Wheatland Tube Color

Improvements Continue at Wheatland's Council Avenue Plant

We currently are at phase 5.5 of 6 phases of the project. We started up from our winter shutdown on January 4, 2016. During the shutdown we tied in additional capacity to our straightening, facing and testing operations. Since the start-up we have increased our finished tons per week by 17%.

Additionally, our shipping capacity has improved by handling the finished bundles as opposed to our previous method of manual order breakdowns. Our average time to load the customer trucks is around 35 minutes. We also have additional capacity by adding crews and/or shifts as needed.

We continue to make improvements to our coatings and stencil through rigorous testing and process improvements.

Our in-line threader, a PMC model, has outstanding thread quality and the hex packaging with off-set coupling ends and capped ends blend nicely with our other hex finished bundles.

Our final phase will be completed over the mill shutdown in July of this year. This phase is the installation of a second MAIR plain end. This plain end will be a twin machine to the high-speed 4-spindle machine we installed last summer. The new plain end will be in line with our mill and testing operations. The newly designed plain ends have length and inspection systems. This machine will replace a 45 year old facing unit.

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The difference between SureThread CW Pipe & Import ERW Pipe

When it comes to standard pipe (and really any steel pipe or tube product), there’s always a question of quality when comparing domestic and import products. At Wheatland Tube, we’re committed to manufacturing the highest quality products, including our SureThreadTM continuous weld (CW) standard pipe. That’s why we’ve set out to educate pipe consumers (distributors and contractors) about the differences between our CW pipe and import ERW pipe, specifically when referring to the smaller diameters of ½” to 2”.

Made to ASTM A53 Type F Grade A specifications, SureThreadTM CW pipe is easier to work with than import ERW pipe because of its uniform grain structure. This makes it easier to bend, cut and thread.

The difference in quality all begins with how the pipe is manufactured.

Where import ERW pipe is cold-formed, SureThread is hot-formed. Throughout the process of CW pipe formation, the entire steel pipe is heated, not just the edges as in ERW pipe. During a process called annealing, the manufacturers heat and slowly cool the steel to reduce its brittleness. When the steel reaches 2,450° F, it is rolled into a cylindrical shape and the edges are fused together through pressure and heat. During the ERW process, the edges of the steel are heated to 2,600° F by revolving copper discs (that serve as electrodes) and fused together.

For SureThreadTM, the result is a stronger, more ductile pipe with a smooth weld seam and uniform grain pattern throughout the entire pipe. Import ERW pipe, on the other hand, is harder and more brittle with: irregular grain patterns, a bump at the weld seam, and a weld seam with different metal properties that the rest of the pipe.For contractors using standard pipe, the difference really is in the quality of pipe used. According to a survey, 70% prefer working with SureThread over import ERW pipe.

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Wheatland Tube’s Plant Revitalization Continues

Back in July, we announced the revitalization program that our Council Avenue plant is undergoing and how it will benefit our customers. Since our last post, we’ve made great progress with the upgrades, and we continue to work diligently to complete this project so our customers receive an even better product from Wheatland Tube.

Well into phase five of six total phases, here are some highlights of the project:

• We have installed and commissioned an 8-head high speeds hydro and flush system. The high speed hydro tester will help eliminate operational bottle necks, enhancing our product throughput, and improving cycle times and customer service. The flush system will improve the ID (inside diameter) of our product, and both systems will add MIC shield to our product.

• We have installed and commissioned a new 4 head PMC threader. This new threader is an upgrade from our current threading machine. It will produce a world-class thread, while the unit automatically installs thread protectors. The new threader will install thread protectors (TPs) on one end of the pipe, while a coupling is applied to the other end. The pipe is then put into a hex-bundle which helps in stacking/storing the material. 

• Improved painting, stenciling and packing expertise, resulting in an overall higher quality product.

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Wheatland Tube Plant Revitalization Will Prove Beneficial For Customers

Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, recognizes the issues contractors face day in and day out. As manufacturers, we experience many of the same pain points as it relates to labor, costs, quality and service. Recently, we launched a revitalization program for our Council Avenue plant in Wheatland, Pennsylvania.

By adding new equipment, we are realigning our manufacturing footprint and automating many processes throughout the facility. 100 percent invested in this project, our goal is to ensure that we continue to deliver our customers the highest quality products, specifically a product that bends, cuts, and threads easier with our SureThread™ continuous weld (CW) standard steel pipe.

This investment will create a safer, cleaner workplace; eliminate production bottlenecks; reduce work-in-process inventory levels; optimize production efficiencies; and improve customer service in the most cost-effective manner.

How will this revitalization benefit our customers?

 

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Standard Pipe Showdown: Continuous Weld vs. Electric Resistance Weld

Nick LaMonto, piping superintendent at Chicago-based Atomatic Mechanical Services, threads pipe every day. As an experienced piping professional, he knows the importance of tool longevity and what it can cost when working with an inferior product.

We put Nick’s machines to the test, threading both types of steel standard pipe: continuous weld and electric resistance weld.

 

First up, Nick threads continuous weld standard pipe.

“It cuts awful nice,” Nick said, “without any hard spots.”

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