Steelmax Tools has developed a unique solution for the production and repair of API Shop Welded Field Storage Tanks utilizing its state-of-the-art Li’l Runner Welding Carriage and a proprietary system of flexible guide rails. The Steelmax system can be used for virtually every weldment on a storage tank:
- girth seams
- vertical seams
The result is significantly higher production, speed, and improved weld quality for fabricators of these field storage tanks. Further, the system can be adapted for oxy-fuel or plasma cutting to speed the upgrade and repair of existing tanks, either in the shop or in the field.
Even with the recent and dramatic drop in oil prices, US oil production is at the highest levels in decades – due to the discovery of vast oil shale deposits and advanced recovery technologies. As oil prices recover, as they inevitably will, demand for new API Shop Welded Field Storage Tanks and API Tank Welding will increase in lock-step. Repair activity related to existing storage tanks will also increase significantly. As we saw in the period leading up to 2013, this demand will have many tank fabricators struggling to keep up. Fabrication and repair shops will need fast, simple methods to increase production and throughput. A shortage of available skilled welders complicates the situation further, forcing many tank fabricators to find effective and efficient ways to automate their production and repair processes.
Common fixed-automation solutions for storage tank manufacturing such as rolls, column and boom welding manipulators entail:
- large capital expenditures
- increased material handling costs and capabilities
- implementation of new welding processes and procedures
In addition, implementation of these traditional automation solutions – procurement , installation, commissioning, and training – is slow and costly. In contrast, the Steelmax Li’l Runner mechanized welding carriage and proprietary flexible guide rail system is helping many fabricators achieve results equivalent to those using traditional fixed automation in a fraction of the time and at much lower cost. In this configuration the Li’l Runner can be used to complete virtually any internal or external weldment on a field storage tank – floor, circumferential girth seams, vertical up seams, and lids. The Steelmax solution provides fabricators with immediate implementation and tremendous flexibility at a fraction of the cost of traditional fixed-automation solutions.
The Steelmax Li’l Runner is a simple, lightweight magnetic welding tractor that provides continuous travel at a regulated speed. A digital display permits the operator to preset the travel speed for an established weld procedure – producing consistent, repeatable, high quality welds. The proprietary flexible guide rail and follower system enables the Li’l Runner to weld without affixing temporary weldments to the tank to be used as guides. The result is that high quality welds can be created very quickly by operators of any skill level, often without modifying current welding procedures and processes. Further (in contrast to traditional, fixed-automation solutions) the Li’l Runner is a portable machine that can be moved to the work place – significantly reducing the material handling associated with welding these tanks. Moving the welding process, rather than the tank, achieves significant process efficiency and the end result is a solution that is economically viable in any size fabrication shop.
Contact Steelmax today to discuss your welding requirements and learn how the Li’l Runner Welding Carriage can improve your tank fabrication productivity and profitability.