Energy sector gears up for ADIPEC

The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) and its host, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), are set to welcome 110,000 attendees on 12-15 November in Abu Dhabi. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, ADIPEC is one of the world’s largest, most important and influential oil and gas events that brings together industry stakeholders and experts to share knowledge and exchange ideas on a brighter future for the energy sector.

From operating companies to the international supply chain and those at the forefront of technological advances, ADIPEC 2018 is set to host more than 2200 exhibiting companies and 28 country pavilions that will showcase thousands of products, services and solutions across 155,000 sq m of floor space. With 15 dedicated exhibition halls, ADIPEC will bring together 41 NOCs and IOCs, along with the decision and policymakers that shape the future of the oil and gas supply chain. ADIPEC 2018 will also see a launch of three new dedicated exhibition zones, one of which will focus on heavy machinery.

BCT taps into bigger profit margins

When BCT Engineering opened its doors for business over 30 years ago, the Woking-based company began making its revenue from producing performance parts for motorcycles. Over the past three decades, this activity has evolved into the automotive, automation, offshore, aerospace and motorsport industries. With a concerted effort to accelerate productivity, the subcontractor has enlisted the support of cutting tool specialist Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC).

Stating the impact that ITC has had on the subcontract business, BCT Engineering’s managing director Tony Ryan says: “The help we’ve had from ITC has been invaluable. We have one product that is part of a modern ‘touch-button’ domestic tap for boiled or chilled water, and we were initially making the parts from plate material. However, we had problems that were down to both the type of material and the machining methods we were applying. ITC came along, had a look at the way we were machining the parts and changed the tools and the machining strategy. This has saved at least an hour on each component.

“To achieve this, we are using a combination of tooling that includes high-feed tip tools to go around the outside of the part and a solid-carbide end mill to go through the centre of the component. When we started to machine the part, we were going far too cautiously with the speeds and feeds, as we didn’t realise the performance parameters of the tools. Now, we have evolved the situation and drastically reduced the cycle times, while process reliability has also been improved.”

Commenting upon the domestic tap component, ITC application engineer Matt White says: “The task for the tap parts was for them to be machined in a shorter time, while maintaining a safe and reliable process. Tony had the idea to change from making one component at a time, to machining two simultaneously. We looked at the job in some depth and recognised that applying a combination of indexable tipped tools and solid-carbide end mills was the best route forward. In this case, we applied the Widia M370 high-feed indexable end mill to machine the profile of the parts and then used an ITC 20 mm diameter solid-carbide five-flute 5021 cutter to rough machine the slotted form in the centre of the parts. The final step was the application of an ITC solid-carbide six-flute 6051 long-series finishing tool.”

From a process stability perspective, White adds: “We are now looking at machining five billets per indexable edge of the high-feed Widia M370 on 316 stainless. With a 0.6 mm depth of cut and 180 m/min spindle speed, and a feed rate of 0.5 mm/tooth, this is a very productive run time. What Tony now knows is that he can let the job run and leave the machine to do other tasks; he is guaranteed to return to the machine at a later time with five billets reliably machined.”

The stainless steel tap components are machined in batch sizes of 50-off pairs/sets, and the machining time of four hours per pair/set has been cut from 4 hours to 2 hours, a 50% cycle time reduction for BCT Engineering.

Looking at another component, an aluminium laser casing that is produced in batches of 20-off, the application expertise of White once again managed to reduce cycle times; this time by over two hours per part. Referring to the opportunity to work on this project, White says: “After successes on stainless machining at BCT, I had the chance to run the 40 mm diameter VHSC Widia cutter to rough-out pockets on large aluminium casings.

“Previously, BCT was using a slightly different tool on the job and we were only able to run at a feed in the region of F2000. With the new ITC Widia VHSC tool, we can run at F3500, while doubling the depth of cut. This is saving us at least an hour per component, just from the pocket machining. The total savings are significant as we machine a relatively large quantity of these parts.”

With regard to tool life and performance, White says: “Using the three-tipped Widia VHSC indexable tool, parallelism has improved, tool life is much better and performance is fantastic. BCT has some aluminium casing type jobs for which we needed to remove cycle time; the Widia VHSC series has been very successful at this task.”

Concerning the cutting parameters, White says: “The cutting data on this job is dictated by the maximum spindle speed restriction of 8000 rpm. However, we have managed to run the VHSC at 7000 rpm with a 5° ramp-down angle to a 3 mm depth of cut, and then we run around the pocket at almost 3500 mm/min.

“Previously BCT was utilising the conventional Widia VSM11 tools, which is like the APKT style insert. The trouble with these standard 90° shoulder mills is that they inherently cannot be fed very fast on aluminium. So, in the past it may have been better to run with a larger solid-carbide multi-flute tool than use indexable tools. With the new VHSC, we have the option to run much faster. For example, you can go from 0.1 mm per tooth for a standard shoulder mill to 0.3 mm per tooth and beyond with the Widia VHSC. In addition, you can really get the spindle speed up; we are looking to run a 50 mm diameter tool at speeds around 12,000 rpm with 6000 mm/min feeds.”

