Advantage Performix: Part III – The Mixing Tank

In the previous two installments of the Advantage Performix Series, we explored the science driving the world’s best mud mixing platform (read Part I here, Part II here). In our third and final installment, we cover the last step in the journey from raw materials to fully sheared fluids: the mixing tank.

A critical part of the overall system, Performix tanks are far from ordinary.  In fact, considerable time and engineering effort went into the development of the Performix tank. Of course, like almost everything else in the mixing process, all the "action" cannot be easily observed by the casual observer.

n the journey from the pump to the tank, the Performix Mixer functions as a system with one singular goal: To get you mixing fast and drilling better than any mixer on the planet.

So why spend the time and resources to engineer a hunk of plastic? It’s really quite simple:  If you want to build the best mud mixing system on the planet, the entire system – from the power plant and pump, to Venturi jet and tank—must be considered as an interconnected system, with each part playing a vital role.

There are two elements that make Performix tanks a vital piece of a total mixing solution.                                                    

  • Fluid Dynamics. You don’t have to ponder the fluid dynamics of your mud tank—because we’ve already done it for you. A year in development, our engineers designed interior tank contours that direct fluid on a path that generates maximum speed.
  • Agitation. Fast water is only half of the story. Considerable engineering was devoted to interior tank guns. Decisions on gun design, placement and angle—relative to the aforementioned interior tank curves—were all oriented to achieve a single goal: maintain maximum agitation.

With the engineered interior tank curvature working together with highly engineered tank guns, the Performix Mix System tanks are capable of turning an entire tank over in as little as two minutes.

Twenty-Seven Year History of Building HDD Reamers

As the decade of the 1990’s began, a handful of companies led the advancement of a new trenchless construction method known as horizontal directional drilling. One of the early pioneers, StraightLine Manufacturing (later to become StraightLine HDD), launched the first of a series of innovative steerable boring machines in 1989. 

The market was quick to recognize the nascent technology's potential. While early demand growth verified the legitimacy of the new technology, it simultaneously exposed a major limitation: Advancements in rig technology far outpaced the development of down-hole tooling.

Two early (circa 1991) examples of StraightLine reamers.

Building Reamers By Necessity

StraightLine responded to the lack of available tooling options by building their own. Development culminated in 1990 with the launch of two first-generation reamers.

The success of the initial designs set the stage for a gradual shift away from drill rigs, to focus exclusively on tooling. Today, StraightLine HDD is a leading provider of down-hole tooling. The back reamer segment includes 17 field-proven designs. With hundreds of Vermeer and Ditch Witch reamers in-stock, StraightLine is among an elite few capable of responding with next-day delivery. 

Custom Reamer

Designed and fabricated in late 2017, this impressive reamer incorporates a steep taper, bi-directional design.

Commitment to Custom Reamer Solutions

The unpredictability of soil conditions often tests "standard" horizontal directional drilling reamer designs. Responding to the challenge, StraightLine HDD maintains a team of designers and fabricators dedicated to building customer-specified reamer solutions.

In 2017 alone, the StraightLine HDD custom reamer team accounted for nearly 70 percent of the company’s reamer revenue output. 

From a slightly altered standard design to a completely unique creation, the StraightLine custom HDD reamer team follows the motto: If you can dream it, we can build it.

Many custom reamer projects are under tight deadline. This custom fly cutter, for example, was part of a three tool custom job that carried a two-day turn.

To attack extremely abrasive cobble rock conditions, the custom crew used a stacked-plate base design, with slight elongation and a extra application of hard-facing.

On large-scale tool builds, a team approach is used. Here, three members of the custom team collaborate on a massive 46-inch custom all-terrain reamer.

Sometimes, the custom crew creates something that's completely unique. This massive bi-directional tool is a one-of-a kind reamer.

Is it a hole opener or is it a Rhino? In this case, the customer needed an aggressive hole opener, as well as an aggressive pull-back solution.

This large diameter (42-inches) All-Terrain reamer was finished off with an equally substantial pull-back cap.

Here, the custom team plots out hard-facing on a substantial centralizing ring. The custom tool features a "flat-face" design with aggressive cutters.

The popular All-Terrain forms the base design for a large number of custom solutions. Here's a massive custom All-Terrain being drilled for fluid ports.

With a deep talent pool of fabricators, backed by over 20 years' experience designing and building reamers, our ability to meet custom demand is unrivalled.

BREAKING NEWS – StraightLine Bolsters Pipe Offering

Additional Forged, One-Piece Pipe for Ditch Witch and Vermeer Now Available

(Hutchinson, Kansas) – StraightLine HDD today announced the addition of multiple pipe sizes to its growing offering of in-stock drill pipe. The product expansion more than doubles the number of available Vermeer-compatible pipe and adds three common Ditch Witch-compatible pipe sizes.

Strengthening its in-stock pipe product range is designed to stay ahead of the growing trend of contractors favoring pipe suppliers offering delivery speed. In addition, all StraightLine pipe sizes and types feature forged, one-piece construction and are backed by a pro-rated warranty.

IRS Website Provides Contractors Guidance on Section 179 Tax Reduction Strategies

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Let's be honest: more often than not, the Federal government falls short when it comes to passing anything that does what's it is intended to do. There are a lot of reasons why, from bureaucratic inefficiencies, partisan compromise to plain-old bad execution and/or administration.

Section 179 is a Rare Success 

Targeting small- and mid-sized businesses, Section 179 is a rare instance of tax policy that works as intended: reducing the cost of needed equipment by allowing the taxpayer to deduct the cost of new or used capital equipment, up to $500,000, from their income taxes.

The IRS has an expansive website covering Section 179 here. Other planning resources, including what equipment purchases qualify, can be found here.  A really helpful calculator can be found here

Disclaimer: The information in this article, and on this site, is not intended to be tax or legal advice. Your business has its own unique situation. You should consult your tax professional before buying property with the intent to take a Section 179 deduction. 

HDD Start Up Taps Ready-To-Work Equipment

In any business, managing overhead costs is one of the quickest pathways to building a profitable enterprise. This is particularly true in industries requiring significant investment in capital equipment - like the horizontal directional drilling business.

For HDD startup Arrowhead Boring LLC, using Ready-To-Work equipment to manage costs makes sense.  The company, based in the Dodge City area of western Kansas, is looking to get their feet wet with several area HDD projects. Windmill farms, a staple HDD project in the wind-swept plains of the Western United States, is a primary target. The company is also targeting a number of fiber optic projects that are in various phases of development.

To get the equipment needed, Arrowhead's Scott Ackerman turned to the internet. He quickly identified a vacuum system the company desperately needed. In a matter of a few days, Ackerman was able to research, purchase and pick up the vac system he needed - at a price that fits the company's goal of limiting capital equipment investment.

Good luck Scott! #readytoworkhdd