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Keeping an eye on operations and safety sends one manufacturer to the top

Oct. 9, 2013
In this Plant Profile, a Texas manufacturer leverages safety and manufacturing synergy.

Duoline Technologies’ 130,000 sq ft facility in Gilmer, Texas, opened in 2010. Duoline manufactures fiberglass-epoxy internal linings used for corrosion protection in oilfield steel tubular goods, called “tubulars” in the trade. Duoline uses focused automation and superior logistics to produce these oilfield safety and reliability products in a lean environment and distributes them worldwide. Half of Duoline’s output currently goes to Dubai, Brazil, and Canada from the Port of Houston. The Gilmer location also supports efficient domestic distribution.

The Duoline story provides another example of how the synergy between safety and manufacturing efficiency can produce a solid market position for U.S. manufacturing, with precise operational focus working hand in hand with safety improvements.

Effectiveness and efficiency

“In 1964, Duoline Technologies began manufacturing fiberglass liners in Odessa, Texas,” says David Marshall, president and COO of Robroy Industries, Duoline’s parent company. “Duoline Technologies’ filament-wound glass-reinforced epoxy (GRE) liners protect oilfield tubulars from corrosion. These liners are installed for use on onshore and offshore oil and natural gas production sites. Major oil producers have been using GRE liners since the 1960s because these liners have proven to be more robust than internal plastic coatings. GRE liners are also a lower-cost alternative to corrosion resistant alloys.”

Duoline Technologies manufactures a niche product line in the oil and gas marketplace, says Marshall. “As such, the company has been on a path of long-term growth,” he explains. “Since the new plant began production three years ago, Duoline has grown approximately 10% annually. This growth helped the company to reach a goal of more than 100 million ft of Duoline successfully installed worldwide. Right now 25 people are employed in Gilmer, divided between shift workers and administrative staff, including management, engineering, sales, and marketing. Duoline expects to grow about 20% next year, creating a long-term need for additional staff.”

Corporate citizenship

J. Stanton McGroarty, CMfgE, CMRP, is senior technical editor of Plant Services. He was formerly consulting manager for Strategic Asset Management International (SAMI), where he focused on project management and training for manufacturing, maintenance and reliability engineering. He has more than 30 years of manufacturing and maintenance experience in the automotive, defense, consumer products and process manufacturing industries. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Detroit Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in management from Central Michigan University. He can be reached at [email protected] or check out his .

The annual cost of corrosion in the oil and gas production industry is estimated to be $1.37 billion with approximately $463 million annually just for downhole tubing expenses, according to NACE International — The Corrosion Society, which also explains that, within the oil and gas industry, effective management of corrosion will contribute toward achieving the following benefits:

  • statutory or corporate compliance with safety, health and environmental policies
  • reduction in leaks
  • increased plant availability
  • reduction in unplanned maintenance
  • reduction in deferment costs.

“Major oil companies are looking for better solutions to reduce the high cost of corrosion caused by carbon dioxide, hydrogen dioxide, and oxygen found in many downhole and injector wells,” adds Marshall. “Many manufacturers find it very challenging to meet the high standards set by most major oil production companies. These standards are non-negotiable because companies do not want to be liable for environmental accidents; product failure is not accepted. Duoline Technologies helps our customers to meet this challenge head-on with its manufacturing process. This unique process enables the company to produce a high-quality product that more than meets the demands of major oil producers.”

There we have it again — manufacturing prowess and a keen sense for safety helping a U.S. manufacturer establish a solid market. A lean team in Texas is producing corrosion protection against downhole failures and the kind of leaks and blowouts that have kept the news media working overtime in recent years. Moreover, they are successfully marketing them domestically and internationally, adding jobs in the Lone Star State.

Read Stanton McGroarty's monthly column, Plant Profile.

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