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Tech Front: Honing for Large Oil Field Parts


Sunnen’s HTG series tube hones are designed to increase part capacity for oil-field applications with high-volume throughput. The machine is well-suited for instrument piping and down-hole equipment applications, such as pumps/motors and hangers, and large hydraulic cylinders like those found on offshore oil platform stabilizers.

The HTG-10000 is capable of handling standard parts up to 30' (9.14 m) long, weighing up to 17,600 lb (8000 kg). The HTG’s ID range is 2–24" (50.8–609.6 mm), double that of previous generation machines, with an OD capacity of 26" (660.4 mm), and up to 48" (1219.2 mm) as an option. A proportional load control hydraulic system maximizes efficiency of hydraulic power. The system can deliver up to 40 hp (29.83 kW) to the spindle and up to 18 hp (13.42 kW) to the tool-stroking system, for metal removal rates of 200+ in3/hr (3500 cm3/hr) using superabrasives in steel as needed.

For increased speed and accuracy, the HTG uses a precision hydraulic feed system that combines the force of hydraulics with the finesse of the control. This includes servo position control of the feed-system actuator, electronic pressure control, closed loop feedback, and ability to operate both standard tooling, as well as two-stage tooling. The machine features a 100 fpm (30.48 m/min) maximum stroke velocity, 0–300-rpm spindle, and a tool feed force of up to 2500 lb (11,200 N). The servo system on the feed axis provides increased accuracy, as well as improved maintenance, service, and setups with no tuning required.Sunnen's HTG 10,000 tube hone for oil field applications provides 200+ in3/hr stock removal rate for part lengths to 30' (9.14-m) and IDs to 24" (609.6mm).

The two-stage hone head is capable of roughing and finishing without changing abrasive with either conventional abrasives or superabrasives. The HTG is available in two standard model sizes: the HTG-4000 with 4-m stroke length and the 10-m stroke HTG-10000. Built-to-order machine sizes include 6, 8, 12, 14-m stroke lengths, and custom-length designs can be quoted.

The HTG’s electrical panel is mounted with the hydraulic power unit, which is designed for ease of maintenance with accessible components, an easy-to-clean tank, cleanable air filters on the oil heat exchanger, and oil temperature/level indicators on the machine and the control. The work base slopes to the center of the machine for removal of honing "mud" and includes standard full-time coolant flush. This means operators spend less time shoveling out the base of the machine during high-production runs.

The HTG features a Siemens PLC touch-screen control system with zero shutoff, feed pressure control, cross hatch angle calculator, and a joy stick to allow the operator to move the honing tool over the stroke length. The control system features software to maximize process efficiency in the background while providing easy-to-use, intuitive touch-screen operation. The power of the hydraulic system is controlled with precision, enabling better control for tough parts such as blind bores and shoulders. A load meter detects tight bore conditions, and the bore profile is included on the display.

For more information from Sunnen Products, telephone 800-325-3670, or go to


Port Machining No Problem

In racing, you can’t have too much horsepower, and one of the ways to increase it is to "let the engine breathe" by enlarging the intake and exhaust ports of the engine. Karlo Apro, product manager-multiaxis, CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT) explains how the porting process has changed: "Before the computer age, the traditional method of opening these ports was by hand. Very skilled craftsmen, called Master Head Porters, would use a die grinder, which is similar to a dentist’s tool but larger, to increase the size of the ports. The shape of these tunneled ports is highly complex. And, there are at least eight intake and eight exhaust ports on an eight-cylinder engine. Making all of them exactly the same, by hand, was nearly impossible.

"When five-axis CNC machines entered the racing engine shop, the repeatability aspect of port cutting improved dramatically. However, there was still the challenge of getting these complex shapes into a CAD/CAM programming system that would generate the five-axis toolpath automatically to cut these features. The answer came in the form of digitizing or probing. A Master Head Porter cuts one master port, and then that port gets digitized. The way the process works is to touch the probe to as many points on the master port as possible. These points are then imported into a CAD system as a point cloud. The point cloud is then converted into a surface model. Once there is a surface model of the port, the next step is to create a smooth, efficient, five-axis toolpath to drive the machine to cut the part. The problem is, these toolpaths are often choppy, inaccurate, inefficient, and require many tweaks and iterations to perfect," Apro explains. A Master Head Porter cuts one master port, and then that port gets digitized

Enter a new add-on to Mastercam. It’s called Port Expert, which creates a clean, continuous, highly accurate toolpath on pre-existing port surface or solid data, while simultaneously minimizing machine motion and avoiding collisions.

