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Industry News (1255)

The latest machine industry news from around the globe.

Four Strategic Global Business Leader Panels Will Feature Oil and Gas Industry’s Most Powerful Decision Makers

CEO Speakers Represent Multinational Oil Majors, National Oil Companies, Oilfield Services and Industry Finance

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 14 August 2017 – Delegates at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) will have more opportunities than ever to hear some of the oil and gas industry’s most powerful executives speak in open-invite conference sessions, after organisers confirmed they will increase the number of Global Business Leader panels for 2017.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, hosted by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and organised by the Global Energy division of dmg events, ADIPEC has a successful history of attracting the industry’s top CEOs as speakers.

The separate Global Business Leader panels were launched in 2015 with two sessions. The positive response saw a third session added in 2016, and organisers will include a fourth panel discussion for 2017. With this year seeing ADIPEC expand to include downstream industries for the first time, an additional programme will include three Downstream Global Business Leader panels.

“ADIPEC is unique for its ability to attract such a broad group of industry seniors to an annual event, driven by the market power of the region’s NOCs and their IOC partners,” said Ali Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO, Al Yasat Petroleum Operations Co. Ltd and ADIPEC 2017 Chairman. “Nowhere else will industry professionals get such an insight into the strategic thinking guiding the industry forward, from individuals whose decisions are critical to the future of oil and gas businesses.”

With planning for ADIPEC entering its final weeks, organisers have confirmed the involvement of 13 CEOs for the Global Business Leader panels and are in talks with many more across the global industry. A further nine CEOs have been confirmed for the Downstream Global Business Leader programme.

Beyond the conference programme, CEOs convene at ADIPEC to do business and sign deals, offering conference delegates an opportunity not only to learn from the best, but also to grow their business and find new opportunities.

The confirmed CEO speakers include Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive at UK-headquartered multinational, BP; Datuk Zulkiflee W. Ariffin, President and Group CEO of Malaysian national oil company, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas); Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of France’s Total; Vagit Alekperov, President, Member of the Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Management Committee, at Russia’s Lukoil; Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CEO, Petroleum and Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company; Mario Mehren, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Wintershall; Toshiaki Kitamura, President and CEO at Japan’s INPEX Corporation; and Claudio Descalzi, CEO at Italian multinational, Eni.

Their individual perspectives include experience at some of the world’s largest vertically integrated oil and gas companies, including two of the industry ‘supermajors’, operating across a diverse range of international markets, both in terms of exploration and production, and in terms of sales.

They will be joined by the heads of three of the biggest international suppliers of oilfield services: David Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer at McDermott; Mark McCollum, CEO at Weatherford, and Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO at Baker Hughes, a GE company.

Offering a regional perspective on oil and gas investment will be Mansour Al Mulla, Chief Financial Officer, Petroleum and Petrochemicals, Mubadala Investment Company, while Brian Gilvary, Group Chief Financial Officer at BP, will offer an international view.

“ADIPEC is the leading event for the global oil and gas industry, and that is reflected in the status of speakers we consistently attract for our conference programme,” said Christopher Hudson, President – Global Energy at dmg events. “The executives who have agreed to be part of our Global Business Leader panels are among those whose decisions shape the future of the industry, and who are most qualified to discuss the path forward for oil and gas in the coming years.”

With ADIPEC 2017 to be held under the theme ‘Forging Ties, Driving Growth’, the four Global Business Leader panels will focus on strategies that can deliver continuing business success, with discussion of the most pressing topics facing the sector today. There will also be a highly focused session on energy finance, investment, consolidation and diversification.

“The oil and gas industry continues to be a key driver for the global economy, but the market is changing, and industry leaders must respond,” said Hudson. “ADIPEC is a platform where businesses can share ideas that will help them evolve with the commercial environment. With our invited CEO speakers for 2017, we are placing greater emphasis on leaders with a truly global footprint. Their decisions will define the future for oil and gas: pioneering new ideas and breaking boundaries, fostering relationships, and building on momentum.”

More than 10,000 delegates, 2,200 exhibiting companies, 900 speakers, and in excess of 100,000 visitors, from 135 countries, are projected to gather in Abu Dhabi for ADIPEC 2017.

