In the realm of manufacturing’s future, the concept of “closing the loop” is gaining momentum. This sophisticated notion encapsulates an end-to-end production approach that promises heightened efficiency, reduced waste, and elevated quality. One case in point is Windlass Engineers, a seasoned manufacturer of oilfield equipment, which sought to amplify its established machining strategy with a productivity surge. To realize this goal, the company turned to Sandvik Coromant, a specialist in metal cutting, to assist in closing the manufacturing loop.
Hailing from Dehradun, India, Windlass Engineers stands as a prominent producer and distributor of top-tier oilfield equipment. With sprawling facilities encompassing 60,000 square feet over ten acres, it caters to a diverse array of products, from high-pressure test units to control panels, hydraulic power units, joints, and valves – all pivotal components of the oil and gas sector.
With a sudden spike in demand, Windlass faced the imperative to enhance productivity without compromise. Atul Bansal, Director at Windlass Engineers, noted, “We needed to address this increase, without compromising our productivity. We already had a great relationship with the team at Sandvik Coromant India, so it was a no-brainer to turn to them to help solve our productivity conundrum.”
Sandvik Coromant began by identifying Windlass’s pain points through its proven Productivity Improvement Program (PIP). The program goes beyond tools, delving into workspace design, logistics, setup processes, and waste analysis. Vivek Sharma, Application Specialist at Sandvik Coromant, shared, “Windlass was expecting a minimum 100% productivity improvement before investing in a new machine, so we were working towards some big ambitions.”
With insights from PIP, Sandvik Coromant devised strategies to boost Windlass’s turning machine productivity. A pivotal recommendation was “all-directional turning,” a novel approach that goes beyond conventional methods. PrimeTurning™, Sandvik Coromant’s proprietary methodology, involves entering components at the chuck and removing material toward the end, resulting in substantial productivity gains.
Soumik Sarkar, Product Manager at Sandvik Coromant, explained, “PrimeTurning™ gives us just that — a faster way to reach our productivity goals without losing out on the methods the team is already adjusted to.” Alongside PrimeTurning™, Sandvik Coromant introduced tools like the second-generation CoroTurn® Prime B-type insert, optimizing machining efficiency.
Despite initial challenges, Windlass and Sandvik Coromant triumphed, achieving a remarkable 500% productivity improvement. Abul Kalam, Head of Manufacturing at Windlass, remarked, “Thanks to a combination of expert consultancy and winning tools, together with smart CAM programming, we’ve taken our shop floor productivity to new heights.”
Sharma praised the partnership, saying, “To be able to go in and make an already productive manufacturing process 500% better is a real engineering feat. It’s been an eye-opener for everyone involved.”
This collaboration stands as a proof of the power of closing the loop – transforming manufacturing concepts into tangible success stories. For Windlass Engineers, this journey signifies the fusion of novel machining methods, astute programming, and expert guidance to unlock unparalleled productivity and usher in a new era of possibilities.