Standardized Training Reduces Downtime for Grant Prideco
by Casey Ellis
Grant Prideco is the world’s largest supplier of premium drill pipe and drill stem accessories.
Offering a full range of proprietary and API drill pipe, drill collars, heavy weight drill pipe and drill stem components, Grant Prideco is the single source for all drill stem needs from the top drive to the bit sub.
Product quality and performance are optimized by a unique vertical integration from mill to market. Whether manufacturing products to efficiently drill the simplest well or drilling in the harshest environment, Grant Prideco’s innovative products, worldwide operations, expert engineering and design resources and global service network meet the demands of any tough drilling challenge.
Grant Prideco had a lack of standardization across training and skills development especially with the Maintenance Technicians. They wanted to provide training that mapped to career levels for their maintenance staff and develop standard training throughout the plant.
Before working with TMAC, KW Industries manufacturing capability was limited to producing non-tapered square steel lighting standards. Their desire was to penetrate the roadway lighting market in the state of Texas, but the TxDOT specifications called for a steel tapered tube with stringent strength characteristics.
At that time, only two companies in the U.S. were capable of meeting these requirements. KW understood that penetrating this new market was going to be a significant project that required time, capital investment to include a new facility, and a great deal of manufacturing and tube mill expertise.
From the beginning, the owner of KW Industries reached out to TMAC for technical assistance in launching this project.
TMAC TEEX developed a Bronze Level C training program for the Maintenance Technicians with courses in Electrical, Hydraulics/Pneumatics and General Mechanical. TMAC also conducted Training within Industry (TWI) and ISO internal auditor training that was customized especially for Grant Prideco. Since the majority of course content in a typical internal auditor course is specific to the standard to be audited, the course curriculum is always specific to said standard (e.g. ISO 9001:2015).
In Grant Prideco’s case, the company was seeking an internal auditor training that would integrate the content of ISO 9001-2015, IS 14001 and OHSAS 18000.
TMAC customized the course by identifying which of each of the standard’s clauses/elements were identical or very nearly so and presented them during the training in an integrated fashion.
The TMAC team took a lean centric approach to helping KW. After working closely with KW to put a plan together, TMAC designed a layout and flow process for a new production plant that optimized lean principles to maximize productivity and minimize waste. TMAC then assisted in the equipment design of a state-of-the-art tapered tube mill with safety and quality as key elements. Guidance and recommendations were also provided by TMAC during the installation of the new equipment and initial operations.
In less than three years, KW Industries was able to penetrate the roadway lighting market with a steel tapered tube light standard that meet or exceeded ASTM and TxDOT specifications. In doing so, they became only the third company in the U.S. with this capability.
Implementation of the standardized training has led to decreased downtime of equipment and increased productivity which contributes to increased sales for the plant.
Grant Prideco reported and estimated $400,000 in cost reductions as a result of TMAC assistance.
Married with their superior finish coating technology, KW Industries benefited from a significant competitive advantage resulting in $5,000,000 of new sales in just one year. In addition, KW Industries attributes $4,500,000 in cost savings to the assistance TMAC provided during this project. Just as significant, 27 jobs were either created or retained as a direct result of this new product line.
The National Institutes of Standards and Technology, NIST, has recognized the KW Industries/TMAC implementation project as an Innovation Engineering project due to the extraordinary product innovation/development, lean services, and strategic planning efforts.