Techman Engineering Limited

Issue 01 2011

Engineering value

Techman Engineering is a UK-based specialist in machining and assembly manufacturing services.

Founded in 1990, the company has a vast experience in providing bespoke solutions for its customers. In 2004, Techman Engineering diversified its operations further by expanding into the oil and gas sector – a move that has fuelled major growth for the company. Today its main business area is the manufacture of drill collars. Dedicated to the oil-drilling sector Techman Engineering works with major clients such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford and Baker Hughes, and in October 2008 was acquired by Schoeller Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment group, the international market leader in oilfield tooling manufacture.

The company’s core machining processes are deep hole boring, turning and milling, producing traditional oil tools for logging while drilling (LWD) and measurement while drilling (MWD) systems. Alongside these core competencies, Techman Engineering is currently developing its specialist capabilities, as Simon Oxspring, managing director, highlights: “Another aspect of the business is the manufacture of consumable products from high-quality fibreglass and epoxy and we are focusing on developing this alongside the general engineering and manufacturing of oil tools. We have the ability to adhere fibreglass and epoxy to steel, and also bond rubber onto steel and fibreglass. At present steel products can be manufactured anywhere in the world but then may have to travel across the globe to have these other functions added. By developing these skills in-house we are able to offer clients a one-stop-shop for products, which not only is much more cost effective but also reduces the environmental impact of the production process.”

Other new developments for Techman Engineering address the budding trends within the oil and gas sector for exploration in challenging new environments and deeper drill sites. “We are working with some of the universities across the UK to develop epoxy’s that can perform in higher temperature and higher pressure conditions. We are also already seeing an upturn in the grade of steel used in manufacturing oil tools. This is due to drilling activities taking place in more aggressive environments, which require a steel that is more resilient to the riggers that are being put in from the drilling,” explains Simon.

In order to enable it to ensure the high performance levels of its products, Techman Engineering regularly invests in its machinery and developing its 82,000 sq ft facility. Having moved to the site in early 2008, Techman Engineering’s facility incorporates all the processes required to manufacture drill collars under one roof, enabling greater efficiency and a reduction in lead times. “We have just increased our long turning lathe capacity, with investment in another CNC 12 metre lathe,” describes Simon. “Increasingly clients are requesting our products in longer and longer lengths, so we have to make sure that we maintain and complement the long turning capabilities that we have. Over this coming year we are also looking to invest in developing our activities in the combination of rubber, fibreglass, steel and epoxy.” The company continually reviews and extends its capabilities to enable it to meet customer demands for greater complexity and precision. Techman Engineering also aims to maximise machine upturn through the use of a comprehensive preventative maintenance routine.

This expansion in capabilities has helped strengthen Techman Engineering’s industry standing – a welcome position following the difficulties of the sector after the recession hit. “The lack of activity within the industry has meant that we have faced a challenging 18 months and have had to make severe cutbacks. Being part of a larger organisation such as the Schoeller Bleckmann group has benefited the business by giving us greater security throughout this difficult period. However we are now seeing the industry becoming more buoyant and are looking to re-employ personnel to meet these demands. Certainly in 2011 and 2012 we’re looking for major growth with regards to the development of the fibreglass work. There is a strong market demand for this type of process and we are looking for new customers within that market that would benefit from our ability to manufacture these products,” elaborates Simon.

Despite these challenges, Techman Engineering has retained its ‘can do’ attitude and tailored approach to tackling clients’ problems. In terms of the company’s strategy for moving forwards Simon concludes: “The combination of fibreglass, rubber and steel is something that we’ve seen as an issue within the industry, so naturally as a turnkey solution provider, we are working to address this. We are continuously looking for niche markets where we can add value to the supply chain of a client, and over the next few years will continue to focus on further benefits for our customers. Often these issues just spring up, which is where we use our expertise to adapt and develop our capabilities to meet these new challenges.”

Techman Engineering Limited
Products: Drill collars

Techman Engineering Limited