Investment has gone up worldwide – in infrastructure, the automotive sector, the electrical industry, regenerative energy projects and in oil and gas pipelines. And the upstream supplies industries wire, cable and pipes have substantially benefited from this development at the international No.1 trade fairs wire and Tube in Düsseldorf from 16 to 20 April 2018.
Across Germany steel and metal processing counts among the ten mayor sectors of industry. These sectors are strongly characterised by SMEs, by traditional growth and innovation. But even major groups of companies are now re-aligning their operations, following digital optimisation processes and reorganising their distribution channels, both nationally and internationally.
“As trade fair organisers we have once again succeeded in offering the wire, cable and pipe industries a global platform in Düsseldorf as a Basis for Business,” delighted Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, after five successful days at the trade fair.
Orders for capital goods like machinery, plants and vehicles are very high and the German economy is very much benefiting from the positive global business climate. More than 71,500 trade visitors (compared to 69,500 in 2016) from 134 countries came to Düsseldorf over the five days to find out about industry innovations and conclude business deals at the world’s No. 1 trade fairs wire, the international wire and cable fair, and Tube, the international pipe and tube fair.
A total of 2,683 companies from 67 countries presented their technology highlights in 16 exhibition halls on more than 117,000 square metres – some 7,000 square metres of space more than at the previous events in 2016!
Being the internationally leading communication and business platforms for their respective sectors participation in these two international top trade fairs is a must for all industry players. The steel and NF metal industries have always been reliable early indicators for all other industries – if things go well here, the economy as a whole will benefit.
Wire and cable machines, wire and cable production, trade with these materials as well as fibre glass technologies, mesh welding machinery, spring making, fastener technologies and the China Pavilion meet china’s expertise were presented in exhibition halls 9 to 16. A total of 1,442 exhibitors from 53 countries showcased their innovations on space exceeding 65,000 square metres.
Most wire exhibitors came from the major producer countries Italy, Germany, Turkey, Great Britain, France, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. From overseas many exhibitors from the USA, India, Taiwan, South Korea and China travelled to the exhibition halls on the Rhine.
“wire and Tube in Düsseldorf once more proved this year that they are the most important events in the industry worldwide,” rejoiced Dr.- Ing. Uwe-Peter Weigmann, member of the board and spokesperson at WAFIOS AG, and went on to say: “It never ceases to impress us how these events bring an expert audience and customers from all over the world to the Rhine. For WAFIOS we can report that we posted a multitude of interesting, concrete project talks and closed numerous deals. We look forward to being back in 2020.”
The ranges at Tube 2018 encompassed pipe and tube materials, manufacturing, finishing, processing, pipe and tube accessories, trade and forming technology including profiles, plastic tubes, machinery and plants as well as the China Pavilion meet china’s expertise.Tube was held in Halls 3 to 7a, 7.0 and 16 to 18 occupying in excess of 52,000 square metres of exhibition space. 1,241 companies from 57 countries were presented.
Underscoring the international relevance of Tube, Bernhard Kleinermann, press spokesman at Salzgitter AG, said: “The Salzgitter Group presented its international pipe activities under the claim “Mannesmann. Das Rohr.” at Tube 2018. The positive response as well as the in-depth conversations with customers and partners from both home and abroad have showed us once again that Tube is the most important communication platform for the steel pipe sector.” The industry insider went on to say: “The Business Unit Mannesmann with its tradition-rich brand name will also be a key exhibitor at this leading trade fair in two years’ time.”
At Tube most exhibitors hailed from Italy, Germany, Turkey, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria and France. Most overseas exhibitors travelled from the USA, China, India, South Korea and Taiwan to Düsseldorf.
Summary after Five Trade Fair Days:
The visitors at wire 2018 and Tube 2018 were very international boasting great professional expertise while promising customer contacts and good post-fair business prospects determined the atmosphere at the stands. Over 50% of visitors of both trade fairs came with concrete investment intentions. 70% of visitors were executives with high decision-making authority.
Trade visitors at wire 2018 were primarily interested in machines for processing and producing wire and cable, steel bars and strips, process engineering tools as well as machines, equipment, tools and auxiliaries. The forming technology and auxiliary materials segments were also in high demand. 20% of the visitors polled stated they were interested in finished products.
Pipe, tubes and accessories, raw materials, machines for producing, finishing and processing pipes, profiles and companies trading with all kinds of tubes met with the highest interest among trade visitors at Tube 2018.
Trade visitors at both trade fairs rated the two No.1 trade fairs as outstanding. Over the five days in excess of 71,500 trade visitors from 134 countries came to Düsseldorf. 70% of trade fair guests came from abroad and one third of these from overseas. 55% of trade fair visitors voiced their satisfaction at having found new suppliers.
