Central Machining and Pump Repair

Central Machining and Pump Repair is proud of its ability to offer quality welding and machining services to mining, oil and other companies in the Bakken Shale and elsewhere.

“If you ask most of our customers, they will tell you the value we offer them really sets us apart,” says Steve Bigelow, who co-owns the Minot, N.D.-based company along with Curt Latendresse. “Solving customers’ high-wear maintenance areas is where we really shine. If the customer isn’t happy and states something isn’t right, we want to be the first ones to know so we can resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

The recent increase in unconventional oil and gas exploration and production activity in the Bakken Shale is giving Central Machining plenty of opportunities to demonstrate its capabilities. Several of the oil companies operating in the shale look to Central Machining to fabricate components including flowback system diffusers used in fracking, wellheads and flowback tanks. One major client is Cameron, for whom Central Machining fabricates roughly 25 wellheads a week, Bigelow says.

Central Machining’s mining industry offerings include “pretty much anything pertaining to steel” such as steering tubes, spindles, truck boxes and other heavy equipment components.

“We can do anything with metal or iron,” he adds. “I think there’s no job we can’t handle, and we are always looking to diversify.”

The company operates a 45,000-square-foot welding, fabrication and machine shop equipped with CNC and manual mills and lathes, press brakes, shears, vertical and horizontal turning lathes, rolls and a CNC plasma burn table, among other equipment. Equipment upgrades and replacement are a high priority for Central Machining.

“In the last five years we’ve replaced roughly five big pieces of equipment and currently in the middle or purchasing three new pieces,” Bigelow says. “We continue to look at all of our equipment; anything that could potentially be a safety concern down the road we’re looking to get rid of.”

In addition to welding and fabrication services, Central Machining also offers 24/7 emergency services as well as on-site portable machining.

Central Machining was established in 1991 after Bigelow and Latendresse purchased a Canadian metallizing company from its previous owner. For much of the company’s first 15 years in business it focused on the power, sugar and mining industries. Its work in the power industry includes fabricating turbines, cut-off headers, shafts, dust collectors and diffusers. Notable power customers include Central Power Co., Great Plains Power and Xcel Energy.

The company’s sugar industry work includes manufacturing slope diffuser units used to process pulp from sugar beets. While the company still serves both industries, the last four years have seen a downward trend in those sectors that the oil industry has more than made up for.

“Where we used to see about 90 percent of our business in power and sugar, about 80 percent of our total work today is in oil,” Bigelow notes.

The company’s current backlog is roughly one month. “We feel our workmanship is top of the line, and we don’t expect anything less than the highest quality in our work,” he adds.

Safety Achievements
Along with quality, employee safety is Central Machining’s highest priority. Workers receive formal OSHA, Mine Safety and Health Administration training, and the company follows strict drug and alcohol guidelines.

Central Machining is a member of a number of organizations such as North Dakota Safety Council and Energy Coalition for Contractor Safety, as well as state safety management programs. EMI