When Standard Answers Won’t Work
Testing At Mills Machine, custom solutions begin with the personalized service to understand the specific needs of our customers. Based on decades of experience in producing drilling products for multiple industries, we help customers find the right tool within our full line of quality standard products. In most cases, we can modify an existing product for a specific drilling application.
If a custom designed product or application is necessary, product modifications can often be turned around in a one or two days and custom solutions — depending on specific requirements — can often be completed within a week.
At Mills Machine Company, our job is to keep customers up and running with quality products, along with dedicated customer service and technical support.
Aqua Well Drilling Company
Aqua Well Drilling, a Harrah, Oklahoma-based water well drilling company, was confronted with increasing competition for water well drilling contracts in Oklahoma City and surrounding markets. With a drilling capacity of approximately 75 feet per hour, using the standard tricone bit technology, Beau Baker recognized his company could not compete for new housing projects emerging in the affluent markets along the northern perimeter of Oklahoma City. Baker knew he needed a competitive advantage and he came to Mills Machine Company for the solution.
After a quick assessment of the situation, including Aqua’s current production standards, Mills recommended the use of its patented Milclaw bit, which utilizes field replaceable carbide-tipped bullets arranged on a 4140 alloy steel body. With its design for durability and rapid penetration, the Milclaw was the right tool for the job. Aqua’s hole production improved immediately, eventually increasing to more than 200 feet an hour, nearly tripling their hourly hole penetration. With this increased capacity, Aqua Well found the competitive edge that generated a significant increase in business contracts from area real estate developers.
West Mountain Operating Company
West Mountain Operating Company, an oil exploration firm in Sulfur Springs, Texas, was charged with an assignment of securing a contaminant free, dry sample through a 6-inch casing at depth of 900 feet into a shale and sandstone bed. This presented a number of challenges. At this depth, it’s not possible to drive a spoon into shale, and should the spoon split beneath the casing, the driller may forfeit the cost of the hole. At this depth, recovery is a significant issue.
Mills Machine Company has extensive experience in both rotary drill applications and environmental industry applications. Utilizing our renowned claw bit technology, we fabricated a “claw style” split-spoon shoe and incorporated it onto a heavy duty split spoon tube. This resulted was a split tube with an attached claw bit. This configuration allowed West Mountain Operating Company to drill into sedimentary rock, with no circulation, and to collect 24-inch samples. The company ran the spoon 35 times and they successfully recovered 32 feet of the required sample.
McCall Brothers, Inc.
McCall Brothers, Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., a builder of water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities, was drilling a 28-inch hole with a drag type reamer to a projected depth of 540 feet. At 270 feet they hit hard blue clay and then hard rock. At the time, they did not realize that even with proper stabilization the reamer pushed off, resulting in a crooked hole. The drillers found the “dogleg” when they tried to set their 20-inch casing as it would not move past the 270-foot mark. To straighten the bore they tried drilling a 29-inch hole, but the bit followed the same hole path and the casing jammed again.
Working with Mills Machine Company, a special dogleg straightening tool was developed, which was based on a process used in the oil field where a two-cone roller bit is used to straighten a crooked hole. Mills Machine designed a special 28 7/8-inch rectangular roller bit. The procedure involved lowering the bit down to the deviation point and then slowly rotating through the rock ledge causing the dogleg. The combination roller cone and claw bit tool was inserted with a 40-foot stabilizer and they were able to drill a straight hole to the desired 540-foot level and meet the project requirements.
LaFramboise Well Drilling, Inc.
LaFramboise Well Drilling, Inc. of Thompson, Connecticut, needed to under ream with reverse circulation through an 18-inch casing to open up to 36 inches in sand and gravel. The hole needed to open at depths from 375 feet to 450 feet for use by the Suffolk County Water Authority in South Hampton, Connecticut. They were drilling with a Failing F-10 machine with a Jed A Eductor system for reverse circulation. The problem was that a reliable underreamer designed for reverse circulation did not exist.
Mills Machine Company provided the solution by designing a reverse circulation, two-blade underreamer to operate through the 18-inch casing and to open up to 36 inches. The flange mount bit used a 17 7/8-inch, two- blade pilot bit with pivoting arms on the body to open up beyond the casing. The drilling operation took 12 hours from set up to tear down.
LaFramboise Well Drilling was so impressed that they ordered a second, smaller underreamer to address another challenging application. The New York City Department of Parks needed to install four 12-inch wells at their municipal golf courses to produce at least 800 gpm (gallons per minute). The plan called for going through an existing 12-inch casing and open up to 24 inches from 150 feet to 400 feet in gravel. Their new 11-inch × to 24-inch reverse circulation underreamer did the trick and as a bonus, the actual output was 2,000 gallons per minute and more.