Okuma, Productivity, Factory Automation, Case Study
June 19, 2012
Many energy providers are turning to the process of well fracturing which is good news for CNC shops like Premium Frac Pumps in Fort Worth, Texas. The company makes a line of well fracturing pumps that are critical to this process.
Although Premium Frac works around the clock, they found it difficult to keep up with demand. It was then management realized that some of their more labor-intensive operations could benefit from automation. Gosiger Factory Automation designed a system that includes an Okuma LU-400, 4-axis CNC lathe; an Okuma LB-3000EX, 2-axis CNC lathe; and a Fanuc R-200 iB/165 robot that services both Okuma machines. The system is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate a wide range of parts, but is primarily used to make pump valves and seats. These parts are made from castings and forgings and have cycle times of 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes. Initial operations are performed in the LU-400 CNC machine and secondary operations in the LB-3000. The Fanuc robot tends both machines, flipping over the part between operations.
Because this work was previously performed on manually loaded CNC machine tools, Premium Frac Pumps calculates that productivity for these items has improved by more than 40% since automating the process. According to a company spokesperson, “Given that we run 24/7, the payback on this automation system took just six months. That’s how much direct labor we save. Before, our operators couldn’t keep up with the cycle times, so there were a lot of wasted hours. With the Fanuc robot and the fast cycle times of these Okuma CNC lathes, the line can run continuously to pump out the volume we need.”
To learn more about the advantages of automating your manufacturing process, contact Gosiger Factory Automation.