Archive: Mar 2024

Why Engineering is the backbone of the pressure vessel industry

Engineering is crucial in all industries and none more so than in the tank head industry where hot and cold formed heads for pressure vessels must be manufactured to the most exacting standards.

As engineers, we are equipped to understand the complexities of all aspects of a project, from what type of raw materials will be used to the capacities of various equipment, and the many stages of manufacturing, such as cutting, welding, forming, and heat treatment.

Some of the common challenges we face are when we fabricate parts or heads using “exotic materials”, or to form them into new or original shapes. In this way, we need to be imaginative in how we approach these projects while maintaining rigid specifications for the end product. A combination of hardnosed experience along with sophisticated software allows us to experiment with solutions in a more cost effective way than ever before. Complex methods and simulating software that can predict failure or success of a project are now vital tools in the manufacturing process. This is done before the project makes it to the shop floor.


Many disciplines are called upon in tank head manufacturing

Not only are Mechanical Engineers part of the manufacturing of heads for pressure vessels, but Chemical Engineers also play an essential role. The makeup and composition of steel requires deep knowledge of the chemistry and how it reacts to the extremes of the manufacturing process. As well, there are engineering specialists who play a key role. These include Metallurgists and Specialists in welding.

We are often called upon to manufacture a specific component of a larger project, for example a head to be used in a pressure environment within a large factory or manufacturing facility such as a refinery or a chemical plant. While we may not necessarily know the full scope of the entire project, an engineer will ensure that the component itself adheres to the specifications required by the functionality of that part.

The role of Artificial Intelligence in Engineering within the tank head industry

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere these days, and the field of Engineering is not immune to its reach. Within the tank head manufacturing industry, it seems opinions are split. Some maintain that the human know how required is still a barrier to A.I. taking over. Others believe that harnessing the best parts of A.I. is the way forward. As with all technological advances, they become part of the industry and using best practices as a guideline has proven to be the right way to navigate change.

Currently Finite Element Analysis and robotics play a very large role in the engineering and manufacturing of tank heads. Robotics has made Conrex a driving force in the pressure vessel heads manufacturing industry. We were one of the first to employ this technology. It can be stated that the decision to use robotics in the manufacturing of heads represented a huge leap forward for the company. Using FEA in simulating our engineering process of forming heads leads to savings of time and costs. These simulations provide insights into the process that might not otherwise be foreseen. This allows us to overcome difficulties and manufacture quality products. This becomes even more important when a customer approaches us with something new or out of the ordinary.

Most of our orders are custom, and so it is essential that engineering play a key role in analyzing the feasibility of a project and to prevent (or foresee) potential difficulties before they occur.

With over 150 years of engineered driven expertise,
Conrex Steel is a recognized leader within the tank head industry.

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