Category: News

OTC Showed Automation in Energy is Enhancing Safety and Efficiency

Automation has become the core of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and this emphasis on efficiency is no where more apparent than in the world of energy, specifically the oil industry. Automation is evolving the industry, offering new opportunities and structurally changing how professionals approach their day-to-day work. Dan Allford, President of ARC Specialties, joined the podcast today to explain why he thinks this is one of the most positive evolutions the industry has seen in a long time.

“It’s an exciting time in the oil industry. What once was impossible or too hazardous is now feasible through automation and robotics. For example, automation is facilitating fracking, creating profitable wells that would have never been before,” Allford said.

ARC has been busy devising new products to empower the oil and gas industry, mostly around the equipment needed out in the field. “Robotics is becoming essential in the industry. First, they improve safety, often removing workers from danger. Collaborative robots can actually work together with professionals to do more,” Allford said.

He also recounts his and the company’s experience at the recently concluded OTC (Offshore Technology Conference), where they introduced a new AI-powered product. “Welding is one of the most challenging parts of developing equipment, it’s dependent on highly skilled welders. Lots of variations can occur, which the welder must account for and use their experience to configure correctly. Well, we’ve taken the knowledge that welders have along with data collected from a 2D laser to create a program that can compensate for these variations. Data and AI combine for a new technological solution,” Allford said.

OTC also gave a perfect representation of automation at work, focusing conversation on the impact that these efficiency-driven solutions will have on oil rigging for years to come. Listen to Allford give his insights on the industry, the future of technology, and on additional takeaways from the show.

KEEPING THE OIL INDUSTRY’S OPERATIONS IRONCLAD WITH NATHAN SUMRALL OF SUPERIOR CLADDING

The oil and gas industry has so much planning on the front end, but even with that type of thoroughness things can always go wrong. Accidents like Deepwater Horizon are on the front of everyone’s minds, and although tragic, they provide a huge learning lesson for how things can be done better.

Nathan Sumrall, Welding Engineer at Superior Cladding, points out that there is an urgency within the industry today that can lead to stress while trying to get everything done quickly but correctly.

As a child, he was fascinated with joining materials together, from super gluing fingers to playing with his dad’s welder. That has carried on through his B.A. in Welding Engineering and the five years that he has been in his important role at Superior Cladding.

“The justification for what we do in this company is the segue for so many challenges in oil and gas because parts either wear away or corrode away, and that’s where these claddings come in handy, because a piece of steel may have to last 20, 30, 40, 50 years and there’s a spot at the connection point where that product can wear away prematurely,” Sumrall said. “That’s where cladding fits in place.”

Listen to the full podcast!

Superior Cladding and ARC Specialties: Forging Partnerships and Infrastructure

The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) estimates that corrosion costs $2.5 trillion to the global economy, or roughly 3.4% of the world’s GDP, with $1.372 billion attributable to the oil and gas production industry. In 2017, the U.S. produced 14.72 million barrels per day, surpassing Russia’s 11.3 million and Saudi Arabia’s 9.96 million barrels per day. As America’s pipelines continue to flow and develop, corrosion becomes increasingly challenging and costly, and the need for corrosion-resistant piping becomes more imperative.

Nobody knows this more than Superior Cladding. As a leading provider of cladding products for the oil and gas and other industries, Superior Cladding boasts 35 years of expertise, onsite welding engineering, and the industry’s best welding systems. Based out of Houston, Texas, the company provides corrosion-resistant or hard facing cladding overlays to safeguard vital infrastructure, protecting surfaces from corrosion, impact and wear, prolonging component life expectancy while resulting in fewer replacements and repairs. To meet exacting industry expectations such as ASME Section IX, DNV-E101, NACE MR0175, and API: 6A, 16A, 17D, the equipment they use to apply their precision welded cladding solutions must be accurate, flexible, easy to use and extremely robust.

From day one, Superior Cladding has turned to ARC Specialties for their robotic welding equipment needs for three simple reasons: (1) ARC custom builds their own equipment; (2) ARC is an equal parts hardware and software company; and (3) the user-friendly completely automated or manually operated precision control that ARC equipment delivers. Watch this video to see why welding engineer Nathan Sumrall at Superior Cladding states that “the products and equipment that ARC Specialties makes are not useful at this company…they are VITAL!”

