Flanges are essentially metal rings, designed to connect pumps, valves, pipes, and other ancillary equipments required to build pipelines. A flange is very useful in cleaning of pipes, quick modifications, and trouble-free inspections. The oil and gas and the railroad industry are the two largest consumers of flanges.
Choosing a flanges manufacturer can be a daunting task, mostly because of the fact that there are numerous manufacturers, and almost all of them offer flanges made to specifications. However, not all of them adhere to the industry standards of manufacturing, and are certified by a regulatory body for quality.
So how do you select a flange manufacturer then?
Well, buyers who need quality products should look for a flange manufacturer who makes the entire process of flange systems fabrication simple, through eliminating:
- Reinforced pad fabrication - weep hole tapping, drilling, forming work, cutting, design layout.
- Nozzle neck fabrication - the layout process, bevelling and cutting of pipe, inspection of plate neck, and welding and forming where needed.
- Component fabrication - Welding and fitting flanges to the plate or pipe of a forged cylinder's neckpiece.
- Installation of reinforcing pad - welding and fitting single double piece padding to the vessel shell and nozzle neck.
- Inspection and testing - air testing, MT, UT, PT and various other testing and inspections of all flange components.
- Moving components through various assembly stations to recheck for faults.
- Chain of custody on component items for identification and training purposes.
With the above measures in place, the buyer can be assured of:
Improved quality control - Inspection of the shop fabrication methods and reductions in tasks related to material tracing can be achieved, thereby allowing for quality control professionals to look into other matters of concern in the flange fabrication process. Light duty flange buyers will benefit from using long weld necked flanges, since they help reduce the chances of barrel distortion that can arise in pipe neck fabrication sue to welding related heat generation.
Low cost of production - Forged flanges having integral reinforcements can help lower the cost of fabrication in the following ways:
- Purchase of materials, requisition and expediting of single parts rather than in groups of three.
- Handling of single parts into stock succeeded by rapid final assembly.
- Reduced concerns of inventory control due to lower part volumes.
- Reduced testing tasks, documentation, traceability and inspection.
- Shortened fabrication time, therefore facilitating better cash flow of purchaser and faster delivery.
With the above points in mind, you should be able to select a reliable flange supplier.