Production Machining

SEP 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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Page 45 of 75

Edited by Lori Beckman CASE IN POINT 44 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: SEPTEMBER 2018 Automated Deburring Tool Increases Production of Subsea Valves M ore than 30 years ago, Abco Subsea (Houston, Texas) patented the first multi-input shuttle valve, a product that is said to now be installed on more than 20 percent of the world's deepwater drilling fleet. Subsea products must withstand a lifetime of corro- sion under the ocean without breaking down. Abco has become one of the largest providers of BOP shuttle valves to the offshore industry with a product that is meticu- lously manufactured, according to the company, even with increasing demand and production targets. Producing a product with a lifetime guarantee is no small feat for Jerry Cross, CNC manufacturing manager at Abco Subsea. In 2015, Abco brought production of the hydraulic shuttle valves in house to increase quality and consistency. Originally made of aluminum bronze, the company wanted a new line of valves made of nitronic. Mr. Cross was the point person for setting up a machine shop that would eventually manufacture 2,000 parts a month. What makes Abco's multi input shuttle valve (MISV) such a popular product is exactly what makes it difficult to manufacture. e valves, mounted on the blowout preventer, can have multiple inputs for multiple means of control—from the bridge or from a remotely operated underwater vehicle, for example. Each MISV has internal parts that have multiple holes, which Mr. Cross and his team refer to as the spool and the plug. e MISV line has three sizes—½ inch, 1 inch and 1½ inch. Correspondingly, the plug and spool has three hole sizes—¼ inch, ½ inch and ¾ inch—each 90 degrees apart for fluid flow. Multiple difficult-to-reach holes, each of varying sizes, and of varying quantity depending on the part in question made machining difficult, even for Mr. Cross and his expert team of CNC operators. Drilling happens all in one opera- tion on a lathe by indexing the part with the C axis at 90 degrees and using an end mill to drill the hole. But the job wasn't done there. Each tiny hole left material that had to be deburred to ensure the part was on spec. If left on, the burr would break loose and gall or mar the working internal surfaces, reducing the lifetime of the product or preventing a complete seal from forming. Mr. Cross tried a ceramic deburring tool, which broke apart and sent pieces flying everywhere. He tried having his team deburr manually with a router or die grinder, or using sandpaper, which left his operators worn out and didn't necessarily guarantee a perfectly deburred chamfer. :: The Cofa deburring tool by Heule Tool shaves off burrs while shaving minutes off production time for Abco Subsea operators.

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