Case Histories

How Turbulator Company Used a Behringer Eisele Saw to Meet Customer Demands and Reduce Capital Equipment Inventory

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HCS 160 carbide circular cold sawWhen your customers are operating oil drilling rigs, you can rest assured orders are going to be of two types: rush and super rush. Quality products notwithstanding, the successful suppliers are those who can deliver on time and help stay on track with, or keep ahead of incredibly tight production schedules. Turbulator Company (Oklahoma City, OK) is one of the can-do suppliers in this category who has established a reputation for meeting critical customer deadlines.

Turbulator recently acquired a Behringer Eisele HCS 160 carbide circular cold saw. The saw is used for high speed cutting of metal bar stock to make parts for the products Turbulator Company sells. A single Behringer Eisele HCS 160 circular saw has replaced two brand-name bandsaws and has helped Turbulator stay on the fast track to success. “The Behringer Eisele saw essentially helped us shorten our supply chain,” said Jackie McHenry, Turbulator Company president, “and in the oil drilling business that is an important step toward being successful.”

Turbulator Company manufactures devices called, likely enough, turbulators which are used in the cementing phase of the oil well drilling process. After a section of an oil well bore has been drilled, the drill is removed and sections of steel pipe called the casing are inserted into the bore. Cement is pressure-pumped into the casing. The cement flows to the end or annulus of the casing and exits, then continuing to flow back up along the outer casing walls between the casing and the bore wall. When the cement hardens, it bolsters and supports the casing and performs other functions such as preventing contact between hydrocarbons within the casing and outside material such as groundwater.

To improve the quality of cementing operations turbulators are fastened around the casing at various intervals. These are metal cylinders with blades welded to the outer surface. The blades on the turbulators stand-off the casing from the bore hole wall thereby centralizing the casing string within the bore hole. The turbulators also help direct the cement flow circumferentially around the annulus to assure even distribution of cement as it moves up around the outside of the casing.

Part of Turbulator Company’s success in this area is due to the fact that Turbulator doesn’t rely on an outside machine shop for cut metal parts. They do all metal cutting for parts in-house. This shortens the supply chain thus saving valuable time in fabricating turbulators to fill impatient customer orders. With no outside vendor involved, Turbulator Company has much more control over production schedules. However, this wasn’t always the case.

“Wells are drilled much deeper nowadays than say ten or fifteen years ago,” said Jackie McHenry. “Consequently, more turbulators are used now than ever before. So there are a lot of manufacturers offering these devices now. The competition has not only pushed up the quality standards on turbulators, but it has really made on-time delivery an essential part of success for companies like ours.”

McHenry said his company started out in the early 90s manufacturing turbulators and making all of their own cut metal parts. As the customer base grew, McHenry soon found himself looking for support in the form of job shops to supply the parts. “We quickly grew to a point where we were doing about 700,000 cuts per year,” McHenry said. “The parts we cut are precision parts with high tolerances. With the volume we’re doing we have to maintain a throughput rate that can make your head spin. Finding metal cutting saws that can handle the load has been a challenge.”

Until recently, Turbulator was using two automated band saws from a well-known saw manufacturer. As customer delivery schedules grew tighter, and as more new orders were entered, McHenry decided that the job shops and bandsaws just weren’t enough to remain competitive. He began investigating new options for increasing production. At the same time he sought to maintain or improve quality. “We explained our goals to our supplier and they presented Behringer Saws. I had seen Behringer’s ads on the Internet and had been considering their machines. The time was just right.”

To meet the high throughput rates, Turbulator’s supplier recommended the Behringer HCS 160 high-performance carbide circular cold saw. This saw uses multi-fluid cooling technology to prevent heat transfer to product during mass cutting applications.

Unlike conventional misting systems, the HCS 160 saw’s innovative flood coolant system facilitates increased throughput by enabling rapid cutting over longer periods of time with fewer interruptions. Additionally, the Behringer saw has a vortex air blowing system which further enhances cutting temperature control. The vortex system not only adds to facilitating consistently high production rates, but it is also a valuable feature for customers who have cutting applications that require the material to stay free of liquid.

Said Richard Klipp, Behringer president, “The continuous cooling nature of the multi-fluid flood system permits a greater level of unattended operation because operators don’t need to keep checking the work for heat build-up. Fast, uninterrupted cutting improves throughput and the operator saves valuable time which can be devoted to other priorities.”

A fully automatic high-performance circular saw, the HCS 160 is designed for maximum yield applications. The saw may also be readily integrated with downstream production processes to let operators address production-specific tasks. This built-in flexibility enables rapid adaptation to continually changing production demands. For example, different infeed/discharge systems and link-ups to magazines and storage systems enable shops to create more dynamic production flows instead of having to follow rigid night and day shift work modes.

The saw is ideal for cutting high-alloyed heat resistant steels. Configured for workpiece diameters of up to 160 mm, the HCS 160 features a wide speed range of 20 to 250 rpm to accommodate most wet or dry sawing applications. The robust, rigid design of the HCS 160 frame enhances vibration dampening and a new blade guide features Behringer’s blade vibration absorber design. This feature, coupled with an active chip cleaning system, improves saw blade lifetime.

Based on the anticipated faster cutting speeds and time savings, Turbulator Company made the decision to install the Behringer HCS 160 saw. Said McHenry, “We absolutely needed the saw to be able to perform high speed precision cutting with minimal operator monitoring on a near 24/7 basis.” To help assure a positive outcome, Behringer technical personnel traveled to Turbulator Company and managed the installation.

Before the HCS 160, the two bandsaws frequently left Turbulator Company in a position where they had to farm out work in order to keep up with production demands. After the installation, Jackie McHenry had this to say: “All I can say is that the Behringer machine has completely replaced the two bandsaws we used to use. We’re back doing 100% of our own metal cutting — no more waiting on job shops. That is a big part of what is enabling us to meet our customers’ needs and keep them coming back.”