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Tooling Déjà Vu for Oilfield Instrument Maker

Matherne Instrumentation found that using M706 Series Omega end mills with a more productive tool path cut their tool use per part from 5 to 1.

Matherne products stand brilliant and tall, surrounded by the people who make them and machine tool pros they rely on: (from left) IMCO Sales Representative Neal Wilson, Matherne Instrumentation Owner Chad Matherne, Cheryl Blanchard and Junior Racca of CW Rod Tool Company, and Mill Foreman Gilbert Boquet and Shop Foreman Brandon LeBeouf of Matherne Instrumentation.
These two Omega-6 end mills did the work of ten competitor’s tools, cutting Matherne’s costs in tools and downtime.

Gilbert Boquet keeps his eyes open for new opportunities to shave time and tool costs, especially when the parts in production are made with 718 Inconel. This time, though, he went back to the IMCO Carbide Tool, Inc. (Perrysburg, OH) M706 Series Omega end mills that had given him 400 percent more parts per tool in Inconel, and it was déjà vu all over again.

Boquet is mill foreman at Matherne Instrumentation (Houma, LA), in the heart of the Gulf Coast oil industry. Matherne makes precision-calibrated instruments used in oilfields, some of the most demanding working environments. So instruments have to be tough – Inconel tough – to do the job, and the cutting tools used to make them have to be even tougher. In tests conducted in June 2011, Boquet had found that using the M706 Series Omega end mills and a more productive tool path cut his tool use per part from 5 to 1.

Neal Wilson, who represents IMCO in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, and Junior Racca of C.W. Rod Tool Company (Houston, TX), a DXP company, provided technical support. “I recommended changing the tool path,” Wilson says, “and calculated the radial chip thinning rates. The end result was he roughed out the whole part with one M706 Series Omega end mill, where he was using five the old way. He was a very happy customer.”

When the next project in Inconel came along later that year, Boquet called Wilson and Racca to pit M706 Series Omega end mills against competing tools in another dogfight, this time cutting a complex part (multiple windows and ¼ in lugs) out of an 8.5 in diameter Inconel workpiece. The M706 Series Omega end mill tool came out on top. “We use the Omegas on all of them right now,” Boquet says. “We get better tool life. And we don’t have to replace tools as often, so we save time. It’s the best tool we’ve found so far.”

IMCO Carbide Tool Inc., 28170 Cedar Park Blvd Perrysburg, OH 43551, 800-765-4626,


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