Case Study / DMG Mori Substantial machine tool power arrives in Northern Scotland

Author / Editor: Richard Mortimer / Barbara Schulz

UK – One cornerstone of Scottish engineering is supplying the oil industry. The nature of the business means many tasks are cylindrical making high rigidity and through cooling of tools essential. Now an Aberdeen-based company has invested in a machine claimed to deliver just that.

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Wellahead Engineering in Aberdeen has recently invested in a DMG Mori DMU 95 Monoblock.
Wellahead Engineering in Aberdeen has recently invested in a DMG Mori DMU 95 Monoblock.
(Source: DMG Mori)

Having worked in the oil and gas industry for 18 years, Wellahead Engineering in Aberdeen has recently invested in a DMG Mori DMU 95 Monoblock, apparently the only machine of its kind north of Glasgow. Mike Coutts, Managing Director says: “We produce turnkey parts for downhole tools, wellhead and wireline equipment, working from concepts supplied by our customers. Additionally, we offer a bespoke repair service. Investing in 5-axis machining enables us to be more competitive in our core business and give us more opportunities in new markets.”


During the decision making process, DMG Mori sales and technical staff helped choose the right machine and investigated the best options for this type of work. “Much of our work is cylindrical, so we specified a 26” 3-jaw chuck which has enabled us to cut down considerably on the fixtures we use,” Coutts says. “This chuck, the 5-axis capabilities of the machine, the Siemens control with its special technology cycles and the on-machine laser probe for tool setting has enabled us to reduce the number of operations down to a maximum of two.”

Rigidity is said to be impressive with the machine claimed to make full depth cuts with a 60mm porcupine cutter with no vibration. According to the company, its older machines would not have the torque necessary for such heavy cuts. “We buy quality tools and we are finding that not only is tool life longer, but we can cut faster as well,” Coutts says. The high pressure coolant is excellent for through tool cooling enabling us to wash swarf out of deep holes.” For one component with 12 holes, previously it took seven minutes to peck through each hole. On the DMU 95 Monoblock, all 12 holes were apparently completed in seven minutes with a U-drill straight through with no pecking and only using 11% of the machine’s power.

Performance target: same-day fault fixing

DMG Mori uses a team of Hotliners to answer customer’s questions and resolve problems and response times and repair times are monitored. Currently 96.75% of calls are claimed to be returned within one hour and Hotliners are said to resolve 39.92% of problems over the phone free of charge. Service response for an engineer on site is a claimed to be 0.9 days for Mori derived products and 1.5 days for DMG derived products. Moreover, 58.75% of faults are said to be fixed on the first visit as the performance target DMG Mori is working towards is 1 day or better for all products.

Wellahead employs highly skilled engineers and runs an apprentice programme to build its workforce. Two of its engineers attended the basic training for the DMU 95 Monoblock which was then followed up with extra training. Sam Morson, one of the trainees says, “DMG Mori answered all our questions, we were not just left to it. The after sales support is good and the people we have contact with are nice to deal with.” Mike Coutts adds, “The pre installation checks were extensive, making sure we were ready to take delivery, with all the services in place and that we had sufficient access for delivery – all very thorough. We have a two year cycle for investment and, assuming we have sufficient work to justify further equipment, we would invest in another DMG Mori machine.”