AMERICAN Steel Pipe Manufacturing Process
AMERICAN has been producing line pipe for a variety of applications since 1963. Our Birmingham, Ala., facility occupies more than 228,000 square feet under roof and includes two working mills and quality assurance chemical- and strength-testing laboratories on site.
ISO Certified Quality
AMERICAN Steel Pipe earned its ISO 9002 certification in May 1995. According to the International Organization for Standardization: “The ISO 9000 series of standards represents the essential requirements that every enterprise must address to ensure consistent production and timely delivery of goods and services to the marketplace.”
AMERICAN is proud to be recognized by this body as a compliant, certified company, reassuring our customers of our quality, integrity and sound business standards.
AMERICAN utilizes a series of quality-controlled checkpoints and inspections that ensure an end product that meets specifications and exceeds your expectations. It all begins with the best in raw material.
Step 1: Purchasing
Quality control is embedded into all steps of our production process, beginning with the purchase of raw material. We use only high-quality, continuous-cast, fully killed, control-rolled, fine-grain, low-carbon steel. This coiled skelp is supplied by a number of dependable, reputable suppliers who have been associated with AMERICAN for years.
Skelp inventory is cross-checked against supplier documentation as received, and entered into a computer database.
Step 2: Loading
Coils are staged for entry according to order requirements, verified against database information, and loaded into the mill using a dual cone uncoiler.
Step 3: Edging
Skelp edges are sheared or milled to pre-specified widths and the lead end of each coil is squared for threading into the mill.
Step 4: Forming
Our mills utilize a modern, edge-forming system for controlled skelp shaping. This technology provides the latest innovations in forming, including pre-form stands, cage and internal forming, and fin pass stands to allow for a more precise cylinder.
Step 5: Welding
A high-frequency welder is utilized as operators examine and adjust weld parameters, including alignment, temperature, speed and trim removal.
Step 6: Weld Seam Annealing
Seam annealers provide heat to the weld area to a minimum temperature of 1600° F. Temperature is measured and recorded by an optical pyrometer linked to the mill computer system.
Step 7: Sizing/Cutting
Three sizing stands and one straightening stand are utilized to ensure that our pipe meets or exceeds API 5L specifications and additional standards as specified by customers. A rotary cutoff machine is used to cut pipe to length, and the mill computer automatically assigns a unique identification to each piece as it is cut.
STEP 8: Preliminary Inspecting
Each pipe is visually inspected to assure compliance with specified requirements. One pipe per coil is transferred to an ultrasonic inspection station for mill feedback prior to being routed back into normal processing.
STEP 9: End Finishing
Each pipe is machined on both ends according to API 5L bevel requirements or the customer’s specification.
STEP 10: Inspecting
Pipe is then routed through numerous tests including a hydrostatic test, an ultrasonic weld inspection, an end finish check, a wall thickness verification, a straightness evaluation, and an inside and outside surface visual inspection. Other tests are conducted on selected pipe or upon customer’s request.
STEP 11: Measuring/Coding
Each pipe is weighed, measured, stenciled and bar-coded for complete identification and traceability upon shipment. Pipe characteristics are verified against database order information before they are sent to shipping.