Pioneering machine tools for fabrication and MRO - BIC Magazine

by RON ROHRBACHER, Industrial Products Division Sales Manager, E.H. Wachs

In 1949, following a fatal torch-cutting accident, a large natural gas supplier approached E.H. Wachs for a safer way to cut and bevel existing pipelines before welding. Prototype Cnc Machining

Pioneering machine tools for fabrication and MRO - BIC Magazine

Wachs responded with the Trav-L-Cutter® a new type of cold-cutting portable pipe milling machine that travels around the pipe, cutting and beveling. It reduced the risk of igniting the hydrocarbons inside. Unlike hot torch cutting and grinding, created fewer dangerous fumes and little heat-affected zone (HAZ) — a molecular breakdown of the pipe that affects structural integrity near welded joints.

Today, E.H. Wachs designs and manufactures portable machine tools for construction, maintenance and repair operations in oil and gas. Built at its U.S. headquarters to world-class ISO 9001 quality standards, all Wachs machines utilize cold-cutting machining methods for superior precision and safety. They can create the complex weld preparation profiles used in modern pipe welding, including j-prep, compound bevels, counterboring and more.

Portable pipe cutting and beveling tools

Modern machining techniques use clamshell-style split frames for inline pipe cutting, beveling, miter cuts, flange facing/resurfacing and more. Available with remote control for enhanced operator safety, Wachs tools are used everywhere in upstream, midstream, and downstream fabrication and MRO applications. Machines include outside diameter (OD) mountable split frames and inside diameter (ID) mounted machine tools in a wide range of sizes and power options.

Highly versatile, the DynaPrep MDSF (medium diameter split frame) is the foundation of a complete machining system that cuts and bevels inline pipe out of the box, but with accessory modules can also face raised, flat-face, and ring type joint flanges, counterbore pipe transitions, taper fittings, prep valves, machine pressure vessels, bevel test caps and more.

For even larger diameter vessels, pipe and flanges, Wachs manufactures the large diameter split frame (LDSF) available in sizes up to 10 feet. In addition, their ID-mounted small diameter beveler (SDB) can be quickly converted to face flanges.

For cutting casings above the wellhead, the purpose-built Wachs ECC (External Casing Cutter) is ideal, performing sparkless external cold cutting on well casings from 4 to 14 inches OD (102 to 356 mm). Requiring minimal axial and radial clearances, the ECC uses the Wachs DynaPrep MDSF split frame as a foundation for fast and easy setup and operation, with optional handheld remote control.

The EICC (External/Internal Casing Cutter) is a multi-function system incorporating the ECC and an ID internal casing cutting head module. Using a two-stage operation, the split frame opens to mount around the outer casing OD above the wellhead. The first cut is performed, exposing the interior casing. Then the ID cutting head mounts to the split frame and is lowered into the internal casing, extending below the wellhead to cut and bevel casings ranging from 4.5 to 13-3/8 inches (114 to 340 mm) ID.

The new Wachs ICC Internal Casing Cutter is a compact standalone portable machine specially designed to lower into the inner casing and simultaneously cut and chamfer smaller diameter casings ranging from 4.5 to 7 inches (114 to 178 mm).

In addition to machine tools, Wachs also manufactures handheld powered valve operators for refinery and pipeline use. They’re ideal for operating/exercising valves, including handwheel and rising stem valves. Designed for safety, speed, and portability, these powerful tools help prevent upper body and back injuries associated with manually turning large, stubborn, or frozen industrial valves. They can also provide fast operation of fire suppression valves in emergencies.

E.H. Wachs offers unrivaled availability (with most machines on hand as rentals), complete technical support, a trained and dedicated sales team, and regional solution centers.

For more information, visit or email

by RON ROHRBACHER, Industrial Products Division Sales Manager, E.H. Wachs

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Pioneering machine tools for fabrication and MRO - BIC Magazine

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