Machining is nothing new to the human race. It’s been practiced for over a millennium. Ancient Egypt was known to use machine tools as far back as 1200 BC. Although these were handcrafted, they gave them an advantage in ancient civilization. As expected, those periods were notable for dimensional errors when machine parts were made.
Centuries after, engineers discovered means of making more accurate products using machines. The increase in demand for products across all industries has warranted innovation for manufacturing over the years. Manufacturing industries began to seek ways of reducing wastes by increasing the accuracy of methods.
Meanwhile, to do this, there was the need to make machines with precision in every sense of it. That gave birth to precision machining.
Nevertheless, old tools were used to make machine parts, and that allowed some degree of errors. Thankfully, the involvement of computers in controlling these processes and machines has given better results down the years. We know this as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Precision Machining.
Precision CNC machining has been the new normal for most industries, the Oil and Gas Industries being one of them. This industry carries out processes such as exploration, extraction, refining, transporting, and marketing petroleum products.
Just before we look at the advantages of precision machining technology to this sector, let’s remind ourselves what precision machining is all about.
What is Precision Machining?
Precision machining involves removing materials from a block or sheet and fashioning them to meet requirements using a series of operations. So accurate are these parts formed that they have tolerances as low as 0.0005 inches. That’s many times smaller than the thickness of the human hair. Precision machine services include activities such as cutting, turning, milling, and electrical discharge machining.
These processes require several repetitions, which could be fatiguing for workers. Nowadays, using computer control, these processes are safer, faster, and more accurate.
Advantages of Precision Machining to Oil and Gas Industries
Below are some of the benefits of precision machining for oil and gas industries.
1. Provision of Specialised Parts.
Most times, the equipment and tools used in the oil and gas industry are function-specific. For instance, to dig a well, drilling tools and bit types vary according to what the reservoir engineer advises. There is no room for error in dimensions so as not to jeopardize the task.
Some specialized parts used in oil recovery include connectors, sealastic nipples, various nuts types, washers, adapters, and stiffeners, to mention a few.
These routine demands show how successful precision machining has been in delivering parts with unflinching accuracy.
2. Provision of High-Quality Materials
Machines in the oil and gas industries perform some of the most rigorous tasks possible. They have few downtimes due to the need to meet earmarked delivery. Hence, they require high-quality parts.
Precision machining using CNC machines can provide equipment and parts such as spacers, hydraulic components, sealing systems, tri-cone drill bit parts, and many more, with consistency in quality.
3. Quick Turn Around
The oil and gas industry deals with products of intense demand. With millions of barrels of crude to roll out daily, there is no room for sloppiness. During peak demand periods, things get more cumbersome. Breakdowns must be rare, and equipment and tools always at the ready for substitution.
Through precision machining, these parts and equipment are available in the demanded quality every time, hence, no lag time due to shortage. In return, the industry experiences a quick turnaround despite the challenging tasks they face daily.
4. Cost Saving
The oil and gas industries can reuse several pieces of equipment rather than purchasing more. With the availability of precision machining services such as tapping, deburring, drilling, internal threading, they can get some back to use.
These, along with other secondary operations, will help to save costs from purchase. Come to think of it, most of this equipment comes at premium prices.
Besides, a sudden downtime can lead to colossal losses running into billions. These, among other reasons, are why the oil and gas industries need oil machining industries.
5. Increased Convenience
There were times that the coupling of parts was a problem. Several cases of errors in imported parts were hindrances to production and expansion. Many of these industries had to have their machine shops to correct such cases. Now, there is no fear of mismatch due to assurance of high precision.
Besides, engineers in the oil and gas sector can now design complex machine forms, which would make their work easier. These they because of the possibilities presented by the machine workshops offering precision CNC machine services. Thankfully, several machine shops Houston offers are top-notch and capable of oil machining.
The oil and gas industries are unique in their functions and machine requirements. With the need for rapid expansion and building of the onshore and offshore structures, there is no way this would be easily achieved without precision machining.
Like other industries, machines are the backbones of production, and precision machining is the way to go.