ARC SPECIALTIES | ARC 11D-80 | SPINDLE DRILL SYSTEM

Machine Application

The ARC 11D-80 is a servo drilling system with both the power and precision necessary to make the process of drilling multiple holes into a pipe extremely efficient. The machine features a series of 80 spindles and motors, each individually controlled and monitored for speed and torque, boasting the capability to drill a pipe 80 times in a matter of seconds

Pipe & Spindle Features

Precisely rotated by 40 servo-controlled spindles reaching speeds up to 4000rpm, the ARC 11D-80 can support pipes up to 41’ in length and 9.5” in diameter. With a drill bit capacity ranging from 5/16” to 1/2”, the 11D-80 is able to pierce through pipe walls up to 1/2″ in thickness to generate holes of varying sizes and patterns (spiral & diamond). Providing vital user-feedback of any power or speed irregularities, an advanced HMI delivers maximum control, allowing users to manipulate parameters to achieve diverse results and make individual adjustments to maintain the consistency of the drilling pattern for desired product outcome.

Cooling System, Reservoir & Chip Conveyor

An integrated cooling system helps keep the drill bits from overheating, ensuring job consistency and quality. The robust cooling mechanism can pump up to 175 gallons of coolant per minute at 45psi while providing users the ability to slow the cooling motor down and lower volumes to desired levels.

A chip conveyor ensures a clean work station by catching and washing away drill chips as the system runs its course. The 12” wide, 45’ long conveyor belt features a 60° incline to carry the chips to a cooling reservoir where they are separated from the coolant to be re-used during the drilling process. The ‘dam-like’ reservoir layout ensures that the drill bits are properly captured, and the coolant is clean of any drilling residue.

Watch: ARC Specialties on Texas Business Radio 

Texas Business Radio discusses robot integration with Dan Allford, president of ARC Specialties. Allford discusses ways companies are turning to automation for specific problems in order to remain competitive. Through automating “dirty job”,  employees are given new opportunities to move upmarket and become more valuable. ARC Specialties targets projects that can gain substantial value from automation. Analyzing processes from the beginning to end and offering unique solutions for automation, ARC provides turn-key installations and is a one-stop shop for robotic automation. Visit https://www.arcspecialties.com for more information.

“Last Friday” Lunch December 2018: Fun, Food, Festivities Galore

Each month, ARC Specialties hosts a “First Friday” Lunch. These gatherings allow the ARC team and our partners and suppliers to come together on a monthly basis, providing a unique setting to network, learn more about each other and our roles within and outside the company, while sharing a great meal. With 2018 and the holiday season coming to a close, ARC Specialties’ December 2018 “Last Friday” Lunch was uniquely special, offering a lunch and learn experience with a fun, festive twist.

Held Friday, December 7, this month’s luncheon featured a compelling presentation, a guest speaker, and even an awards ceremony. Our very own Chris Dill explained the diverse capabilities of the ARC-2500s screen gap measurement device. Featured guest speaker, Alan McCallum, President of FSAE, discussed the mission and goals of the organization, and how important the FSAE program is for students, furthering their education while providing real-life engineering experience. And to top the afternoon off, Mr. McCallum awarded our President, Dan Allford, with a partnership plaque that recognizes ARC Specialties’ contributions and sponsorships of the organization’s student teams. It was a great event, the ideal venue to share in the holiday spirit while eating some fabulous food.

At ARC Specialties, we foster a culture of engagement, involvement, collaboration, and learning to provide one-of-a-kind machinery to meet the unique needs of our customers. Our diverse team of employees span the spectrum of mechanical, technical, and sales expertise, providing unfathomable potential that is only limited by our imagination. In fact, our employees are our greatest strength. Our monthly “First Friday Lunch” is a thank you to our team and partners, a way for the company to congregate as a whole, and embrace the aspect of togetherness, knowledge, and teamwork on a regular basis.

ROBOT MISSION: Beer for All

While some give thanks for their families, their health, the food on their plates, their businesses, and their clients on Thanksgiving Day, there are those that are also thankful for beer. This past Thanksgiving holiday, ARC Specialties had the chance to express their appreciation for each of those things at Tube Supply’s 2018 Thanksgiving Open House.

Tube Supply, a provider of steel tubular and bar products for the oil and gas industry, hosted a spectacular holiday open house, and ARC Specialties was honored to be a part of the festivities. Guests, employees, and hosts all mingled together, witnessing some of the factory’s machinery at work, spreading the holiday spirit while enjoying delicious food, participating in gift raffles, and more—including free beer!

But this wasn’t just any beer…it was beer served by a robotic bartender.

NAME: BeerBot

MANUFACTURER: ARC Specialties

MFG DATE: 2018

MISSION: Serve beer

RESULTS: Subjects shocked and awed by BeerBot’s capabilities; quenched by free beer!

The team in the ARC Specialties booth had a blast acting as bar-backs while friendly bartender, BeerBot, served up cold brews. BeerBot’s versatile mobility and flexible programmability wowed the crowds, leaving many wondering whether they should add a robotic bartender to their Christmas list this year. But Jim and Chris from the ARC team were on hand, educating the open house attendees on BeerBot’s true origins, cutting-edge (literally) capabilities, and its exciting potential in a wide array of industrial applications. If you didn’t get to attend or didn’t have the opportunity to stop by the ARC booth at Tube Supply’s Thanksgiving soiree, here is the full story behind BeerBot.

