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See Dormer Pramet Metal Cutting Tools in Action (Video)

At M&M Sales and Equipment, we’re always on the hunt for innovative products that can save our customers time and money.

Dormer Pramet is one of the oldest specialist manufacturers of engineered cutting tools. Dormer Pramet has been a game-changer when it comes to their selection of cost-effective metal cutting tools.

With their combined 150 years of industry experience, we feel confident showcasing Dormer Pramet’s expertise and products. Have a look at these innovative products that help you take control of your difficult cutting materials:

Hydra High-Performance Replaceable Head Drills

Dormer Pramet introduces the Hydra High-Performance Replaceable Head Drill. It’s made from tough micrograin carbide and a hardened steel body that makes it resistant to wear and corrosion. Plus, one body fits multiple heads for multiple materials — saving money in inventory costs and overhead. Other impressive features of this drill include superior hole surface finish, efficient coolant delivery and reduction of forces when it exits the workpiece.

Hand Drilling HSS Stainless Steel – A108 Drill

Do you find that your industry-standard drills blunt quickly and have a hard time penetrating stainless steel? If you find yourself going through more drill bits than you’d like and constantly having to stop drilling to lubricate, you’re going to want to look at this. The A108’s material-specific geometry cuts through stainless steel, making hand drilling easier and faster than ever. And its steam-tempered finish delivers improved wear resistance, saving you expensive replacement costs.

M&M Sales and Equipment is committed to being your go-to source for all your cutting tools, abrasives, safety supplies and more in West Texas, with locations in Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo and Ft. Worth. If you’re interested in discovering whether Dormer Pramet is the right solution for your facility, contact M&M Sales and Equipment today.

2019 Oil Forecast in West Texas: Boom Expected to Continue

West Texas is experiencing yet another comeback within the boom-bust oil industry. The revitalization is welcome to residents and businesses alike who hope activity continues to build on economic improvement through the region.  

Just 10 years ago, West Texas was dubbed a “dead area” by many in the oil industry. But today, oil pumps churn from countless oil wells throughout the Permian Basin. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Permian Basin is expected to produce 3.9 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2019. That accounts for about one-third of all crude oil produced in the United States and the numbers are expected to grow, reaching over 9 million bopd by 2021.
 
Domestic numbers are expected to keep increasing, with the potential to reach a record 14 million bopd by late 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO 2019). The bulk of that growth comes straight from the Permian Basin, an area that covers more than 75,000 square miles in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.

The reason for this massive growth? The Permian Basin has benefited from technological improvements and more cost-effective hydraulic fracturing that allows producers to extract more crude oil from the shale formation. A recent report by CNBC has pipeline capacity increasing triple-fold by 2021, from 3 million to 9 million pipelines. The increase in capacity should help unclog the transportation bottleneck the Permian Basin has been battling, helping producers move more oil into the Gulf Coast and on to refineries and ports worldwide.

As crude oil production increases and domestic consumption of petroleum decreases, the AEO 2019 report also anticipates the U.S. will become a net energy exporter by 2020. In fact, the U.S. will likely pass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s leading oil producer. But it’s important to remember that wells dry up rather quickly and require more drilling to keep pace, so technological improvements must remain a major consideration. 

What this means for West Texas Oil & Gas

Short-term “man-camps” are springing up everywhere and flashy new billboards dot the highway, advertising Rolexes and other high-ticket items to oil workers pulling in six-figure salaries. 

Compared with Gulf Coast barrel prices, oil in the center of the Permian Basin (Midland and Odessa) is priced lower but steadily climbing. West Texas Intermediate crude rose from $56.79 a barrel in the beginning of March and rose to just over $60 by the third week, while Louisiana Light hovers just over $68 a barrel.  

It’s not hard to remember the effects of falling oil prices in 2016. Many workers in West Texas were displaced when prices dropped to $30 per barrel. The drop led to massive layoffs and declining rig counts. Fortunately, rising oil prices are a good sign for employment rates and wages. Entry-level jobs are boasting $15 an hour pay with full benefits packages, but motels have jacked up the rates to hundreds of dollars a night. Food and housing costs are also soaring.  

With any boom, the threat of a bust is always on the minds of Texans, but local officials and industry executives think it’s different this time. The advances in fracking has made oil extraction possible in areas deemed impossible in prior years. Now the problem isn’t finding oil, it’s making sure the infrastructure is there to handle the amount of oil and gas that’s being extracted.  

At M&M Sales and Equipment, we support our local communities, oil workers and the businesses that supply them. That’s why we believe it’s important to keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the industries that impact us all. Stayed tuned here on our Blog or visit us on social to stay up-to-date on the industry news that matters to you.  
 
We are your cutting tools specialists. Since 1962 we have been here to help you increase your profitability and productivity. Have questions? Reach out to us by clicking here.  

