Unique Welding Technology Allow Small Firm to Punch above Its Competitors
Dyna Torque Technologies, Inc. is a Texas company with pipe welding products that continue to solve the increasing quality and safety needs of the market. The Houston-based firm’s proprietary LoneStar automated welding system uses internal microprocessor technology and leading-edge software to solve many of the pipe welding requirements of today’s Oil and Gas industry by reducing defects, controlling labor costs and increasing overall quality while providing increased workplace safety, to name a few advantages.
“Dyna Torque provides welding technology where it counts, from light wall 4 inch pipe to large diameter heavy wall pipe for fabrications and pipeline projects,” explains President Andrew Scherfenberg. The company provides automated welding solutions and the latest solutions for pipe beveling, counter-boring and profile finishing of segmentable fittings, while carrying a line of internal line-up clamps and other products used primarily by the oil and gas industry.
As discussed, products can be used in various applications from shop fabrication to field installations, fabrication works, cross-country pipelines to offshore welding projects, and more. Dyna Torque’s business model is based on renting technology to solve the welding challenges of today’s marketplace while providing support services and various levels of support up to and including welding operators. Support levels by Dyna Torque can vary from carrying out welding assignments to supporting clients on projects where only equipment is rented.
Manufacturing currently takes place in Texas. “When you talk about our core products, they’re all designed and produced in Houston,” states Scherfenberg.
When Dyna Torque was launched in 1998, the focus started with pipe facing machines. The early days were tough. “You’re unknown. We had to go play the market where nobody else was interested. That really started in the offshore market,” recalls Scherfenberg.
In 2001, the company introduced automated welding equipment technology to its fleet and the company’s product line took a leap forward. It named its automated welding system LoneStar after the company’s home state of Texas.
Manual stick welding has been the norm for decades in pipeline construction and related fabrication. The LoneStar welding solution offers an alternative to all the inherent problems of manual welding. Manual welders are becoming difficult to recruit for today’s increasing standards and work environment. Operator fatigue, pay scale, skill levels, increased quality demands, safety constraints and environmental conditions are a few challenges that face the industry in today’s environment. The LoneStar welding solution provides repeatability and increased productivity while decreasing labor costs, dependency on highly skilled labor and the risk of on-the-job injuries.
The LoneStar automated single-head welding unit is particularly handy with its lightweight design and portability. The model’s diminutive size is matched by extreme ruggedness, with operating capability in temperatures as low as -40C (-40F) and up to 45C+ (113F). High deposition rate, ease of use, and the ability to handle a variety of welding processes and welding positions allow Dyna Torque to provide solutions throughout the welding industry.
LoneStar helps address a demographic issue. “The highly skilled welding labor force is aging out, and the younger workforce is not attracted to meet demands,” notes Scherfenberg. The LoneStar system offers cutting-edge capability in a user-friendly package that does not require decades of welding experience to master.
“You don’t need the same expertise to operate the equipment that you would if you were welding manually. Customers have access to a larger pool of welding labor,” he continues. The LoneStar system is also a popular choice for field fabrication pipe welding, thanks to its flexibility and versatile range.
Pipe facing machines supplied by Dyna Torque cover pipe sizes ranging from 4 inch to 56 inch pipe OD. These machines are flexible and are easily adjusted to all common bevel configurations. The Pipe Facing Machines can also be reconfigured for counter-boring.
Other Dyna Torque products are complemented with a line of internal lineup clamps that ensure increased alignment of pipe sections during the welding process, increasing weld quality, productivity and increased safety.
Dyna Torque’s workforce fluctuates depending on the nature of the company’s assignments, allowing it to react quickly to customer needs and changes in the marketplace. “On certain pipeline projects welding engineers and project management is outsourced. This solution is typical in the industry,” explains Scherfenberg.
The core staff numbers are easily managed, something Scherfenberg believes gives Dyna Torque a degree of freedom when it comes to seeking projects.
“We’re a company that can react quickly and cater to the industry differently. We’re after the work that some of the big players would not be interested in,” he states.
Not only that, but the company’s proprietary products allow it to tackle a variety of projects. “Flexibility in the type of equipment we developed provides an advantage in tackling the quick responses the industry demands,” says Scherfenberg.
Today’s clients are mainly based in the United States, although one of the firm’s recent high-profile assignments took place in Alberta. In 2017, Dyna Torque offered welding and support services for a project on 16 inch pipe north of Alberta. The job involved a LoneStar automated welding system while achieving a less than .5 percent defect rate for the job.
A previous assignment in 2016, involved slug catcher fabrication at the Waha Gas Plant in West Texas. A ‘slug’ refers to a mass of gas or liquid in a pipeline, while a ‘slug catcher’ refers to the system used to collect slugs. Using the Lone Star automated welding system and other tools, the company provided welding services and trained and qualified plant welders. The defect rate during Dyna Torque’s engagement was less than one half of one percent.
For all that, Scherfenberg says “visibility in the marketplace,” is the company’s biggest current challenge. “Right now, it’s difficult for customers to find out about the technology and the services Dyna Torque provides.”
While being small and nimble has its benefits, Scherfenberg is not opposed to getting bigger within reason. One way of achieving this is to expand the company’s geographical reach. “There’s a lot of work in Canada and other industries outside the United States that could benefit from our technology. Certainly, we’re interested in growth. We just want to be smart about it,” he notes.
Any company expansion will almost certainly be spearheaded by Dyna Torque’s pioneering LoneStar automated welding system. “We have a unique tool that saves labor, increases productivity, and reduces the reject rate,” notes Scherfenberg, of the LoneStar system. “The main benefit, at the end of the day, is cost-savings. If you finish a job a month early, that could be millions in cost savings. If you can put ten more welds in the ground per day, that’s a huge advantage.”