Pipeline Construction Equipment 2019

November 5, 2019

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LaValley Industries

Increasing pipe handling safety and efficiency using LaValley Industries' DECKHAND® and TONGHAND®

Whether stringing pipe along the right of way, unloading trucks, or working in the pipe yard, pipe handling has historically been performed by work crews utilising straps and chains or through the use of excavators equipped with vacuum lifts. Both these methods result in a free-swinging load requiring workers to guide pipe into place by hand or by using tag lines. This manual process often places workers in danger zones. Additionally, these methods do not offer a continuous positive grip on the pipe during lifting. LaValley Industries' DECKHAND® pipe handler is the next generation mechanical grapple that is bringing a new level of safety to the pipe handling process. As the Deckhand is not a free-swinging device, it allows for total control and precise placement of pipe without the need of additional personnel or tag lines; thereby removing workers from danger zones and reducing overall labour costs during pipe handling operations. Its positive mechanical grip also ensures that pipe can never be dropped, regardless of hydraulic pressure.

The TONGHAND® exit side wrench represents a significant technological step forward in the large bore Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) work that is often completed as part of the pipeline construction process. The Tonghand has been specifically designed and created to solve the safety, precision and efficiency issues that the industry has faced with regards to exit side HDD operations. Historically, exit side operations have been conducted by manual labourers using chain or gear wrenches, working in tandem with the drill rig positioned at the entry side of the bore to accomplish the torqueing and un-torqueing of joint connections as tooling such as hole openers (reamers) are added or removed from the drill string. This manual process has often led to over torqued and under torqued connections, causing a variety of issues while simultaneously placing workers in danger zones resulting in injuries. The Tonghand automates HDD exit side operations and allows for all exit side connections to be accomplished with precision by a single operator from the safety and comfort of the excavator cab. The Tonghand’s automation allows connection joints to be torqued and un-torqued to precise torque values measured at the tool joint, removes manual laborers from the process, and speeds up overall operations. These combined benefits improve the bottom line while increasing overall job-site safety.

The goal of this presentation is to highlight the safety and operational benefits of using the DECKHAND® and TONGHAND® versus other existing methods, with a focus on contractor case studies.

 

Speakers

Jason LaValley

Jason LaValley
President and CEO, LaValley Industries.

Jason LaValley is President, CEO and founder of LaValley Industries. He is also the inventor of the DECKHAND® pipe handling system and TONGHAND® exit side wrench. He founded LaValley Industries in 2006 with the mission of bringing new innovative technologies to the pipeline and HDD industries, as well as a focus on solving industry problems by leveraging the experience of industry veterans. He is a multi-patent holder in several countries and has been recognised by numerous organisations as an award-winning innovator. Most recently, his TONGHAND® exit side wrench has received numerous international awards, including the International Pipeline & Offshore Contractor Association's 2017 New Technology Award, Pipeline Industries Guild's 2018 Land Based Technology Award, and North American Society for Trenchless Technology's 2017 Abbot Most Innovative Product Award.

Prior to founding LaValley Industries in 2006, Mr LaValley spent the better part of a decade working in the directional drilling industry throughout North America, spending the last five year as a superintendent. In his career, Mr LaValley has worked on several world record directional drilling projects.

 

Jorge Prince

Jorge Prince
CFO and Partner, LaValley Industries.

Jorge Prince is Chief Financial Officer and part owner of LaValley Industries. Over the past ten years, he has worked with the LaValley Industries team to bring new product innovations to the HDD, pipeline and construction industries. In his career, Mr Prince has held a number of senior management positions with companies such as 3M, Minntex Investments, and Ashland Oil. He has also spent time in the public sector serving as Executive Director of the Small Business Development Center at Bemidji State University. Mr Prince serves on a number of task forces, committees, and boards throughout the US, and was recently a candidate for Mayor of Bemidji, Minnesota. Mr Prince has extensive hands-on experience in business planning, financial analysis, market analysis, operations, and business development.

About LaValley Industries

LaValley Industries was founded in 2006 by Jason LaValley with the mission of bringing innovative pipe handling solutions to the pipeline industry, created and designed by those who had worked on the frontlines of the industry. LaValley’s flagship DECKHAND® product line was birthed from a sketch that LaValley created after witnessing a job-site accident. Designed around the concept of a single tool with many purposes, the DECKHAND® is powered by the excavator's hydraulics and utilises a variety of purpose driven arm attachments to safely and efficiently handle different types of pipe, drill rod, road mats, casing, and other materials. Over the last decade, LaValley Industries has grown from its humble beginnings into a sophisticated equipment manufacturer with global distribution and a product line-up of material handling attachments spanning across multiple industries.

LaValley Industries most recent product, TONGHAND® is revolutionising HDD exit side operations while receiving numerous international awards including IPLOCA's New Technology Award, Pipeline Industries Guild's Land Based Technology Award, and NASTT's Abbot Most Innovative Product Award.

LaValley Industries is located in Bemidji, Minnesota, and partners with CRC-Evans Pipeline International and American Augers to distribute its products worldwide. Additional information on LaValley Industries and our product lines can be found at www.lavalleyindustries.com.

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