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Two people are working on a large, metallic machine. The cylindrical part of the machine is filled with smaller cylinders, each with a red mark.

During the last year West Welding has had the pleasure to participate in an innovative project. In the project a new pressure device, with a high working pressure compared to the size of the tank, has been designed and manufactured. This specialty both inspired and challenged West Welding’s experienced professionals.

West Welding took up the challenge

Our customer was looking for a partner for design and manufacturing for a tank whose planned working pressure should be 400 bar. The customer had already inquired about the manufacture of the pressure vessel in question from several different suppliers, but West Welding was the only one that accepted the challenge. The equipment represents expertise of such an extraordinary skill that the proficiency and capabilities to design and manufacture the tank could only be found at West Welding. Similar equipment has not been made before, so the tank was custom-made from start to finish to meet the customer’s needs. Planning and manufacturing as a whole under the same roof enabled the production and manufacturing of the tank. CEO of West Welding, Janne Halonen, says that West Welding was immediately interested in the project due to its special nature and the requirements concerning high-pressure.

“We quickly got excited about the project, we immediately saw that it suited us. We soon had a vision of how we could execute the equipment,” says Halonen.

Technical expertise and innovative solutions

The uniqueness and technical requirements of the project highlighted West Welding’s special expertise in the design and manufacturing of large pressure equipment. The design pressure of the equipment was set at a whopping 400 bar, while the test pressure was almost 600 bar. Such pressure placed special demands on the materials and structure of the equipment.

The choice to build the equipment from a special material, EN 1.4462 duplex steel, was a critical success factor. The high strength of the duplex material enabled the thickness of the tank jacket to be 80 mm. When using more conventional materials, such as P355NH, the thickness of the tank wall would have almost doubled, making the tank extremely heavy. Even now the weight of the entire equipment made of duplex is almost 50 tons. Despite its large size and weight the pressure device must be transportable.

Two people are working on a large, metallic machine. The cylindrical part of the machine is filled with smaller cylinders, each with a red mark.

The use of duplex steel not only reduced the weight of the equipment and improved its handling but also posed challenges to the welding process. West Welding developed and tested new welding methods according to ISO 15614 standard to ensure that production welds meet the quality requirements. Developing new methods often takes months and requires intense work from the welding coordinator and welders. Arto Lehtimäki, an employee of West Welding with forty years of experience, described the project as a challenge even for a more experienced welder, which accentuates the project’s degree of technical demand.

The project also faced technical challenges, such as the need to control extreme flange forces. The solution was to use special dowels and superbolt nuts, which made safe and user-friendly tightening of the bolts possible. 

The pressure pumps, which are used to increase the pressure of the tank during its use, were delivered together with the pressure tank. The pumps were designed and manufactured in cooperation with Lakeuden Hydro Oy. The pumps are equipped with logic control and safety devices according to current requirements. This way they maintain the set pressure in the tank automatically if the pressure rises or falls due to changing conditions.

Technological pioneering

The pressure device designed and manufactured by West Welding represents a technological pioneering. At West Welding, we are proud that we have the ability not only to design but also to manufacture practical solutions that meet the specific needs of customers. We can manufacture pressure equipment as comprehensive solutions from design to installation, so the customer does not have to worry about coordinating separate deliveries.

West Welding’s commitment to innovation, quality and pressure equipment safety, combined with deep expertise in specialty materials, welding and machine fabrication, made this project a success.

The delivery of the equipment marks a significant step forward for our customer which opens the opportunity to develop their production with unprecedented precision and reliability. West Welding’s ability to take on and execute demanding projects not only strengthens our position in the industry but also sets new standards for industry innovation.