In its 20th edition, ADIPEC is firmly established as the world’s most influential oil and gas industry event, and the ADIPEC Conference Programme sets the standard for the exchange of best practice and operational excellence. Dedicated 2017 conference sessions include offshore and marine, women in energy and security in energy, along with global downstream technical sessions. The downstream sessions are new for this year, emphasising downstream expansion, diversification, integration, and technology innovation and R&D.

Other features include the ADIPEC Awards, which celebrate excellence in energy; Young ADIPEC, designed to encourage students to choose a career in energy; and the exclusive VIP programme briefings for members of the Middle East Petroleum Club.

ADIPEC will be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 13 to 16 November 2017.

 For more information, please click here.

Previously working as an engineer in the Formula One industry, it was the unsociable and unpredictable working routines that led Allan Carabine to set up his own machine shop in 2011. Working in motorsport taught the new business owner two valuable lessons: start with a five-axis machining centre and then implement leading CAM software to drive the machine.

For Milton Keynes-based MK Precision Engineering, this marked the arrival of a Hurco five-axis VM10U and HyperMill CAM software from Open Mind Technologies as the company’s very first acquisitions. Commenting upon this selection, which was to base the foundation of the company, Carabine says: “Everyone can do three-axis work, so when I started I wanted to start with a five-axis machine. The next thing I had to get was HyperMill CAM software.

“I’ve worked for Formula One teams as well as some of the most prestigious subcontractors in the motorsport supply chain; all used HyperMill as it is the only viable package for companies serious about five-axis machining,” he continues. “Open Mind confirmed the post-processors were compatible with the VM10U and from that point, the CNC controller became irrelevant as everything is modelled and programmed in HyperMill.”

The Buckinghamshire business started by machining steel mount components for a camera company; this soon evolved into five-axis Formula One work and six years later the small business has expanded to machining a complete range of rail, cryogenics and motorsport parts.

Although the business manufactures production runs for the defence industry, the average batch size ranges from 10 to 20 parts, machining materials from aluminium, stainless steel, plastic and nylon composites. Of course, to take on the additional work, MK Precision required more staff and machine tools. The acquisition trail brought the subsequent arrival of two three-axis Hurco VM30 machines, a larger five-axis VMX30U, a TM8i turning centre and a CMM for ensuring the conformity of Formula One components. However, 40% of the company’s work remains prototype business and this is where HyperMill really benefits the company.

“The programming time will be anything from 20 to 50% of the overall time spent on each part, something that obviously varies with the complexity of individual jobs,” says Carabine. “With prototype parts requiring up to four hours of machining, the programming time can be anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours. One of the main benefits of HyperMill is the modelling and collision checking of the parts. Additionally, the post-processors run error-free to give us the utmost confidence that we can load a part on to a machine, and whatever program we load, we can run it without waiting nervously in the wings. This confidence is set in stone with a rework cycle that creates the toolpaths with comprehensive collision detection. Here, the cycle revisits all toolpaths prior to sending the program to the machine tool.”

The growing workload recently noted an additional seat of HyperMill arriving at MK Precision. According to the company, the first seat has delivered remarkably short programming times; a necessity for a machine shop manufacturing low quantity, highly complex parts. The second seat is now underpinning this strategy.

From a cost perspective, HyperMill has reduced tooling consumption by almost 80% and slashed cycle times by over 50%. These savings are credit to continually evolving strategies that are being developed by Open Mind. Some of the new strategies that are now being applied were unfamiliar to the company when it bought its first seat some six years ago. For instance, the statistics are partially credit to innovative trochoidal milling strategies, something that is also generating a noticeable reduction on spindle load at MK Precision.

Another strategy that is prolonging tool life and improving consistency and process reliability for unmanned machining is the five-axis optimised rest material machining strategy. The new cycle generates high-speed cutting toolpaths for rest material machining based on the preceding roughing operation. Shorter tools can be used with improved stability for machining excess material from cavities and hard-to-reach areas.

“This feature has given us more confidence when machining parts with cavities,” says Carabine. “Previously, we would order extra tools in preparation for tool breakages in cavities, but the five-axis optimised rest material strategy has given us confidence in the process, the cutting tool and the ability to run unmanned machining where necessary.”

