Steinmüller Africa’s specialised induction bending solutions benefit industries across South Africa

Steinmüller Africa, a specialist in the engineering and fabrication of high-pressure components, offers exclusive induction bending solutions to the South African market. It’s Cojafex PB 850 induction bending machine is one of only two induction bending machines on the African continent, enabling paper and pulp, power, petrochemical and mining plants to source custom bends locally, as well as large radius, multiple or complex bends – all with quick turnaround times. 

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Induction bending is the process whereby a straight pipe is precision-bent by a specially-engineered machine. The front of the pipe protrudes through an induction coil and is clamped into position. The induction coil is heated to a specified temperature and then the arm of the machine moves in a predetermined radius, pushing the pipe through the coil. “This is programmed into the machine upfront and is an automated process,” explains Lee Chapman, Divisional Manager – Piping, Steinmüller Africa. The automation and machine control renders a precise and top-quality pipe bend. “Our Cojafex machine is capable of bending pipes between 48.3 OD and 850 OD with a wall thickness up to 100 mm. It can create bends up to 180 degrees,” adds Chapman.

Induction bending is ideal “when standard size bends are not available and custom or large radius bends are required,” states Chapman. Since it can create complex (multiple) bends without the need for welding, induction bending guarantees pipe system integrity and a reduced maintenance requirement, making it especially well-suited to high pressure (HP) piping, steam piping and industrial piping systems. This also means it delivers a relatively low cost of ownership. In addition, if multiple bends are done at once then there is a cost saving during the erection and ongoing maintenance phases of a plant’s operation. 

The benefit of partnering with Steinmüller is that it offers complementary services in addition to induction bending. “There is no need to move the component between different suppliers as we are able to do all the necessary bending, welding and heat treatment in-house,” says Chapman. Using its Schlager gas furnace, Steinmüllerconducts post bend heat treatment (PBHT), which ensures the pipe’s mechanical properties are restored following the bending process. In addition, Steinmüller specialises in various welding processes, enabling custom welding onto pipes. 

A commitment to safety and quality, backed by international expertise, has made Steinmüller Africa the fabricator of choice for some of South Africa’s largest power, paper and petrochemical companies. “Steinmüller has been carrying out induction bending for over ten years at its facility in Pretoria and has a number of qualified bending procedures to both EN and ASME standards for safety and quality. Our in-house quality management system ensures that our products meet all the necessary international standards,” adds Chapman. 

Steinmüller Africa is a Bilfinger Power Africa company, and is a BBEE Level 1 company. For almost six decades, Steinmüller has provided comprehensive solutions for steam generating plants, from design through to commissioning and after-service maintenance.


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