In total, three testing stations worldwide conduct full-scale tests on the behavior of VAM® connections under the most arduous usage conditions.
The Group also performs R&D activities in other regions of the world, notably in Indonesia, through its subsidiary P.T. Citra Tubindo, as well as in Japan, with its longstanding partner NSSMC.
Vallourec Research Center France is the Group's long-established research center. It focuses on alloys and new grades of steel that improve the strength and weight of tubes used by the oil industry or in mechanical applications.
Its work includes: developing alloys and grades of steel, non-destructive testing, corrosion resistance, surface treatment and product and process simulations.
The Vallourec Center in Düsseldorf comprises two units:
It focuses on developing and designing tubes and steel used in conventional and nuclear power plants, as well as oil and gas line pipes.
Inaugurated in January 2011, this German Competence Center houses the latest technology for testing and optimizing manufacturing methods. The center is unique, operating like a mini-plant that brings together all of the Group's key areas of expertise: piercing technology that turns a billet into a tubular blank, and rolling-stretching on a mandrel.
It is the only research center to combine a piercing mill and a mandrel mill. It enables testing to be carried out under real-life conditions for all units of the Group, and innovative production methods to be developed.
This helps to strengthen Vallourec's competitive advantage. The Vallourec Competence Center Riesa tests the technologies that will enable the Group's plants to improve their quality and speed performance going forward.
Vallourec tailors the Group's solutions for its Brazilian customers in the Vallourec Research Center Brazil Belo Horizonte, bringing together teams of experts and test laboratories.
Vallourec decided to step up its cooperation in the area of research with Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil company and the Group's main customer in the country.
Vallourec Competence Center Rio, inaugurated in July 2013, is located close to CENPES, the Petrobras research center.
The new center covers all of the Group's operations in the pre-salt sector, including drill pipes, umbilical products and accessories. It will enable Vallourec to respond directly to the needs and expectations of the Brazilian oil group, which exploits deposits in conditions of extreme pressure, temperature and corrosion.
The Rio de Janeiro research center will also benefit from synergies with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the University of Levras in areas such as the environment, robotics and energy consumption.
In addition to research and competence facilities,Vallourec also owns 3 VAM® testing centers:
Learn more about the testing centers
Industry 4.0: the connected factory at Vallourec
Bertrand Maillon, innovative globetrotter