Fig. 1. Corrotherm International Europe, located in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, was set up in 2018. It provides an ideal site  from which to serve the European market, whilst also providing a basis to serve Corrotherm’s other overseas offices in India,  the Middle East, and Australia.

Corrotherm: the service-orientated, nickel alloy specialist strengths further its global position

Having been in business for almost thirty years, Corrotherm has established itself as one of the world’s foremost, specialized stockists and suppliers of seamless pipes, tubes, fittings, and flanges in nickel and nickel alloys. The company delivers to some of the most demanding applications across a multitude of industries, placing great emphasis on its impeccable, serviceoriented approach.
 
^ Fig. 1. Corrotherm International Europe, located in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, was set up in 2018. It provides an ideal site from which to serve the European market, whilst also providing a basis to serve Corrotherm’s other overseas offices in India, the Middle East, and Australia.

Article By John Butterfield
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Corrotherm’s specialty is supplying nickel and nickel alloy seamless pipes and tubes, and complementary fittings and flanges to the global market from its offices in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Australia, India, and the Middle East. The pipes and tubes range in size from diameters of between 0.5–8 inches. In addition, the company has a driving focus to meet the needs of its customers wherever they are.

Over recent years the company has taken on a vigorous investment trajectory, with one of the most significant changes being a vast increase in the quantity and variety of seamless pipes, tubes, fittings, and flanges that are available from stock across the company’s warehouses. This has been done to meet specialist customer needs so that when they require a specific grade or size Corrotherm is quickly able to support them by providing top-quality products exactly to specifications, and in short delivery times.

Corrotherm in The Netherlands

An important change came to Corrotherm in 2018 when the Group decided to set up a branch in The Netherlands. “By this date, our UK facility had actually become too small to fulfi ll all our needs and we were looking for more storage space. The Dutch offi ce provided us with an ideal situation to serve the European market, whilst at the same time it also provided a basis to support our other overseas offices in India, the Middle East, and Australia. The offi ce perfectly fitted our strategy to serve our customers around the world but also by providing them with additional local expertise. We see this as a crucial factor in our business policy – to stay ‘close’ to our customers and in this way understand their needs so that we can serve them better. In many ways the facility has brought our stock closer to our customers. Moreover, we now have a complete range of nickel and nickel alloy pipes and tubes and their accompanying fi ttings and fl anges available in both our UK and Dutch locations.” 

The Dutch office has taken off very rapidly. Beginning with a modest two staff members in 2018, the offi ce has quickly expanded. Today it houses eight staff, and the company is currently looking to further increase the team during the present year.

Starting out with just a few nickel alloys and relatively few sizes of pipes, tubes, fittings, and flanges in 2018, the company has rapidly increased the number of available products. Today their stock range includes Nickel 200, Monel 400, Inconel 600, Inconel 625, Inconel C276, Incoloy 825, and Alloy 20. For Alloy 20, Corrotherm is the major stockist in Europe. The company also supplies all the flanges and fittings that may be needed to accompany each of these alloys as well. 

Martijn Verstappen takes up the story; “Anno 2021, we can safely say that we are one of the most comprehensive stockists in Europe for all these grades. Moreover, we specialize in providing complete packages for our customers, which may include anything from pipes, fittings and flanges to plates and bars. This is not something new to us since we have been doing this since our inception. We have always had excellent relationships with all the reputable nickel alloy suppliers/mills and over the years have developed strong arrangements with them. These have helped us to considerably increase our product range. As such, we service our customers by removing the need for them to have to deal with multiple suppliers in their quest to find the specialist materials they need.” Corrotherm easily does this for them, which not only saves their customers time but also money. “Since 2019 we also supply ‘odd ball’ alloys as well that might be rarely called upon – things like piping in 1¼ inch double extra strong Inconel 601. As such, we have moved even more into the realm of supplying truly specialist alloys and sizes,” says Martijn. 

Brexit and onwards

“Obviously, having offices in the United Kingdom and now in The Netherlands has helped us considerably during and after Brexit, particularly regarding intercontinental shipments. We have learned very quickly from the arising situations, putting the accumulated knowledge to immediate effect. For example, when customizing our client’s paperwork and documentation to fit exactly the necessary requirements for import and export regulations. In this way, our offices in the United Kingdom and on the European Continent remain very flexible in finding the best possible solutions for our clients and to avoid any delays to transportation and hence delivery times. Additionally, it is an advantage now that with a complete range of stocks in The Netherlands we are no longer dependent on supplies in the United Kingdom to service our customers. 

