Automated Coupling Deburring Unit V3

The Coupling Deburring Unit (CDU) V3 is the next generation of our automated threaded coupling deburring system.

The first-generation CDU was developed in 2019 and has been in operation in the field since then, having successfully deburred over 1.5 million couplings.

At Autonetics we don’t like the term “good enough.” We believe that there is always room for improvement, and we take pride in continuing to improve our products – even after a customer has taken delivery and is satisfied with the system.

This belief led us to the latest iteration of the CDU.

What is the CDU?

The Coupling Deburring Unit is an automated system that deburrs the first thread of both sides of a threaded coupling. The system can be adapted to work with any type of threadform. By default, the system ships supporting API couplings (BTC, LTC) ranging in (pipe) diameter from 4-1/2” to 13-5/8”.

Why does a coupling need to be deburred?

In high-speed coupling manufacturing facilities, PMC threaders are typically employed for machining of threaded couplings. While these types of threaders can quickly and accurately cut a thread, an artifact of the process is a sharp burr on the first thread on both sides of the coupling.

If not removed, this thread can lead to galling when a pipe is threaded into the coupling. This galling can result in negative performance characteristics of the coupling-pipe connection.

How does it work?
The CDU can be operated manually by a human or autonomously as a part of an automated manufacturing cell.

In either method, a coupling is loaded into the CDU’s inbound chute. A sensor detects the presence of a coupling and transfers the
part to the deburring position. Once in position, two  pneumatic actuators engage the part and clamp it in position.

Once clamped, the coupling is rotated while two high-speed spindle motors with abrasive grinding wheels attached deburr the first threads.

Once the deburring process is completed, the coupling is automatically released to the outbound chute of the CDU.

Why do I need a CDU?

Historically, the process of deburring couplings has been performed by a human with a hand-held, motorized grinder. This position
requires standing in one place performing the same motions for hours and hours. It can lead to numerous injuries not just from the grinding process, but from the repetitive motion. 

It is no secret that this is one of the most taxing positions in a mill.

In addition to the risk of injury, there is a clear difference in repeatability and accuracy. Human perception and fatigue leads to
partially or fully missed burrs on couplings.

The CDU does not get tired, does not need a break, isn’t going to get into an accident. It performs the exact same process every cycle, leading to full burr removal on every coupling.

CDU v3 Main

CDU V3 Improvements
After monitoring the CDU V1 for millions of coupling cycles and talking with our customers about the performance of the system, we identified several areas that we believed could be improved.

Abrasive Wheel Life

The CDU V1 was able to deburr approximately 30 couplings per abrasive deburr wheel. With two wheels on each
CDU, and over 800 couplings per shift, this led to a big expense for our customers.

After working with 3M, and months of trial and error, we are proud to announce that the CDU V3 wheel life has
been improved over 250%. We now expect an average of 200 couplings per abrasive wheel.

Abrasive Wheel Monitoring

We have added a set of ToF laser sensors that monitor the presence and size of the deburring wheels. With this
information the CDU can maximize the number of couplings that can be deburred per wheel, as well as alert an operator immediately if there is a problem with the current wheels.

Maintenance / Service

Things break in pipe mills. The stress of running three shifts 24 hours / day takes its toll on the people and the equipment. We provide value to our customers by making it as easy as possible to service our systems.

All of the CDU’s sensors, solenoids, and regulators now share a common interface to the CDU PLC via IOLink.

IOLink allows for failed components to be quickly replaced without the need to reconfigure them. The IOLink Master device detects that a new device has been connected and immediately configures it to match the previous device.

Additional service improvements include an easily removable dust catch basin under the machine, a reduction in horizontal surfaces in the system that can catch dust, and improved wire management which provides additional environmental protections.

One-Stop Shop for Coupling Deburring

In addition to providing the CDU systems, Autonetics is proud to announce that we now also provide the abrasive grinding wheels for the system. These are not your everyday abrasive grinding wheels. These wheels have been specially formulated to provide maximum life in the threaded coupling deburring process.

Autonetics provides regular interval shipments of these wheels, directly to your facility. Ensuring 100% compatibility with the CDU and no guessing or receiving costly orders of incompatible wheels from 3rd party vendors.

Contact Autonetics Today to discuss your coupling deburring needs.

Automated Coupling Deburring

Available now!