With customers that frequently require engraved components for traceability, MK Precision is making use of the five-axis contour milling strategy.

“There are certainly projects that we would never have won without the five-axis contour milling strategy,” says Carabine. “It enables us to engrave parts on irregular and round parts. Easy to program, the strategy keeps the cutting tools perpendicular to the component face to generate simple and precise part marking. This has been a huge benefit when we have needed to engrave batches of parts with individual part numbers. Even when doing this, HyperMill has a sequential feature that automatically changes the part number on each component.”

MK Precision has a number of turned parts which often require second operation machining on one of the company’s five-axis Hurco machines.

“HyperMill accommodates all our turning requirements and the multi-axis shape-offset module has the ability to trim toolpaths automatically to in-process stock, thereby saving manual tool edit procedures,” explains Carabine. “This utility covers stock model generation, where we can easily transfer the stock model to our three- or five-axis machines. As a result, we can streamline the transfer of parts from one machine to another while saving considerable programming times. It also reduces machining times as it intuitively recognises what stock has already been removed.”

In addition to the HyperMill CAM package, MK Precision is making good use of HyperCAD-S.

Concludes Carabine: “Although HyperMill enables us to model and program parts extremely quickly, some customers, particularly in the rail industry, only supply physical 2D drawings and not common electronic formats such as STEP, IGES, DXF and STL files. Using HyperCAD-S, we can quickly generate component models from 2D drawings and these are rapidly expedited to create CAM programs. Additionally, we can accept electronic files from customers, drop them into HyperCAD-S, manipulate and edit the files where necessary and then generate part programs.

“Overall, Open Mind has delivered huge savings in programming times, shop-floor production, tool life and lead-times.”

For further information
www.openmind-tech.com

Mould and die technology expo

Makino in the US has announced the details of its 2017 Mould and Die Technology Expo, a biennial exhibition highlighting new and improved manufacturing processes, techniques, philosophies and strategies. The event will take place on 13-14 September at the company’s technology centre in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Demonstrations will be included of some of Makino’s latest machining technologies, including machines equipped with the new Professional 6 (Pro6) control; updated die-sink EDM technologies with the new Hyper-i control (pictured); the recently released D200Z five-axis vertical machining centre; and a new precision five-axis vertical machine to be unveiled on the show floor. More than 23 machines will be powered up, with multiple demonstrations displaying machining process solutions.

“Today’s mould and die shops have to compete globally on a daily basis,” says Andre Ey, vice president of die/mould and EDM technologies. “At this year’s expo, our goal is to demonstrate how to achieve outstanding speed and accuracy on tough jobs with reliable and repeatable process solutions. At the same time, we are showing our visitors what’s next on the road of technology that will shape their business in the years to come.”

At the expo, attendees will be able to meet with Makino engineers for one-on-one consultations to identify machining solutions that best fit their needs. Educational presentations are scheduled to cover a variety of manufacturing topics from five-axis machining techniques to automation systems and advanced EDM control technologies. Special guest presentations will be given by Laurie Harbour, president and CEO of Harbour Results Inc; Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics; and Casey Selecman, director of advisory services at IHS Markit.

For further information
www.makino.com

The EMO trade show (Hanover, Germany, 18-23 September) is the setting chosen by Spain-headquartered Ona to present three EDM machines designed from the viewpoint of innovation, performance, robustness and effectiveness. As technology specialists with an equipment efficiency rating of 98%, Ona will be showing wire EDM, die-sinking EDM and micro-hole EDM machines.

The Ona AV100 wire EDM offers multiple combinations for X, Y and Z-axis travel (up to 1300 mm on the Y axis and up to 700 or 800 mm on the Z axis). A robust mechanical structure contributes to high surface finishes, even on complex workpieces, while the latest-generation CNC is capable of controlling up to eight axes simultaneously and comes with a user-friendly, 23” touch-screen HMI and 3D workpiece visualisation.

