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Texas Sized Tools for Big, Tough Oil Patch Jobs



A closer look into the Hyundai WIA L700MA with Fanuc 32iM control. Fixtured is a mandrel which is rough turned, finish turned, threaded and splined. The finished parts (inset) are turned on a smaller lathe and the splines are machined on the VX650-50.

The two Hyundai WIA L700MA heavy duty CNC turning centers have a 36.2" maximum turning diameter, a 128" maximum turning length, a bar capacity of 6.5" in diameter, a 24" hydraulic chuck, spindle speed of 1,800 RPM, with 60 HP spindle power.

Some parts can weigh up to 2 tons featuring up to a 40" OD (shorter lengths), or as long as 220" in length (with an 8" OD). The hardness of the material for downhole tools typically is 36 to 40 RC. Moving these mandrels from machine to machine not only encouraged damage but also involved time consuming, difficult and delicate maneuvering involving forklifts and cranes.

A closer look at the dynamic work area of the Hyundai WIA L700MA. JNB has two of the monsters equipped with live tooling. (inset) A part being finish turned. The built-in tailstock has a 6.3" diameter quill, delivering 7,407 lbs. of thrust. The control is a Fanuc 21iM (32iA on newer models).

The Hyundai WIA L600 heavy duty CNC turning centers have a 36.2" maximum turning diameter, a 128" maximum turning length, a bar capacity of 4.6" in diameter, a 24" chuck, spindle speed of 1,800 RPM, with 60 HP spindle power. Truly huge rough stock and finished part.

Finished driveshafts, turned and splined. According to JC Payne, "Some of the parts that we run on the VMC include driveshafts which require turning and milling, these parts are used in directional drilling."

The Hyundai WIA VX650-50 VMC couples power and heavy-duty cutting with repeatable accuracy, rigidity and precision performance. See finished turned and splined parts on either side of the operator.

Some of the more complex gear-like geometries run on the Hyundai WIA VX650-50.

JC Payne, Vice President (left) and Juan Alvarez, President of JNB Machine. In background, the Hyundai WIA L700MA heavy duty CNC turning center is being programmed.

Parts used in the oil drilling business, the "Oil Patch," are tough (36-40 RC), big (diameters to 40", lengths to 220"), heavy (weights from 500 lb. to 2 tons) and require equally tough, rigid, highly flexible machine tools to deal with them. These are not jobs for the weak-kneed or faint-of-heart (nor their machine tool equivalencies). However, some shops with the right tools thrive on this stuff.

Juan Alvarez has spent the better part of 40 years in the Oil Patch in Texas, as a leading manufacturer of drilling and downhole tools with several major oilfield equipment manufactures.

Today, Alvarez is President of JNB Machine Shop, Inc., a 10-year supplier of components for downhole drilling applications in oil wells. John "JC" Payne, Vice President, describes JNB as follows: "JNB is a superior provider of drilling tools components. Our square footage is 12,800 - 160 ft. long by 80 ft. wide. It's a two bay shop with a five-ton crane in each bay. The types of materials we turn and mill include 4140, 4340 and 4330. All the parts we make are for downhole applications."

The Right Tools

The majority of parts machined are mandrels. According to Payne, "We were running the mandrels in a process that required multiple machines. And these are not small parts we are machining. Some mandrels can be as long as 220" in length (with an 8" OD). Other parts that we run can feature up to a 40" OD (short lengths) and can weigh up to two tons. These long parts require turning the mandrel around to machine both ends. The hardness of the material for downhole tools typically is 36 to 40 RC. Previously, we would do the turning on a lathe and then move the part to a mill, do a complete setup, then mill the splines. So, moving these mandrels from machine to machine not only encouraged damage but involved time-consuming, difficult and delicate maneuvering involving forklifts and cranes."

