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Starrag Heckert’s DBF Integrated Facing Head Delivers One-Hit Savings on Oil & Gas Work

The productivity benefits that oil and gas companies can gain by using Starrag Group’s Heckert DBF horizontal machining centres are unquestionable.

Using the machines’ single set-up ability to mill, drill and turn fluids ends, gate valves, drill bits, pump housings and fracking blocks, for example, has seen users slash machining times – in one instance, on control valves, from 20 hours to just 4.5 hours, achieving a 95% reduction in overall processing times and a 77% cut in cycle times.

The secret to the success of the Heckert DBF range of five-axis machines (six-axis when an NC rotary table with pivoting unit is added) is the machine’s integral U axis that carries the DBF multi-tasking head. Compared to other machines that may offer, say, facing head tooling via a toolchanger, the universal DBF spindle with face plate has an integrated 45 kW, 3,500 revs/min and 1,700 Nm torque spindle, and it accommodates industry standard HSK 100 and Capto toolholders.

The result is that with DBF, the tool tip is much closer to the workpiece – 200 mm- 275 mm rather than the conventional 335 mm-410 mm – and this leads to much more stable and therefore accurate machining. Indeed, both roughing and finishing can be performed in the same set-up and, in the case of fracking blocks which traditionally can take 37 hours to machine, the use of a Heckert DBF machine reduces that cycle time by at least 15 per cent. And, of course, the DBF’s all-in-one process obviates the need (and expense) for separate roughing and finishing machines, as well as the extra time and potential inaccuracies of workpiece re-location that accompanies separate processes. A perfect example for Starrag’s philosophy of “Engineering precisely what you value."

The DBF spindle head comprises a faceplate with integrated work spindle and CNC radial facing slide. For turning on a fixed workpiece, the rotating turning tool – which has an axial runout of just five/six microns - can be radially adjusted by +/- 70 mm. In addition to external, internal and face turning, the head also permits conical and contour turning courtesy of the radial facing slide’s NC axis. For milling and drilling, the work spindle is arranged in its central position.

Historically only available for machining small valves on Heckert’s DBF 500-800 range, the DBF head is equally effective across larger machines – three new size versions that offer X, Y and Z axes travels of 1,070 mm by 870 mm by 1,200 mm up to 1,700 mm by 1,150 mm by 1,870 mm and capable of accommodating table loads of 1,500 kgs to 5,000 kgs.

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