News

DRILL-GUARD® Premium Hardbanding Cored Wires

06/12/2016

Welding Alloys Group is pleased to announce that we have launched our premium range of hardbanding cored wires.

  • DRILL-GUARD Ti
  • DRILL-GUARD Nb
  • DRILL-GUARD CC
  • DRILL-GUARD Non Mag

Hardbanding is the application of hardfacing around the circumference of drilling tools, as a means to protect and extend the life of those tools during oil & gas drilling operations.

With extensive industry knowledge gained through experience and voice of the customer (VOC) research, we outlined each step in the customer decision making process and identified key drivers. Two customer types were identified from this process, both of which are part of the sales cycle - applicators and asset owners. Applicators are the companies who physically weld the hardfacing on the tool joints, applicators comprise of drill pipe manufacturers and field re-applicators. Asset owners are the companies who physically own the drilling tools (drill pipe and drill collars), asset owners consist of drilling contractors, rental pipe yards, and oil & gas operators.

There are four main drivers for the applicators:

  • Increased wear protection while being highly casing friendly 
  • Compatibility with the current industry leading hardbanding wires
  • Better price point than competition

There are two main drivers for the asset owners, both of which are also drivers for applicators, as seen above:

  • Increased wear protection while being highly casing friendly
  • Compatibility with the current industry leading hardbanding wires

After multiple rounds of performance and compatibility testing of the four hardbanding wires, Welding Alloys Group finalized the formulations by focusing on three of the four main drivers: wear performance, compatibility, and weldability. We already knew that our price point would be better than the competition, as our design / formulation, manufacturing, and quality control processes are all completed in-house. This provides the DRILL-GUARD brand with a competitive advantage over the majority of the other brands on the market.

Once the four formulations were finalized, each wire’s performance, compatibility, and weldability were validated with further in-house testing.
After this, three of the wires, DRILL-GUARD Ti, Nb, and CC were submitted for Fearnley ProcterTM NS-1, Level 3 certification for new tool joints, which also included American Petroleum Institute (API®) Standard 7CW for Casing Wear Testing. Each of the three wires passed the 6 month certification process and received NS-1 Level 3 certification.  This certification made Welding Alloys the only manufacturer to have all of their drill pipe hardbanding wires certified to Level 3.  One question was raised about why we didn’t certify DRILL-GUARD Non Mag. The answer is that non magnetic hardbanding is applied only on non magnetic drill collars which operate beneath the casing in the well within the bottom hole assembly (BHA), so casing friendliness was not a factor.

In October after receiving Fearnley Procter certification, twelve Welding Alloys Group employees met in Houston, TX for four days of technical training.  During the training the participants gained knowledge about:

  • Hardbanding applications including competitor’s products
  • Drilling mechanics
  • Drilling contractors
  • DRILL-GUARD label
  • Applicator qualifications
    • Texas Steel Conversions Drill Pipe
    • DRILCO Houston Service Center (A Schlumberger Company)

In November a similar training session was also held in Malaysia with the support of participants who attended the Houston training.

The DRILL-GUARD brand is currently being introduced to the industry with a controlled product launch with two phases.  Phase one consists of qualifying pipe manufacturers and established oil & gas hardbanding companies as certified applicators, while phase two consists of introducing and educating drilling contractors as well as oil & gas operators. To date, the qualifications and introductions have been welcomed openly from both types of customers, applicators and asset owners.

Welding Alloys Group has strategically evaluated the market opportunities and has decided to hold inventory in Asia, Europe, and the USA. The inventory levels will be continuously monitored and adjusted to ensure we can effectively support the oil & gas industry. 

Additional information may be obtained on the DRILL-GUARD website and on the DRILL-GUARD brochure:

Charlie Scharfy, Vice President of Sales
cscharfy@drill-guard.com

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