Everything has now changed, with the investment JNB has made in several new Hyundai WIA machines-a VX650-50 vertical machining center, two L700MA turning centers with live tooling and an L600 turning center-which have rendered the previous multi-machine process obsolete. "Now these parts are run in a single setup on a single lathe," said Payne. "We load the part on the machine, machine each feature, take it off and it's ready for shipment. We have gained 30-50 percent efficiency with the new Hyundai's and can now produce about four mandrels with splines per day, versus the two to three per day we were getting with our old process-plus, they have had a dramatic impact on our volumes, productivity, throughput and quality."

Payne says the parts they run on the turning centers are primarily mandrels, long shafts with a thru hole of various diameters. They rough turn the mandrel, finish it and then machine two different types of threads-OD Acme threads and API threads. The Acme threads are on one end and the API threads are on the other end. The last operation is cutting the splines that are spaced at 60-degrees and are 35" to 36" in length. The splines are cut after the turning and threading operations.

JNB has capabilities of cutting a wide array of splines, from straight splining to involute splining (that are very much like gearing in appearance and function), by utilizing specialized cutting tools on the turret and the live tooling features. "The Hyundai machines are very versatile, and in the case of the L700MA's they can mill the splines in the lathe without having to take the mandrel out of the machine to create the splines on a mill," said a company spokesperson. "The Hyundai's can easily hold 0.001" to 0.002" in tolerance and repeatability. These tools have to be particularly durable because of the harsh environments in which they work and the Hyundai turning centers offer plenty of rigidity, due to their design and weight (51,808 lb.)."

JNB's Hyundai WIA VX650-50 VMCs have also significantly reduced set-up time with the help of a fourth axis. "Some of the parts that we run on the VMC include driveshafts, which require turning (performed on a smaller lathe) and some milling. These parts are used in directional drilling operations," said Payne. "We do elliptical or circular splining on both ends. The most popular of these parts is 3.25" in diameter. The material is 4330V modified. Most splines are short, 3.00" in length. There are 23 splines on each end. The weight of this shaft is approximately 44 lb. We had the mill equipped with an optional fourth axis which lets us do splining and profiling, which normally you could not do without a fourth axis."

A Closer Look at Technology

Alvarez said, "The dealer that we work with, Hillary Machinery (Houston), knew we were looking at moving up to larger parts, and they knew the process we were using at the time-having to use multiple machines. Hillary approached us with information on the Hyundai WIA machines they felt would be a good addition and bring value to our company. So these larger turning centers have allowed us to compete for larger and larger parts, whereas before we were not competitive in those markets. These machines have definitely given us a competitive advantage against other companies of our size that do not have the capabilities that we now do."

"We ordered the first Hyundai WIA machine two years ago, and we now have four turning centers and one VMC," said Payne. "We really like the live tooling in the two L700MA turning centers. Those are the first two machines we bought from Hyundai WIA and the live tooling was a very strong selling point."

The Hyundai WIA L600 heavy duty CNC turning centers have a 36.2" maximum turning diameter, a 128" maximum turning length, a bar capacity of 4.6" in diameter, a 24" hydraulic chuck, spindle speed of 1,800 RPM, with 60 HP spindle power. X- and Z-axis travels are 18" and 130" respectively with a rapid traverse of 0.47" (X and Z). The 45-degree slant bed is heavily ribbed providing rigidity for high-speed, heavy-duty cutting. The 12-station non-lift servo turret delivers an index time of 0.4 seconds. The built-in tailstock has a 6.3" diameter quill, delivering 7,407 lbs. of thrust. Two optional steady rests allow easy handling of long work pieces. The control is a Fanuc 32i.

The two Hyundai WIA L700MA heavy duty CNC turning centers have a 36.2" maximum turning diameter, a 128" maximum turning length, a bar capacity of 6.5" in diameter, a 24" hydraulic chuck, spindle speed of 1,500 RPM, with 60 HP spindle power. X- and Z-axis travels are 20" and 130" respectively with a rapid traverse of 0.47" (X and Z). The massive one-piece 45-degree slant bed is heavily ribbed providing rigidity for high-speed, heavy-duty cutting. The large 12-station turret with BMT-type milling turret delivers a fast index time of 0.4 seconds. The built-in tailstock has a 6.2" diameter quill delivering 7,407 lbs. of thrust. Two optional steady rests allow easy handling of long work pieces. The control is a Fanuc 32i on one machine with the other having 21i.

