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On the Shop Floor


kind that KSM builds and refurbishes—must also be able to capably navigate the spiderweb of highways and oſten rugged byways that interconnect the thousands of drilling sites dot- ting the landscape. Over the last decade, KSM has counted exclusively on


MTU, a Rolls-Royce Power Systems Group company, to deliver both the on- and off-highway power and durability that well service companies demand from their mobile rigs. In fact, the partnership is so strong that the company invited us here to mark the construction of their 100th rig powered by an MTU engine. Before Yjrola and I headed back out onto the frozen tundra


of Alberta, though, he introduced me to John Lung, the Wajax territory manager who handles the KSM account. I asked Lung how it is that in an industry notorious for brutal, price- gouging competition, KSM has been steadfast about using only MTU engines in its rigs. “Well,” Lung explained, “for starters, KSM was an early


adopter when back in 2003 they decided to transition from Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines—the Series 71s and Series 92s—to an MTU Series 60. Since then, of course, other rig builders have helped make the Series 60 ‘the standard’ for the well service rig business.” He said Wajax’s nine locations are fully stocked with genu-


Workers check out the derrick of a KSM 500. Customers can have their rigs fitted with derricks that reach 120' (36.5 m) above the ground.


Wajax supplies forkliſts, excavators and cranes as well as


hydraulics and pneumatics, pumps, processing materials, transmissions, generators, and diesel and gas-powered engines to Canadian industry. Yrjola is Wajax Power Systems’ general manager for off-highway sales, which in the oil- and gas-rich western provinces of Canada means that he and his team spend the majority of their time on or driving between the provinces’ countless drilling sites and the well service compa- nies supporting them. “Tis entire region is booming thanks to the energy industry,” he said. “In fact, the biggest problem our industry has right now isn’t energy production, but rather access to energy markets, including in the US. Ninety-seven percent of our off-highway sales are to customers in the oil and gas business.” We’d be visiting one of those customers today. KSM Inc.


in nearby Nisku, AB, is the leading well service mobile rig manufacturer in Alberta and beyond, and the mid-autumn snowstorm raging outside Wajax is the perfect backdrop for that visit. Up here well service rigs have to operate reliably in exactly these kinds of extreme conditions. Mobile rigs—the


50 Energy Manufacturing 2014


ine replacement parts and remanufactured parts and engines to support the hundreds of Series 60 and legacy Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines in use throughout Western Canada, including every engine sold to KSM. “Almost every day, someone here at the Edmonton branch is in touch with someone from KSM,” Lung said. “With so many engines in the field operating so many continuous hours, they’ve come to count on us for parts and service whenever and wherever they need us. And, we’re already talking to them about transitioning to the new MTU Series 1300 as that engine comes online.”


Manufacturing and Muscle Cars Te ride to KSM with Yrjola provided a great opportunity


to chat about the energy-driven economy of Canada’s western provinces. Yrjola said business is good, largely because of the same shale oil and gas revolution that has overtaken the US economy. Advances in horizontal drilling and fracking technology have resuscitated old wells and launched a rush to drill new ones in geological formations rich with fossil fuels previously thought to be forever trapped in stone. Te Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors


forecast projected that the industry would drill 10,409 wells in Canada in 2013. Even though that was 6% less than in 2012, there’s no question in Yrjola’s mind that shale oil and, to a less- er extent, shale gas propels the western provinces’ economy. KSM’s manufacturing, warehousing and office departments


are housed in a building that at first glance looks too small to accommodate a company that has for most of the last decade


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