The Tube & Pipe Journal January/February 2019 UPDATED January 18, 2019February 9, 2019 By Eric Lundin
Although petroleum can be moved by road, waterway, and rail, it would be an understatement to say that the petroleum industry relies on pipeline for transportation. Approximately 72,000 miles of crude oil pipeline crisscross the U.S., a system that has been in development since 1860 or so. It’s part of the system that processes about 20 million barrels of oil per day in the U.S.
No matter the pipe diameter, installations and repairs require cutting and weld preparations with counterbores (typically called ID transitions in the pipeline market) and flange facing. Machines that mount to the pipe’s exterior are indispensable, providing a platform for tooling that rotates around the pipe’s circumference, removing a bit of material with each pass until the cut or bevel is complete. They perform a cold-cutting process, generating little in the way of heat or sparks—a safety enhancement when working on lines that carry anything potentially flammable, like petroleum.
Although the concept is 70 years old, technology advancements have facilitated the development of larger, sturdier, ...