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Blumenbecker refurbishes production plant - centraliser production optimised

Modernisation in a small space

Blumenbecker Engineering LLC in Braunschweig, working in cooperation with Blumenbecker Engineering Polska, has refurbished a production plant for stabilisers in Langenhagen in the space of just three months.

Weatherford International plc is an international equipment manufacturer for the oil and gas production sector. At present, the company is present in more than 90 countries at more than 880 locations and employs approximately 30,000 people. In 2016, its turnover was around USD 6 billion.

The equipment manufactured at Weatherford's factory in Langenhagen includes a range of stabilisers (also called centralisers), which serve, among other things, to keep the drill string at the correct distance from the sides of the borehole. This is particularly important when the borehole is being cemented.

Following a decision to expand its production in Langenhagen, Weatherford wanted to make its plant for manufacturing centralisers more productive. One of the requirements was to reuse as many of the existing peripheral parts as possible, such as conveyors, wiring and cabling, and protection devices.

All this made for quite a challenging brief for Blumenbecker's planners, because the amount of space available was not exactly ideal, mainly because the existing plant was to be extended. In future the plant will not be making just one workpiece, but two different models in a combined operation, so two robotic booths had to be installed. Additionally, a measuring machine was to be installed to keep quality consistent even during production.

The order, which was confirmed at the beginning of February 2017, encompassed drawing up the layout of the plant, constructing and manufacturing the hardware components involved (including electrical engineering components), devising the electrical design, building switchgear, writing software, carrying out the mechanical and electrical installation and commissioning the plant, as well as monitoring production once everything was up and running.

Technical details:

  • Size of plant: approximately 35 x 20 m
  • 10 processing machines
  • 5 KUKA robots
  • 3 PLCs
  • 1 'head' PLC

To solve the space problems, the conveyor belts were installed at different heights. A variety of interface techniques was applied to connect the old plant with the new parts.

The plant was commissioned less than three months after the order was confirmed. While responsibility for the conveying technology lay with staff based in Braunschweig, colleagues from Poland were in charge of the mechanical construction effort.

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