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MÜLLER OPLADEN has mastered the fine art of the mechanized welding of push-on flanges. In this process, the pipes are inserted into the flanges and welded from the inside and outside – unlike weld neck flanges, which are only welded from the outside.
The current pipe flange welding unit from MÜLLER OPLADEN executes such welds quickly, precisely and in consistently high quality. For this purpose, the flanges are manually positioned on the two chucks and the pipes are automatically fed into the machine via a loading device. The flanges are easily and securely positioned on the chucks with the aid of a mandrel that can be manually adjusted to the diameter. Magnets in the chuck faceplate hold the flange in position before it is hydraulically clamped and centered from the inside. The relative position of the flange holes can be programed.
The pipe enters the machine via the loading device, where it is gently stopped by shock absorbers and laid on two roller blocks. These are automatically adjusted to the correct pipe diameter during setup. After pipe and flange positioning, the two chucks advance and push the pipe neatly into the two flanges for perfect positioning.
MÜLLER OPLADEN has equipped the unit with four welding heads – one interior and one exterior welding head on each side. Once the components have been positioned, the two exterior welding heads advance pneumatically into their working position. Height sensing for the welding head and horizontal sensing of the flanges are also performed pneumatically during the welding process. Before welding proper, the system applies four tack welds to the pipe’s circumference to hold the components in place.
The two interior welding heads are then motor-driven into their welding position via linear axes, and the exterior welding heads launch the welding process. The two interior welding heads go into action time-delayed.
After welding, the welding heads are returned to their home position and the finished workpiece is automatically discharged from the system before the next workpiece is loaded. Integrated into a pipe production line, the unit receives the CAM data matching the component and automatically adjusts its length and diameter.
This innovative solution from MÜLLER OPLADEN has 18 axes and actuators controlled by motor, 10 hydraulically and 10 pneumatically for the smooth handling and precise positioning of components and welding torches. Up to 20 welding layers can be automatically executed on the unit.