Okuma has served the challenging needs of oil and energy manufacturers with CNC machining solutions designed to deliver exceptional strength, accuracy and productivity. With 100+ years of technology experience overall, Okuma’s high-performance machine tools are the result of optimizing our product offerings for many decades.
Our CNC machines are known for standing strong and stable even when threading long lengths of pipe at high rates of speed. And, as the industry’s only single-source provider, we manufacture the entire CNC machining system, including the machine, drive, motors, encoders, spindle and control, providing a synergistic system that delivers greater reliability and higher performance.
Because we make our own CNC control we’re able to engineer specialized features for the oil and energy industry. For example, based on the THINC®-OSP control, Okuma pioneered Thread Phase Matching, which allows operators to take a trimmed-down pipe end that comes in from the field, find the thread and start the rethreading process in minutes. With unique offerings such as the LOC (Lathe Oil Country) series of machines, which handle large diameter pipes and provide a threading solution, and an automated coupling cell, Okuma knows what works for tough oil and energy requirements.
CNC Machining Solutions for Oil and Energy Manufacturing
Okuma’s CNC machining solutions are used to produce parts for a variety of oil patch applications:
- OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods)
- Oil Couplings: Manufacturing efficiencies through automation
- Downhole Instrumentation: Strength in handling tough exotic materials
- Frac Pumps: Strength for the rigors of hydraulic fracturing
- Pump Jack Components: Sucker rods, arms and stanchions
- Casting Molds for Rock Bits: Strong machining solutions for the abrasive carbon material used in casting molds
- Fishing Products
- Perforating Guns
CNC Control Features for Tighter Tolerances
Threading and rethreading are critical operations in manufacturing for the oil patch, and close tolerances must be held. Okuma has developed two control features specifically for unique threading requirements.
- Rethreading has historically required the time and patience of a highly skilled and experienced operator. However with Okuma’s Thread Phase Matching, this process can be implemented automatically through the CNC control. Once the pipe is placed in the machine, the control option finds the thread and starts the rethreading process within minutes. This allows you to get back to machining faster while maintaining critical tolerances with accuracy and consistency.
- Okuma’s Variable Spindle Speed Threading (VSST) is used for machining parts that have a high L/D ratio or a thin walled diameter, with or without threads. VSST actively controls the threading feed axis based on changing spindle speeds. Feed-forward technology (using variation of spindle speed and variation of acceleration and deceleration speeds) helps realize high accuracy threading, even with spindle speed change.
A third control feature called Harmonic Spindle Speed Control (HSSC) is quite useful for oil patch manufacturers. Chatter can be a persistent problem when machining thin-walled parts, unsupported workpieces or using long boring bars. Okuma developed HSSC to allow users to easily set up defined parameters that change spindle speeds automatically.
Directional Drilling, Downhole Instrumentation and Telemetry: Strength Under Pressure
Special challenges such as directional drilling and its associated downhole instrumentation drive added pressure to produce strong pipes, threads, and telemetry components that stand up to the rigors of mapping and establishing wells. Okuma’s MULTUS horizontal CNC lathes are used in these applications because of their reliable strength and accuracy.
Automated Manufacturing of Couplings: The Okuma Coupling Cell
At IMTS 2008, Okuma unveiled the oil and energy industry’s first automated cell for manufacturing couplings. This cell removes inefficiencies from the CNC machining processes for couplings (historically involving a 30% scrap rate plus high labor costs) and allows for cost-competitive manufacturing. The automated coupling cell can be viewed in this video, and is also detailed in our case study featuring LB Pipe & Coupling, “CNC Machining Vision Becomes Reality – and Transforms an Industry.” The coupling cell can be set-up in a variety of configurations and with a variety of machine types, including horizontal and vertical lathes.
Special Challenges Require a Special Machine
Okuma’s CNC machine quality is renowned, and ideally suited for the high demands of oil and energy manufacturing. Following are a few highlights:
- 9-Axis Multitasking (available in Okuma’s MULTUS line) allows for machining oil patch parts to completion without changing setups. This allows for less WIP, better quality and less dependence on manpower, enabling significant productivity gains.
- Okuma’s Threading Suite (Thread Phase Matching, VSST and HSSC) includes control technologies designed specifically for oil and energy CNC machining and enables the most accurate, complete, productive thread making process.
- Okuma offers a broad, diversified selection of machine tool products and configurations for oil and energy: horizontal CNC lathes, double column machining centers, and turning functionalities.
- We have a documented track record of 90 months (7.5 years) “mean time between failure” (translating to user profitability).
