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Shorter Cutting Times Even When Cutting Tougher Alloys

Shorter Cutting Times Even When Cutting Tougher Alloys

In light an increasing number of high-volume orders, a metal handler in the oil and gas industry decided to build a new facility to expand its capacity–and to broaden its sawing technology with the help of KASTO. 

After experiencing several difficult years, the oil and gas industry is now on the upswing again. The Howat Group also benefits from this development: Located in Barnsley in the UK, the company is a supplier of special metals for this demanding industry. The product range comprises various nickel and aluminium alloys as well as numerous steel and stainless steels. The materials are used, for example, on offshore drilling platforms or in pipeline construction – at sites where they are exposed to extreme temperatures, high pressure, and heavy corrosion.

The Howat Group opened its new facility in Dearne Valley at the end of 2018. This facility provides 60,000 square metres of space, among other things, for a large sawing plant: A total of 14 automatic saws from the German manufacturer KASTO ensure fast and accurate cuts. Some of which have been in service since the 1990s and still cut as accurately as they did when first used.

Expanding Sawing Technology

To cope with an increasing number of high-volume orders, in the course of constructing the new facility, the company also decided to expand its sawing technology. Some of the existing models were retrofitted to update them to the current technology. In addition, the company invested in the KASTOwin pro AC 5.6, which is a high-performance bandsaw optimised for the use with bimetallic and carbide blades. Therefore, it is suitable to cut alloys such as tough nickel, titanium and stainless steel with diameters of up to 560 millimetres as well as for cutting low-alloy steels.

Howat’s operations director Emma Parkinson commented, “We have four dedicated carbide cutting bandsaws on site which include KASTOtec AC5s and now the KASTOwin pro, which is even more economical. They are ideal for cutting our Inconel materials.”

Particularly for the processing of these nickel alloys, the company wanted to become more efficient and therefore decided to acquire this new machine. Parkinson explains the decision, “I am quite familiar with the benefits of the KASTO saws since I have worked with this manufacturer during my previous employment.”

Easy Blade Change Saves Tool Costs

The remainder of the sawing plant, which comprises sawing with a cutting range of up to 800 millimetres, is intended mainly for the operation using bimetal blades – however, now and then carbide blades are used as well. 

“The advantage of the KASTOwin pro is that we can use either type of blade economically,” explained Parkinson. “Whenever the material to be cut permits, we change to bimetal to extend the life of the expensive carbide blades.” Changing the blades is quick and easy – and since Howat frequently produces large batch sizes, the time spent on processing is virtually no concern.

Furthermore, KASTOwin pro excels with its high productivity.  Depending on the type of blade, cutting times can be reduced by 50 percent and more. A frequency-controlled eleven kW motor drive provides plenty of capacity for the use of carbide blades. The cutting speed is infinitely adjustable from twelve to 150 metres per minute. The electro-mechanical feed system can be controlled using two ball screw spindles, each with a servo drive for precise, infinitely variable control. This system provides exact results and minimises material waste. The saw features a retraction unit for lifting the blade from the material when the saw head moves back to protect the cutting surface and the bandsaw blade. This minimises tool wear.


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Large-Scale Metrology For Oil Industry Production

Large-Scale Metrology For Oil Industry Production

Introduction of dedicated metrology tools brings quality and efficiency improvements in large-scale subsea structure construction. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

Situated approximately 15 km south of Singapore in a free-trade-zone on Batam Island, Profab has for 20 years been building a reputation as a leading producer of large-scale parts for the global oil industry. A part of National Oilwell Varco since 2015, the company manufactures everything from subsea structures, turrets and wellhead platforms to mooring systems and pressure vessels.

This level of large-scale construction involves a host of complex industrial processes, including rolling, cutting, assembly, welding, cladding and weld overlay, post-weld heat treatment, painting and coating, loadout support, hydrostatic testing, fitting, packing and sea fastening.

Ensuring client projects are completed properly at the first attempt is a core goal at Profab, requiring the employment of the latest technology and equipment and a highly trained team. Their 27,500 square metre workshop was purpose-designed to provide the most efficient fabrication lines by minimising handling interference within the production process. Profab can handle the production of equipment weighing in at up to 4,000 tons, which can be loaded out directly onto barges via a roll-on-roll-off system using self-propelled modular transporter trailers.

Focus on Accuracy

The manufacture of pressure vessels and mooring systems are key areas where accuracy is becoming more and more critical for Profab. A key example of this was in the creation of the Sergipe floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), where precisely measuring the angles, position and length of the umbilical support structure was of great importance, with measurement essential in the reporting and positioning of adaptor plates.

The accuracy requirements for such tasks are at the submillimetre level for the machined parts, which was beyond the capabilities of the quality assurance equipment previously employed in Batam. It was clear that something more was needed to satisfy these requirements.

“We did consider a high-definition surveying system, but with accuracy at just about 2 to 3 mm, such a solution was just not workable for us,” said Rajesh Moehamad, Quality Control Manager at Profab. “Some of our customers require better accuracy than this, even for very big parts.”

After consultation with a Hexagon representative, it was clear that the Leica Absolute Tracker AT403 delivered a range of features and capabilities that perfectly aligned with Profab’s production needs in Batam.

To continue reading this article, which appeared in the April 2020 issue of Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, click here!


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Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials

Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials

Iscar F3S Chipformer For Finish Turning On Superalloys And Exotic Materials Intended mainly for aerospace industries as well as for the oil & gas market, the new efficient chip breaker for finishing operations is designed for working with unique and tough to machine nickel based alloys (Inconel, Waspaloy, etc.), as well as other exotic materials such as titanium based alloys.

The new F3S chipformer has a remarkable positive rake angle to ensure a smooth and easy cut, with significant reduction in cutting forces and notable chip breaking results.

The F3S chipformer has been designed with geometric features to improve tool life, with a reinforced cutting edge at the area where VG (notch wear) wear tends to occur when machining superalloys and exotic materials, which causes poor surface finish and risk of edge breakage.

The chipformer is available on the most popular inserts – CNMG, WNMG and SNMG – in two main grades, IC806 and IC804, and will be available in the future also on VNMG, DNMG, and TNMG inserts.


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Sandvik Coromant: GC2220 Turning Insert

Sandvik Coromant: GC2220 Turning Insert

Sandvik Coromant’s GC2220 turning insert is made for stainless steel materials. It is available for CoroTurn 107 inserts, CoroTurn TR for external profiling and T-Max P for general turning applications, and is suitable for the aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas industries.

The Sandvik Coromant GC2220 Turning Insert offers better resistance to plastic deformation and provides better edge line security.

The insert has a CVD-coated gradient sintered carbide that is designed for semi-finishing to rough turning under stable conditions where higher wear resistance is required.

Its Inveio coating provides unidirectional crystal orientation in the alumina coating layer, increasing tool life and wear resistance.


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