Case Study - Modern Piping, Inc.


Modern Piping, Inc. is a large-scale fabrication company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Modern Piping has over 75 years of experience taking on projects requiring large volumes of exact pipe cuts, skid production, and custom pipefitting for construction projects.

Modern Piping has a 69,000 sq. ft. fabrication facility with fabrication bays, more than 30 cutting and welding machines, and a 10-ton overhead crane.


This project included cutting 20ft stainless steel pipe (see photo below) into sleeves with the Watts-Mueller W-242 CNC Plasma Cutter. A Victor Technologies 300-amp Water Mist Secondary (WMS®) torch was used for clean cuts with minimal pipe cleaning.


Figure 4

The Watts-Mueller Benefit:

Using the Watts-Mueller machine with the new torch reduced the heat and fumes while cutting and reduced the man hours for pipe cleaning to almost nothing.

"There's nobody in the region that fabricates like we do, so this was a big leap" said Jim Tedrow, Fabrication Shop Manager. "Before switching to the new WMS torch we would use one $3 grinding wheel for each pipe prep. Dross is no longer an issue. We do not have to touch it anymore for cleaning."

Using the Watts-Mueller Equipment for Beveling

"If the pipe is, for example, 0.75in. thick," continued Tedrow, "we would need to use a beveling tool on each pipe end to prep the piece for welding. The torch on the Watts-Mueller W-242 machine can be tilted to cut the bevel we need. It puts a machine quality bevel on the pipe. This saves us more time on each cut."

Increased Productivity with Watts-Mueller:

Clean Cut and Beveling Using the Watts-Mueller W-242 CNC Machine

In Figure 4 (on the right) slag is clearly seen on the piping using the typical plasma torch. On the left is the clean cut, beveled edge when the W-242 is used with the WMS® Victor torch.

Complex Stainless Steel Fittings in Less Time

"We grind stainless now," said Tedrow "just to shine it up to make a good weld....Our Watts-Mueller machine puts a bevel on [stainless] that is near machine quality."

The stainless fabrication [photo on the right] with mitered fittings is an example of the complex cuts Modern Piping is able to produce quickly without extensive postcutting and grinding to ensure proper fit-up.

New technology and new machine capabilities are giving Modern Piping the competitive edge that promotes business growth. "We've got some exciting things happening," said Tedrow.

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