Producing longitudinally welded large-diameter pipes

For the construction of pipelines, pipes have to withstand wide temperature fluctuations, high internal or external pressures, as well as acidic and corrosive gases. Then LSAW (Longitudinal Submerged Arc Welding) pipes are usually the most economical solution. These pipes are characterized by diameters from 16 to 64 inches and high wall-thicknesses. However, large-diameter pipes also play a role in other industries, such as construction or offshore projects.

Plant types

  • LSAW large-diameter pipe plants

    For pipes from 16 to 64 inches in diameter

    Interactive 3D Layout

    In LSAW pipe mills, processing is done by cold forming of heavy carbon steel plates. Among the available forming processes, SMS group focuses on the JCO technology. We supply the equipment for all important process steps from plate preparation to forming, welding, testing, and finishing. Including not only the core machines, but also all the upstream and downstream process steps required for the production of large-diameter pipes.

    Our plants stand for high product quality at medium to high output, flexible and cost-effective processes, precise dimensions, and close pipe tolerances.

    LSAW Large-diameter Pipe Plant by SMS group at Al Gharbia in UAE

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  • JCO forming process

    Cost-effective forming with low carbon footprint

    Main data

    Three main forming processes have become established in LSAW tube production. We focus on the JCO process. This method is not only very flexible, it also requires lower investment compared to other methods. Therefore, it has quickly established itself on the market after its development by SMS group.

    The process perfectly fits small and medium-sized production capacities and enables flexible production, covering regular up to very challenging pipe dimensions at high quality. But also high capacity plants (500,000+ tpa) can be realized. Thanks to the VSP (Variable Speed Pumps) hydraulic system, the JCO pipe forming press along with the crimping process offer economic and ecologic production with a low carbon footprint.


  • Automated pipe forming

    SHAPE automation system

    The SHAPE automation system is an innovative technology tool that optimizes the JCO pipe forming process. The system supports the setting of optimum machine parameters for the pipes to be produced. During operation, the system’s laser measuring unit scans the inner pipe contour before each forming step. Based on this data, SHAPE automatically adjusts the next forming step.

    SHAPE is the solution for fully automatic and operator-independent pipe forming providing the best results in quality assurance.

    SHAPE automation system in LSAW Large-diameter Pipe Plant by SMS group


    • Improved and consistent pipe quality despite material inhomogenities - reduced standard deviations of geometry parameters
    • Increased productivity thanks to instant determination and setting of optimum machine parameters
    • Increased flexibility due to the possibility to select individual forming strategies
    • Up to 75 % time saving thanks to quick pipe outside closing
  • Digital welding

    PERFECT arc®

    PERFECT arc® is a digital welding process developed by SMS group offering great potential in energy saving. That’s because the digital current source secures precise power supply control, which leads to energy cost reductions of more than 30 % compared to conventional welding techniques. Equally suitable for arc and submerged-arc welding, the solution stands synonymously for perfect weld seam and pipe quality.

    Digital welding with PERFECT arc® in LSAW plants


    • A ‘perfect arc’ that reacts fast and can be precisely controlled at any time thanks to a fully digitalized current source instead of thyristor current sources
    • 50 % quicker with tack welding and 20 % faster with submerged-arc welding
    • Energy costs can be reduced by more than 30 %
    • Electric efficiency ≥90 % with uniform load on the electricity network

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