Zekelman ERW Pipe Mill at Atlas Tube to Start in September
ERW Pipe Mill Atlas TubeSMS

Zekelman ERW Pipe Mill at Atlas Tube to Start in September

Zekelman Industries announced the completion of exterior building work on its new mill in Blytheville in Arkansas, constructed for its Atlas Tube division.

Zekelman Industries announced the completion of exterior building work on its new mill in Blytheville in Arkansas, constructed for its Atlas Tube division. Foundation work has begun, and the mill is slated to start rolling in September 2021. Located next to one of Atlas Tube's existing mills, this high-tech, 515,000-square-foot facility will be the largest continuous electric resistance welding mill in the world, rolling HSS from 8 inch to 22 inch square. Rounds will be available up to 28 inch OD, and rectangles up to 34 inch x 10 inch, with wall thicknesses up to 1 inch. The facility will feature cutting-edge engineering that will give it industry-leading capabilities, including new welding technology designed to handle the 1 inch thick sections. Quick change technology will give the mill the shortest cycle times in the industry, and the line will feed into a fully automated warehouse, cutting down delivery times and boosting efficiency.

Zekelman Industries had selected SMS group as partner and main supplier for a complete new 28 inch ERW tube welding line to be installed at its Atlas Tube structural tube division in May 2019. With the new 28-inch electric resistance welding line, Zekelmann Industries will be installing the biggest continuous line in the world, capable to produce more than 400,000 tons per year and thus extending its product range and sizes.

The key aspect of the design and layout development of the new line are the highest requirements for quality and production output. The computer-controlled SMS group CSS Quicksetting system ensures that the rolls can be adjusted automatically to their working positions after the size change. Further to an operational speed reaching 35 meters per minute, the line offers superior diameter/wall thickness ratio capability which, along with a quick product change-over time, results in great product flexibility.

Currently, the largest HSS rolled in the US are 16 inch x 16 inch x 5/8 inch, and builders looking for bigger sizes need to have them shipped from overseas. That means long lead times and unpredictable delivery schedules, making large HSS sizes less appealing in domestic construction. With Atlas Tube's new mill, all sizes will be available for order with 2- to 4-week lead times, the shortest in the industry, as well as from floor stock at service center partners across North America.

The new larger sizes will be ideal for applications like bridges, warehouses, stadiums and highways signage, taking advantage of the unbeatable efficiency and strength-to-weight ratios HSS can offer. And with short, predictable lead times, builders and designers can count on the weight- and cost-savings HSS bring to construction without worrying about international shipping issues.

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