Wheelabrator Helps Save Money for the Oil and Gas Industry

TRC Rod Services of Oklahoma (TRC Company) was formed in 1996 by a group of veterans in the sucker rod business. TRC is the industry leader in helping major and independent oil and gas companies extend the life of their respective sucker rods through the company's inspection and reconditioning services. Sucker rods are one of the most crucial components in a working oil well, connecting the pump jack at the surface of the well to a down-hole pump. The 25-foot steel rods are joined by threaded couplings to make a string approximately 5,000 feet long.

TRC has built a loyal customer base that recognizes the importance of shot peening. TRC's rod processing plant in Oklahoma City operates at full-capacity, which lead to the need for further expansion. In February 2009, the company opened a state-of-the-art facility situated on thirteen acres. TRC's new sucker rod plant was based on the design of a rod plant built in 2007 by TRC's sister company, TRC Rod Services of Texas based in Midland, Texas.

"Shot peening is the most valuable and cost-effective process for sucker rod owners", explains Mr. Bob Payne; the originator of the sucker rod reconditioning process.

When it came to outfitting the new Midland facility, TRC collaborated with Wheelabrator Group Technical Sales Representatives to install a new shot peening machine. The Skew Roll Peening machine (with (1) blast wheel) is one of the most important components of the new facility's daily manufacturing operations. TRC worked closely with Wheelabrator engineering personnel in designing a new machine capable of effectively shot peening rods at a rate of 75-feet per minute and that could be placed in line with the company's other inspection and reconditioning processes.

"Sucker rod failures have the potential of costing our customers millions of dollars each year," states Mr. Don Heck, President, TRC Rod Services of Oklahoma. "At the heart of our reconditioning service is shot peening, which gives new life to used rods by greatly reducing residual stress. Our services prevent costly failures at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new string of rods."

The shot peening process relieves the residual stresses built up in the sucker rods from down-hole usage, providing the benefits of (1) increased strength and, (2) durability. The constant movement and weight on the rod string (via the force and rotation of the pump jack) generates significant residual stresses in the sucker rods, often leading to costly breaks in the rods. Shot peening also helps prevent corrosion of sucker rods when they are in oil wells by placing the outer layer of the rods into compression. The anchor pattern supplied by shot peening also allows a corrosion inhibitor to attach easily. The role of the inhibitor is to prevent corrosion during storage and everyday use.

TRC maintains a competitive edge as the sole company within the oil and gas industry that utilizes the shot peening process to recondition sucker rods. This is a reason why TRC is able to offer a written warranty on used sucker rods that is comparatively equal to the warranty on new rod products; resulting in a cost savings for their oil and gas customers.

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