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GEFCO is a world leader in the design and manufacture of portable drilling rigs and related equipment for the water well, environmental, groundwater monitoring, construction, mining and shallow oil & gas exploration and production industries. For more than 90 years, GEFCO has provided rugged and dependable equipment that has been delivered to more than 100 countries. Today, it employees about 200 at its factory headquarters in Enid, Oklahoma.

The Challenge

For decades, GEFCO operated a profitable assembly shop with a modest manufacturing facility. But to take advantage of a growing market, Site Manager Greg Haub hoped to ramp up the company’s manufacturing capabilities. Several obstacles stood in his way. One of the biggest problems was the company’s plant, which had been added onto seven times over the years and had grown to 340,000 awkwardly-situated square feet. Haub’s goal was to create a seamless manufacturing environment with a smooth flow and no interruptions. Looking for advice, he turned to Janet Schwabe, a manufacturing extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, part of the MEP National Network™. Schwabe had worked with GEFCO on several projects and enjoyed a solid relationship with its leadership team.

I appreciate our partnership with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and continue to stress the importance of their involvement in our growth.

— Greg Haub, Site Manager

MEP's Role

Schwabe met with Haub and John Lang, director of manufacturing. Along with other leaders, the team mapped out a plan to transform production through Lean Manufacturing principles. The effort allowed GEFCO to start identifying waste in every area of operations. Ultimately, the team gathered data and suggestions from employees to completely reorganize the workshop layout with a premise of creating the most efficient flow. Several pieces of equipment were added to increase capacity and bring more work inhouse. The lights throughout the facility were updated and old machine centers were remodeled with modern CNC equipment. The initiative also included situational awareness training on continuous-improvement concepts and safety training. The efforts resulted in fewer workplace injuries and accidents.

Engineers working for the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance also created a process to systematically convert old technical drawings from the 1920s and 30s. With the diagrams in modern software, GEFCO can fully utilize its new production equipment.

Created April 29, 2021, Updated July 12, 2021