Hot tapping machines used in the oil and gas industry are designed to perform under extremely demanding conditions. Not only are they expected to cut through tough materials, but many also need to withstand high pressures and extremely corrosive substances.
If cared for correctly, a hot tapping machine will perform impressively for many years, with accurate and safe results produced every time. The maintenance a hot tapping machine needs varies according to machine type and is explained in detail in the corresponding manual supplied with each machine.
Mirage are a well-known hot tapping machine manufacturer, so we’ve created this article to provide a quick snapshot of the typical maintenance jobs you should expect if you are adding a new hot tapping machine to your portable machine tool inventory.
After each use
All cutting debris should be removed, paying attention to lead screws, pivots, plus all sealing, sliding and rotating faces. The machine should be wiped/sprayed with a general water displacing oil.
The drive shaft (or boring bar) should be fully extended, cleaned and lubricated using WD40 or an equivalent. Apply a small amount of low viscosity oil to all accessible screws, pivots and sliding and rotating faces.
After approximately100 hours
- Check for backlash in the lead screw and correct as necessary.
- Remove ports and flush the pressure cylinder.
- Remove drive gearbox, check condition of pressure cylinder and internals.
- Remove feed gearbox and pressure retaining plate and check condition of pressure cylinder and internals.
After approximately 1000 hours
- Remove drive gearbox and grease as required, grease bearings and gears, check seal condition.
- Remove feed gearbox and grease as required.
- Remove back end retainer plate and check seals.
- After 12 months, or after long periods of sustained use it is advisable to check the pressure seals and replace as necessary.
After 5000 hours
- Strip and inspect the motor, then lubricate using ISO 32 hydraulic oil.
- Completely strip and rebuild the machine and lubricate. (This takes approx12 hours duration).
Before Long term storage
- Protect the machine, and all accessories from corrosion and store in the original packing box.
Important: if your machines will be idle for more than 12 hours
Due to the highly corrosive nature of some substances, it is vital that the cylinder of machines (such as the CHT) be flushed. This will help to prevent corrosion to the driveshaft assembly.This process is carried out by;
- Supporting the machine at an angle between 10 and 15 degrees, pointing the cutter end downwards.
- Placing a suitable container beneath the lower vent orifice to collect flushings and contaminates.
- Unscrewing the upper vent plug followed by the lower vent plug to drain the cylinder.
- Filling the pressure cylinder with flushing solution as specified in the machine manual.
- Draining again and refitting the lower vent plug.
- If the machine is not going to be used with 48 hours, wrap the cutter end in plastic film to prevent any solution from leaking out.
- Next, the pressure cylinder is refilled with flushing solution, the quantity is specified in the machine manual.
- The upper vent plug is then refitted.
- Flushings and contaminates disposed of safely.