Electromagnetic component manufacturer Windings Inc. of Minnesota has expanded its operations with the acquisition of McCully Corporation in California, and also developed a downhole motor for the oil and gas industry that uses Gore magnet wire for high durability.
The acquisition, which occurred November 30, represents an opportunity to penetrate target markets on the West Coast, says Windings. Established in 1978 McCully provides engineering and manufacturing services in high technology electric motor applications. Similar to Windings, McCully manufactures electromagnetic parts used in space, defense, and commercial aircraft industries. Having a location in California will enable Windings to accelerate deliveries to customers in the Western USA and expand capacity nationwide.
“This is an exciting time for the team at McCully and our customers. Windings enhances our inhouse production strengths and expands our supply channels. They add a proven design capability that is integrated with production. This not only allows us to offer more solutions but speeds development,” said Dan Snyder, president of McCully.
“Our combination enhances virtually every element of our business. It will broaden our platforms to provide optimized electromagnetic solutions for performance critical applications in our industries. We are confident that together we can generate long-term, sustainable value for our employee owners and superior products to our customers,” said Heather Braimbridge-Cox, CEO of Windings.
The new DuraCORE motors are an outgrowth of Windings’ experience providing electromagnetic motor solutions to the oil and gas industry for over 20 years. Windings engineers explored what issues motors in downhole tooling applications were facing and found that three factors led to a shorter life span — overheating, high pressure and hydrolysis. The conditions in which these motors are used tend to be exceptionally harsh. Windings engineers found that using ePTFE insulated magnet wire from W.L. Gore & Associates makes them more durable.
“After years of development and partnership with Gore, I’ve learned firsthand the performance benefits of Gore magnet wires which are now available to our customer base,” said David Schauer, executive vice president of business development at Windings. Through testing to replicate the downhole tooling environment the DuraCORE 1.5 kW motor was tested against the industry standard NEMA 1000, Section 3.54 at ambient conditions of 200⁰ C, 34Kpsi, and 4% water content. At these harsh conditions which simulate the more extreme conditions in downhole tooling, the motor was able to reach 34Kpsi and 200⁰ C, the company reports.
According to Gore, its magnet wire is designed specifically to operate reliably in extreme oil and gas downhole environments, minimizing the risk of catastrophic failures for maximum tool-run times. The mechanically robust wires have a unique engineered fluoropolymer insulation that’s exceptionally resistant to difficult conditions like chemicals, hydrolysis, and up to high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) environments.
“We compared our magnet wire to a polyimide enameled wire using ASTM/NEMA MW 1000 test method,” the company states. “For both wires, we used the same AWG size with comparable insulation thicknesses. We tested the dielectric voltage breakdown after 12 days exposure to hydrolysis in 0.3% H2O and synthetic oil at 280°C. Results showed that our magnet wire maintained maximum voltage endurance after continuous exposure to hydrolysis and harsh fluids at elevated temperatures. But, the polyimide enameled wire became brittle and cracked right away under mechanical stress.”
In May of 2022, Windings and Gore reached a multi-year supply agreement that formalized their collaboration. The agreement recognizes Windings as the preferred provider of motors featuring Gore magnet wire for the oil & gas industry. “This collaboration between Gore and Windings represents an exciting opportunity to introduce a disruptive new technology to the oil & gas industry and with it, solve this long-standing hydrolysis challenge.” said Robert Haywood, Gore’s global product manager. For more info, see www.windings.com and www.gore.com.