"The Hyundai WIA VX650-50 VMC couples power and heavy-duty cutting with repeatable high accuracy, rigidity and precision performance. The VX650-50 has a 63" x 25.6" table and a 2,866 lb. table load capacity. Axes travels are 55.1" in the X, 26" in the Y and 25" in the Z. Spindle taper is NT#50, spindle speed is 6,000 RPM and spindle power is 20 HP. Rapid traverse rates are 1,417 IPM for both X- and Y-axis; 1,181 IPM for the Z-axis. The twin arm automatic tool changer holds 24 tools (optional 30). It offers a maximum tool diameter of 4.3", length of 11.8" and weight of 33.1 lb. The tool selection type is random and tool-to-tool change time is 4 seconds. The control is a Fanuc 0i M," said the company spokesperson.

"We are running these Hyundai machines 68 hours a week and have been from day one," Payne said. "They are never down, and we have parts continuously running through them. Further, these machines are not difficult to change over. A typical change can take 20 to 30 minutes. This is taking the part off and putting a new one on, requiring a new setup. Once the setup is done, the change can easily be done in five to 10 minutes.

"These machines are very user friendly and easy to run. We have different controls on the machines. On the VX650-50 we have the Fanuc 0i M control, and on the turning centers we have much more advanced controls. On one L700LM we have the Fanuc 32i M, while the other operates on Fanuc 21i M, and on the L600 we have Fanuc 32i M controls. The Fanuc 21i M controls are far more advanced than the 0i M. However, all of the Fanuc controls are very easy to run as well as being easy to learn. The 32i M is even more advanced and it processes data much faster than the other controls.

"Hillary Machinery provides outstanding service for the Hyundai WIA machines. If we need some attention, all we have to do is call, and they send a technician out right away. Their technicians know the Hyundai machines inside and out, and they were here to set up all the Hyundai WIA machines," said Payne.

Down the Hole

"The downhole components that we machine are integrated in a larger assembly that makes up the drilling jar," Alvarez said. "The drilling jar is the part that does the actual drilling. It has bits that cut into the ground, and we make shafts, the mandrels, that are part of the drilling jar. And some of these are very long, very large, and very heavy. When these parts are assembled into the drilling jar, the splines engage with another mandrel that has splines, and they are aligned in such a fashion that they provide the torque required for the drilling forces. This is when the jar is rotating and doing the drilling. So these splines interlock with other splines and that provides the torque for the rotational movement of the drilling jar as it rotates and cuts."

A Certain Future

"As I said earlier, we are running these machines constantly, 68 hours a week," said Payne, "and they are never down. We are continuously running parts through these Hyundai machines, which is a good thing because we have not experienced any slowdown or lack of work coming from the Oil Patch-nor do we see a letup on the horizon."

"Within the next few months we plan to expand our building by 50 percent so that we can increase production capacity," said Alvarez. "Business is very, very good. 2011 was our best year ever. Currently, we're running at full capacity. That's the main reason driving our decision to expand-to accommodate new equipment in order to meet customer demand."

For more information contact:

JNB Machine Shop, Inc.

20231 Hempstead Rd.

Houston, TX 77065

832-237-5000

www.jnbmachineshop.net

 

Hyundai WIA Machine America Corp.

450 Commerce Blvd

Carlstadt, NJ 07072

201-636-5600

www.hyundai-wiamachine.com

 

**Southwest only**

Hillary Machinery Inc.

1825 Summit #207

Plano, TX 75074

972-578-1515 / 800-683-1516

www.hillaryinc.com

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