December 2004
Special Report

Rig floor equipment: Compact, lightweight rig tongs

December 2004 Supplement    Rig Floor Equipment Compact, lightweight rig

December 2004 Supplement   

Rig Floor Equipment


Compact, lightweight rig tongs

National Oilwell’s IR 3080 is a lightweight, compact, modularized Iron Roughneck ideal for land rigs and smaller offshore rig applications. It makes and breaks drill pipe and drill collar connections ranging in sizes of 3-1/2-in. drill pipe to 8-1/2-in. drill collars. The maximum break-out torque of 80,000 ft-lb and makeup torque of 60,000 ft-lb is achieved using a single hydraulic cylinder rotating a torque wrench 30°.

The torque wrench utilizes large V-shaped die assemblies, creating a broad, four-point clamping arrangement giving superior clamping performance. The large gripping area reduces the clamping force when applying torque to the connection, and alleviates tool joint deformations. One die set covers the full range of pipe diameters noted above, eliminating die changing for different pipe sizes, and reducing spare parts requirements.

The unique spinner assembly uses four spinners driven by separate hydraulic motors and employing a floating suspension system that follows tubular movement as connections are spun in and out, avoiding thread wear and drag. The system further offers “thread compensation” to ensure minimal tool joint wear.

The system also incorporates the developer’s exclusive Automated Arm (patent pending) providing consistently smooth, accurate travel to well center and mousehole with long reach capabilities from 55-in., 88-in. and 144-in. arm lengths. This system, with its optional arm lengths, provides a range of mounting options on all rig floor sizes. All arms mount on a column and pedestal that mounts into the drill floor.

Fig 1

IR 3080 Iron Roughneck in operation.

Consistently accurate positioning to both well center and mousehole is achieved by a simple electronic/ mechanical system, eliminating undesirable drift associated with systems relying on hydraulics. For maximum safety, the system is equipped with a remote operator’s control ensuring positioning safely away from the working machine during operation. The control can also be placed anywhere on the drill floor for a clear unobstructed view. Hydraulic requirements for the tool are 3,000 psi at 40 gpm. National offers a hydraulic power unit for this requirement, or excess rig hydraulic power can be used.

The IR 3080 can be upgraded by exchanging the torque wrenches to create the IR 30120. The larger wrenches achieve a maximum break-out torque of 120,000 ft-lb and a maximum makeup torque of 100,000 ft-lb. It will make and break tubular connections from 3-1/2-in. drill pipe to 9-3/4-in. drill collars. The upgraded system operates with the same spinner system, automated arm, remote control and hydraulic system.  WO

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