Experience Turns Service Company into ManufacturerWed, 01/20/2016 - 11:21
Global Drilling Support (GDS) started as a service company that wanted to offer its customers a competitive alternative to the OEMs in repairing their drilling equipment, specifically top drives. The company turned a diverse group of technicians and experts into a team who were experienced in the different models of top drives, including Tesco and National Oilwell Varco. With service at the forefront and manufacturing in mind for the future, GDS focused on getting its API 8C license, QMS, and ISO certifications. For GDS’s Vice President of Sales & Operations, PJ Pendlebury, shifting from a service company to a manufacturer was a natural progression. “One of the advantages in servicing different brands of top drives is that GDS obtained a holistic look at all of the other OEMs’ equipment from the inside out. We were able to evaluate things that worked and, more importantly, things that did not work on competitor top drives,” he asserts. GDS was able to update the stagnant 20-year old top drive technology, making a robust but simplistic machine that was reliable and more capable of the current and future drilling demands. Pendlebury claims being involved in the service side and getting to know equipment from different OEMs helped his company in building its own product.
GDS’ business began to expand into Mexico in 2013 with one client, a national company, who bought over a dozen top drive units. In the same year, another customer moved several rigs to the region, which gave GDS more exposure to PEMEX. “The Mexican oil company liked our product, as the NOC saw through its rugged use in the region that it was user friendly, reliable, and performed well in the climate. Regarding the crossover from the competitor’s equipment that PEMEX was using at the time, the client found that GDS’ top drive provided a more advanced approach to drilling,” shares Pendlebury. At the moment GDS has equipment with drilling contractors that work for PEMEX. “The NOC has been a solid partner that has embraced our equipment and helped us understand the marketplace,” Pendlebury expresses and explains that his company has been given a great opportunity to showcase the strength and the ease of using its equipment in Mexico.
A factor that has greatly helped GDS in Mexico is the Energy Reform, and Pendlebury claims that the country has been open to embracing new technology and upgrading outdated equipment that does not meet the demands of today’s drilling standards. “GDS has a commitment to maintaining a high level of service to our clients and PEMEX as we navigate through this slowdown,” he asserts. The company opened an office and utilizes a fully functional workshop in Villahermosa to support its current and future operations. “Service and equipment reliability are our differentiators in these market conditions, so being able to respond to our customers’ needs at all times is our priority. PEMEX is such a prestigious and growing company with many opportunities, that we need to ensure that our products and services meet the NOC’s high expectations.”
Mexico’s openness to technological advancements suits GDS’s approach to technology, which Pendlebury says fuels and develops the industry. As part of its pursuit for innovation, the company incorporated the Global Display Panel (GDP) touchscreen into its top drive. “The GDP has cutting-edge technology that helps the clients, drillers, and maintenance crews focus on their job with a smart top drive system that lets them know what needs to be serviced and when,” says Pendlebury about the system, which has built-in maintenance scheduling. Built-in alarms provide alerts of issues or potential issues, so GDS is moving its customers from scheduled maintenance, to preventive and predictive maintenance.
The equipment manufacturer recently partnered with GE so that the latter can assist with remote monitoring capabilities and cloud-based data collection. Powered by GE’s leading Proficy® software and rugged RXi IPCs, GDS Equipment Insight allows the company to securely collect and analyze fleet data, and then share that information with key people in the organization, optimizing asset performance, processes, and profitability. Another significant technological addition to GDS’ portfolio is its Equipment Insight Solution. Pendlebury says his company was looking for a solution that would take its data management to the next level, as customers were asking for more data and accessibility. “Equipment Insight allows us to bring real-time data to the right person, wherever they are, on any device. Now, we not only provide visibility on our GDP onsite, but we are able to take it globally to maintenance crews and management teams on computers, tablets, and phones,” Pendlebury proudly states.