The Benefits of Fixed Length Tubing for Hydraulic and Instrumentation applications

By Andreas Furukrona, Global Product Manager, H&I, Sandvik Materials Technology

When it comes to designing and building projects, being able to use standard fixed-length tubing for your hydraulic and instrumentation (H&I) needs can have many advantages.

Tubing lengths of 6 meters, or 20 feet in the US, have been recognized as accepted industry standards worldwide for some time, bringing benefits for manufacturers, distributors, and end-users. With this standardization, customers only need to select the appropriate outside diameter (OD) and inside diameter (ID). The most popular OD sizes are between 6mm and 12mm, or ¼ inch to ½ inch.

We’ve taken a look at how each of these three sectors can make the most from going for a fixed option in tubing.


Standardization has a range of benefits when it comes to making tubing.

Working with regular lengths allows optimization of the entire production process. Even being able to use standardized packaging for transport can have cost advantages over made-to-order products.

Knowing that customers will always require fixed 6m sections means manufacturers can build up stock with confidence that it will sell. It also avoids additional costs for the special warehousing of non-standardized length materials.

The availability of standard stock means delivery times to customers can be much shorter than for bespoke products. The fact that the 6m lengths are easy to transport on standard trucks and don’t require costly special long vehicles can also help speed up deliveries.


Similar to manufacturers, distributors or stockists usually design their warehouses to accommodate 6m tubes, so the production of longer lengths may mean additional costs for warehousing. Furthermore, tubes longer than 13 meters are provided in coils and must be transported on specialist trucks, which are expensive and add to overall production costs.

Buying standard fixed lengths in bulk can generate economies of scale and help distributors deliver competitively priced tenders for end-user projects.

The end-users or ultimate customers

The production and cost efficiencies enjoyed by the manufacturers and distributors from fixed-length tubing can be passed along to the end-user.

Many projects are designed based on the use of fixed-length 6m tubing as much as possible to reduce costs – 3D modeling often uses 6m tubing in design calculations. Using standard lengths makes it easier when it comes to ordering replacement tubes.

Of course, there will be sections in a system where bespoke tubing can’t be avoided. End-users often have in-house teams capable of cutting down tubing lengths to the required size, or they might subcontract the process to a supply chain engineering company.

Sandvik has the capabilities to design H&I tubing materials to any length (3m up to 1,000m) or outside diameter (1.59mm up to 50mm) required. As an added benefit to ensure peace of mind, all sizes are supplied with smooth surfaces and close dimensional tolerances to reduce the risk of leakages when connecting tubes with couplings.

Learn more about our H&I tubing capabilities here.