The Importance of the Process when Making a Product
Jeff Daigle started Precision Die Technologies in 2005 with just $22,000 in capital equipment. Now part of McCoy (McCoy Drilling & Completions - Precision Die Technologies), the 30-person operation in which Mr. Daigle is the general manager currently achieves monthly sales of $1.5 million. He's quick to credit David Buck as being a helpful, important mentor early on during the development of the business.
The business manufactures gripping dies and inserts used on equipment that handles oil drilling tubulars and strings. Although having capable machine tools is important, Mr. Daigle points to two prime reasons for the smallish company’s success: establishing an effective process and having a lean manufacturing mindset.
As he explains, all inserts and dies start as extruded components, so 75 percent of each component is to shape before any machining occurs. Automated saws with custom jigs are used to create workpiece blanks that are conveyed (rather than carted by shopfloor employees) to a mill to surface the parts. After subsequent cleaning by a washer, the parts are delivered to a CNC stamping machine. It’s at this point that a workorder is applied to each part. That way, each workpiece has its own specific job number on it before it reaches a machine operator, so there is no question in an operator’s mind about what that part is supposed to be.
Every operator in the company’s 14,000-square-foot facility tends multiple machines (typically a lathe and a mill). In one case, a specific operator tends eight gear shapers by himself. Workstations have been designed with 5S organization in mind, so there is normally no reason for an operator to leave the area to retrieve a tool or any other piece of equipment necessary to perform his/her duties. To speed setups, some lathes are fitted with quick-change fixtures (rather than chucks) that enable operators to change-over to a new workpiece size in just 20 minutes.
Mr. Daigle says for shops to benefit from lean manufacturing in the way his shop has, lean has to be more than a set of buzz words. Lean must be part of a shop’s culture. To that end, his entire company has received lean training. This ensures that everyone within the organization is thinking about lean the same way and also has a clear understanding not only of the business’ objectives, but of what is expected of each of them.
McCoy Drilling & Completions - Precision Die Technologies is a business unit of McCoy, which provides products and services as well as mobile solutions to the worldwide energy industry. The division in Broussard, Louisiana, manufactures dies and inserts such as the ones shown to the left. These gripping components are used on hydraulic pipe wrenches called power tongs as well as pipe handling tools used to drill oil wells.
The dies and inserts are machined rather than cast, which is said to provide higher accuracy for critical oilfield applications. They are also heat-treated for longer life and come in a variety of tooth patterns. The company offers standard dies and inserts as well as custom models for special applications.
Today’s hostile well environments often require drilling companies to use corrosion-resistant-alloy tubulars that require special handling tools. The company’s Gritface insert coating enables drilling companies to use their standard handling tools with CRA tubular strings because this special coating prevents contamination and marking during handling.
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McCoy Drilling & Completions - Precision Die Technologies
4225 1/2 Highway 90 East
Broussard, Louisiana 70518