Hand Taps vs Machine Taps - What's the difference?

Hand Taps vs Machine Taps – Differences?

A brief knowledge drop from our friends over at North America Tool

Hand Tap and Machine Tap are terms that don’t always mean what you think! These are stale industry legacy terms. Originally meant to define a purpose, they can be misleading. They should not define a tap’s modern method of use.

According to some handbooks, the term Hand Tap has traditionally been applied to fractional-size taps having a standard general-purpose length. Most manufacturers don’t limit the description to fractional sizes. Assumed to be straight-flute, these are taps whose flutes are provided as a space to accommodate chips created as the tap cuts. Some research suggests the terminology originated in the early 1800s, when most threading applications were literally done by hand. Yet, when the Machine Age hit its stride after the 1880s, the term Hand Tap was still used for taps that were unchanged in design, and now used on machines, as well as by hand.

As machine tapping is a much faster operation than turning a tap by hand, chip evacuation became more difficult to control. Machine taps would become defined as those with flutes designed with geometry to direct the flow of chips out of the hole. Spiral-point and Spiral-fluted taps fit this category. These alterations in flute geometry improved tap efficiency. Today, with the increasing use of coolant-holes in taps, and external directional coolant-flow, a straight-flute hand tap can offer a similar assist with chip evacuation, and yet it is still perceived by some as different than the machine tap.

Don’t get hung up on a name. Both hand and machine taps sold today are manufactured from the same base materials, and can be used by either method. The decision of which design to use should be influenced by the needs of the job.

P.S. Check out the cool apps North American Tool has to help with tapping and tap design!

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Acme vs Trapezoidal Threads

A brief knowledge drop from our friends over at North America Tool

Acme threads appeared sometime in the late 1800s as an improvement on the square thread form. Square threads were the first choice for motion transfer and heavy loads. But square threads were difficult to produce with available cutter technology. Although the square form was relatively efficient for the purposes required, it was inherently weak at the base of the thread due to the sharp 90-degree angle of the flank. Modifying the included-angle to 29-degrees widened the base of the thread making it stronger. Over time, standards in Acme diameters and pitches were established, all with Imperial Inches in diameter and Threads-per-Inch units of description.

In Europe, similar standards followed using metric units of measure, and the slightly different included flank angle of 30 degrees. Metric standard trapezoidal threads are covered under DIN103. Diameter and pitch descriptions are in metric units of measure.

                            Acme Threads

Acme Threads

                              Trapezoidal Threads

Trapezoidal Threads

Both thread forms serve the purpose of producing linear motion when rotated, usually under heavy load. Some common uses include lead screws for linear actuation on CNC machinery, table lifts, clamps and vises, valve stems, medical diagnostic device drives, trailer jacks and jack-stands. The American Acme form has an included flank angle of 29 degrees. The metric Trapezoidal thread is at 30 degrees. The uses for these thread forms are essentially the same. In fact, taking manufacturing tolerances allowed into consideration, they may be interchangeable when TPI (threads-per-inch) is the same.

The demands placed on the tools that produce these threads are higher due to the amount of material being removed, per tooth, in the process. Controlling chip-load is critical. To design a tap for these threads, North American Tool requires specific detail on the application. Information on the material being tapped, tapping depth, condition of the hole (through or blind), and Class of Fit, is essential to engineer the proper tap. General-purpose taps are available, but are definitely not suitable for every application.

So, what’s the difference between Acme and Trapezoidal? Not much physically. Although the American Acme thread-form is used and accepted throughout the world, the choice of which to use is usually dictated by the origin and user destination of the finished part. To that manufacturer, the difference is everything!

North American Tool is a tier 1 manufacturer of special taps and dies with many taps having a 24-hour lead time. Call us today for a quote.

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Grinding Wheel Productivity

We posed the following question on social media last week and have John Thompson of Pferd to thank for a fantastic answer.

“4-1/2, 5″, or 6″: What is your favorite size grinding and/or cutting wheel? Jumping from 4-1/2 to 5″ is an easy way to get more bang for your buck with your existing grinder but will a 6″ wheel justify the cost of a new grinder?”

We asked John Thompson of Pferd USA to use his technical expertise and many years of experience running abrasives to answer this questions for us. Though John works for Pferd, this information is applicable across all brands and industries. We really appreciate John spending the time to put this information together for us. Without further delay, here is his answer to our question.

Improving Productivity and Performance in Grinding and Cutting

Being competitive in any fabrication process requires a continuing process to improve productivity and reduce labor costs. You may have found the right formula for bending, shearing, welding and material handling to reduce labor and improve process flow to keep the bids low and the work coming in. As these improvements can be very expensive a lot of thought goes into the type of product and overall cost. Long term savings are often the result from a logical investment in the math required to determine the return on any investment and the overall payback time from lower labor and material costs. This is how a fabricator stay competitive and keeps the team invested in the company growth.

