The company was founded in September 2004, under the careful guidance of engineers and industry experts, Ameritube began its production and improvement strategy by focusing on the shipped product and moving backwards. The first area of focus was our testing and finishing department, this way we knew that no matter what happened before the eddy current, 100% of the tube that left the plant was of high quality. We began by sourcing hollows all over the world with a focus on those countries where metallurgy was a core competency such as Russia and Germany. The founding members of the company came from deep engineering and technical backgrounds, holding patents in steel alloying technologies, consulting to large automakers, and developing custom manufacturing solutions for Fortune 500 manufacturers. Ameritube professionals came with a unique viewpoint to manufacturing, focusing on the nexus of cutting edge metallurgy, overseas supply chain and sourcing, domestic value add manufacturing, and the business and management processes to deliver results bringing these areas together.
One of the many issues many tube users are concerned with is porosity, holes or the structural integrity in the tube. In the supply of ASME SB-111 tubes, customers typically uses eddy current testing, a non destructive test to check the tubes for dent, holes, divots, notches or other defects. In 2007 with copper prices at all time highs, Ameritube completed a 12,000 tube job of C44300 admiralty brass, 3/4″ x .083″ MW and 3/4″ x .065″ MW for an industry leader in heat exchanger manufacturing. The tube went into heat exchangers for Exxon Mobil and Petrobras. Ameritube had its first direct interaction with the oil refining industry and its exacting standards. The admiralty brass tube was drawn from hollows, requiring 4 draws with more than 30% reduction each. After 2 drawing processes Ameritube stress relieved the tubes in our 60 foot annealing furnace. This enabled further processing of the tube. By processing the tube 30% on each draw, Ameritube was taking overseas raw material and changing its mechanical and physical properties, transforming the tube and in many ways re-certifying its quality.
When a typical heat exchanger manufacturer may roll expand the end of a tube by 10-12% to fit into a heat exchanger tube sheet, Ameritube was doing a 30% reduction on each pass. As mentioned above, the defects could result in a tube not being able to hold pressure or transfer heat properly reducing the overall effectiveness of the entire heat exchange equipment. However, there are defects that lurk below the surface and are only revealed when a tube is stressed to its limits. These defects are typically identified in the drawing process since the tube is unable to draw properly and breaks where there is a dent or hole or other defect.
On this large order, Ameritube delivered 12,000 tubes, not a single tube was rejected by the customer. However, over 1500 tubes were rejected by Ameritube in our processing. This was a valuable lesson for our company, buying raw material overseas, regardless of the expertise in metallurgy, requires oversight here in the US. The best kind of oversight? Processing the material into a final product under the watchful eye of industry experts. Going forward Ameritube realized we had to bring this expertise to the marketplace.
Ameritube developed and was certified as ISO9001:2008. Driven by customer request, Ameritube solidified and codified its quality practices and procedures, developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), quality processes and approvals, and becoming approved to supply defense and marine industries.
Ameritube developed new seamless stainless and seamless carbon product lines.