By Harley Richards – Red Deer Advocate
Among the equipment on display at the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo is a 53-foot trailer with everything needed for on-site industrial bolting and machining.
Jared Sayers, president of Red Flame Industries Inc., thinks the unit —and another just like it — will help carry his company through an aggressive diversification of its services and markets.
Red Deer-based Red Flame and Bolttech Mannings Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pa. struck a deal in May that made Red Flame a division of Bolttech Mannings — a specialty industrial bolting and thermal technologies giant. They described the acquisition as a “strategic alliance,” with Red Flame’s services to be expanded from hot-tapping — the process of installing fittings onto oil and gas lines that are still operating — and non-destructive testing, to include bolting, torquing, tensioning, heat treatment and field machining.
Much of this work is expected to be done using the two trailers, which have been specially designed for that purpose. “They have all the torquing equipment, plus they can do the actual on-site calibration of equipment,” said Sayers. “They’re really set up like a mobile shop.”
Meanwhile, Red Flame’s hot-tapping and non-destructive testing services will be offered through Bolttech Mannings’ network of U.S. offices, under the Red Flame brand. “The opportunities that we’re trying to provide and have provided by this acquisition is 10-fold to what we could do on our own,” said Sayers. “This was just a rapid way for us to get there.”
He expects Red Flame’s payroll, which previously stood at about 75, to grow by 40. “It expanded our product line immensely,” he said, noting that Red Flame and Bolttech Mannings both served the oil and gas, and petrochemical sectors, but Bolttech Mannings is also active in the power generation industry. “There are a lot of unique fits and a lot of new opportunities for us in the power gen side that we haven’t even touched in Canada yet.”
Sayers, who founded Red Flame in 1996, is responsible for the combined entity’s Canadian operations, as well as its plant and pipeline services — primarily hot tapping and non-destructive testing — in the United States. He also acquired an equity interest in Bolttech Mannings as part of the sale. “I think that reassured a lot of people that I wasn’t going anywhere,” said Sayers, stressing the importance of continuing to grow Red Flame as a Red Deer business. “Red Deer’s still my home, and I take a great amount of pride in that.”
On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, he was tickled to see Red Flame’s name displayed prominently at Bolttech Mannings’ premises. That joint branding will also be seen at the company’s other offices. “It’s allowed us to expand our geographic footprint into the U.S.,” said Sayers.
He expects existing Red Flame employees to benefit from opportunities associated with work for a large multinational corporation. Red Flame’s information technology manager is already looking after IT for the merged company, and data management software developed by Red Flame will be adopted by Bolttech Manning. “A lot of our technology and a lot of our systems are being utilized in the States right now,” said Sayers.