Manufacturing artificial lift systems drives seriously upward momentum for LUFKIN Industries
As a specialty manufacturer, LUFKIN Industries has successfully carved out a future-forward niche in energy. A pioneer of artificial lift products for the oil and gas sector, the Missouri City, Texas, enterprise supplies oilfields with precision-engineered rod lift systems and software, and automated control and optimization equipment.
According to Rigzone, artificial lift technology is used in 96% of our nation’s oil wells. When the natural . In an industry where “downtime” is the filthiest word that can be uttered, artificial lift systems keep the product flowing.
The sector that LUFKIN serves is known for exploration, production, and refining; while there is a manufacturing component in refining, it is essentially chemistry and radically different from the kind of manufacturing that LUFKIN engages in. The 120-year-old company boasts manufacturing operations in California, Texas, Indiana, and Oklahoma, as well as manufacturing facilities for downhole pumps in Canada.
“Our manufacturing perspective is cutting chips and making components you can see and touch,” Michael Paschal, LUFKIN’s VP of manufacturing told BOSS. “It’s a great opportunity for us to set up a world class operation and set the standard for the industry.”
That world class operation is the company’s state-of-the-art 180,000-sq.-ft. Claremore facility, which will manufacture Don-Nan pumps and related accessories. The Don-Nan subsidiary designs, manufactures, and services sucker rod pumps, tubing anchors, gas separators, and other downhole production equipment, and are serviced and sold throughout the world by LUFKIN
The Claremore plant employs more than 70 new workers and will allow LUFKIN to build on the lean manufacturing methodologies that are being employed across the entirety of the company, which ensures that LUFKIN Don-Nan will continue to raise the bar of manufacturing benchmark-setting American Petroleum Industry certified products.
In pursuit of customer-centricity
As Paschal explained, a major goal of the new operation is to create a fundamentally sound, continually evolving customer-centric manufacturing process. The voice of the customer influences the moves that LUFKIN makes, a strategy that has not only made them an international player, but also has kept them ahead of the competition for decades. “We're delivering things in collaboration with the voice of the customer, delivering solutions our customers need today and being ready to meet their future needs,” he said.
Creating the Claremore operation is a true team effort, engaging LUFKIN’s plant leaders, supervisors, team leaders, as well as shop floor specialists and back-office staff to build out an environment that will delight their already devoted customers. “This is a sustainable, productive, and cost-effective process that we can expand and grow as the business dictates,” he noted.
In addition to being the newest jewel in the LUFKIN crown, Paschal hopes that Claremore will attract existing and prospective customers, as well as manufacturing professionals working to enhance their expertise. He also is eager for visitors to experience the LUFKIN way of doing business across different departments and areas of responsibility.
“Whether it's employee relations from a HR perspective, a safety, environmental and sustainability perspective, from LUFKIN as a leader in quality, or from a continuous improvement and lean standpoint – that’s the learning experience we’re building in Claremore,” he said.
Paschal recognizes that each of the company’s 1,500 global employees have 1,500 different perspectives, and that innovation can spring from any one – or more – of those perspectives. “It could be as simple as how we move material in a manufacturing facility,” he posited. For example, instead of moving materials using human strength, the chore is replaced with autonomous equipment that uses the machine’s own energy source to keep things moving.
“For me, innovation is a top to bottom activity, from having industry-leading technology all the way down to utilizing the individual on the shop floor to come up with ways to make things better in general,” he added.
When it comes to suppliers, Paschal sees them not just as component, systems, or solutions providers, preferring to examine them holistically to consider the perspectives of safety, quality, people development and environment so that everyone’s goals and values align. “We want long-term partners in this business because that's what we're trying to build – a long-term sustainable business.”
Paschal is tuned in to pockets within the energy industry where manufacturers can thrive through collaboration and partnership. That partnership approach defines the industry as he sees it and is the root of its strength.
“That’s what built this industry,” he affirmed, noting that aligning with like-minded vendors and working as a cohesive problem-solving team, whether the issues involve safety, the environment, or other concerns has been mutually beneficial. On occasion cost issues arise, but most urgent concerns revolve around higher level considerations such as quality, sustainability, and safety.
LUFKIN’s commitments to safety, worker mental and physical health, the environment and sustainability are fundamental to the organization, embedded into their culture, and integrated into their business decisions. HSE is the primary driver of every action they initiate to protect their people, their customers, the environment, and the communities they serve.
With the opportunity to be a leader in the energy sector and a force for greater sustainability within the energy universe world comes a weighty responsibility. As Paschal put it, “We're trying to drive the right thinking and behavior through collaboration, using the knowledge from the old school team to the new teams coming in. … We are setting those things up for the long term so we can continue to drive value creation for our customers as we move forward. We have a very talented team and continue to add to it where necessary.”
The vision and the purpose underpinning the LUFKIN culture of excellence is positioning them as the go-to partner within the artificial lift sector as well as the broader industry. Not surprisingly, there are lower cost options, but Paschal is clear about their utility to provide the full spectrum of services.”
“We’re not just about getting resources out of the ground. We’re about environmental sustainability, and a laser focus on the customer. It's our passion to deliver. It's the internal and external teamwork we do,” he concluded.
“Our integrity drives us to tell you up front what is right and what is wrong, whether you want to hear it or not. But that's part of teamwork and collaboration. From an innovation standpoint, we will be there to help you solve your problems in both the current and future state, and help you transform your business across the board.”
LUFKIN, headquartered in Missouri City, Texas, is a leading global provider of rod lift optimization solutions, products, technologies and services to the oil and gas industry. With over 120 years of industry leadership, LUFKIN manufactures a complete line of sucker rods, downhole sucker rod pumps and automation systems. LUFKIN has an extensive global service footprint complemented by its focus on the safety of its employees, customers and business partners. LUFKIN believes in long-term partnerships and providing timely and innovative solutions beyond the lifecycle of an asset. LUFKIN respects each team member, whose integrity, teamwork and expertise is unmatched and the environment, as its future depends on our stewardship.
811 Willow Oak Dr.
Missouri City, TX 77489
Phone Number: 281.495.1100
Homepage Link: https://lufkin.com/