FANUC chosen by In-Situ to create a fully automated CNC machine tool threading system

FANUC chosen by In-Situ to create a fully automated CNC machine tool threading system from FANUC UK Limited

By: FANUC UK Limited  10/09/2015
Keywords: equipment manufacture, process control, CNC machining

Introduction In-Situ Oilfield Services Ltd, 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 OCTG connections which would improve the efficiency of the threading process for its customers. In-Situ proceeded to design and manufacture a CNC machine capable of changing set up automatically. Solution 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 of the pipe into the In-Situ threading machine. The CNC control was linked to a FANUC’s 15” Paneli (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 greatly reduce the machines wiring content, reducing build time and improving reliability, as well as reducing electrical noise associated with machines requiring long cable runs. Benefits The automated solution provides In-Situ’s oil and gas customers with unrivalled flexibility to thread pipes up to 20 inch in diameter pipe and 45 foot long, followed immediately by a 2 3/8 inch diameter pipe, just two feet in length. The required setup changes to machine and handling are fully automated removing the need to re-work the pipes. This led to substantial production increases to the end user, and the machines precision and repeatability ensured constant quality high standard. Stewart Robb, owner and managing director, Insitu said: “We looked at the market for CNC suppliers, and we 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.” Stewart continued: “The original concept for our machines was quite simple, but over time the demands from our customer base demanded more sophisticated machines, with greater automation. The FANUC 30i-B control system expands its axes and functionality as customer demands increase. We are able to customise and control screens on the 30i-B, giving us greater flexibility to meet these expectations by using the FANUC ‘Picture feature.’ This allows us to create our own 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 In-Situ to develop new features and functions for the machines and bring these to the market very quickly.” Outcomes In-Situ Oilfield Services, in association with FANUC, have created a unique and highly sophisticated range of machine tools now well received by multinational oil and gas companies worldwide, transforming the threading process.

Keywords: cnc machine tools, CNC machining, control equipment, control technology, equipment manufacture, factory automation, Industrial automation, Industrial Process Control, Industrial Process Control Equipment, precision machining, process control, Process control equipment, servo motors, variable speed drives

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