Industry is always evolving and advancing. The speed in which those advancements occur, however, is in recent years accelerating exponentially. An increase in U.S. production of shale natural gas and oil is driving the demand for new technologies and new infrastructure to support activities in this sector. Funding for research and development in alternative energy projects and methods continues to grow. The new low cost energy sources in North America are changing the global competitive dynamics likely leading to the construction of significant new capacity and plants in a number of energy-based and energy-intensive industries. At the same time, operators across the energy sector are actively developing new ways to safely extend older infrastructure life. It’s an exciting time for the industry, but with these advancements come new challenges.
In its 40th year of operation, Team Industrial Services, a world-class provider of specialized industrial services, is placing a strong emphasis on the continuous development of new capabilities and technologies to assist clients with their rapidly evolving challenges.
“Our customers are the major driving force behind Team,” said Phil Hawk, Team’s chairman and CEO. “In order for us to continue to grow, it’s important we develop relationships that enable us to more clearly recognize our clients’ needs. Understanding their requirements helps shape the delivery of more specifically tailored services, which inevitably leads to more innovation. It’s not about providing every service possible. It’s about providing strategically developed specialized services supported by the most highly trained experts in the field.”
Based upon more than 20-percent compound average growth rate for the past decade, the company is obviously doing something right. With more than 120 U.S. and international locations, Team is rapidly growing its global footprint across a wide range of industries. In the past several years, via a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, Team has significantly expanded its service presence in Asia, Europe, Central/South America and the Middle East. At the same time, the company continues to introduce and expand a number of service capabilities in North America.
Leveraging new capabilities and technologies
Inspecting difficult-to-inspect pipelines and process piping. In 2010, Team purchased Quest Integrity Group LLC, a privately held advanced inspection services and engineering assessment services company. Quest Integrity’s proprietary technology and related analytical tools extend Team’s capability to deliver more comprehensive integrity and reliability management solutions — while leveraging Team’s extensive market presence and large field service capability. Unpiggable pipelines represent one example where Quest Integrity is applying its unique inspection technology to help operators determine whether some of their most difficult-to-inspect pipelines are fit for service.
Quest Integrity’s specialized capability provides customers with an in-line inspection (ILI) servicing solution, where the prospect was previously infeasible because of limited launch/receive facilities, tight bends, diameter changes and other features challenging or making impossible in-line inspection using conventional ILI tools.
Quest Integrity’s recent development of its HYDRA™ inspection technology aligns with Team’s goal of expanding inspection and other integrity management services in the nuclear sector. HYDRA is an ultrasonic intelligent pig developed to inspect buried or inaccessible piping in nuclear plants, as well as process piping in refining and chemical plants. In addition to the ability to easily navigate complex piping configurations, the HYDRA platform has unique characteristics to address industry requirements specific to the nuclear and process plant sectors, such as foreign material exclusion and deliverables tailored to the respective regulatory regimes.
In 2013, Quest Integrity expanded its Remote Digital Video Inspection (RDVI) service offering to North America. RDVI utilizes highly trained and experienced remote digital video inspectors, deploying a wide array of video borescopes, remote operated cameras, robotic crawlers and specialized tooling to deliver clear, concise remote visual data. This remote visual inspection method enables examination of nearly every plant system and component without costly disassembly or confined space entry — minimization of which is a very high safety priority for operators.
“The expansion of Quest Integrity’s RDVI services provides our North American process and power industry clients with safer inspection options for their critical assets, particularly those with access challenges,” said Jeff Ott, Quest Integrity Group president. “RDVI adds another important dimension to the way we gather the most robust data for our clients, thereby enabling more accurate condition assessments to inform their operating decisions.”
Keeping tanks fully operational and compliant with stringent industry standards. In 2012, Team acquired TCI Services Inc., a storage tank management company that performs inspections, engineering and repair services across the United States for above ground storage tanks. Since acquiring TCI, Team’s comprehensive Tank Management Programs have set the industry standard in delivery of comprehensive integrity management solutions for this critical asset. Backed by Team’s in-house engineering, documentation and certification services — including API 653 evaluations — Team’s on-site tank inspections, repair and maintenance services help keep customers’ tanks in service and fully compliant with stringent industry standards.
