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Starrag Production savings for oil and gas companies

| Editor: Steffen Donath

Suppliers to the oil, gas and power generation industries are no different to companies involved in any other supply chain — they need to constantly work smarter, quicker and more cost-effectively.

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The Dörries VTL enables complete processing of many typical pump components (housings) in one set-up.
The Dörries VTL enables complete processing of many typical pump components (housings) in one set-up.
(Source: Ralf Baumgarten)

Nowadays, this means investing in best-in-class manufacturing technologies. As global oil and gas markets become ever-more competitive, an increasing number of suppliers (and OEMs) are gaining formerly undreamt-of production savings by harnessing Starrag’s “Engineering precisely what you value” strategy.

As part of Starrag’s product range, machines from Dörries and Scharmann, in particular, are paying dividends globally in the oil and gas industry. For example:

  • Burckhardt Compression in Switzerland is reducing unproductive time spent on piston compressors with its portfolio of Dörries and Scharmann machines, which are complemented by high levels of automation.
  • Based in the Netherlands, Mokveld is reducing long machining times, costs and possible re-location errors by machining its high-pressure control and stop valves in a single set-up on a Dörries vertical lathe.
  • One-hit machining is also benefitting KSB of Germany, with one Dörries vertical lathe minimising unproductive time and replacing two/three conventional machines in the production of pump housings.

In every case, Starrag can easily and cost-effectively ‘modify’ and supply each machine specifically to suit each user’s unique machining needs — hence, users reap great rewards through the “Engineering precisely what you value” strategy.

Manufacturing piston compressors that operate up to 3,600 bar, Burckhardt Compression uses a quartet of Starrag machines — a Scharmann Alpha 1250 M machining centre, a Scharmann Heavyspeed 2 ram-type boring mill, a Dörries Contumat VC 2400/200 vertical turning lathe (VTL) and a Scharmann Ecoforce 2 HT4 machining centre — to machine cylinders, cylinder blocks, frames, valve heads and steering rods.

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Time and production savings

When producing components up to 5.9 m long and weighing 30 tonnes, the production routines are demanding and include finish machining to 20 microns and H7 holes up to 1.3 m deep. However, Starrag machines consistently meet all requirements while also generating time and production savings compared to former methods.

August Dunki, the company's director of large part manufacturing, says: “We gain extra benefits from the use of the Dörries VTL’s additional moveable worktable axis (for set-up and/or in-situ workpiece inspection) and the reduced unproductive time via the 72.4 hp Ecoforce 2 HT 4, which utilises head attachments (with automatic pick-up) and robot tool handling.”

Additionally, the company also mentions Starrag's machine pre-approval software package as being very beneficial. This includes workpiece processing as well as all machining parameters, tools and targeted processing times. Mr Dünki adds: “This software is an important part of machine selection.”

In another example, Mokveld in the Netherlands is using a 80.5 hp Dörries Contumat VCE 2000 vertical turning lathe (VTL) to machine high-pressure axial flow control and stop valves measuring up to 2.4 m in length by 1.9 m in diameter and

weighing up to 12 tonnes.

These products are produced from materials such as cast and chrome steels, duplex, super duplex Inconel and titanium. Some 80 percent of the machining — to finishes of 30 microns — is focused on turning.

Again, the use of a second worktable is providing rewards, enabling a workpiece to be set up while another is being machined, for example. Additionally, because boring can also be undertaken on the VTL, Mokveld is reducing very long machining times, costs and possible re-location errors by machining the components in a single set-up.

Single clamping

The rewards of using a Dörries Contumat VTL — in this case, a VCE 2800/220 MC model — are also being reaped by KSB, based near Nuremberg. The company machining machine pump housings weighing up to 3 tonnes to exacting IT6 tolerance standards. Replacing a process that involved turning the housings’ front and rear sides, then re-locating on a different machine for drilling, the Contumat now performs all required tasks in a single clamping.

So, not only has the machine reduced throughput times, it has also replaced two/three conventional machines, thus allowing KSB to reap further financial capital investment rewards and improve operator utilisation.

Starrag's “Engineering precisely what you value” strategy has therefore paid off for a lot of companies. The ability to improve upon existing production chains and modify them according to the needs of the company is the strength of Starrag's strategy.

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