"Port Expert has been created for machining cylinder head ports, but it can be applied to any tube-type application," says Apro. "The new utility uses a tapered lollipop tool, and has collision checks for the entire tool, including shank, arbor, and holder. There are multiple cutting options available: you can cut the top only, the bottom only, and specify how much stock to leave on the entire port. The toolpaths use three-axis machining as far into the port as possible, and then convert automatically to five-axis motion with minimum tilt. This leaves no fishtails or inefficient reverse moves, and smoothly transitions where the toolpaths meet at the middle of the port. The add-on provides both roughing and finishing toolpaths to make ports from castings or billets. Further, because Port Expert can support unlimited surfaces, the geometry can be made of multiple surfaces that are stitched together.

"After programming the toolpaths, a programmer can simulate the cutting process without leaving his or her desk. Mastercam creates five-axis code that can run any CNC machine. The simulation proceeds step-by-step through the toolpath, even conveying the motion used in transition at the middle of the port. Simulation is a safe and cost-effective way of proving out the toolpath, and it can also aid in designing better fixtures. With Port Expert, not only are engines breathing easier, so are the machine programmers and Master Head Porters," Apro concludes.

For more information from CNC Software email


Looking Inside Parts

Nothing remains hidden inside parts at the Microscopy department at Freudenberg Research Services (Weinheim, Germany). The department has started using a computed tomography (CT) scanning unit to produce 3-D images that provide a perfect, faithful insight into the insides of the object being examined. Computed tomography, which was developed on the basis of X-ray technology, provides X-ray images from a variety of angles, allowing for creation of computer-assisted 3-D images.Computed tomography images provide an insight into the inner life of components

Modern software programs allow these images to be viewed and analyzed in a variety of different ways. The object being examined can be turned and rotated on screen as required, and can be viewed from all conceivable angles. With the help of computed tomography images, Freudenberg checks whether material samples, prototypes, and initial sample components meet the stipulated specifications. 

These images can also be used to identify component damage and analyze its causes. To this end, components can be virtually "carved up" at any point. Experts can examine the entire component as a transparent image or can make its plastic covering disappear at the click of a mouse, revealing the integral electric printed circuit board and contacts. Distances, angles, radii, surface areas, or the volume of even the tiniest trapping of air can be exactly calculated.

Freudenberg also uses CT scanning to check the even distribution of fibers in nonwovens and to find out whether air has been trapped in cast parts. With CT scanning, Freudenberg expects to make "giant leaps forward" in terms of the industrial development of elastomer components and fracture analysis.

For more information on Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, go to


Robust Control Software

Hurco (Indianapolis, IN) has announced the release of WinMax8, an upgrade of its WinMax control with advanced features that are said to make them more robust. In fact, according to Greg Volovic, executive vice president of technology and operations, four new patent awards are at the heart of the new release.

"The UltiMotion feature is the result of years of research and development, and is a combination of Hurco’s proprietary control technologies and advanced modern control theories," says Volovic. "The primary benefit to customers includes the ability to cut higher quality parts in a shorter period of time, especially for high-speed machining, parts with complex geometries, and jobs with repetitive tasks, such as drilling and tapping."

Four new patents are at the heart of Hurco's WinMax8 upgrade to CNCAccording to Volovic, UltiMotion’s 3-D compensation of machine squareness (perpendicularity), compensation of the mechanical system dynamics, and advanced motion control improve the system’s accuracy. The acceleration and vibration control system reduces vibration and results in smoother motion without sacrificing speed, which translates into better surface quality and longer machine life.

UltiMotion’s rapid cornering capability allows the spindle to travel through corners at high speed without overshooting or stopping. This is especially beneficial in reducing cycle time when machining parts with many repetitive tasks, such as drilling or tapping. For rigid tapping, UltiMotion deploys a coordinated motion-control mechanism that monitors the spindle angle at all times and controls the axes to follow the spindle position. It also has the flexibility to choose higher speed/rpm to retract the tap tool, giving the user better tap performance in less time.

UltiMotion also includes a proprietary dynamic variable lookahead mechanism. Unlike traditional lookahead, it doesn’t require a fixed number of blocks. Instead, the control evaluates the geometry and motion profile to produce better surface quality in a shorter time. Other new features include UltiMonitor, Absolute Tool Length, and Tool Change Optimization. UltiMonitor combines networking/internet with Extended Shop Floor, which is a machine monitoring, communications, and diagnostics feature. Absolute Tool Length makes tool setup and part setup independent from one another, which means the tool information only needs to be entered once for the tool and can be used on other Hurco machining centers. Tool Change Optimization analyzes the part program and automatically reduces the number of tool changes by rearranging the program for optimal efficiency.

UltiMotion is available for both conversational and G-code programs. While Hurco is known for its conversational programming, the WinMax8 upgrade includes multiple enhancements to the NC side of the control, such as Tool Review for NC, probing offsets that take full advantage of the 99 work offsets available, and NC Cutter Compensation with Work Plane Transformation.

For a free trial, go to, or telephone 800-634-2416.


This article was first published in the August 2011 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.  Click here for PDF.




Published Date : 8/1/2011

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