Reducing downtime during inspections by eliminating the need for traditional access solutions. In July, Team purchased Global Ascent Inc., a leading provider of industrial rope access services. Headquartered in Fullerton, Calif., Global Ascent provides a range of basic and advanced NDE and maintenance services to its clients in the energy and industrial markets in both the traditional manner and via rope access. Team was not the first player to enter into the rope access inspection arena. The company instead strategically sought out the company with the best-trained and most experienced industry technicians. Team is applying this same methodology to scale the service out across its large business model, with plans to open rope access service locations in New Orleans, La.; Pasadena, Texas; and Chicago, Ill., in addition to its current West Coast presence.
“Our goal at Team is to take the great resources, technologies and expertise each of these companies brings to the table, and then combine the services according to each customer’s needs,” said Art Victorson, Team’s president of Inspection and Heat Treating Services Group. “We merge their capabilities with Team’s advanced training, mentoring and certification programs to expand our offerings to customers in a way that reinforces our extensive local market relationships and presence.”
Services advanced by exceptional service
Team’s insight into the evolving challenges of the industry comes directly from customer feedback. It is this knowledge sharing that drives Team to modify and advance existing service lines.
New heat-treating solutions solve customers’ challenges. Team is the largest field heat-treating company in the world, with 30-plus years of experience and more than 90 million watts of heat-treating resources available at its fingertips. It is no wonder this sector of the company’s business is continually advancing.
Team is developing heat-treating machines and components that are faster, more agile and lighter. In the not so distant past, mobile rigs housing large generators were used to provide the power to heat on site. Several customers came to Team voicing concerns about the amount of space traditional rigs took up during a turnaround. Team went to work on engineering and manufacturing smaller generators to reduce the equipment’s footprint. The new equipment container is now a portable 4-foot by 6-foot box. Team listened to customers’ concerns and innovated to provide a solution that frees up valuable space and enhances portability efficiency during time-critical turnarounds.
Team has actively innovated in other ways to improve customers’ experience with its heat-treating services. Team’s software and system developments have advanced customers’ ability to view data derived during the heat-treating process in real time, even on a smartphone. Team has advanced quality consistency in the field of heat treating through the development of an industry certification process, where one previously did not exist. Team technicians are provided with hands-on training and classroom education that ultimately leads to the certification of levels one, two and three for heat-treating technicians.
Streamlining repair services saves customers time and money. Valves often provide safety protection in an emergency and thus are expected to perform instantly and flawlessly when needed. Total valve replacement can be expensive, time consuming and generally disruptive to operations. In contrast, in-field valve repair and modification resumes operations in the shortest time and at the lowest expense. When working with other valve repair companies, customers are challenged with more fragmented service offerings, where subcontracting vital parts of the repair service often leads to longer turnaround times, lessened quality and increased costs.
Team provides a large pool of trained Team valve repair technicians performing repairs and maintenance on virtually all valve types, brands, sizes, materials, pressures and operating conditions, including actuators and operators. The company operates two manufacturing locations that ensure its clients receive components that are designed specifically for the intended job, manufactured to exacting quality standards for long life and installed by trained Team technicians.
To further streamline the repair process for its customers, Team provides turnkey offerings, bundling the repair with other supplemental services, including heat treating, welding, machining, inspection and technical bolting. By keeping all aspects of industrial valve repair in house, Team’s customers can dispatch and coordinate activities much more efficiently. The result is high quality, fully integrated and streamlined valve repair services that save time, reduce costs and minimize operational disruptions for Team’s clients.
“Confidence in our company and the confidence for our company to actively pursue new service innovations begins with confidence in our local branches and Team colleagues,” said Pete Wallace, Team’s president of Mechanical Services. “The large transfer of knowledge sharing that occurs between our company and clients is a great testament to the level of trust our employees derive by providing exceptional service.”
Innovative InsertValve™ eliminates customers’ need for line shut downs. Those customers needing the ability to insert a valve under full line pressure have found their answer with Team’s patented InsertValve™. Developed as another solution to a major industry challenge, Team’s innovative InsertValve is a fully functioning, resilient wedge gate valve with a rated working pressure of 250 psig. The valve fully closes, and it provides a clear, unobstructed waterway under full rated working pressure. The valve’s superior design and engineering characteristics provide many distinct operational benefits.
New service helps prolong equipment life, assists customers with process safety management. Plant integrity, safety and reliability are major concerns to plant operators and managers. Team’s Mechanical Integrity Management programs utilize management system frameworks, including the development of policies and procedures, competency management and effective metrics to maintain an asset’s fitness-for-service while extending its remaining life in the most reliable, safe and cost-effective manner. Mechanical Integrity Management programs also ensure process equipment is fabricated from the proper materials and is properly installed, maintained and replaced to prevent failures and accidental releases.
