In almost any industrial environment, running pipe from point A to point B means working with a series of obstacles including infrastructure, productivity demands, site practices and access. And occasionally a hard job comes along.

Irrespective of the site and the local conditions, the pipe fabrication team at CRAM works to a proven sequential process – one that has delivered efficient and cost-effective design and installation of fabricated pipe projects for most of the region’s manufacturing operations. A recent project for a steel products manufacturer is a case in point.

The contract awarded to CRAM was for the design, fabrication, installation, and commissioning of a hydraulic fluid transport system to three production assets. An integral part of the customer’s ongoing automation program, the system would improve safety and deliver greater control to the operation of a high-impact production area.

Each of the three fabricated pipe transport systems was to be installed during planned shutdown periods. CRAM was given dates when site access was to be available and all work needing site access – including scoping and measuring, layout and design and finally installation and commissioning – was to fit with that schedule.

One of the primary considerations for this job was that although each of the three assets were shut down to be worked on, at the end of each day – even though the machine had been isolated for the CRAM team to work on – it had to be operational if called upon by the operators on afternoon or night shift.

Additionally, an electrical upgrade was underway, so the possibility of cable trays had to be factored into CRAM’s system design. CRAM’s familiarity with the site and the engineering team meant any interference or disruption to the production schedule would be minimal. A communication channel between CRAM and the site’s engineering team, electrical team and lubrication team was established to head-off any unplanned interruptions as the job progressed.

The job would include 420 metres of tube, around 260 bends and more than 50 leak-proof fittings, including seals. All design work – based on the initial site measurements by the CRAM team, pipe fabrication and tube-end preparation by the unique EO2-FORM – would be done in-house.

A faster and ultimately cheaper method of connecting tube and fittings, the EO2-FORM is designed to eliminate leakage in all fluid systems by using elastomeric sealing systems. The cold-forming process gives extreme rigidity and low tightening torques and eliminates any special tube treatment, heating or chemical additives which have been used previously.

Working to the measurements taken at the first site visit, the fabrication program in the workshop advanced quickly. The experience of the trades people, one of whom has been doing pipework since the mid-80s so his knowledge and experience is very extensive, meant a fast turnaround to get the fabricated pipework ready for installation. The 18M runs of straight pipe were TIG-welded on site as the fabricated sections were fitted in line to go under, over or around any existing infrastructure and cable trays. The system designed by CRAM allowed for minor adjustments in the final path of the pipework but were not needed.

A professional approach

Projects such as this hydraulic fluid transport system require a strong professional relationship between client and supplier, and this is the type of relationship CRAM fosters with customers.

Although relatively complex, the combination of a good working relationship with the client, material fabricated to detail and prepared for installation, and a well-trained and experienced team of trades people who bring an extensive range of practical skills, mean a high level of efficiency as the job progresses.

The extensive in-house resources CRAM brings to a pipe fabrication project – such as design, manufacture, and testing – have engendered a strong relationship of trust and competence in the industry. The industry knows that CRAM will get the job done – on time and on budget.