Wheelabrator Upblast Machines Increase Production at Flowline Alaska
Upblast Pipe machines increase productivity and performance for Flowline Alaska
Burlington, Canada – (January, 2008) – Flowline Alaska was founded in 1981 in Fairbanks to serve the expanding needs of oil companies that develop and operate the Alaskan oil fields. Initially, Flowline pre-insulated steel pipe for installation in the North Slope, the northernmost part of Alaska, and now Flowline has three insulation, fabrication and coating facilities encompassing more than 45,000 square feet of enclosed production area in Fairbanks.
Over the past 15 years, Flowline has prepared more than 25 million pounds of polyurethane insulation for more than 2,000 miles of pipe for Alaskan oil production. The insulation allows oil to flow in artic temperatures.
Wheelabrator Group recently installed two, 2-Wheel Upblast pipe machines at Flowline to meet the continuing demand for pipe for the oil and petroleum industry in Alaska. Prior to the Wheelabrator equipment purchase, Flowline used a single downblast pipe machine that processed pipe from 12 to 18 inches in diameter. The old machine did not meet the increased production demands.
The new Wheelabrator® Upblast machines allow Flowline to process more pipe at higher line speeds, giving an even blast pattern over the outside of the pipe. Each upblast machine has two 100hp wheels that can blast 40-foot long pipe up to 60” in diameter. The first machine removes rust and scale from the pipe while the second upblast machine profiles the surface prior to coating applications for different applications in the pipeline industry.
“The Wheelabrator upblast pipe machines tremendously sped up the pipe preparation at Flowline Alaska, allowing us to meet production demands that are consistently growing in this industry,” said Rick Schok, President of Flowline Alaska. “The machines allow Flowline to meet the varying coatings for our customers’ vast needs.”
The Upblast EZEFIT® Wheel is ideal for high-production pipe cleaning machines that must meet the stringent surface preparation requirements of the pipe coating industry. The wheels mount in the blast cabinet and are positioned under the pipe to maintain a close and consistent distance to the underside portion of the pipe regardless of the pipe diameter. This location results in the fastest removal of rust, scale and other contaminants while achieving the mandatory surface profile for effective bonding of the protective coating.
The patented EZEFIT design offers the inherent advantage of bi-directional rotation and lower replacement parts inventory through the ability to serve clockwise or counterclockwise wheel applications with a single style wheel. Wheelabrator has capitalized on this advantage with a direct-drive or belt-driven design that offers standard or custom base mounting for increased versatility.