SMI Companies Global, Inc. key managers and supervisors have been meeting the needs of clients in the oil, gas, and energy service industries for almost thirty years. The company provides a wide range of high-quality custom fabrication along with full-service plant construction and maintenance, short run manufacturing services, turnkey structural steel fabrication and erection, process equipment and mechanical packaged systems, sand blasting, surface preparation and industrial coatings, bulk material handling systems, piping systems, ducts, stacks and breeching, turnarounds, shutdowns, special projects and more.
SMI – which stands for Southern Magic Inc., the original business name of the early founders – is located on an eighteen acre facility in historic Franklin, Louisiana. The company has an impressive and well equipped 50,000 square foot shop fabrication and assembly area outfitted with six overhead cranes (20 ton and 10 ton capacity), CNC cutting table, saw cutting, five foot radial arm drill, press brake, steel rolling machinery, 40 ton crane and a 15 ton cherry picker for yard lifting. The facility also boasts a massive 4,000 square foot temperature-controlled paint shop.
SMI’s steel and exotic metal fabrication is carried out by certified welders certified in specific welding procedures and pressure vessel code compliance. Forty fabrication shop employees, anywhere from twenty to forty-five field service workers and support employees in project management, drafting, quality control and administration meet the needs of all clients.
The company was founded in 1987 by Benny Splane and Roger Moore, both of whom are still active and heavily involved with SMI Companies Global. “Both these men were contract welders and early on often found themselves working on the same project,” says Vaughn Lane, president of SMI. “The friendship grew into a business relationship, and they were successful in a business start-up.”
Current operations of SMI Companies Global, Inc. is a 2009 spinoff from SMI Companies, Inc. Growing to a significant size, Splane and Moore realized how advantageous it was to work with Lane, and set about a plan for a redesign of the business, which resulted in the formation of SMI Companies Global which is the primary operating company in the market today.
Prior to joining SMI Global and helping to steer the market to a different business structure, Lane served as an aviator in the Army as a project test pilot, maintenance test pilot, standards flight instructor and combat mission commander. Learning discipline and structure in the Army, Lane applied his skills and mindset to building a multicultural training program with Bell Helicopter for the government of Iran back in 1974.
Soon, his business experience began with work in commercial lending for a large finance company, where all types of business finance programs were designed for a number of clients. This lending experience led to self employment for the past thirty years as a business planner, working in stressed and financially difficult business situations, a role which sometimes resulted in full company president responsibilities. Projects Lane took on enjoyed considerable success, “because actions were always based upon the valued input of company employees and their individual desire to excel, if given an environment where they could contribute”.
Fabrication, Plant Construction, and Maintenance
Today, as president of SMI, Lane and his team of seasoned management staff and highly skilled operations personnel have seen the company grow to international recognition. Taking on projects ranging from $100,000 to $10,000,000, with fabrication times of one week to one year, SMI fabricates products sold across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East.
In export situations, SMI supports the sale with field supervision – usually of onsite customer personnel and also, as necessary, interacts with fabricators of subassemblies or components built in the project’s country. In just a few years, the company has earned a reputation for on-time, on-budget delivery and top-notch services. As a result, SMI has become known for its repeat business across numerous industries.
“In general, customers stay with SMI because of work quality and the SMI project manager relationship,” comments Lane. “The major oilfield service companies use SMI for their more complex situations where close communication is important.”
SMI’s in-house manufacturing services give the company a distinct advantage over its competitors in adding value. Serving as the base point for fabrication competition, the company offers not only its well known custom fabrication work, but innovative design, consistent quality and the application of technology. Its in-house state of the art manufacturing capabilities provide a solid demonstration to customers that value added by SMI is a high contributor to customer profits.
No matter how demanding, SMI’s custom fabrication capabilities are designed and equipped to meet the demanding, exacting needs of all clients. Services include: ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) coded vessels, all shapes of large and small ducting, industrial coatings, abrasive blasting, structural components, skids, certified containers, UN certified tanks and ABS fabrication. Decades of experience in process control and craftsmanship seamlessly blend to create complex, high-quality fabricated products.
Utilizing a quality system accredited by ASME, and operating in accordance with ISO 9001:2000 standards, the company remains committed to excellence on all levels. Its thoroughly-documented multitier system; its comprehensive quality system manual that details operating procedures; its technical product and/or process requirements; and its how-to information ensure the highest quality possible. SMI’s products are thoroughly documented from the design stage all the way to completion. Products are also subject to traceability through strict code standards, which are maintained for all of the company’s material inventories of raw steel. Many of the company’s raw materials are purchased locally; other projects, involving specialized components or assemblies, see materials purchased across the nation according to required specifications.
The company’s highly experienced and trained staff is able to create OEM manufacturing. Handling a wide range of challenges, the company’s manufacturing division can create everything from one of a kind products, to multiple units.
Among its many offerings are transportable vessels used to move hazardous materials anywhere in the world. These range in size from 1,000 to 5,000 gallons.
To meet the needs of clients in the demanding oil industry, SMI fabricates speciality equipment for use on land or offshore oil applications; from chemical injection systems to acid blenders and frac blenders, proppant storage and delivery systems (a proppant is a solid material, such as treated sand or ceramic, which keeps a hydraulic fracture open), mixers, cement mixing and pumping systems, power packs, data collection and control systems, acid storage and more.
Customers worldwide know they can count on SMI for top-quality products and consistent delivery. Additionally, the company provides its many clients with a range of mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic powered systems, bulk material handling systems for cement, barite, sand and powder bulk material, modular acid and hand hazardous liquid storage, mixing and metering systems and even turnkey plant facilities.
“Technology incorporated into superior fabrication,” sums up the company’s advanced manufacturing capabilities and its unparalleled design expertise. SMI is a full code shop and has its own in-house proprietary design files, which enable the company to quickly establish production for clients. With the incorporation of electronic data acquisition and functional logic control systems into machine designs and process equipment, SMI maintains all relevant quality assurance documentation, along with the maintenance, operation and spare parts manuals, which are supplied with the company’s manufactured products. To ensure quality, products are tested for reliability and performance.
Along with manufacturing, a proven track record in plant construction and turnkey product solutions, SMI is also active in maintenance for the oil and gas industries. With highly-trained mobile teams certified in plant safety across a number of industries, the company provides plant maintenance services for both ongoing and routine needs, as well as turnaround maintenance for the petrochemical industry. The company works with clients to ensure all maintenance situations are satisfied with a continuing presence and with a stabilized crew for both local and out of state operations.
SMI is dedicated to the growth of the company and other businesses with which it works. “For any company to survive, it must be in a growth mode,” comments Lane. “At SMI, we see company growth based upon our ability to have a proven position of being a source of answers for customers with specific needs. As answers are applied to customer or industry scale, SMI will have sales dollar / volume growth.”
Since the company was formed in 1987, SMI’s fulltime staff of 105 has earned an industry-wide reputation for the many solutions they create for critical or complex projects and builds. On every project, the company seeks to work closely with clients to facilitate success.
“SMI interacts with customers from a partner position,” says Lane. “The key here is the effort to understand project end performance needs and the customer’s vision of how to achieve them. The SMI contribution is in practical considerations for process design and fabrication requirements. The jointly formulated planned solution is then often reviewed by third-party engineering for integrity of concept and construction. SMI project managers effectively use all company resources in responding to customer needs, requirements and concerns. Communication with the customer is with depth, and this depth is a requirement for consistent success.”