The Competitive Advantage of STI Group’s Pipe Fabrication Services

April 17, 2013

Piping provides the arteries, veins, and capillaries for the oil and gas industry as well as for countless other industrial projects. STI Group has made it a priority to position pipe fabrication at the core of our focus and expertise. Our pipe fabrication services offer a number of competitive advantages. We have the ability to consistently produce over 3,000 pipe spools monthly and we can execute projects that range from routine maintenance or small, one-spool orders to large capital projects which call for thousands of spools. We also staff our fabrication facilities with highly skilled craftsmen, pipefitters, pipe fabricators, pipe welders…all of whom have excellent safety records and consistently yield high-quality results. Learn about STI Group’s 13 Pillars of Safety that are at the core of our operations

In order to exceed our customers’ expectations, we take an encompassing approach that focuses on performance, design, logistics, schedule, delivery, turnaround, and cost. Let’s look at some of the specific pipe fabrication advantages we offer in more detail.

Fabrication to any Specification

Pipe fabrication as a whole is pretty straightforward without a whole lot of variance between the tools and processes. However, one of the major differences is likely to be in the size of the pipe. STI Group routinely fabricates piping ranging in size from ½” diameter small bore up to 60” diameter large bore piping spools. In fact we can produce piping spools and assemblies for all grades of:

  • Carbon Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Chrome-moly
  • Chrome Alloys (Including P91)
  • High Alloy
  • Nickel Base Alloy
  • Hastelloy
  • Low Temperature
  • Duplex Grade
  • Aluminum
  • And many other Alloy Materials

For an insightful comparison of Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel fabrication, explore our analysis of carbon vs stainless steel pipe factors.

Our Piping Features Quality Welding

In many ways piping is only as good as the welding that holds it together. That is why our fabrication shops utilize the most modern, state-of-the-art welding equipment. This quality equipment, and our highly-skilled workers who operate it, allow us to perform a full range of welding techniques on our piping, such as:

  • GTAW also known as Tig Welding
  • GMAW, both Short Arc and PULSE, also known as Mig Welding
  • SMAW also known as Shielded Metal Arc Welding
  • FCAW also known as Flux Core Welding
  • SAW also known as Submerged Arc Welding

These diverse, effective processes are all used in our facilities as needed to maximize strength and fabrication efficiency. You can learn more about the different welding processes and grades of piping in our detailed guide

Our Piping Features Additional In-House Options

STI Group knows that though making great piping with quality welds is at the core of pipe fabrication, there are also a host of other features that benefit our customers. This is why we provide service with the following additional in-house features:

  • IDF File Import Capable – This allows for the expediting of the spool drawing process utilizing
  • FlexCad and ACORN
  • Online Spool Tracking Program
  • ASME U, S and R Stamps.
  • Bar Coding and Electronic Spool Tracking.
  • Tight Material Controls
  • Segregated areas for Special Alloy Fabrication.
  • In-House Climate Controlled Paint Booth Facilities

Each feature provides additional value to the project being completed. For instance the bar coding and electronic spool tracking will significantly increase efficiency and provide needed information, just as the IDF file import enhances speed and productivity.

Our Quick Turnaround Helps Your Schedule

STI Group is able to offer our customers a very rapid production turnaround that is designed to meet any schedule they might need. We are able to do this because we use state-of-the-art technology, a highly trained workforce, a strong network of resources and supplies, and our lean, efficient manufacturing process. We also have over 35 years of experience in the industry which ensures that the different challenges and requests that come our way have probably been solved before.

The delivery of your pipe within the agreed upon timeframe gives you the confidence you require to properly schedule your project. This is why we always do everything within our control to get our customers their piping order as needed on their schedule, even if that means deploying round-the-clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week shifts. Our shop space is also large enough and organized to accommodate these rush requirements, even on large volume orders.

Our Piping Fabrication Is Under Continuous Improvements

STI Group is not satisfied to have simply become a leader in the pipe fabrication industry. We want to continue our growth by offering increased quality and service to our customers. This means that we regularly evaluate and integrate new technology, equipment, and quality processes as they become available. For more specialized applications, you might also be interested in our high-pressure pipe fabrication services.

Each of our facilities take pride in having a highly trained, capable workforce who yields consistent, quality, piping to spec each and every time. Our welders are held to the most stringent requirements in the industry and are certified through ASME Section IX. We also maintain ASME code welding stamps “U”, “S” while also undergoing vigorous ASME welding procedure inspections.

Our Fabricated Pipes Undergo Strong Quality Control

Maintaining a less than 1% weld reject ratio requires a strict quality control program that is relentless in the pursuit customer assurance. The piping we fabricate undergoes a rigorous series of checks to ensure dimensional accuracy, completeness, weld quality, and conformance to the design and specifications. Once we are satisfied that these standards have been met the finished product then undergoes the additional testing specified by the customer. Often this includes: x-ray, dye-penetrant checks, hydrostatic and pneumatic testing.

We utilize a dedicated bulk gas distribution system to ensure a consistent level of quality for every weld. Thanks to our automated welding equipment we can ensure that our welds not only meet, but exceed the strictest code requirements in place. We also assemble thorough inspection test plans and test packages at the onset of the project as well as its completion for review and acceptance by the customer.

Our internal procedures are just as comprehensive. We have developed specialized QC manuals which are available to all employees involved in the Quality Control Program. These manuals meticulously spell out the following:

  • Policy and Authority
  • Organization standards
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Code Stamp Control
  • Document Control
  • Testing Requirements
  • Calibration
  • Record Retention
  • Inspection

We also employ AWS and ASNT certified inspectors to ensure that all quality standards, procedures, and policies adhere to our contractual requirements. Our fabrication shops themselves feature an extensive QA/QC program that encompasses every step in the fabrication process, and we are continually upgrading these programs to make improvements as needed. Our facilities have been recognized with exemplary status by national auditing firms providing us with certifications of compliance for reference.

Customer Service Is Essential In Pipe Fabrication

There is much more to fabricating pipe for a project than just the welding and metal. Working with our clients over the details and keeping an open line of communication is an integral part in the overall success of the project. Our customer service and collaboration is driven by treating the project as if it were one of our own and managing client needs above all else.

We make each of our customers feel like they are our number one priority. That is why we provide customers with a single point of contact whom they can get in touch with at any time throughout their ordering process. This guarantees that someone is available to our customers with specific knowledge of their order.

STI Group Is Here To Serve Your Fabrication Needs

These competitive pipe fabrication advantages can be the difference maker in your project’s success and bottom line. We feel that these qualities help provide the edge we need to earn more work and deliver a total solution that you can count on. Our extensive experience in the petrochemical sector makes us a trusted partner in the downstream phase of the Oil and Gas Industry.