TMK, one of the world’s leading producers of tubular products for the oil and gas industry, and IRE-POLUS, the founder and a core asset of IPG Photonics Corporation, an R&D group, have signed a programme for joint development and adoption of laser technology in pipe manufacturing at TMK sites. The document was signed at Metal-Expo’2021, the 27th International Industrial Exhibition.
The programme is designed to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes for tubular products and parts through laser technology as well as to explore new applications for these technologies. The parties intend to implement a number of projects across a range of areas by 2023, including new high-tech products with improved performance; improvements to manufacturing and repair technology to maximise cost efficiency; R&D-intensive solutions; and equipment upgrades.
In particular, the partners plan to use laser welding solutions for tubular products and parts to design a “next-generation pipeline” model of high-strength steel. The programme also aims to harness laser welding technology for casing and stainless steel pipes.
Another collaboration will include the use of laser cladding and hardening to restore the operability of tools, parts and accessories used in pipe manufacturing. The technology will extend equipment service life and improve product performance, such as resistance to corrosion, high temperatures, impact, and abrasion. The two companies will also look into using manual laser welding for repairing pipe weld seams and body and for upgrading the existing laboratory laser installations at TMK facilities to create a new laser technology platform.
Sergey Chikalov, First Deputy CEO for Operations and Development at TMK, said:
“TMK is constantly improving its R&D capabilities and continuously driving innovation across its operations. Laser technology is currently cutting edge, and we are the leader among pipe and steel companies in adopting this technology: our Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant was the world’s first manufacturer to develop and operationalise laser welding of longitudinal seams in large diameter pipe. The cooperation programme signed today with IRE-POLUS, the global leader in fiber lasers, will boost TMK’s efforts in this area to bring a new level of technology. The programme will unlock even broader opportunities for TMK to apply these technology solutions across its operations.”
Nikolay Evtikhiev, CEO of IRE-POLUS, said:
“Rolling out our fiber lasers and driving innovative new use cases for this technology in real industrial settings to maximise manufacturing efficiency is IPG’s priority. By partnering with TMK, a clear industry leader, we will definitely achieve impactful and tangible results and once again demonstrate that our technology solutions can make all the difference.”