mill to increase SBER’s output in the heat exchange and small-diameter umbilical tubing segments

TUBACEX recently launched a new cold pilger mill at Ternitz (Austria) as part of the strategic plan to reinforce SBER’s heat exchanger and umbilical tubing capacity, representing a step forward in the group's strategy with regard to high value-added products.

The machine is part of a complete package of six pilger mills bought by TUBACEX. SBER’s pilger mill is a long stroke, full ring die machine, with a classical vertical moving counter weight system. The current installation at SBER, including the foundation work, started in August 2018 and was completed in March 2019 by TUBACEX’s engineering team.

A step forward in the group's strategy towards high-value products

To serve the aforementioned business fields, one of the machines, with the capacity to pilger long hollows of up to 10 m length and 33 m end tubes, was chosen for SBER (Austria). All of the supporting machine parts around the core cold forming machine itself, including the lubrication system, electrics, switchboard and programming, were completely upgraded to bring them in line with European safety regulations and to obtain CE certification from an authorized third party. The lubrication system was built up in the same style as for the existing LC50 machines at SBER’s PU plant.


A completely innovative online pipe cleaning technology was developed for this project, which, once industrialized, will be phased into other Group plants. The dedicated products, such as umbilical tubing and heat exchanger tubes in super-austenitic and Ni-based grades, demand a high level of degreasing and cleanliness before moving on to the bright annealing step to safeguard the final corrosion resistant properties. The first results for this cleaning technology show the most promising ID cleanliness levels ever experienced for long small-diameter tubes after wet cleaning, allowing:

• Improvement in the overall efficiency of the process. The technological advance is completely adapted to Tubacex Productions System (TxPS) approach and Lean Manufacturing.

• Improvement in quality, by offering a higher level of cleanliness of tubes.

• The possibility of producing longer pipes, which will open up the production capacity, both for umbilical tubing, and for other high value-added products.

• Contribution to environmental improvement. The system has been designed in such a way that cleaning liquids are recycled and regenerated, contributing to the "zero waste" objective.