Mönchengladbach/Mailand, January 02, 2019

A close partnership – from idea to finished tube

Vallourec is a worldwide market leader in premium tube and pipe solutions for both the energy sector and for industrial applications. Its products and services are employed in challenging oil and gas drilling operations, in the latest generation of power stations, in ambitious architectural projects, and in high-performance plant and machinery.

Such premium products can only be manufactured on high-end equipment, which is why Vallourec has been relying on the expertise of SMS group for many years now. Around the world Vallourec operates three PQF® (Premium Quality Finishing) seamless tube plants from SMS group: one in Brazil (16“), and the others in China (10 ¾“) and Germany (4“). The company has also been operating plug mills and conti mills for years and invests in upgrades and performance modules to ensure consistently high quality for demanding applications.

In October 2018 both companies went a step further in the expansion of their close partnership: an international team of rolling experts from Vallourec’s tube and pipe production facilities visited SMS group at its Milan site for a one-week technology training course at SMS INNSE.

Over the course of the week SMS group focused, among other things, on the subjects of innovation and improvement, and presented the latest developments in mechanical design, process automation and process technology, while participants from Vallourec had the opportunity of giving important feedback on the operation of their plant and equipment. The topics discussed in detail ranged from the CARTA® technology system, through the mathematical model for the PQF® setup, right up to hydraulic and mechanical systems.

Jean Luc Lambert, PC Rolling Director at Vallourec, sums up the productive and successful collaboration between the two companies: “On behalf of the whole Vallourec team I would like to express my sincere thanks for this training, which enables us to achieve an even higher level of expertise in our plants and facilities.”

In order to intensify cooperation on joint research projects, Vallourec invited SMS group to the Vallourec Competence Center in Riesa. The 4” PQF mill supplied by SMS group is part of the “Vallourec Competence Center” and is at the same time a cornerstone of important research projects. Pilot trials can be carried out on an area covering approximately 2,500 square meters, without having to halt production. The Competence Center conducts a wide variety of tests relating to new steel grades, the optimization of rolling processes and tool service lives, and thus makes a successful contribution within the Vallourec group. Vallourec and SMS group are able to intensify their collaboration and work together on new research projects. Both partners are taking part in the testing and evaluation of a host of new and innovative ideas and solutions, for example, which may well have a positive effect on seamless tube production in the near future.