When I speak to customers, I often talk about the importance of quality control when manufacturing drilling equipment. When you are paying good money for core bits and drill rods you want to make sure they last long, and provide the performance you are expecting.
Sometimes equipment can be purchased for less money but after a few hundred meters, drillers encounter problems. The old saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and the total cost of ownership is what counts. Unfortunately, unexpected problems can arise even with the best manufacturers so it is always a challenge to find ways to ensure quality control. An ISO certification is a good way to ensure that your production processes are followed exactly so that quality control is always maintained. We’ve recently opened our new drill rod plant where the focus is quality control – check it out here.
When you are developing new bits, testing often happens on the drill site. The technical crew arrives with a bag of core bits and other tools and we see what happens in drilling performance when we start changing equipment and parameters.
We recently developed two test benches to help with testing of equipment: one for our diamond tools and another for our core barrels. Using the test benches allows us to test new products and to ensure quality control. Accessing the field can be difficult when the location is remote or when weather conditions are difficult.
The test bench allows us to be more creative with innovation and to test equipment before we even get to a customer’s drill site. In the case of the diamond tool test bench, the test panel records technical data during a drilling cycle including the drilling parameters used most often in diamond drilling. This data is then analyzed to understand tool behavior and allows engineers to make changes in order to get the desired results. With the core barrel test bench, other testing is performed to ensure that the rods provide the best durability and longest life.
We’ve always been very focused on innovation and our new test benches have become valuable R&D tools that allow us to achieve our mission: help improve drilling performance and make drillers’ lives easier.