Sandvik opens coiled tubing line in China
Sandvik has opened a state-of-the-art coiled tubing line for premium grades of seamless stainless steel products in smaller dimensions at its Zhenjiang tube mill near Shanghai, China. The commitment to produce longer lengths of weld-free coiled tubing locally will enable customers in the Asia Pacific region to receive deliveries within 28 days, instead of waiting four to six months for longer length reels to arrive from abroad.
^ Inside view of Sandvik’s coiled tubing line for premium grades of seamless stainless steel products in smaller dimensions near Shanghai, China
Article by David Sear
“The new coiled tube offering is a further step in our commitment to boost the competitiveness of customers in China and throughout the Asia Pacific region,” says Satish Sharath, Business Unit President Sandvik Tube APAC. “We’ve seen a rising demand on projects within chemical processing, oil and gas, alternative energy and other industries for urgent local supplies of coiled tubing. The compact reels, ease of transport and ability to precisely cut lengths in challenging situations allow customers to work fast and efficiently, with fewer connectors and zero risk of system leakage.”
Initially, the focus will be on Sandvik 3R60™ (ASTM TP 316/316L) tubing – an austenitic chromium-nickel steel with a minimum of 2.6% molybdenum and low carbon content – in outer diameters from 6.0 to 14 mm. The coiled tube is supplied as level-wound on plastic-wrapped wooden reels in standard (55-260 m) or longer lengths (135 – 611 m), or as bulk coil, strapped into boxes. The new range complements Sandvik’s current offering of six-meter straight lengths of hydraulic and instrumentation tubing, which are already available in the widest range of sizes and grades on the market today.
Setting a standard
“At first glance, most tubing looks pretty much the same,” says Glenn Darley, Regional Sales and Marketing Director in China. “But numerous tests show that Sandvik truly sets a standard within the various product and grade standards, consistently delivering at the highest levels on key performance criteria such as ovality, corrosion resistance, surface smoothness and tight tolerances. This – and our deep materials expertise – matters a great deal to end users who often discover the hard way that inferior local grades can lead to system leakage, unplanned maintenance or – even worse – a plant shutdown.”
According to Mr. Darley, the 28-day delivery promise means, in effect, that Sandvik coiled tubing is now “closer than you think.” In addition to Sandvik 3R60™ (ASTM TP 316/316L), the company will supply other grades of high-alloy and duplex tube products in a wide range of dimensions. He encourages customers to ask about these. However, they will be handled on a case-by-case basis, by country, and may be subject to slightly different delivery times than the 28-day guarantee now being offered for standard grades.
Production power a plenty
“Our aim is to better serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Paul Tsai, Production Unit General Manager at the Zhenjiang Mill. “The new offering combines advanced production technology and unique manufacturing know-how with extensive technical support.” The mill he oversees, located 250 kilometers northwest of Shanghai, produces straight and U-bent tube for heat exchangers and hydraulic and instrumentation tubing in austenitic and duplex stainless steels as well as high-alloy austenitic stainless steels and nickel alloys.
“Our commitment to China and Asia-Pacific region goes back more than 40 years,” says Satish Sharath. “We have trusted distributors or sales offices in virtually every country, opened our high-tech mill in Zhenjaing in 2011, have another tube mill in India and one in North America, in addition to our main R&D and tube production works in Sandviken, Sweden. In other words, plenty of backup production power.”