Despite removing the material much faster, the surface finish is actually improved, as White explains: “The more you push these tools by running higher feeds and higher revolutions, the better the surface finish. From a tool life perspective, BCT haven’t changed an insert edge yet. This may not be good news for our area sales representative, but it’s certainly good news for Tony and BCT.”

Concluding on the service from ITC, Ryan says: “We now buy virtually all of our cutting tools from ITC. Most cutting tool manufacturers would not be able to give us the service that ITC has provided. Matt White and Dave Cleeve have spent upwards of two to three days initially sorting these two jobs for us, with continued follow up visits to further improve performance. The results have been fantastic and we are delighted by their commitment to help our business.”
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Double mitre cutting bandsaw unveiled

German sawing machine manufacturer, Kasto, is supplementing its bandsaw programme with the addition of a twin-column machine for cutting stock to length and mitring between -45° and +60° to a high degree of precision. The KASTOmiwin saw is said to be suitable for use by steel stockholders due to its power and rigidity.

Available in semi-automatic and automatic versions, U 4.6 and A 4.6 respectively, the latter model has a rack-and-pinion drive to feed material by up to 3000 mm in a single stroke. Blade down-feed is actuatedelectrically via a ballscrew drive.

The clamping range of the new bandsaw is up to 460 mm, depending on material profile, whilethe smallest size that can be cut is 10 x 10 mm. For single straight cuts, the KASTOmiwin semi-automatic machine leaves a rest piece of 30 mm, increasing to 200 mm on the automatic model. The user can adjust the band speed steplessly between 12 and 150 m/min.

According to Kasto, the installation length required by the KASTOmiwin is 3,950 mm, or 5,450 mm for the version with material infeed, whilepositioning the saw head at an angle reduces the width to 2980 mm, making it suitable for transportation in a container.

The KASTOmiwin can of course be served by a robot if required. In fact Kasto UK managing director Ernst Wagner, says there is a marked trend towards automated sawing.

“Nearly half of carbide circular sawing machines sold in Germany have some degree of automation, for example the inclusion of robotic chamfering, centring or sorting of cut pieces without operator intervention,” he says. “What’s more, there are similarly many examples of automation applied to bandsawing installations, not only in Germany but also across Europe and the USA. Here again, around half of installations are automated to some extent.”
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Compcut 200 helps to increase productivity

Sharp and Tappin says it is proud to add Renault Sport Racing to its expanding list of Formula One and blue-chip engineering clients. Earlier in the year, Sharp and Tappin installed and commissioned one of its Compcut 200 composite plate saws at Renault’s test facility in Enstone, Oxfordshire.

Recent feedback received from the team at Renault reinforces Sharp and Tappin’s belief that its Compcut 200 is the leading technology for the preparation of composite samples in test lab environments.

Maria Brooks, Renault Sport Racing’s senior materials laboratory technician, says:“Sharp & Tappin installed and commissioned the Compcut 200 in January and we are delighted with the plate saw.Renault Sport Racing is a competitive Formula One team, so all testing work, including preparation, needs to be of the highest quality and standard, which is what we get with the Compcut 200.

“The productivity of the materials testing laboratory has increased significantly since January as the Compcut 200 allows us to setup and run multiple panels and specimen cuts automatically,” she continues.“Full automation of the machine positions the material after each cut, removing the need to stop/start the saw to remove a cut specimen and realign and clamp.

“The Compcut 200 gives us high-quality test specimens with an excellent edge finish within the tight tolerances expected cut after cut. The level of service provided over the course of the 6 months from Sharp and Tappin has been excellent. In addition, the Compcut 200 has a compact footprint and is extremely simple to clean and maintain.”

Ben Sharp, Sharp and Tappin’stechnical director, adds: “We are extremely proud that our latest machines are now proving themselves at the highest levels of engineering. We had been in discussions with Renault Sport Racing since the Advanced Engineering show in 2017, where they viewed one of our pre-production Compcut 200s. Their initial comments and feedback helped us to hone the final production model, and our flexibility, commitment to product performance, and support, gave them the confidence to purchase the machine.
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Dyfed Steels invests in latest Noritake saw

Dyfed Steels has recently invested in its second Noritake saw. The NCS-7/80 is the latest high-speed circular sawing machine from Noritake, which is represented in the UK by Sawcraft. Boasting the ability to increase cutting capacity by more than three times that of conventional models on the market, the NCS-7/80offers an average speed for cutting S45Csteel bar (45mm diameter)of 1.8 seconds.

Other key features of this model are an increase in the feed stroke length from 600to 750mm, improving the overall speed of feeding longer length material. The overall size of the machine has also been reduced when compared with similar models, making it one of the most space efficient saws on the market, says the company.

Sawcraft, which also promotes FMB and Cosen bandsaws in the UK, recently exhibited at the Saw Expo 2018 show in Augsbury, Germany. The show is the first of its kind solely dedicated to the sawing industry, and built on success earlier this year at MACH 2018, a show that Sawcraft says brought in record sales. All of the models on display at MACH were sold off the stand.
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