Flexible manufacturing provides just-in-time, custom-made drill bits

PDC bit technology-1Flexible manufacturing facilities, enabled by computer-assisted drafting and manufacturing (CAD, CAM) technologies, can now deliver custom-designed polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits within 4-5 days, allowing operators to improve drilling performance in successive well activities.And with bit costs affecting only 5% of a well's drilling investment but drill-bit performance affecting 80% of a well's costs, the possibility of just-in-time delivery may revolutionize the relationship between oil field operations and the factory (see box)."We've developed a work process with log and seismic data where we characterize the formation, along with the drilling d...

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