Tube fabrication services perform end-services on pipes and tubes. They do not manufacture piping and tubing. Capabilities for tube fabrication services include: annealing, buffing, cutting, end forming, end flattening, machining, painting, coating, powder coating, slotting, notching, piercing, punching, swaging, threading, welding and brazing. Tube annealing services and tube heat treating services relieve stress and alter material and electrical properties. Tube buffing services and tube polishing services improve the surface appearance of tubing. Tube fabrication services cut roll-formed tubes to customer-specific lengths. End-forming services and end-flattening services can alter both ends of a tube. Tube machining services use various milling, turning, and drilling processes. Tube painting, tube coating, tube plating, and tube powder coating services also use different finishing technologies. Tube slotting, tube notching, tube piercing, and tube punching services use dimple-hole and mandrel methods. Tube swaging services form tubes through a rapid series of hammer blows. Suppliers of tube threading services, tube welding services, and tube brazing services are also commonly available.
Selecting Tube Fabrication Services
Selecting tube fabrication services requires an analysis of both material capabilities and production capabilities. There are many different tubing materials. Examples include: acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), aluminum, brass, bronze, carbon, ceramics, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), clay, composite materials, concrete, elastomers, ethylene propylene (EPDM), fiberglass, glass, graphite, iron, lead, neoprene, nylon, perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) fluororesins, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), steel, stainless steel, rubber, titanium, and zirconium. Many tube fabrication services offer support and production capabilities such as assembly services, low or high volume production, just-in-time manufacturing, packaging and shipping, or rapid prototyping. Companies that provide design assistance can help with conceptualization, manufacturing costs, manufacturing techniques and material considerations. Some tube fabrication services may also be able to assist in upgrading or redesigning, re-evaluating or modernizing existing products to increase performance and/or reduce manufacturing costs. Computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) services are often available.
Tube fabrication services are located across the United States and throughout the world. They provide differ in terms of certifications and industries served. Common standards include: AS 9000, AS 9100, QS-9000, ISO 9001:2000, ISO 13485:2003, ISO 14001, and TS 16949. Tube fabrication services that are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, meet U.S. military specifications (MIL-SPEC), and provide certifications for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications are also available. The International Standards Organization (ISO) defines its own standards and provides criteria that form the basis of industry-specific certifications for tube fabrication services.