BeerBot is an UR collaborative robot, and its actual name is SnapCut. SnapCut is a multi-axis arm designed to cut pre-programmed and customizable shapes into three-dimensional, structural-steel components using a Hypertherm cutting torch. Whether you’re a welder, a robot operator, or neither, SnapCut is easy to work—operators simply select a shape from the parametric programming interface, move the cutting torch to a few locations on the cutting surface, hit run, and SnapCut blazes on. To watch this torch-wielding bar bot at work, check out this video.

ARC Specialties is grateful to have been a part of Tube Supply’s 2018 Thanksgiving Open House and to meet with the countless industry professionals and guests that attended. And we were particularly pleased to donate the services of BeerBot/SnapCut to the evening’s entertainment. If you would like to learn more about SnapCut’s precision welding capabilities, contact us today to speak with one of ARC’s knowledgeable specialists.

FABTECH 2018: Highlights and Gratitude

FABTECH 2018 was held in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month, and Arc Specialties is proud to have been a part of this important event serving the metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing industries. We met dozens of colleagues and gained valuable insight into many cutting-edge concepts of value to our company.

In addition, Arc Specialties had a chance to display some of our own exciting innovations. We had the Tool Joint Robot on hand to demonstrate how a turnkey robotic system provides automation for a diversity of tasks from welding, material handling, and post-weld inspection, to vision-guided part picking and marking.

We also proudly demonstrated our ARC05HVT 2500, which performed live clad overlay welding of Inconel 680 & Inconel 625. It was an exciting opportunity to connect with other professionals who are making their mark in the industry. As one of 1,500 exhibitors, Arc Specialties was able to interact with future partners and others in-the-know as part of North America’s largest event of this type.

In keeping with our vision for a bright future for manufacturing solutions, Arc Specialties appreciates opportunities to attend such shows, and we are eternally grateful to those who stopped by our booth and took a moment to connect with us. We hope to see you again soon!

R&D Is the Heart and Soul of ARC Specialties

Strong R&D departments are at the core of strong companies, learning and advancing new technologies to accelerate and automate processes that help in product creation and to improve existing goods without sacrificing quality. ARC Specialties’ Technical Services R&D Lab is the optimum breeding ground for this kind of innovation, providing the tools and space necessary to inspire and analyze solutions while offering ARC clients the opportunity to substantiate processes prior to purchasing and witness potential automation opportunities to improve their operations.

Faster Cladding

Capable of depositing material at a rate of only two to three pounds per hour, the speed of typical cladding machines is often considered too cumbersome for busy companies. Precisely engineered for high-speed cladding, ARC Specialties new cladding systems—the ARC-5i, ARC-5PL, ARC-5XP, and ARC-5HVT—deposit material at eight pounds per hour. Three to four times faster than older, slower systems, multiple welding torches and wire feeds are not needed to increase deposition rates, reducing the complexity of the system and making it easier for operators to dial-in or troubleshoot.

Relying on servo motor motion to achieve a steady, uniform bead, ARC Specialties cladding solutions maintain constant welding bead placement and deposit thickness at both low and high speeds. Featuring a cutting-edge design that uses Inconel® 625 alloy, a highly corrosion-resistant nickel alloy containing chromium and molybdenum originally designed for joining applications in higher-strength steels, for its welds. With deposits of less than 5% iron, the alloy 680 wire produces a corrosion-resistant overlay with hither tensile strength and a higher hardness than the traditional standard Inconel 625.

Faster Machining with Plasma

Used for years in applications such as tool joint refurbishing, coal crusher refurbishing, weld joint preparation, and pre machining material removal, ARC Specialties is advancing the use of plasma gouging in the manufacturing environment, further cementing their place at the forefront of technology. Plasma gouging provides consistent grooves at faster operating speeds, while removing material much faster than traditional machining—25 to 100 pounds per hour—with less time spent on primary or secondary grinding work.

ARC R&D Contributes to National R&D

With at least one active R&D project running at all times for nearly forty years, ARC Specialties has an unswerving focus on research and development. ARC Specialties Technical Services R&D lab includes cladding machines, robots, multiple submerged arc welding machines, and a CNC controlled machine, providing the capability to weld almost any process. And ARC’s project expertise and equipment is sought out by a variety of customers, including the defense department and even for some of the nation’s national laboratories.

ARC Specialties furnishes one-of-a-kind machinery created through decades of R&D. It is this ongoing commitment to advancing design through R&D that has allowed ARC to consistently design the kind of machinery that transforms manufacturing processes into high-quality, high-production, high-profit operations. To learn more about ARC Specialties’ latest advancements, visit https://www.arcspecialties.com today!