Starrag powers ahead with production savings for oil and gas companies

Top tier suppliers to the oil and 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 to not only meet their customers’ demands, but also to ensure that their own bottom-line margins are not only maintained but, ideally, also improved!

Nowadays, this means investing in best-in-class manufacturing technologies and 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 comprehensive product ranges, machines from Dörries and Scharmann, in particular, are paying dividends globally in oil and gas work. For example:

Burckhardt Compression in Switzerland is reducing unproductive times on piston compressors on its portfolio of Dörries and Scharmann machines that are complemented by high levels of automation;

Based in the Netherlands, Mokveld is reducing formerly long machining times as well as possible re-location errors and certainly costs, by machining its high-pressure control and stop valves complete in a single set-up on a Dörries vertical lathe; and

One-hit machining is also benefiting KSB of Germany, with one Dörries vertical lathe minimising unproductive times 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 gain unrivalled 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.

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

According to August Dünki, the company’s Director of Large Part Manufacturing: “We especially gain extra benefits from the use of the Dörries VTL’s additional moveable work table axis (for set-up and/or in-situ workpiece inspection) and reduced unproductive time via the 72.4 hp Ecoforce 2 HT 4 which utilises head attachments (with automatic pick-up) and robot tool handling.”

Importantly, too, the company highlights Starrag’s machine pre-approval software package as particularly beneficial. This details workpiece processing including all machining parameters, tools and targeted processing times and, says Mr Dünki: “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 long by 1.9 m diameter and weighing up to 12 tonnes. These are produced from materials such as cast and chrome steels, duplex, super duplex Inconel and titanium, and 80 per cent of machining – to finishes of 30 microns – is focused on turning.

Again, the use of a ‘second’ work table 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 formerly very long machining times as well as possible re-location errors and certainly costs by machining the components complete in a single set-up.

The rewards of using a Dörries Contumat VTL – in this case a VCE 2800/220 MC model – are also being gained by KSB, based near Nuremberg, which is 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, now the Contumat performs all required tasks in a single clamping.

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

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Starrag bei KSB, Pegnitz, 16.1.2017 – The Dörries VTL enables complete processing in one set-up of many typical pump components (housings)

The Dörries CONTUMAT VC 2400 MC-V has proven itself with the high-precision machining of rotary components

The Dörries Contumat VCE 2000 vertical turning lathe, with a pallet table and separate table and motor-driven alignment stand, allows the set-up process for the next workpiece to be completed while another is being processed