Also on the stand will be the Ona TQX8 die-sink EDM with new digital generator to ensure improved performance and productivity. The machine’s double head delivers up to 50% reduced erosion times, increasing productivity by as much as 200%, says Ona. Available with high levels of automation, the TQX8 is fully configurable and programmable to meet the requirements of each customer.

Last but not least, EMO visitors will also be able to see the MF5 micro-hole EDM for the production of workpieces with hole diameters between 0.08 and 3 mm. Target sectors include energy, aerospace, aerospace, automotive (diesel fuel injectors) and medical.

For further information
www.onaedm.com

At three locations in Europe, the US and Asia, the Härter Group produces stamping tools, injection moulds, stamped parts and deep-drawn components for the electronics and automotive industries. With high vertical integration – even in toolmaking – the company strives to ensure maximum flexibility and quality. Needless to say, wire-cutting is part and parcel of this ethos.

For Rüdiger Gruner, head of EDM at the company’s Königsbach, Germany facility, the high quality of the tools designed and manufactured in-house has a large hand in success at Härter: “Wire EDM is still indispensable in toolmaking,“ he says.

This is why the company has more than 23 wire-cutting machines at Königsbach, including an MV2400R from Mitsubishi Electric. In what the company terms its “standard category“, punches, dies and tooling plates are cut with 0.25 mm diameter wire to a surface finish as good as Ra 0.3 μm. In the other category, the wire-cutting systems machine the parts with 0.2 to 0.03 mm diameter wire to high accuracy and surface finishes as fine as Ra 0.07 μm.

“Although we’ve been very satisfied with the wire-cutting systems of a single manufacturer for many years, we’re occasionally on the lookout for a complementary solution,“ says Gruner. “In our research, we were drawn to Mitsubishi Electric, which is why we invested in an MV2400R as an alternative to the previous machines.“

The MV2400R comes with a large working range and highly reliable wire threading.

“During standard machining particularly, where we machine tooling plates and small series of punches and dies, a large work space facilitates higher productivity,“ explains Gruner. “However, we can only exploit this profitably if the wire-cutting machine operates reliably unmanned for many hours.“

For further information
www.mitsubishi-edm.de

Micro-EDM for electronic parts

With its new AgieCharmilles Form S350, GF Machining Solutions says that electronic component manufacturers can easily and repeatedly deliver machining accuracy to satisfy customer demands. One key to the machine’s ability to drive customer success is its latest-generation Intelligent Power Generator (IPG), conceived especially for super-finishing and precision applications. The IPG represents a breakthrough over standard EDM by solving historic process challenges when using copper electrodes, including electrode wear induced by electrical discharge multiple reopening.

As a result of work by GF Machining Solutions, speed improvements of 40% and corner wear reduction of 50% can be achieved, says the company.

The machine also offers a new discharge circuit for spark erosion power modulation and the flexibility to maximise material removal. Finishing details are achieved by reducing the spark gap to just a few microns. At the same time, thanks to the Form’s S350’s embedded technologies, micro-machining processes are optimised so that fewer electrodes are consumed. Reduced electrode consumption positively impacts customer profitability in a number of ways, including shorter machining times and reduced downtime.

Thanks to its short C-axis construction and oversize cast iron frame, mechanical stability and precision are assured throughout the lifetime of the machine. This means that customer accuracy is uncompromised by part weight or dielectric volume. Precision is further advanced by the machine’s ability to absorb all machining forces, so a precise gap between the part and electrode is maintained.

For further information
www.gfms.com

Open Mind Technologies has introduced HyperCAD-S Electrode, a module for automating the design and production of electrodes used in die-sinking processes.

HyperCAD-S is an integrated CAD software for HyperMill CAM users. The most notable addition to Version 2017.2 is a module that enables the quick design of die-sinking electrodes. Thanks to the module’s convenient and automated process, users can simply base their electrodes on the face to be processed within the component geometry – no special expertise is required. The NC programmer selects these part faces and the CAD software automatically extends the electrode faces as needed; also selecting the optimum blank and holder from a library.

The module is suitable for both solid and face models, and the geometry can be selected via contours as well as faces. Any holes in the geometry are filled automatically, while HyperCAD-S also calculates the minimal rib distance, the blank’s excess and the C-angle offset.