Core values of services and quality

“As a company,” says Martijn “we are completely customer focused. 

This automatically means that we maintain the flexibility within our organization to ensure that they will get exactly what our customers want and need. In practice, this means that we have at least 1.5 to 2 people in our operations teams to every salesperson.

After all, a sales order is nothing unless our people in operations take command of it and pack it to the customer’s specifications, inspect it, arrange additional testing where necessary, produce the required documentation according to the customers’ wishes, and get it to the customer on time.”

In this respect, there is little that Corrotherm will not do for its customers and their services cover everything from the way in which the goods are stored, packaged, and documented to how they are shipped. “When a customer purchases a costly alloy from us,” says Martijn “they quite rightly expect it to not only to meet exact specifications but also to be well protected during transport.”

In addition to carrying out customer requests to the letter ‘T’, Corrotherm also offer its customers expertise in value-added services such as in beveling, cutting, third party testing, and inspections to upgrade products. For example, sometimes staff collect an item for a mill, service it, and then return it to the mill for finishing. This process works very effectively because Corrotherm keeps a wide range of start stock stored at the various mills with whom they work. As such, they can deliver much quicker to customers than standard delivery times.

Corrotherm also realize the importance of documentation, and almost everyone is involved in expediting. “As such, we always stay in close contact with our customers, which is particularly important should there ever be a snag; there is nothing worse when something goes wrong than nobody telling the customer what is happening.”

Role within the Corrotherm Group

Corrotherm Europe International where Martijn Verstappen works is just one of the Group’s offices serving customers around the world. Other offices are to be found in Perth, Australia, which covers the Asia–Pacific region, a further two offices serve the Indian subcontinent, and three offices in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia) each serve the needs of their respective local markets. In the Middle East in particular, there are only a few fabricators working with specialist materials and there are very strict rules regulating vendors. Corrotherm’s long history in the Middle East and their detailed knowledge of the market situation stands them in good stead.

Wide range of vendor qualifications

As a company with a long and reputed history, Corrotherm has become an approved vendor for almost all EPC contractors and major end-user around the globe. The company is vendor approved by all the national oil companies, petrochemical, and oil & gas contractors, as well as related technology providers. This has become especially important for them in the Middle East, even when they might not be necessarily dealing with end-users directly. 

“To be successful, it is absolutely essential to be registered with the national oil companies and almost all of them have been our customers for over twenty-seven years now,” adds Martijn.

Expertise is key

It has always been the policy of Corrotherm to take on staff members who are well versed in all aspects of nickel alloys, and the metals industry in general. This expertise covers an extremely broad tract of knowledge, ranging from anything from design and specification, material production, manufacturing, mechanical engineering, welding, or in specific industries such as aerospace, chemicals, petrochemicals, and oil & gas. “This expertise” says Martijn “is one of our most important assets as expertise in specialist alloys is very much in short supply nowadays. Our experts understand how the alloys are made and the production processes within the mills and this is particularly important, not least because our alloys tend to be expensive.

They are destined for use in a special task and as such procedures for handling, storing, and transporting them to their destinations needs to be thoroughly grasped. That we know exactly what we are talking about gives our customers an extra feeling of assurance in our considerable abilities.”
Fig. 6. The range of stock available at Corrotherm.
Fig. 6. The range of stock available at Corrotherm.

As a company, Corrotherm has been involved in a vast array of industrial development programs and new applications for alloys. It has also often been approached by both companies and universities that need specialist advice as to which materials would work best in stipulated circumstances.

“We are frequently asked to specify a material upgrade for a customer who has experienced a failure in the past and is looking for a more forceful solution for the future. It’s under circumstances like these that our extensive engineering and materials knowledge comes into play. We are very comfortable interpreting drawings for a company and helping them to select the best nickel alloy for the task at hand. Likewise for EPC contractors, we often take on a consultant role, providing a huge amount of technical support before they issue material tenders.”

Future plans

For the future, Corrotherm intends to stock an even greater range of alloys and product. They will also increasingly perform in-house testing and machining at their Netherland’s facility to further provide customers with the ability to purchase complete packages when they are deciding on orders. 

“By expanding these in-house services to our customers, we will further ensure that orders can be completed even more quickly. Moreover, by doing this, we will take even more control over the quality of the finished order so our clients can continue to know that our deliverables are exactly what they expect to receive, and on time. And serving our customers to the best of our abilities by taking the worry off their shoulders and providing them with top-quality solutions to their challenges is the basis of our business model.”
 

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