Interview with Cimaron Hylton, Lead Machinist

Interview with Cimaron Hylton, Lead Machinist

Mar 5

TNG Energy Services Inc. has been a leader in the remanufacturing and repair of geothermal valves, wellheads and ancillary wellhead equipment in Bakersfield for almost 20 years.  We’ve invested in our on-site full-service machine shop to equip our talented machinists with a variety of manual and CNC lathes to provide high-quality machine work on our clients’ wellhead equipment.

To expand our machine shop capabilities, capacity and efficiency, we invested in a Giddings & Lewis HBM to handle larger projects, such as boring out 16” Master Valves or 20” diameter, 5’ tall spools.  Adding this machine and retrofitting it to meet our specific needs has enabled TNG to more effectively service the larger equipment that comes in regularly as well as ensure quality control from start to finish is maintained to API Q1 standard without having to outsource any of the work.

Another benefit of adding the Giddings & Lewis HBM to our Bakersfield Machine Shop has been the ability to expand our services to local Bakersfield, and Kern County large scale machining needs.

For further insight, we interviewed one of our own, Cimaron Hylton, Lead Machinist and Supervisor about our new machine.

Q:  Tell us a little about yourself. What is your Job Title, and how long have you been with TNG? My job title is, Lead Machinist, Machine Shop Supervisor and I’ve been with TNG for 5-1/2 years.

Q:  What does an average day at the “office” look like for you?  On a day to day basis, my responsibilities include, CNC programming, running CNC and conventional machinery to help with production as well as training our current team and onboarding new machinists. I also check new engineering drawings for proper geometry and tolerancing. I document production and repair machinery when needed. I supervise work assignments and make sure machinists are using safe and efficient machining strategies.

Q:  What kind of machines do you manage in the TNG Machine Shop? We have CNC Lathes, mills and an HBM. For a full list of our Machine Shop Fleet, you can download this overview document here.

Q:  What has it been like adding the Giddings and Lewis Machine to your repertoire? It has increased the size capacity of our shop significantly and decreased throughput time for certain jobs.

Q:  Now that the G&L Machine has been updated, how has it improved output?  Can you measure the improvement in efficiency?  The control has been retrofitted to a new FANUC system and the hydraulic power unit has been completely replaced. The result of these investments is more consistent and increased machine ‘’uptime’’ resulting from a huge reduction in mechanical and electronic service issues that were associated with the aging systems.  We have also begun developing fixturing and purchasing tooling that is specific to our core machining niche of valve and wellhead manufacturing and reconditioning, and plan on continuing these investments in order to continually improve our capabilities.

Q: What specifically can the Giddings & Lewis HBM do that would add immediate value to the Bakersfield, and Southern California market? Handle workpieces that require the size and capabilities of a boring mill.

Q:  What would you like to see run on this the most? This machine was originally designed with the purpose of providing torque and rigidity by one of the premier American machine tool manufacturers, Giddings & Lewis.  Its niche is hogging large amounts of material as its power curve envelops a lower RPM range. But it also has the capability to process small, accurate features as well.

Q: What sort of skill set do you think is required to run and operate the Giddings & Lewis HBM? It takes a skilled and cognizant machinist to run an HBM. The element of an additional axis over your typical 3 axis mill requires an extra layer of forethought and awareness when planning and setting up different jobs.

Q: What is the largest piece you have personally run across this machine and do you believe it has the capacity for even larger? We have run a 16’’ WKM gate valve and several expansion spools up to 5 feet tall, both with Inconel inlay that needed roughing and final machining. Yes, it has the ability to work on tools even larger. The machine has the following capacities:

  1. 5’’ spindle diameter with 36’’ quill extension
  2. Headstock vertical travel of 72’’
  3. Table cross travel of 72’’ and saddle travel of 39’’
  4. Table size of 48’’ x 72’’
  5. Table weight capacity of 30,000 lbs.