Each electrode designed in HyperCAD-S is then directly transferred to the CAM system for further processing. The user simply selects the electrode in question and commences programming. Once all of the details are entered, HyperMill automatically generates a job list containing the relevant parameters.

For further information www.openmind-tech.com

The new wire-erosion machine for cutting tools from Vollmer is called the VPulse 500, and is not just the successor to the company’s established QWD series, but is also equipped with a new erosion generator.

Vollmer’s new Vpulse EDM generator technology is designed to ensure higher stock removal rates or improved surface quality. As is the case for the previous QWD machines, the eroding wire for the VPulse 500 also functions as an electrode. The wire is guided close enough to the cutting tool blank that a spark is generated between the electrode and the workpiece, removing material from the PCD-tipped cutting edge. Thanks to the fine eroding wire, complex geometries and the smallest inner radii can be machined precisely on multi-stage tools and bell-shaped tools, says Vollmer.

The VPulse 500 is available for the storage of 16, 28 and 65 workpieces, while PCD tools weighing up to 25 kg can be machined. Workpieces with a length of up to 500 mm and a diameter of up to 320 mm can
be accommodated within the work envelope.

“The VPulse 500 marks the beginning of a new era of wire erosion for us – not only in terms of technology and applications, but also in our naming style,” states Dr Stefan Brand, CEO of the Vollmer Group. “The V stands for Vollmer and the second part of the name describes the technology. ‘Pulse’ refers to the generator technology used in the VPulse 500 and sets a faster pace for the erosion process.”

For further information
www.vollmer-group.com

Let automation take the strain

Available in the UK from REM Systems, the new Erowa Robot Dynamic 150L production automation system for EDM operations is said to offer a range of state-of-the-art features. For instance, in terms of user-friendly operation, the pull-out magazine levels provide for maximum ergonomics during loading and unloading of pallets. Moreover, the pass-through magazine positions offer a novel solution for fast loading of electrode holders.

With the Erowa Robot Dynamic 150L there is no downtime thanks to autonomously loadable rack magazines. While the operator loads the magazine, the robot continues to operate without interruption in the background, serving all other magazines and machine tools.

According to Erowa, different magazine sizes can be used to maximise the tightest space conditions. They provide space for a virtually unlimited number of pallets. In addition to the ample number of options such as draining basins and magazine lighting, low-cost versions of the magazines are also available.

The modularity of the magazines is also beneficial for retrofitting. Pre-installed configurations can be extended at any time with new modules or options. This results in the cost of investment always remaining clear and predictable.

Last but not least, safe working areas protect against crashes, even when manually moving the axes. The areas are defined during commissioning, which means no more dangerous situations in subsequent manual work.

For further information
www.remsystems.co.uk

Dartford-based toolmaking specialist Synergy (Kent) Ltd has invested in the latest Sodick AD35L from Sodi-Tech EDM, a move that has seen both precision and ease-of-control improve in comparison with the company’s existing die-sink machine. The new AD35L has been set to work producing punches with intricate and precise forms for the compaction industry.

“Such has been our growing order book that it was clear we needed to increase our EDM capacity,” explains one of the company’s owners Ian Chambers. “For this reason, we decided to assess the market for an additional die-sink EDM.”

Despite having never used a Sodick machine before, the company’s research identified the AD35L as the solution. Following a full demonstration by Sodi-Tech EDM and the manufacture of sample parts, Synergy placed the order. Since installation, the machine has been dedicated to a single repetitive job; special compaction punches made from Vanadis 30 tool steel and carbide, with the requirement for a tight form sparked in the top face. The AD35L completes three punches every day.

“The tight form includes a maximum corner radius of 0.1 mm,” explains Chambers. “We have to hold a tolerance on concentricity of 5 µm, and 10 µm on size, depth and profile shape, as well as a high level of surface finish. However, our new AD35L meets the specification day-in, day-out.”

Ease-of-use and high levels of control are additional features of the AD35L to have impressed Chambers: “Considering I have been a user of another EDM brand for the past 30 years, the learning curve on the Sodick machine was really short,” he says. “In fact, we were running-capable in just 2-3 days.”

For further information www.sodi-techedm.co.uk

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