One of the drivers of Russian non-oil exports is in Lipetsk pipe company “Svobodny Sokol”. The only one in the post-Soviet space Lipetsk manufacturer of pipes and fittings of ductile cast iron with nodular graphite (ductile iron) was able to conquer the European markets with high competition from the world’s largest manufacturers of cast iron pipes and extremely stringent requirements for quality, consumer and environmental safety pipe products.
Lipetsk “the Free Falcon” has an extensive dealer network not only in Russia, the company has official dealers in Europe. In particular, the company “IBMR UG” (Germany) cooperates with LTK “Free Falcon” in 2013, and the company “Geotrade” (Austria) – from 2016. Such a long-term systematic cooperation, indicates a high index of confidence in the Lipetsk manufacturer, which not only guarantees high quality of its pipes and piles of ductile cast iron, which proves the successful practice of their application, but also quickly, just in time organizing supplies.
In Europe, tubular products of high-strength cast iron is the most popular for the construction of drinking water supply. The share of pipes from ductile iron are very high, as they are the gold standard of quality, reliability and environmental safety.
So now with the use of the Lipetsk pipes of ductile cast iron in the construction of pressure pipe for small hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 2mW (Project apartment urslau Maria ALM) in Austria. The length of the pipeline will amount to 5600 meters, diameter – 1000 mm. In the framework of this project, LTK “Svobodny Sokol” is now actively engaged in deliveries of pipes of ductile iron with external zinc coating and epoxy in the Austrian municipality of Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer.
Despite serious competition, which consists of several large European manufacturers, the pipe of ductile cast iron grades “Free Falcon” was selected for the project of the construction of important infrastructure facilities – power plants. The head of the Austrian company dealer Franz Leitner notes that the Russian cast iron pipe is very competitive and popular in the European market as long as they meet the most stringent European quality standards, have international certificates and verified certificates of conformity directly to the exporting country. With all this, they are attractive in terms of price.
For the Russian producer of pipes entering foreign markets means more investment and resources because of the need to constantly improve technology and characteristics of the produced pipes, realization of certification of production and products.
And for export activities, the presence of LTK “Free Falcon” of a single international certificate of quality is not enough. Each exporting country conducts its own certification procedure for obtaining the opinion of the national certificate authority. Then the manufacturer must successfully pass annual audits of the production to confirm and extend the validity of the received certificates. Interestingly, the auditors may arrive at any time during the year, and the auditing activities take place within a few days. Checked everything: the industrial infrastructure of plants, technological process, quality control of raw materials and finished products at all stages of its production, equipping of laboratories, technical control documents. Such a strict control in Europe – the norm. And LTK “Free Falcon” every time confirms its status as a responsible exporter that produces only quality products that meet the most stringent international standards.
In may of this year, the company successfully completed recertification audit by Austria. And in July, in LTK “Svobodny Sokol” for the purpose of checking were the representatives of the companies “IBMR UG” dealer LTK “Free Falcon” in Germany and research Institute of the “SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden” (Sweden).
Over 6 years of complaints from customers from Germany, and therefore, stable demand for Lipetsk pipe stored there. For the pragmatic Germans the advantages are obvious –high quality, similar products from the largest manufacturers in the world, attractive price and well-organized delivery system.
General Director of “IBMR UG” Reynolds Mauer regularly attends company Lipetsk and every time notes not only that the industrial complex and production of ductile iron conform to the European standards, but also a positive trend, as the company works on improvement of technological processes and improvement of the performance of their products in accordance with the latest developments in the pipe industry. Since the beginning of 2019 in Germany exported more than 100 tons of piles of ductile iron and more than 80 tons of pipes from ductile iron of class K12 of small and medium diameters.
Auditor research Institute “SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden” Lars Anderson confirms: “During a visit to the acting pipe-casting workshop, finished product warehouse and laboratory to monitor the production I made sure to meet the requirements outlined in the European standards for pipe and piling products.”
According to the results of German and Austrian audits, Lipetsk pipe company “Svobodny Sokol” has received a high evaluation for the organization of the production process and quality control system in the enterprise. Deliveries of piles and ductile iron pipes made in Germany and Austria in the near future will continue.