Today we present the Sassatelli case study success story; the Sassatelli company specializes in the design and manufacture of accessories for machine tools (dead and live centres, pipe drivers, knurling tools, thread cutting tools, tapping tools, etc.).
The case study shows how the ability to design innovative and customized solutions was decisive in producing useful and winning solutions for companies that machine steel pipes for oil and gas pipelines.
The solution developed by the Sassatelli company enjoys very high customer satisfaction due to the following benefits:
- Reduced costs;
- Improved operator safety;
- Improved machining precision.
What was the challenging request that the customer had for the Sassatelli company?
The request came from Texas “the heart of the world’s oil industry” from one of the most important US companies specializing in the machining of steel pipes used for oil and gas pipelines.
Thousands of kilometers of these large sized steel pipes are used every year in Texas and worldwide to transport raw materials like oil and natural gas, from underground to refineries and from there to distribution centers.
The Sassatelli company was asked to devise a tool for machining these steel pipes in a safer and faster way, given their considerable weight and size.
What were the main issues?
- Handling the different diameters of the pipes, which range from 50 mm to over 600 mm, with lengths ranging from 7 to 12 meters;
- Loading and unloading the pipes on the lathe. The time it takes to machine these steel pipes is relatively short compared to how long it takes to mount a workpiece on the machine. This operation is therefore very burdensome;
- Safety. These heavy steel pipes require dangerous lifting equipment hard to handle by operators;
- Machining in both rotation directions to do a complete job;
- Pipe deformation due to the clamping force of the spindle in order to lock the pipe securely during the machining process. As a traditional spindle only has 3 or 4 jaws that clamp the workpiece, it creates a deformation that becomes evident once the steel pipe is loosened.
What solutions did you propose and what were the factors that enabled the Sassatelli company to get the job?
The solution we developed allows for the following:
- Handling different diameters thanks to the special shape and size of these steel pipe drivers that have a 100 mm operating range. This way it is possible to work on several diameter sizes with a single pipe driver. By using only 6 different sizes, steel pipes with diameters of 45 mm to 600 mm can be machined;
- Greater safety. Thanks to this conical piece of equipment, mounting a steel pipe is done more simply, faster, and with better control. This allows to prevent the pipes from sliding during locking as could happen with a traditional spindle, ensuring improved safety for the operators;
- Mounting and dismounting are simple and fast, without the need for any unlocking device. The blades have a self-locking shape designed for force distribution;
- Machining the pipes in both rotation directions. These steel pipe drivers are provided with an adequate number of small blades over their entire surface that allow optimal grip in both directions, as they are inclined at 45 degrees;
- A very limited deformation of the workpiece thanks to its special shape, a steel pipe driver allows for the distribution of the machine’s power over a greater number of points than a traditional spindle. As the pipe driver’s diameter increases, so does the number of blades, up to a maximum of 15 on the largest diameters.
How did the customer benefit by giving the job to the Sassatelli company?
The steel pipe drivers designed by the Sassatelli company follow the simple “push and drag” concept.
Thanks to this new dragging system, we satisfied in full our customer’s requests, including greater precision and other advantages such as the following:
- Knocking down costs, thanks to the greater efficiency achieved in the loading and unloading of the steel pipes on the machine tools;
- Drastic improvement of operator safety while handling the steel pipes;
- Increased accuracy of machining processes.
- A wide range of standard products for machining on lathes and gear grinding machines for gearing and test benches;
- Highly qualified technical staff for the design and manufacture of special solutions for our customers’ needs;
- Developing new products and technologies in collaboration with important manufacturers of machine tools.
In summary, what are the Sassatelli company’s main strengths?
- Many years of experience in the production of accessories for machine tools;
- Quality, reliability and longevity of our products;
- Having qualified personnel that can give the right advice when selecting the products to be used in specific processes;
- Ability to develop special equipment and accessories for machine tools, as requested by customers, with innovative solutions.