- Every Okuma is hand scraped on each mating surface to set the foundation for consistent accuracy and long-term stability. Hand scraping introduces carefully placed high and low spots on the mating surfaces of the CNC machine. Tight tolerances can only be achieved by adding high and low spots that hold oil and allow for gliding, rather than sticking.
- Thermo-Friendly Concept (one of Okuma’s Intelligent Technologies) combines CNC control technology with stable machine design to both minimize the amount of heat generated and deal with heat that cannot be eliminated. This thermal stability enhances oil and energy accuracy while decreasing costs and maximizing profitability.
- Turn-Cut is a powerful option available on Okuma horizontal machining centers that allows the machine to create bores and diameters that include circular and/or angular features. This enables oil and energy manufacturers to turn features on parts (such as those for frac pumps) on the same platform where standard CNC machining functions are performed. Turn-Cut eliminates the need to purchase special-purpose machines, tooling, fixtures or add-on components.
- In machining for oil and energy (especially for frac pumps and downhole instrumentation), cycle times can be long, multiple tools are used, and interruptions can be problematic. Okuma’s Mid-Auto Restart and Program Restart features allow users to easily interrupt a long program, and resume it seamlessly.
- We’re the industry’s only single-source provider, with the machine, drive, motors, encoders, spindle and control all manufactured by Okuma, providing a synergistic system that delivers greater reliability and performance.
- Okuma’s THINC-OSP CNC Controls provide a Windows®-based, open architecture platform that makes it possible to easily install PC applications that allow for myriad conveniences right at the CNC machine location. This allows for handy access to tooling lists/setup spreadsheets, process documents, and how-to videos that assist operators in setup and operation. And, because we have the industry’s only fully open platform, you can create any productivity-enhancing apps you desire. The new THINC-OSP-300 control provides a feature that combines critical operator information into one “EASY OPERATION” run screen.
- Partners in THINC is a collaboration network of more than 40 industry-leading companies that come together to solve problems and explore new productivity ideas for real-world manufacturers. With the open architecture, PC-based THINC-OSP control as its nucleus, Partners in THINC brings specialized equipment, expertise and a commitment to provide the best possible integrated solutions to the oil and energy manufacturer.
Local Distribution Provides Industry Expertise and Support
Okuma sells to manufacturers exclusively through distributors. This focus has been in place for several decades, resulting in the creation of the largest independently-owned distribution network in the Americas. This distributor network provides ready access to an experienced, one-stop resource for sales, service, training, engineering, and more. This means oil and energy manufacturers can tap into the resources of a global company combined with personalized, local service and support.
- 45 Locations throughout North and South America
- 1200+ Employees
- 500+ Service/Parts Professionals
- 150+ Engineers
- 525+ Combined Years in the Machine Tool Industry
The Okuma Difference
- Provides CNC machining solutions designed to deliver exceptional strength, accuracy and productivity
- Engineers specialized features for the oil and energy industry, such as our proprietary Threading Suite (Thread Phase Matching, VSST and HSSC), which enables the most accurate, complete, and productive thread making process
- Pursues continuous innovation to tackle inefficient oil and energy manufacturing processes – one example is Okuma’s automated coupling cell
- More than 30 years’ experience in serving the oil and energy industry and 100+ years as an innovative technology provider
- Delivers experienced local dealer support to customize solutions for your individualized needs
Oil / Energy FAQs
My machining processes are really tough – can Okumas hold up to the challenge?
Yes. Okumas are known for being high quality and robust. We’ve seen machines from other builders shudder and sway (and break) under the duress of long pipes, high rates of speed, and tough materials – so we know your challenges. Simply watch our machines in action and you’ll see the stability, plus we have very low “mean time between failures” – we build them for strength and durability.
What types of unique features do you offer for my special needs?
We’ve created several innovative technologies for oil and energy. Okuma’s Threading Suite is a set of control features that make it easier to produce tight-tolerance threads. In response to the market need to streamline the coupling manufacturing process, we introduced the industry’s first automated coupling cell. And our Turn-Cut functionality allows you to turn features on parts on the same platform you’re using for machining, eliminating the need for additional equipment.
What kinds of machines do you offer for oil and energy manufacturing?
We have many! From our LOC (Lathe Oil Country) series of horizontal lathes, to our wide variety of double column machining centers, we offer many options, along with useful functionalities such as turning capabilities.
I need to track parts accountability - is there a way to simplify this process?
Yes. Because of the flexibility of Okuma’s THINC control, systems can easily be implemented that automatically collect and archive every detail of the CNC machining process. You can even customize the types of data you collect.