How technology demands more consistency with ERW tubes

The development of technology has an impact on every single industry you can think of. In fact, it is one of the most important factors for economic development. We saw this with the industrial revolution and more recently with automation and AI. However, as tech improves it can put more pressure on ensuring the consistency of things like ERW tubes. We want to have a look at that today.

Steel sheeting

To get an idea of how demands for more consistency have come about for tubing, we can look at what happened with steel sheets. Originally the sheeting was not completely flat. It could have a slight bow or camber because of how it was made. This wasn’t a serious issue in many cases because the equipment could handle it.

However, improvements in technology in recent decades meant the bow became an issue. Modern equipment, especially lasers, is far more accurate. As a result, there is less tolerance and sheeting needs to be flatter. It will prevent the laser heads from touching the material.

What this led to was fabricators having to start producing more consistent sheeting. It had to be flatter with fewer variations. Therefore, it would ensure there weren’t issues with using laser equipment.

ERW tubing

ERW tubesNaturally flatter sheets meant there was an increase in the quality of ERW tubes. However, consistency was still a concern. Now with lasers and things like automation, consumers are demanding that the tubing is more consistent than ever. If it isn’t, users may be unable to automate or it can have an impact on throughput.

The thing to keep in mind here though is there is a lot of processing to take a sheet and turn it into a tube. Producers create the sheeting and then coil it for easier shipping. Tube manufacturers have to uncoil it, form the tube (typically by rolling), and weld it. There can also be several other processes like heat treatment, quenching, straightening, and sizing.

All of the processing subjects the sheet and tube to a great deal of stress and different temperatures. So, it can result in inconsistencies. Therefore, producers need to do more to ensure tight tolerances.

You also have the issue that tube from different manufacturers can vary massively in specifications. This comes down to differences in their tooling and processing. If you order tubes that are meant to be the same dimensions from two different producers, you will likely find they are not identical.

What all of that means is, if you are using modern equipment, especially for automation, you need to choose products with excellent consistency. You should order sheet and tubing from reliable producers.

Talk to us about ERW tubes

At Union Steel Tubes, we understand the importance of consistency. We strive to provide it with all of our tubing. As part of this, we have fantastic equipment and tooling. If you add our skilful experts to the mix, you get quality products.

So, speak to us if you want to order ERW tubes. We have a broad range, with different sizes and diameters. You can also choose various shapes, and we cut to size and finish to suit your needs.