Case Studies
K&B Machine Works, LLC

With the support of LED, Louisiana-based K&B Machine Works upgrades its facility, improves efficiency snd creates partnership with nearby community college

K&B Machine Works

Increased demand pushes K&B Machine Works to expand

Since its founding in 1974, K&B Machine Works has become a leader in oilfield manufacturing and well-completion products. K&B was founded in Houma, but has also developed locations in Houston and Montoursville, Pa., since its establishment.

K&B excels at full-length pipe-threading for domestic and international oil-drilling firms, including deepwater offshore and land operators. It also has divisions in welding and fabrication, manufacturing and tubular accessories. The company places a high emphasis on customer service and ensuring a high quality product. K&B's customer inventory control provides several unique services to its customers. It allows customers have their drilling components stored, catalogued and repaired in preparation for the next use.

K&B's strategy of remaining family-owned, customer-focused and dedicated to quality has led to an average 10 percent annual growth each year. Over time, K&B has expanded its manufacturing and headquarters to 11 buildings on 18 acres in Houma.

As the company expanded over time, K&B added more facilities in Houma to increase output, but these new operations did not achieve an ideal workflow on the established site, with some manufactured parts traveling an average of two miles before reaching completion. K&B products were in high demand in 2009, and with no decrease in demand in sight, the company had to expand again.

Outgrowing its acreage in Houma, the K&B executives knew that a new location would be needed. Though the company was established in Louisiana, K&B looked at its facility in Houston as a potential location for their expanded operations. The company needed a new facility with a more efficient layout. Additionally, K&B needed a larger staff to meet the increasing demand and support the additional production capacity.

LED provides solutions to support company growth

K&B needed a new plant to house a manufacturing line with a more effective layout, and it needed a talented staff skilled in the manufacturing of oilfield products. Having expanded its complex throughout the years, K&B officials knew to reach out to LED for support. LED officials were familiar with the demands K&B faced and assured company executives of Louisiana's commitment to its businesses.

In early 2010, officials from K&B Machine Works and LED met to identify solutions to successfully address the company's expansion. LED developed several solutions to not only retain K&B in Louisiana, but to solve its space and efficiency issues as well.

A 35-acre tract in Schriever was identified as a potential site for relocation. The location was ideally situated near the crossing of major highways. It was also located in close proximity to some of K&B's major clients, as well as the recently constructed Fletcher Community College campus. This created an ideal advantage, as it also provided a potential solution for K&B's workforce needs. The location near the campus provided an opportunity to boost trained staff and support education on better equipment. To further support K&B's talent needs, LED offered the services of LED FastStart® — the No.1 rated workforce recruitment and training program in the nation.

Throughout its history, K&B had utilized incentives offered to in-state businesses, including the Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. Based on the size and scope of this new facility, and with state-of-the-art plans to increase output and develop a more effective layout, LED officials recognized K&B as an ideal company to receive a newly-created incentive. The state offered K&B Machine Works the Modernization Tax Credit, worth $2 million over five years.

"The value of the [modernization] incentive cannot be overstated for a project like K&B's expansion," said K&B President Kenneth Wood Jr. "The state's modernization program appears to be tailor-made for what we are looking to accomplish in construction of our new facility."

K&B Machine Works builds new facility to meet demands

LED began working with K&B in early 2010, and after reaching an agreement in 2011, the company grew faster than expected. K&B secured the 35 acres in Schriever and began construction on a 42,000 square-foot Customer Inventory Services Building to continue serving its customers' needs by storing their specific project parts.

In March 2012, executives from K&B Machine Works joined state and local officials to announce a $40 million investment in Schriever for their new facility. The 200,000 square-feet facility's capacity would not only secure the company's commitment to quality and customer service, but meet the growing demand for oilfield manufacturing and well-completion products.

In addition to the new facility, the company announced it would also create19 new jobs in the area. Based on continued growing demand for its oilfield pipes and parts, fabrication capabilities, technology and customer inventory service, K&B outpaced its initial job-creation commitments with the state. Since the first meeting with LED in early 2010, employment grew from 190 to 220. With the construction of the new facility, the new jobs will give K&B a net gain of 49 new employees. The 19 new jobs will be filled in 2013.

The new plant is located next to the Customer Inventory Services Building and will be completed in 2013. The design of the state-of-the-art facility maximizes efficiency, and upon completion, manufactured parts will travel only one-quarter of the distance of the previous manufacturing line, boosting overall plant efficiency by 40 percent.

FastStart is also providing recruiting, screening and training services to K&B. FastStart planned and implemented job fair sessions and developed customized recruitment videos for K&B Machine's detail job types, work environment and company policies to ensure current and future employees can support the efficient new technology at the facility.

Through its efforts to develop high quality talent for its production facilities, K&B Machine Works is also supporting the local community. Through their partnership with Fletcher Technical Community College, K&B owners, Kenneth Wood Sr. and Kenneth Wood Jr., donated $50,000 to the college. Mori Seiki, a manufacturer with whom K&B frequently works, supported their commitment and donated to the campus as well. The manufacturer donated Computer Numerical Control, or CNC, machining with a value of $350,000 to Fletcher. These donations will support the manufacturing curriculum at the college and further develop the pool of local talent.

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