But some of this savings can be lost when the productivity of grinding or cutting for preparing material for welding or cosmetically finishing material for paint or powder coating is left up to antiquated equipment or ideas about the difference between Price and Cost when it comes to abrasives. This is NOT a discussion about different grades of Bonded or coated abrasive product. That subject has been beat to death by every abrasive supplier with new grain or new special formulas that promise faster grinding and longer life. This is a discussion with a simple math lesson on improving productivity and reducing overall costs based on the extra life of a slightly larger diameter product.

This is a simple look at the increased performance and reduced costs for applying simple math to improve the volume of material going through the fabrication process and shipped to the customer as a finished product i.e. “Payday.”

There are two false ideas that must be addressed.

One: that the shop worker doesn’t care about getting their part of the job done on time and with minimum effort on their part. They do care as they need that job and the pay it offers to live. The faster they can complete a task with minimal effort means they can move on to the next task and complete the job on time so everyone can be paid and secure that the company is competitive.

Two: Constantly applying pressure to a supplier of consumable product such as abrasives, weld wire, band saw blades and other consumables will make the company competitive even if they do not change the process of grinding prep or finishing procedures. This false idea that high consumption of cheap or small diameter product based on price will offset lost productivity and allow a company to be more competitive. It is the Labor to use the abrasive NOT the Price of the abrasive.

So how can we improve operator productivity and reduce labor costs to keep some of the lost money due to old process issues? Look at the interaction of RPM, Diameter and power tool Weight to work Faster NOT Harder.

Based on Safety Requirements all manufacturers are held to the ANSI specifications or maximum allowed surface feet per minute of 16,000 or 80 meters per second when they make a bonded or coated product for sale in North America. A system of the power tool and consumable product cannot exceed that maximum speed. However the best grinding or cutting is not based on the time to complete a task but how FAST one can compete the task.

Here are several TRUE items about using Bonded or coated product:

One: As long as you do NOT exceed the maximum posted safe operating speed based on the diameter of a bonded or coated abrasive product it is ALWAYS best to run the product as close to the maximum operating speed as allowed.

For example using a 4 ½ inch (115 mm) bonded wheel that is rated at maximum 13,300 rpm (80 M/s) and often used on a properly guarded electric grinder rated up to 12,000 will yield greater stock removal, lighter surface scratch and less overall time in stock removal than any other process.

However, the negative cost is that the ONLY usable working part of a 4 ½ inch (115 mm) is about ½ of the outside diameter of the wheel. Then the power tool actually keeps the operator from using the rest of the wheel.

If the operator used a 5 inch diameter bonded wheel that is rated at 12,200 rpm (80 M/s) on the same properly guarded electric grinder rated at 12,000 rpm the overall speed of the outside of the wheel is 430 surface feet per minute faster. Faster diameter speed means faster grinding and cutting and the job gets done faster with less effort.

BUT Speed is NOT the whole story let’s look at effective life of the product based on Diameter only.

A 4 ½ (115 mm) inch diameter bonded product (on today’s power tool) has an effective life of ½ inch diameter and is often discarded when the product gets to 4 inches overall due to the size of the head of the grinder.

A 5 (125 mm) inch diameter bonded product (on today’s power tool) Has an effective life of 1 inch diameter when discarded at the 4 inch diameter based on the same physical size of the head of the power tool. Actually there is 44% MORE life on a 5 inch diameter wheel than a 4 ½ inch. With the increased surface feet per minute speed (32% FASTER at the outer edge with the same overall wear life) is really a better way to save money by buying less and getting more productivity from less wheel.

The REAL Savings is going to the 6 inch system. The Safe operating speed on a 6 inch diameter bonded product is based on the 80 M/s rule and is listed at 10,200 rpm maximum. However with a grinder that is offered in the same physical size as the 4 ½ and 5 inch versions but rated at 10,000 rpm to stay in safety guidelines offers the BEST performance at the lowest cost. The surface speed of the 10,000 rpm 6 inch example against the 5 inch 12,000 example is EXACTLY the SAME (15,708 Surface feet per Minute). The real saving is in the life of the product. The difference in total life of the 5 inch to the 6 inch diameter consumable is 62% MORE wheel. The difference in total life between the 4 ½ and the 6 inch consumable is 133%!!

Overall the cost of the new 6 inch power tool required to use the 6 inch product safely is easily justified due to the performance and life of the product. If the fabricator changes their fleet of older grinders from 4 ½ to 6 inch the return on the overall investment is less than 1 year. This is one of the BEST ways to improve performance and lower the Overall cost of a necessary process in the shop to really keep the product going out the door.

It is just looking at the process using simple math.

John Thompson