Manufacturing Vs Fabrication of Process Pipe

I’d like to take a moment to share a couple of ideas and explanations about what we do and why we do it the way we do, as well as how we do it.

Let’s start at the beginning. Just as any company has a process and procedure for doing business, so do we. Each and every detail and aspect of these policies are there for a very specific purpose. Some are for the protection of the customer, some are for the protection of the employee’s and our company. With that said, some are specifically based on making our company productive and profitable. Without profit, none of us can earn a living. Our services depend on our company making a profit, just as every other company in the world, no matter what service they offer. That’s just life in the real world.

This is meant for those who buy commodities without having a deeper understanding of what they are purchasing, how it’s used in their project, or how it’s installed. This isn’t a “commodity” item, never was, and never will be. Why? Because each piece, spool, section are all “custom” made to our customers standards, specification, codes and design. When a company wants prices by the “unit” we know they don’t really have a grasp on what they’re asking. My own personal opinion is that they are leaving themselves wide open for all kinds of interpretations. When a company tells me they don’t care about what diameter or wall thickness the pipe is they want a price and delivery, and they want it quickly. We tend to walk away from these. Why? I would hope you can figure that out.

What we do is not rocket science, but it does take a lot of knowledge, intelligence, patience, endurance, empathy, compassion, will power, self-control, patience, communication skills, risk taking and did I mention patience? What we do may not be rocket science, but it does use the same mathematics, physics, human dedication, mental capacity, planning, forethought, dedication, quality control procedure, as being a rocket scientist, if not more.

Dictionary.com states the following:

Manufacture – the making of goods and wares by manual labor or machinery, especially on a large scale.

That’s what we do! We manufacture a product, process pipe by using manual labor and machinery. So by the very definition of our products we run a manufacturing facility.

We manufacture approximately 55,000 welds a year. Every day we manufacture welded process pipe. That’s our area of expertise.

Just because we don’t have conveyor belts moving raw materials around doesn’t mean we don’t move them. We don’t use robotics. Why? Because our skilled craftsman can out perform robots hands down. In the time it takes someone to put the pieces in the machine or in place so the machine can get started, our process is complete and the pipe spool is on the ground ready for it’s next step in our process. We don’t use automatic welding machines either. Why not? For basically the same reason, our team of expert welders and fitters are faster than the machines are.

We have been manufacturing process pipe for many years and have found the safest, most productive, most competitively priced, highest quality means to do so. That “way” is how we derived our process. A Production Manufacturing Facility is what we operate. We’re not a “job shop”, we only manufacture process pipe. There is nothing wrong with a “job shop”, nothing at all. We’re just not one, pure and simple. They chose to fabricate items they have expertise in. Today they might be fabricating a tank, tomorrow a piece of pipe, the next day a structural steel component, and next week, it all starts over again.

A Production Manufacturing Facility is different. We specialize in the manufacturing of process pipe made from carbon steel, stainless steel, low temp carbon steel and chrome. We are manufacturing process pipe today, we did the same yesterday and will be doing it Monday morning and every other day of the week. We’ve manufactured process pipe for Enterprise Products, Air Products, Oneok, Targa Resources, TransCanada, Columbia Gas, Kinder Morgan, Vaalco, McMoRan, Formosa Plastics, El Paso, Apache Corp, Stone Energy, Calumet Refinery, Placid Refinery, Sunoco, LBC, and this list could go on for a long while. That’s what we do. For us it’s easy, fulfilling, and dare I say it, exciting. When we follow our proven processes and procedures. That’s part of what separates us from the others that say they are pipe fabricators. A lot of them are still doing it the way it’s been done for decades. There are some that believe technology is the answer. And to a degree they have a point, but technology isn’t a product and can’t be used to manufacture as such. It’s not what makes pipe. People make pipe. Technology is what type of welding wire we use for this type of project and the materials it’s made of. Technology is what we use to communicate with one another.

Each and every piece we put together is customized. It’s very rare to find two pieces that are the same on any project. That’s what makes our process so unique. We have set procedures to take care of that, as well as all other issues that might come about during a project.

We all know this is construction, things are going to take place and change, it always does. How we deal with those issues can set us apart. With that said, we all have to be smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable and more creative than the other guys. Whoever the other guys are. Don’t get me wrong, from time to time, we make mistakes. There I said it. We can admit it when we do make a mistake and do what we have to in order to rectify that issue. We have never walked away from our responsibility to produce what we promised you we would. However, I can’t say others are so honest or forth coming. Some people act and speak like they aren’t capable of making a mistake. They may even hide behind a  contract or specifications or codes as they interpret them. Common sense is crucial from all sides. Engineering is critical in a lot of areas. But common sense can go a long way, sometimes even further than a degree. I am learning that we, as an industry, are loosing our ability to “discuss” a matter. Discuss, put our heads together or whatever you want to call it. We’re loosing the ability to talk to one another intelligently, in a manner that the job gets done correctly and we haven’t burned any bridges in the process.

Respect is something missing in society today. It’s demanded by most and never given by those demanding it for themselves. What’s up with that?

Most companies are in business because the owners decided they knew enough, had enough experience and scrapped up enough money and convinced others to come to work for them to do a service or supply a product. The guys that have had the sleepless nights, mortgaged their homes, drive a vehicle older than their helpers, trained their personnel, made payroll, bought insurance, made payments to the bank, borrowed money from the bank, gave up their own salaries to make that payroll and all the other things that owners do to start a business and keep it going, know how to do what they do. Respect for that should have some sway in any conversation, especially if the other person never did these things. To many time people “go to work” “do their job” with no thought about how they affect everyone around them.

Where is the respect for a business owner when people come in “bullying” that owner so they get their way?

We know that the end user of the process pipe we manufacture has spent a lot of time, energy, experience and expertise in the design of the facility this process pipe will be installed in. What we are expected to do with this pipe is demanding, critical, time saving for our customers, and above all it has to follow certain processes and procedures to be correct and of the highest quality.

We have spent years designing the “process” by which we manufacture the process pipe our customers expect and count on. We did it to offer the best manufactured process pipe anywhere.

We are the best because of the procedures and processes we designed and follow. When we’re forced to deviate from these tried and true processes, things don’t go as smoothly as they could. Why? There are many answers to this question and I’ll let you think about them for a while. Common sense will give you the answer.

We’re all here to do a job. We’re all here to help our customers get what they want and need. We’re all here to earn a living.

We manufacture process pipe because it’s what we’ve trained ourselves and team to do better than anyone else. And our history proves we know what we’re doing. Why would anyone want to come in here and change that?

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s