around the tube or pipe is then used to calculate the required diameter and check for ovality.

An effective quality control system is crucial for highly competitive industries or industries with a high degree of compliance such as tube manufacturing. With mill run rates in the thousands of dollars per hour and tonnage of steel scraped or sold as seconds, profit can erode quickly in a shift. Having explained this, it should be no surprise that customer quality is one of the top reasons for a manufacturing quality system mindset. Automated seam tracking for tube and pipe producers allows these goals to be realized through best practice methods.

Feel free to peruse the site, ask a question, request a quote, get in touch with us and we would be glad to listen to your goals towards quality and productivity with diameter and ovality monitoring.