Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 146

International

Wenzel Downhole Tools

wenzel downhole tool's
mentorship program helps its
veteran employees pass knowledge to younger workers.

petitors. Ormstrup says this is due not only to the
company's relatively streamlined organization, but also
to efforts such as the company's "Fast Track" program.
According to Ormstrup, the "Fast Track" program is the culmination of partnerships the company has with steel suppliers
close to its manufacturing base in Edmonton, Alberta. Thanks
to the proximity of raw materials, Wenzel Downhole Tools can
react more or less immediately to any need its customers may
have anywhere in the world. "When the email comes or the
phone rings, not only is the Wenzel engineering team ready to
work, all facets of the organization are ready," Ormstrup says.

Working Harder
Ormstrup says the biggest challenge facing Wenzel Downhole Tools today is the overall downturn the energy industry has experienced over the last year or so. "That is impacting everybody within our discipline," he notes.
The company has reacted to this downturn by working to
offer more and better incentives to its customers. It has taken some cost-cutting measures in recent months, including
implementing 5S and lean manufacturing methodologies.
However, Ormstrup notes, the specialized nature of Wenzel Downhole Tools' products puts limitations on how
closely it can follow lean manufacturing principles. "We
don't make 100 of something on a line," he says. "We are at
the whim of the customer."
Nevertheless, Wenzel Downhole Tools is working on
strengthening partnerships with smaller machine shops
in the area to allow for more just-in-time manufacturing
capabilities for its customers. Additionally, Ormstrup says
the company's mentorship program is helping Wenzel
Downhole Tools train up its younger employees and impart
the wisdom of its seasoned veterans to further improve its
products. Ormstrup says this benefits the entire industry as
well as his company. "We want to leave the trade in better
shape than when we found it," he says. mt
146

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 4
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover3
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