Oil and gas parts with many holes require Utex to use two different tools to ensure that the inner and outer diameters are free of burrs. Using Heule’s Vex-S tool, the workshop saved time during each cycle of the entire one minute by performing drilling and chamfering in one step. #case study
Combining drilling and deburring/chamfering in a single setting improves efficiency and saves Utex by one minute for each part. Each aluminum bronze collar has 8 to 10 holes, and the company produces 200 to 400 parts per day.
Like many manufacturers, Houston-based Utex Industries has a difficult problem: how to save time on the production line while maintaining product quality and consistency. The company produces polymer seals, custom polyurethane and rubber moldings, and oil well service products for the fluid sealing industry. Any inconsistencies in the product, such as leaving burrs on the chamfered holes, may cause the failure of key components.
A product made by Utex has a ring on the sealing cover to prevent leakage. The part is made of aluminum bronze, and each part has 8 to 10 holes on the outer and inner diameter walls. The shop adopted several Heule Snap 5 Vex-S tools for its Okuma lathe, achieving the dual goals of efficiency and consistency.
According to Utex programmer Brian Boles, manufacturers previously used high-speed steel drills and then used separate chamfering tools to drill holes in sealing cap applications. Now, the shop uses Vex-S tools, which combine solid carbide drills with Heule’s Snap chamfering system to drill and chamfer the front and back of the part in one step. This new setting eliminates the tool change and the second operation, reducing the cycle time of each part by one minute.
Using Vex-S, a solid carbide drill bit combined with Heule’s Snap chamfering system, the front and back of the part can be drilled and chamfered in one step. This eliminates Utex’s tool change and second operation. In addition to reducing production time, the tool also saves maintenance time. Utex personnel estimate that the service life of solid carbide drill bits is longer than that of similar drill bits, and said that under the condition of sufficient cooling, Vex-S can work for one month without changing the blade.
The average time saved adds up quickly. Utex produces 200 to 400 parts in 24 hours, drilling and chamfering 2,400 to 5,000 holes per day. Each part can save one minute, and by improving efficiency, the workshop can save up to 6 hours of production time. As time is saved, Utex is able to manufacture more sealing caps, which helps the workshop adapt to the high demand for assembled products.
Another common waste of production time is the need to replace damaged blades. The solid carbide of the Vex-S drill tip has a longer service life. After replacement, the workshop can replace the blade without using tools or presetting between the replacement drill bits. With enough coolant, Mr. Boles estimates that Vex-S can be used for more than a month without changing the blade.
As productivity increases, another significant benefit is the resulting cost savings for each part. The use of Vex-S to produce sealing caps does not require chamfering tools.
Utex uses Vex-S tools on Okuma lathes. Previously, the workshop used high-speed steel drills to make holes and separate chamfering tools to clean the inner and outer diameters.
The Vex tool uses Heule’s Snap chamfering blade to deburr and chamfer the edge of the hole without reversing the spindle, dwelling or indexing the part. When the rotating Snap blade is fed into the hole, the front cutting edge cuts a 45-degree chamfer to remove the burr on the top of the hole. When the blade is pressed into the part, the blade slides backward in the blade window, and only the ground sliding surface touches the hole, protecting it from damage when the tool passes through the part. This avoids the need to stop or reverse the spindle. When the blade extends from the back of the part, the coil spring pushes it back to the cutting position. When the blade is retracted, it removes the burrs on the back edge. When the blade enters the blade window again, the tool can be quickly sent out and enter the next hole, thereby improving production efficiency.
The expertise and suitable equipment for processing large components for oil fields and other industries enable this plant to succeed in fluctuating economic conditions.
CAMCO, a Schlumberger company (Houston, Texas), is a manufacturer of oilfield components, including packers and safety valves. Due to the size of the parts, the company recently replaced many of its manual lathes with Wheeler manual/CNC flatbed lathes.
Post time: Jun-07-2021