Automated benefits

Automated benefits
Automated benefits

In-Situ Oilfield Services, a leading provider of specialist CNC machine tools for the oil and gas industry based in Scotland, identified a different approach to the threading of Oil Country Tubular Goods

(OCTG) connections which would improve the efficiency of the threading process for its customers. The company proceeded to design and manufacture a CNC machine capable of changing set- up automatically.

In-Situ, with the assistance of Fanuc, a leading robotic and automation provider, created a fully automated CNC machine tool system for the threading process. Fanuc's latest high end 30i-B series control was used, incorporating the patented Dual Check Safety (DCS) system, for the process of raising, feeding and aligning the pipe into the In-Situ threading machine.

The CNC control was linked to a Fanuc's 15 inch Panel i (industrial PC) which allowed In-Situ to develop a user friendly operating system for the end user, for what was previously a very complex, demanding and time consuming task.

The latest Fanuc high specification Alpha i servo and spindle motors, with Alpha i B series amplifiers were used for their compact size and high performance. In addition, Compact Beta i servo motors and amplifiers for controlling the laser slides and handling axes were deployed to automatically control the height and position of the pipe being machined.

The Fanuc 30i-B controller was built with an I/O Link i system, connected by fibre optics to significantly reduce the machine's wiring content, minimising build time and improving reliability, as well as reducing electrical noise associated with machines requiring long cable runs.

The automated solution provides In-Situ's oil and gas customers with the flexibility to thread pipes up to 20 inch diameter pipe and 45ft long, followed immediately by a 2 3/8 inch diameter pipe just two feet in length.

The required set-up changes to machine and handling are fully automated removing the need to rework the pipes which led to substantial productivity gains for the end user. The machine's precision and repeatability ensured repeatable, high levels of quality.

Stewart Robb, In-Situ's owner and managing director comments: “We looked at the market for CNC suppliers and chose Fanuc as our partner because of the high quality of their products and global footprint. The rapid availability of spares parts and guaranteed availability for over 25 years is very attractive to us, supplying our company and customer base with the type of back-up it needs around the world.”

He continues: “The original concept for our machines was quite simple but over time our customers needed more sophisticated machines with greater automation. The Fanuc 30i-B control system expands its axes and functionality as customer requirements change. We are able to customise and control screens on the 30i-B, giving us greater flexibility to meet these expectations through Fanuc's ‘Picture' feature which allows us to create our own Human Machine Interface (HMI) with unique features and functions requested by our end users.

“Throughout the development of our machines we have received excellent support from Fanuc's applications team in the UK. Not only did they help In-Situ achieve a very user friendly product for what are now quite complex machines, but their support also allowed us to develop new features and functions for the machines and bring these to the market very quickly.

“In-Situ Oilfield Services, in association with Fanuc have created an innovative and highly sophisticated range of machine tools now well received by multinational oil and gas companies worldwide, transforming the threading process.” In-situ Oilfield Services


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