What Is Pipe Fabrication?

Pipe fabrication is the process of cutting, bevelling, and welding piping components like pipes, tees, elbows, flanges, reducers, etc.

Piping fabrication is a highly critical activity requiring high precision and involving hundreds of components and thousands of steps.

Pipe fabrication projects within construction projects must be adequately planned, scheduled, and executed according to design requirements.

You should ensure maximum quality of work in a pipe fabrication facility to maintain the system integrity and minimize accidents.

In the article below, we will learn more about piping fabrication.

Table Of Contents

 

Where Does Pipe Fabrication Take Place?

Sometimes pipe fabrication will occur in an industrial facility, and sometimes a project will need a field construction solution.

The size and scope of the project will determine whether it's more efficient, effective, or appropriate to fabricate pipe in the fabrication shop or on-site.

It's also influenced by other factors, like:

  • Availability of on-site support personnel
  • Required welding facilities and resources
  • Scheduling and collaboration with other trades
  • Weather
  • Pipe material and dimensions
  • Accessibility and safety concerns
  • If the project is for existing or new piping systems
  • Environmental and quality control needs

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What Are The Types of Piping Fabrication?

Pipe fabrication work is divided into two groups:

  • Shop Pipe Fabrication
  • Field Pipe Fabrication

Several factors will determine whether pipe material will be fabricated in a shop, in the field, or if both methods will be utilized.

Both shop and field pipe fabrication will be used more often than not.

The type and size of the project, piping material, post-fabrication surface treatment, time requirement and availability, environmental condition, and skilled personnel availability all help determine where projects will take place.

Small-bore pipes, threaded and socket welded pipes are field fabricated.

Butt-welded pipes, pipe bending, modular items are typically shop fabricated.

With the shop pipe fabrication process, pipe fittings and components are assembled with a quality weld to spool assemblies at the pipe fabrication shop.

The spools are labeled with an identifier and transported to the construction site to be installed.

All the assemblies are completed at the construction site with field pipe fabrication.

 

What's Involved In The Pipe Fabrication Process?

The pipe fabrication process is very detailed from beginning to end, no matter what size project it is.

Engineering information like drawings, inspection and testing requirements, and applicable codes and standards related to the project, are contained in a single document.

This document is called the Pipe Fabrication Specification.

Every pipe and its fittings should be manufactured and assembled according to the spool drawings in the pipe fabrication specifications.

Pipe fabricators also need to consider the size of the assembly for transportation purposes.

It's often helpful to have subassemblies to separate large projects into more manageable elements when transporting items between the shop and project site.

When Pipe Fabrication Specifications are completed, the pipe fabrication process looks like this:

  • Marking: Pipe materials are marked and verified.
  • Tagging: Pipe materials are tagged with paint or a stamp to ensure pipe heat numbers are displayed before cutting.
  • Cutting: Pipe cutting methods like saws, gas torch, grinding, or plasma cutting are chosen according to the type of steel pipes or other metal being used.
  • End preparation: Beveling and fit-ups are completed.
  • Welding: Pipe welding planning ensures that pipes are positioned correctly during the process of welding piping.
  • Pipe and Fitting Welding: Piping and fittings are supported for a fit-up inspection.
  • Details Marking: Identifying attributes of the piping system, like inspection details, are marked near joints. 
  • Heat Treatment: Preheating and post-weld heat treatment may be completed
  • Inspection: Non-destructive testing ensures that all fabrication process steps are complete and meet or surpass the project requirements and codes. If the piping that passes is released for painting or construction. If it doesn't pass must be repaired and reinspected. Piping that is to be painted will be inspected again before being released for construction.

pipes-stored-in-a-pipe-fabrication-shop

Tools And Equipment used for Pipe Fabrication

Pipe fabricators use various specialized equipment to complete jobs safely and efficiently.

Pipe fabrication equipment designed to handle medium to large-scale projects is only used in the workshop.

It needs appropriate space, weather protection, reliable security, and complete quality control capabilities.

Many pipe fabrication tasks for smaller projects or those with logistical limitations can be completed in the field.

No matter where the work is done, several essential tools allow pipe fabricators to create the complex precision piping systems that surround us.

 The widely used equipment is listed below:

  • Chain Clamps/ C Clamps
  • Pipe Fit up Tools
  • Pipe Purging Equipment
  • Pipe Cutting and Bevelling Equipment
  • Torque Wrench/Adjustable Wrench/Combination Wrench/Hammer Wrench
  • Flange Alignment Tools and Pins
  • Pipe Jacks
  • Adjustable Pipe Rollers
  • Welding Machine
  • Pipe Rigging and transport equipment
  • Center Punch
  • Compass/Contour Marker
  • Pipe Threader
  • Fork Lift
  • Grinder
  • Wraparound Tapes
  • Hydraulic Crane/Tower Crane
  • Pipe Bending Machine, etc

 

Contact STEVENS For Your Next Industrial Pipe fabrication Project

At STEVENS, our pipe fabrication team will work with you to determine the best piping solutions for your specific project.

Once we have a clear understanding of what you are looking for, our pipe fabrication experts will provide you with an estimate that includes every step in the process.

We've worked with complex piping systems, large and small piping projects, and a wide variety of customized piping projects.

As leaders in the pipe fabrication industry, we know how to get the job done right, on time, and within budget.

Our pipe fabricator shop has decades of experience in meeting customer specifications, completing challenging assembly, and providing on-time delivery to make sure our clients' projects are finished on time.

If you need professionally created and engineered pipes for your next pipe fabrication project, don't hesitate to contact STEVENS.

Click below for your pipe fabrication quote today.

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References:

https://whatispiping.com/introduction-to-piping-fabrication/

https://apexpiping.com/an-introduction-to-pipe-fabrication/

https://www.infobloom.com/what-is-pipe-fabrication.htm