Four Westfalen Group Ekonor pipe welding systems were shipped overseas at the end of March. Their destination: Dubai. Once there, the innovative WIG/MAG combination welding system will be part of a new automated pipe workshop that produces pipe systems for oil rigs, for example. The six containers, with a combined weight of 32 tonnes, have been at sea for four weeks. "In May we plan to send eight colleagues to support the installation of the systems in Dubai and to train the workforce," says Ulf Jenter, Head of Welding and Cutting for the Westfalen Group. This project, with a volume of more than 2.5 million euro, is the Münster-based family company's biggest hardware contract to date.
The special welding systems have been designed specifically for a company in the United Arab Emirates: Lamprell, with headquarters in Dubai, is a leading supplier of services for the oil, gas and renewable energy industries. The systems are core elements of an overall concept being implemented by the main contractor 3R solutions GmbH, a software and systems developer based in Hamm. "We are really pleased to have the Westfalen Group on board as a reliable and competent partner for such a big project," stressed Georg Schulze-Dürr, 3R Managing Director.
Each of the four 18 metre long special welding systems contain components of the process developed by the Westfalen Group: The Extended Concept for Orbital Welding of Pipe Joints (Ekonor) simplifies the creation of complex pipe systems. The machines, soon to be installed in Dubai, make it possible to weld thick-walled steel pipes with V or tulip edge preparations. Two of the systems are intended for use with unalloyed steel and the other two with high-alloy steel. They can weld pipes with diameters ranging from 50 to 400 millimetres and wall thicknesses from two to 20 millimetres. Having a combined WIG/MAG welding machine in a system increases the welding speed and so also the efficiency. In addition, the integrated clamping device reduces production time by making it easy to adjust and fix the pipes.
The Westfalen Group is an energy sector technology company operating with a total of 23 subsidiaries and associates in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The family business, founded in 1923, has over 20 production sites located across Europe and is headquartered in Münster. Its business sectors are gases, energy supply and service stations. With about 1,700 employees, the Westfalen Group posted sales of approximately 1.7 billion euros in the 2015 financial year.