Schramm Introduces New Drill
Portfolio Company News - March 23, 2013
By BILL RETTEW JR.
Journal Register News Service
A state-of-the-art drilling rig, made primarily for oil and gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas, was designed and constructed by Schramm Inc., a 113-year old company based on the outskirts of West Chester.
The 102-foot-tall rig, when fully extended, comes with a $7.65 million price tag. The first T500XD Telemast drill rig was recently sold and will be shipped within a month from Schramm's Virginia Avenue, 14 building, 27-acre property.
Not only is the rig so big that it's visible from nearby Henderson High School, but it also "talks" and "walks."
Fred Slack, vice president for business development, said the equipment is "designed to walk on a pad site with a full 360 degree motion." Slack said that four hydraulically operated feet will move the apparatus into position, drilling to a depth of 15,000 feet.
Slack also said the rig "talks by offering full communication interface connectivity to third party data acquisition" when using the Internet or dedicated satellite communication systems. It has 500,000 pounds of drilling power or hoist capacity.
"We are the only company in the state of Pennsylvania to make a rig of this capacity and technology," the vice president said.
Steve Hanley, a service technician who has been on the job at Schramm for 39 years, is referred to by his co-workers as "The Schramm-Man." He said that rigs built by Schramm when he started working for the company almost four decades ago had the capacity of just 42,000 pounds, or less than a tenth of Schramm's newest rig.
"I never dreamed that we'd build something this big," Hanley said. "I can't describe 500,000 pounds of pull to people."
Slack said the rig is "bigger, better, faster, greener and safer" than previous drills. He also said the rig is special since only three employees are required to operate it, rather than six needed for similar structures.
The rig also rides from location to location on just eight trucks, less than half the number used by similar devices, saving wear and tear on roadways. It also can be erected without use of a crane.
"It's less disruptive to the environment," said Slack. "It's highly portable, it goes into production, does its job and then moves on to the next hole."
Slack said Schramm has the capacity to make up to 200 drill rigs per year and can make 10 per year of the company's newest model, which took two years to develop.
While 75 percent of the company's revenues are derived from export sales and field service support in more than 80 countries, Schramm grabbed international headlines when drills made in Chester County were used to free 33 miners in a 2010 Chilean mine accident.
Schramm, Inc. is a century-old Chester County, Pennsylvania manufacturer and global supplier to the hydraulic drill industry, focusing on land based applications. Specializing in mobile, top-head hydraulic rotary drilling rigs, Schramm is a supplier to companies in the energy, mining, geothermal, water well and mine rescue sectors worldwide. Schramm's global reach includes major market positions in China, Chile, Canada, Australia, Russia and South Africa.
Schramm has received numerous awards for its world-class manufacturing excellence, superior quality and innovation, significant growth in international business and its ongoing contributions to its local community. Among them, Schramm received the "Manufacturer of the Year Award" from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in December 2011; the "Business Member of the Year" from the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia in May 2010; and the "Chester County Globe Award" from the Chester County Economic Development Council in association with the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives in April 2007. In 2008, Inc. 5000 listed Schramm as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.