Horizontal drilling may be all the rage in the oil and gas industry, but that doesn’t mean vertical drilling is a thing of the past. California-based Hawk Industries has been manufacturing heavy-duty drilling equipment since 1958. Twenty years ago, the company decided to focus most of its resources on vertical drilling equipment for the oil and gas and geothermal industries. Sales and Service Manager Dan Allshouse says once the decision was made, the company never looked back.
“We are a small company so we decided to focus on one field and we chose to do all down-hole,” he says. “We are not going into any different type of industry. Instead we specialize in any type of vertical drilling.”
The company’s focus on vertical drilling equipment has paid off. It was awarded Manufacturer of the Year at the 2014 Oil & Gas Awards and it holds several patents for its innovative products. The company produces four main lines, the T-WREX, T-WREX Junior, HAWKJAW and SPINMASTER, and among these products Hawk Industries is able to cover a gamut of needs.
Family of Four
The HAWKJAW is Hawk Industries’ flagship product and has been continuously improved after years of design and testing. The make-up/break-out tool combines spinning and torque wrenches in a modular design for easy maintenance and servicing. It has a self-energized grip system and optimizes drill crew size by combining tongs, spinner and spin chains into a single unit. The HAWKJAW also improves safety with fewer cables, snub lines and pull chains required on the rig floor.
The T-WREX and T-WREX Junior feature the HAWKJAW on a pedestal-mounted configuration for remote operations. It’s ideally suited to the harsh environments of offshore drilling or large-scale land-based operations. The SPINMASTER, which the company says is one of the fastest, safest and most efficient drill pipe spinners on the market today, is available in pneumatic or hydraulic models and in two sizes. It has a high torque output of 2,272 feet per pound while its compact design makes it lighter than comparable tools. Allshouse says that all of its tools are designed for maximum flexibility.
“We try to design products that you can use on any vertical rig,” Allshouse says. “Like the HAWKJAW, it was designed to move from rig to rig, so it’s easy to take down and easy to put away. All the product lines use the same spare parts, so if you have a HAWKJAW and a T-WREX, you can interchange spare parts. We really focus on availability of parts to get the customers what they need for after-sales service and on designing flexibility into our equipment.”
Part of that flexibility entails a level of customization. Although Hawk Industries’ products are already made with flexibility in mind, Allshouse says some customers require modifications that Hawk Industries accommodates.
“Someone may see something on our website that meets most of their standards, but if they need a different configuration, we can do that,” Allshouse explains. “For instance, the arms on the T-WREX extend out so we can make one with longer arms. If they need a free-hanging one we can make it without the spinner for customers that have fit issues on the rig and need a shorter unit. If the customer needs something done differently, we can usually do it.”
And that’s because the company retains most of its manufacturing in-house. It has been in the same facility since 1958 and has expanded and upgraded it over the years. The 30,000-square-foot building contains 23,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 7,000 square feet of warehouse, office and administrative space. The production floor is fitted with a full welding shop, a full-service machine shop with CNC equipment and three fabrication shops for its product lines.
Allshouse says the company manufactures 85 percent of everything it designs. Doing things in-house allows the company to control the quality and delivery time of its products and maintain good rapport with customers.
“We’ve done well this year,” Allshouse reports. “This was one of our better years. We had a large project that recently finished where we sold 16 T-WREXs of our two different sizes to a Chinese company building rigs for National Drilling Co. of Abu Dhabi. They have always used our equipment and they are updating their rigs and installing offshore rigs.”