30 March to 3 April 2020 will see wire and Tube held again together at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.For current information on both trade fairs visit the internet portals at www.wire.de and www.Tube.de
The global economy is flourishing, and with it also leading trade fairs in the wire, cable and tube industries – wire and Tube Düsseldorf. From 16 to 20 April 2018 the two industry heavyweights will open their gates at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre while also celebrating an anniversary.
For 30 years the two trade fairs have been impacting developments in their industries, both nationally and internationally. Both are held jointly every two years at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, and their product areas – wire, cables and tubes – have now led to worldwide satellites in Russia, Brazil, China, Southeast Asia, the United States and India, as well as a joint venture in Iran.
Moreover, the two leading Düsseldorf trade fairs have announced record figures – just in time for their 30th anniversary. Occupying a total exhibition space of about 118,000 sqm, 2,679 companies will be presenting everything that these industries have to offer in terms of technology and service.
Featuring 1,440 exhibitors from 52 countries and a space of over 65,000 sqm (net), wire has grown by around 5,500 sqm and has 100 more exhibitors than in 2016. The logistics and engineering departments are being challenged in Hall 13, in particular by the big mesh welding machines, as they require the installation and connection of thick cables in the service ducts. This is because the machines need focused voltage, rather than a voltage build-up.
Tube, too, has grown rapidly and is now 1,500 sqm bigger than before. In total, 1,246 exhibitors from 57 countries will be present, filling a net space of about 53,000 sqm. International diversity of exhibitors is continuing to grow, so that Tube 2018 will have six more exhibitors’ countries than the last event in 2016 (which had 51 countries).
These results confirm impressively that wire and Tube both have number one positions as the world’s leading trade fairs.
wire 2018 will be held in Halls 9 to 16. On display there will be plants and machinery for the production and processing of wire, tools and auxiliary materials for process engineering, materials, fibre-optic technologies and special wires and cables. There will also be innovations in measurement, control and test engineering.
Tube 2018 will take place in Halls 3 to 7.0, and also in Halls 16, 17 and 18. The range of showcased products will cover machinery and equipment for tube production, treatment and processing as well as raw materials, tubes and accessories. There will also be pre-owned machinery, process technology tools, auxiliary resources and measuring, control and test equipment. Furthermore, the line-up will include pipelines, OCTG technology, profiles and plastic tubes.
Steel tubes or steel tube systems are among the most frequently used constructive elements for the foundations of offshore wind energy systems. In addition to the size and the weight of a wind energy turbine, water depth plays a primary role when it comes to choosing the type of foundation, and it normally increases in line with the distance to shore. In the “Wind Energy Report Germany 2014” published in mid-2015, the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology in Kassel (Fraunhofer Institut für Windenergie und Energiesystemtechnik, IWES) says that the most important offshore countries increasingly rely on a further extension of their farshore energy systems, i.e. offshore sites with a distance from shore of at least three nautical miles or 5.5 kilometres.
Especially in Germany, most offshore wind farms are realised in higher water depths and distances from shore to avoid any negative impact on the marine environment in the Wadden Sea National Park. According to IWES, the offshore wind energy systems added worldwide in 2014 were built in an average distance of 21.1 km from shore and a water depth of 32.3 m. In contrast, German offshore farms are located at an average distance of 65 km from shore and in a water depth of approx. 29 m - the international comparison thus shows that these systems are located farthest away from shore.
High diversity of support structures
The trend of constructing offshore wind farms in increasingly deep waters has a profound impact on the support structures deployed (i.e. the structure used to anchor the turbine foundation on the seabed). After initially deploying gravity foundations and mono piles, other structures are now used increasingly. In addition to the high-rise power caps deployed in Asia, latticed support structures (jackets), tri-sectional foundation foundations (tripiles and tripods) as well as floating foundations, suction buckets and artificial islands should be mentioned in this context.
According to IWES, the various designs are suitable for differing on-site conditions. Gravity foundations, monopiles and high-rise pile caps are primarily used in nearshore and shallow waters. The tripod and tripile types of anchoring foundation are deployed at an average distance of 96.5 km and thus farthest away from shore. Floating structures are deployed in an average water depth of 78 m and must still be considered as being in a test phase. As regards monopiles, it must be added that their manufacturers develop larger and larger models which may also be used in deeper waters.
Offshore wind energy farms must have an especially high stability and robustness to withstand the powerful forces of nature throughout their lifetime of 20 years or more. In addition to high wind speeds, the turbines are particularly impacted by waves, ocean currents, tides and floating ice. In addition, there are the dynamic loads generated by the wind turbines themselves. Support structures based on steel tubes are capable of withstanding all loads and of reliably carrying their superstructures for decades.
