Innovation Accelerates In Oil & Gas Drilling Industry
The late Carl Mickey, Sr., patriarch of Mickey Truck Bodies for five decades, was known as an inventor and innovator. On his watch, the second generation owner ushered the company his father founded in 1904 into an era of prolific growth in the truck body and trailer manufacturing industry. His vision to be “the best company” in the business by “offering great products at fair prices” was driven by automation, technology and customer service. And when opportunity knocked – whether it was for breakthrough features in side load delivery, design enhancements in emergency vehicles or more efficient refrigeration systems in van bodies – someone was always there to open the door.
Opportunity knocked most recently as oil and natural gas companies of all sizes began to use advanced systems to find hidden places where oil and gas deposits exist in abundance. And new drilling technology like hydro fracturing – or “fracking” – is being utilized to bring these products to the surface economically.
Mickey is currently working with a few leading designers and manufacturers of specialized equipment for the oil and gas industry to develop prototypes for state-of-the-art data acquisition and control centers to be used at drilling sites. This summer Mickey collaborated on a centralized command center and other projects to control all the critical well site equipment while monitoring, recording and supervising the fracturing process from a single operator workstation. The shell of the command center is an all-aluminum Mickey engineered trailer.
“From a Mickey standpoint, the oil and gas industry is certainly a viable opportunity to grow our top line revenue,” says Tom Arland, VP Sales – Beverage & Engineered Vehicles. “But it’s like every other industry we serve – we are not going to engineer and build something for the market and then try to sell it. We are going to work closely with our customers to design something they need. It has to be a win-win opportunity, and it starts with the specific requirements of our customer and building a quality product to meet those requirements.”That’s the philosophy behind Mickey’s unique Service Delivery Model, a chain of processes designed to turn a customer’s requirements into engineering solutions that meet expectations for strength, functionality, quality and appearance. The Service Delivery Model starts with a clear understanding of the customer’s business objectives and an accurate assessment of the specific vehicle’s operational environment to deliver a final product on spec, on time and on budget. The process also draws on Mickey’s century of vehicle engineering and manufacturing experience, expertise and innovation.
“Our manufacturing flexibility is being embraced in the oil and gas marketplace. In the past, oil and gas companies needed equipment immediately, and typically purchased what was available,” says Arland. “Today, with more competition and new drilling techniques requiring greater efficiency, companies are looking for enhanced designs and solutions for oil field equipment.” Traditionally, manufacturers tended to “design one unit and sell it to everybody. At Mickey, we build every unit to our customer’s specifications.
“If a customer wants a larger generator, different type of lab, slide-out, unique door structure, hydraulic vs. manual steps, we’ll design a model that fits their specific needs. Data trailers, data van bodies, chemical transport, Wire Line, all types of control cabins – we have the experience and capability to design and build them from the bottom up.”
The future is bright for the fossil fuel market, particularly as natural gas continues to make significant inroads as a value-oriented energy resource for a multitude of industries. Mickey is fully capable and absolutely committed to playing a role in the long term success of the industry.