The focus of BUTTING’s business activities is the manufacturing of high-quality longitudinally welded pipes made from stainless steels. But the range of products and services has for many years gone far beyond just producing pipes – as shown in the motto “More than pipes”.
For example, in the field special pipes and components, high quality special pipes and customised components are manufactured. These include piping components and parts ready for installation with special features in relation to surfaces, tolerances, mechanical processing, laser processing, and forms and geometries.
BUTTING in Knesebeck recently invested in an automated press system. This makes possible the efficient production of components ready for installation, and pipe parts to the highest technical standard.
State-of-the-art control engineering, combined with a system of robots, allows the forming of individual parts and series products in great numbers. The new press can process housings with a pressing force of up to 200 metric tons. The ram fixed stop and a die cushion mean the press is equipped with components that enable the advanced cold forging procedure to be applied. The components can be automatically fed in and discharged by using the robot system. Irrespective of this, however, it is also possible to load the press manually, e.g. for individual components.
The system was installed in the company’s Production Centre in Knesebeck and has been in operation since the beginning of 2016. The new press allows pipes to be widened, pulled in, extruded, flanged or processed in other ways. Not only standard tools, but also special tools constructed and produced in-house can be used for this purpose. Special programme processes guarantee a high degree of precision and repeatability.
With the new press system, BUTTING is expanding its existing range of products and services for producing ready for installation components and parts. Peter Franz, BUTTING’s sales manager for the piping technology field, makes clear: “The automated system opens up new possibilities to expand our product portfolio and adapt it to the increasing demands of markets and customers.”
The Production Centre at BUTTING offers customers good value and specific global solutions to meet the highest demands for quality. Up to one million piping components a year are produced here. The Production Centre is equipped with modern 3-D laser and forming facilities and CNC turning and milling technology and performs at the highest technological level. The new press system has once again improved and broadened the spectrum of possibilities and individual solutions for customers.
New inner pipe pickling equipment
To make production as efficient and effective as possible, BUTTING keeps its systems and machines in state-of-the-art condition. Thus in 2015 the family business invested in new pickling equipment, among other things.
The new inner pipe pickling equipment has completed the steel plate pipe production cycle of the metallurgically clad pipes and limited the space for the production of the pipes to two workshop complexes. As a result, some 1,700 metres per pipe of transportation within the plant before and after pickling could be saved. Thus optimisation of the entire production process has been achieved, enabling customers to gain a cheaper product and faster production.
The new inner pipe pickling equipment pickles metallurgically clad pipes with a minimum inner diameter of 135 mm up to a maximum outer diameter of 762 mm. By agreement, even larger pipe diameters are possible.
In addition to the familiar spray pickling process, already performed successfully in the Kashagan project, the newly developed liquid pickling process can also be used in the plant. Liquid pickling promises not only shorter pickling times, but also better pickling results. It is currently still in the optimisation phase.
“The new equipment and the innovative pickling process will allow BUTTING in future to improve the quality of the pickled pipes and take advantage of a greater volume capacity,” explains Henning Lütkemüller, head of pipe manufacturing from plates at BUTTING.
The equipment is subject to the German Federal Immission Control Act (Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz, BImSchG), and is therefore subject to authorisation. Since BUTTING is in a water protection area, special conditions must also be complied with. Lütkemüller explains: “BUTTING is committed to conserving resources, protecting the environment and acting in harmony with mankind and with nature. Adherence to the ecological conditions is therefore especially close to our heart.”
Effective energy management
A central aspect of BUTTING’s management policy is sustainability. The Integrated Management System (IMS) is intended to ensure actions within the company are guided and monitored in accordance with sustainability. This also includes Energy Management, which was integrated into the IMS four years ago. Since 2015, BUTTING has had certification in this area in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001. Last year Energy Management was able to set another milestone in the field of consumption localisation.
The energy consumption in a company such as BUTTING is enormous. The in-house medium voltage network today includes more than 40 transformers in order to distribute the required energy to the individual production areas or individual large consumers. Typical energy guzzlers include annealing systems which require very high performance during production and thus have relatively constant energy consumption throughout the day. It is different with presses, for example, which only require peak loads during the short pressing process, and thus sometimes have very fluctuating energy consumption.
The aim of Energy Management is to improve energy efficiency within the company in a sustainable way. This is intended to reduce energy costs, ensure competitiveness and save resources. The basis for this is calculating potential energy savings. This is successful at the highest level through digital electricity meters at every transformer station, which can assign energy consumption figures to their original sources. Since 2015, BUTTING has been able to localise energy consumption on the plant premises by monitoring all the transformer stations. It is planned to introduce further measuring points in order to be able to assign energy consumption to even smaller areas or units.
This localisation of consumption will enable potential energy saving measures to be calculated and applied, thus also reducing energy costs. This is currently being implemented in particular by re-equipping lighting arrangements in the workshops and going over to LED lighting.
Due to the constant increases in energy costs, it will be more and more important in the future to have detailed knowledge of the energy flow within the company and the energy consumption of individual consumers.
In this field, BUTTING is constantly working to optimise the processes. Stefan Dammann, the Energy Management Officer at BUTTING, makes this clear: “We are confident that in the course of this year we will increase the number of areas where consumption can be localised, and thus be able to discover more potential energy savings.”