Team’s customers were looking for help specifically in the area of process safety management. Since the introduction of the OSHA process safety management (PSM) standard (29 CFR 1910.119) in 1992, companies have committed considerable effort and expense to developing PSM programs. Unfortunately, serious incidents and audits all too frequently point to gaps in PSM implementation.
Team’s effective Mechanical Integrity Management program utilizes a systematic approach to evaluating the whole process safety management process. Using this approach, Team specialists evaluate the process design, process technology, process changes, operational and maintenance activities and procedures, non-routine activities and procedures, emergency preparedness plans and procedures, training programs and all other elements that affect process effectiveness.
Advanced inspection technologies provide fast and accurate results. As assets continue to age and compliance regulations advance, newer inspection techniques are playing a critical role in fit-for-life service assessments.
Driven by high-speed electronics and real-time imaging, Team’s Ultrasonic Phased Array technology produces detailed cross-sectional images of welds and other internal features. Phased Array reduces time and costs by revealing the precise location and size of potential f-angle cracks, flaws and defects. From small boiler tubes to massive turbines and vessels, Team’s Phased Array service delivers fast, accurate results.
Team’s development of its EMAT (electromagnetic acoustic transducers) Guided Wave inspection enables technicians to locate pipe defects above and below ground without disruption of service. Given the relative time and cost efficiency of this inspection approach, customers can quickly screen for problems and focus more inspection dollars on fixing problems, rather than finding them.
Employing technologies including time-of-flight diffraction (TOFD), Pulse Echo, Corrosion Mapping and Phased Array, Team’s Automated Ultrasonic Testing (AUT) inspection system enables Team technicians to consistently screen piping and vessels. Team’s customer is provided with a true representation of the test material, which speeds the process of defect interpretation. All data is digitally recorded and scans are exactly repeatable for long-term monitoring purposes.
The key to Team’s success
Only a few service providers can truly classify themselves as a world-class multiservice and multinational company. As a business grows, it can often lose the intimacy and culture that allowed the company to flourish in the first place. Not at Team. Safety, integrity, service leadership, pride and respect are still the company’s core values guiding it, even after 40 years of significant growth.
At the root of these core values is the lifeblood of Team — its people. Team employs only the best, ensuring each and every job is completed to the highest standards every time. Everyone who works for Team exudes a commitment to safety excellence and strives daily for zero injuries and incidents. Team works hard to incorporate a variety of programs, process and training efforts to cultivate and sustain a culture that incorporates safety behavior and prevention throughout all Team operations and field services.
The same goes for technician training. The company recognizes its team is the face of Team. Every Team colleague has the potential to significantly impact business. Team provides training as part of the preparation for certification to ensure every technician who works on a customer’s equipment has been trained in that specific service area. Team empowers its technicians to provide expert solutions for even the most difficult challenges. As a result, Team believes its colleagues — including their general quality, professionalism and preparedness — are its key source of competitive advantage.
The investment the company makes in its people directly links to Team’s growth resulting from being a dependable, consistent service partner to its customers over the past 40 years — state-of-the-art capabilities and technologies combined with safe, effective and responsive service delivery customers depend on.
“While Team continues to innovate our service technologies and capabilities, we also haven’t forgotten the foundation of our business is our customers’ trust and confidence that Team will be there to get the job done safely, effectively, on time,” said Hawk.
It’s only the beginning
As Team looks to the future, the innovative development and application of technology and service offerings will play a significant role in the company’s growth. The company’s understanding of its customers’ greatest challenges will help prioritize Team’s resource allocations in delivering safe, effective and timely solutions to those challenges.
“Our expanding business size and scale now enable us to bring more focus, dedicated resources and technology applications to the attractive future growth opportunities available in each of our business groups,” said Hawk. “We expect this increased focus to result in enhanced service capabilities and improved support to our customers.
“At 40 years old, we’re really just hitting our stride. The sky is the limit for Team with a continued focus on building a great organization chock full of great people, expanding local relationships, leveraging Team’s breadth and depth of service line offerings, geographic presence and overall resource availability, and continually encouraging development of new capabilities and technologies. I look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings.”
For more information, visit www.teamindustrialservices.com or call (800) 662-8326.