Performance Pump of Estevan recently bought the machine shop they did much of their machining work with.
Universal Machine Shop is now known as Performance Machining.
The deal, effective Oct. 15, brings four people into Performance’s operation. This includes previous owners Nick Bourassa and Burke Barnstable, both journeyman machinists, another journeyman and an apprentice.
“They all stayed on to work with us,” said Kent Phillips on Nov. 14. He and Cort Barker are the owners of Performance Pump.
“All the machining will be there,” he said. This meant moving existing machining operations, and two journeymen machinists from their Malmgren Drive location on the west side of Estevan to Universal’s shop on the east side.
Performance Pump’s move to Malmgren Drive a few years ago was meant to consolidate into one location, but all that machining equipment won’t fit, thus they will be using both locations.
That equipment includes lathes, a boring mill and two CNC lathes.
One of those lathes was where Nick Bourassa was working that morning, cutting new threads on drill pipe. A few years ago they built a pipe handling system that is aligned through a porthole in the wall, allowing the pipe to remain on a rack outside and inserting the threaded end into the CNC lathe to recut it.
“We were looking at adding to our machine shop,” Barker said. “This added machines, a customer base and employees.”
Phillips noted that there was a benefit to getting qualified employees to join them. “If we added a machine or two here, we would have had to find someone to run it,” he said, noting it can be hard to find skilled labour.
Universal’s work has been mostly oilfield, with some additional work in the mining, agriculture and power generation sectors.
While Performance Pump used to split their machining work between Universal and another shop, they can now do all that work in-house.
“We don’t have to send anything to outside sources for machining anymore,” Phillips said. That reduces costs and deliveries. “Now we can do everything in-house. We don’t have to farm it out. We can pick our own schedule to get machining.”
The addition brings the total workforce to 20 people.
Barnstable said, “Our companies have been working hand-in-hand over the years on numerous projects, making the transition of ownership a seamless one.Barker said there was a lot of number crunching to get to where both parties were satisfied.
Barnstable said, “Our companies have been working hand-in-hand over the years on numerous projects, making the transition of ownership a seamless one.Bourassa said, “I think it’s a good fit between the two businesses, as far as pump work and us adding the drill pipe, and casing and tubing repair. Their mechanics go hand-in-hand with the machining side of things.”
“We’re sticking around. We’re not going anywhere. We’re pretty young. We’ve owned Universal for 13 years. I’ve been machining since 1999, and Burke has been machining since 2000.”
“We have a lot of good machines here and good equipment. It’s going to provide good service for our customers.”
Barnstable said, “With all employees staying on, customers can expect the same quality of work and craftsmanship they have received over the years.”
When Pipeline News visited, Bourassa was monitoring the CNC lathe rethreading drill pipe. “This is a premium connection. It’s a DS-40 thread. Right now, I’m taking off about an inch. It’s worked hard, and we’re repairing it so it’s like new.”He was monitoring the CNC lathe rethreading drill pipe. “This is a premium connection. It’s a DS-40 thread. Right now, I’m taking off about an inch. It’s worked hard, and we’re repairing it so it’s like new.”
“We do a lot of drilling rig repair. We do a lot of casing repair, and we also do tubing as well,” Bourassa said.
“It hasn’t been slow. We’ve been busy. It’s mostly oil. We’re probably 80 per cent oil, and 10, 15 per cent power.”
Barnstable said, “Universal was a locally owned and operated business with my wife Jamie handling all the bookkeeping for the business. We would like to thank our customers for their support over the years and their continued support through this transition.”
Bourassa’s originally from Bienfait, now Estevan, and Barnstable’s from Estevan.