Tripods: Three-legged support structures for offshore wind turbines
A tripod consists of three steel tubes welded together at an angle of 120° to form a tripod which then carries a precisely centred central tube. A tower is than fitted on this tube. The tubes of the tripod construction have a diameter of 1 to 2.5 m each and require a triangular base surface of 200 to 300 m². Each leg may have a single pile or consist of several tubes. Similar to jackets, centring sleeves are mounted at each end of the tripod structure to support the foundation pile driven into the seabed. The piles are interconnected by horizontal struts and joined to the central tube by a diagonal brace.
The ground surface should be level and free of too many stones, as the structure is anchored to the seabed at a depth of several metres using pile driving machines. Tripods offer high stability even in rough sea areas and - with the current state of the art – they are suitable for water depths of 20 to 80 m. The tripod support structures especially developed for the offshore wind industry were first deployed in 2009, when the German “Alpha Ventus” offshore test site was built.
Jackets: Latticed steel tube structures for large depths
For decades, jackets have been proven support structures for offshore platforms even at large water depths. In this case, the anchoring structure consists of a spatial lattice, which is made of steel tubes and similar to the latticed towers used for high-voltage power lines. The four feet of the foundation end in sleeves housing the foundation piles driven into the seabed. Because of their high resistance, jackets are suitable for offshore wind parks up to a water depth of 70 m. The “Alpha Ventus” test site did not only have tripod structures, six other wind turbines were installed on jacket foundations.
Compared to tripod foundations, a jacket is supposed to require a third less steel. Furthermore, the latticed support structure of the jacket is supposed to lead to benefits in terms of both capital expenditure and the logistics of the installation. On the other hand, jackets have a large number of welded connections with many edges and struts, which require regular maintenance because of their significantly higher corrosion risk, and may therefore lead to higher operating cost.
Tripiles: Lightweight and low-cost
Just as tripods, tripile foundations were especially designed for offshore wind farms. Tripiles consist of three individual steel tubes which carry a tripod crosspiece at the water surface to install the wind turbine. Compared to monopiles, the individual tubes are of a smaller diameter and more easily driven into the seabed. Tripiles are anchored in the seabed using a pile-driving template. The three steel tubes are then fitted with a tripod crosspiece to carry the wind turbine. The installation process is considered to be relatively demanding, as the piles have to be driven in with great accuracy so that the supporting crosspiece can be precisely installed.
Tripiles are suitable as foundations for water depths of up to 50 m and, according to the manufacturing data they are less expensive and lighter than other support structures. It is supposedly possible to adapt the wall thicknesses and lengths of each tube specifically to a given site. The first tripiles were realised in the BARD Offshore 1 wind farm in the North Sea and in the nearshore Hooksiel wind farm.
Hexabase: Steel tube foundation with a hexagonal layout
Two recent developments in the support structures of offshore wind farms are the hexabase foundation and the texbase hybrid gravity foundation which is based on the same principle. Hexabase, a steel tube foundation with a hexagonal layout. supposedly has major advantages compared to the more traditional structures: it is more efficient and more economic in production and installation. Compared to conventional jackets or large monopiles, it promises reductions of up to 20% in weight and up to 20% savings on manufacturing cost. Furthermore, it supposedly has a particularly high adaptability to various water depths and wind turbine types. The hexagonal lattice structure consisting of tubes with comparatively small diameters and wall thicknesses is said to show a particularly good absorption capacity for the dynamic forces generated by wind turbines.
According to ThyssenKrupp, an important prerequisite for realising these savings is that a majority of the tubes used is made of hot-rolled wide strip. It is said that hot-rolled wide steel strip can be more easily processed to structural tubes than the quarto sheets, which have been used so far. The welded tubes have a uniform diameter and the nodes are also standardised for the welding robots to automatically connect the tubes and nodes. According to its developers, the process promises faster and cost efficient production and consistent weld quality because of the computer-operated welding process.
Texbase: A “lightweight” hybrid gravity foundation
Based on the hexabase principle, the texbase structure was developed as a hybrid gravity foundation combining the properties of a lightweight steel structure and a gravity foundation. A hexabase standard structure is mounted on the base structure of ballast tanks which are made of particularly durable water-permeable synthetic fibres and filled with 2,000 to 4,000 tonnes of sand. The base consists of a frame of steel tubes which is then covered with geotextile fabrics and evenly transfers the load into the ground.
With a weight of 450 to 700 tonnes before installation, the weight of a texbase structure is similar to a traditional foundation. The foundation supposedly requires only a minimum of soil preparation and may be installed with simple construction machinery and little noise. According to the developing community, this innovative gravity foundation is easy to transport, and after it has been installed in a water depth of up to 50 m, it also guarantees a firm stand even for the largest wind turbines of at least 8 MW power.
Innovations from the tube and pipe industry will be presented at Tube Düsseldorf from 16 to 20 April 2018 at Düsseldorf fairgrounds.