Welding as an Art

Welding as an Art

“Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.”– unknown.

The welders at PESCO play a major role in the success and excellence for which PESCO is known. It is the excellence in their craft that makes PESCO’s welders some of the top in the region.

Being located near the Navajo Reservation, ninety-five percent of PESCO’s welders are Native American. The Navajo people have a rich history of craftsmanship including pottery, rug weaving and jewelry making. This artistry is evident in the attention to detail in welding.  “There is a sense of pride in the work we do here. We at PESCO want to be the best at what we do,” says Earl Brown, Assistant Plant Superintendent. 

Welders at PESCO are trained on the latest technology, consistently being challenged in mastery of the art while utilizing the most recent advancements. “There is always a personal challenge to outdo yourself, each time creating quality welds,” says Wilbert Jackson, Night Superintendent and PESCO employee for over 26 years.

Welding has developed substantially over the past couple of decades introducing several technological advancements.  Jackson says, “It used to be that by simply listening to the sound of the machine, we could determine the settings. The younger generation comes in with a different perspective because they are more familiar with technology. Now we just push a button to determine the settings.”, he added with a chuckle.

Along with the advancements in technology, the specifications have increased. “There are a lot more specs than there used to be. Although we are building someone else’s design, we must isolate, zone-in and make every weld perfect; that is how it becomes art, and welders have personal satisfaction in what is produced.”, says Earl Brown.

PESCO has improved many of its processes leading to greater productivity, all the while maintaining the highest standard of quality. Part of the craftsmanship of PESCO’s welders is expressed in creating tools to improve productivity. Jimmy Troxell, referred to by some as “the inventor”, along with Wilbert Jackson, designed and built various jigs for use in several of PESCO’s shops. Jimmy spoke of the attention to detail that is required when welding, “We have to pay close attention to our pace and the quality of each weld. Otherwise, we find ourselves having to go back and fix something.  We don’t ever want to do that. We prefer to do it right the first time.” Thanks to our team of highly skilled welders, PESCO continues to be a leader in the production and development of quality process equipment.

PESCO Builds Portable Hydrogen Production Units for BayoTech

PESCO is an industry leader in process equipment engineering and manufacturing, and Albuquerque-based company BayoTech recognized that when it partnered four years ago with PESCO to build its portable, on-site hydrogen production units.

“We’ve been working with them for four years, building components for their prototype. We’re going to be building the units in the immediate future,” said John Byrom, business development manager for PESCO.

BayoTech’s core technology originally came out of Sandia National Laboratories following more than $50M of research and development.  BayoTech’s on-site hydrogen generators reduce or eliminate transportation and storage costs, which result in less energy wasted and a lower carbon footprint than traditional hydrogen production technology and electrolyzer-based systems.

BayoTech chose PESCO to build the skid-mounted hydrogen production units, which are very similar to the units that PESCO manufactures for oil and gas companies.

“This partnership demonstrates PESCO’s ability to work with a company to develop their technology into a full production-ready product,” Byrom said. “It also shows how PESCO is able to use its core competencies of process equipment engineering and design to manufacture beyond oil and gas into the chemical industry and for power generation.”

Byrom said the units are built on large skids that can be picked up and set where needed and then turned on.

“PESCO brings over 50 years of proven experience engineering and manufacturing skid-based equipment for the oil and gas industry”, said BayoTech Chief Operating Officer, Linh Austin.  “We’re thrilled to have a partner like PESCO that can provide the manufacturing expertise and scalability required to meet BayoTech’s growing customer demand worldwide.”

BayoTech’s mission is to move hydrogen production closer to demand and make it more affordable and accessible to the companies that want to join the growing hydrogen economy.  BayoTech’s high efficiency hydrogen generators are built in modules that can be stacked on a train or placed on a semi and then be shipped anywhere around the world with the purpose of taking local raw materials and turning them into hydrogen.

“There’s equipment piping, control valves, automation, computers, and electronics that PESCO has been working with for many, many years, and those skills translate well to making these chemical reactors,” Byrom said.

The partnership with BayoTech came from PESCO’s reputation of being an industry leader in process equipment technology. A local oil and gas company was familiar with PESCO’s work quality and referred BayoTech to the Farmington-based company to manufacture the product.

“BayoTech’s regional managers came up and met with us,” Byrom said. “We learned about their technology. As they moved forward, we’ve been building different components of their prototype unit.”

Now, PESCO is ready to take that technology and start full production on the portable hydrogen units, according to Byrom, who said, “This unit will be able to use natural gas and water and with those two ingredients be able to generate hydrogen at the site where it is needed.”

Byrom added, “What we’re good at is making things on a skid – on a truck – it’s modular – if you need to make a lot of hydrogen or other chemicals, you can buy a lot of these units and hook them all together.” These modular process equipment units demonstrate what PESCO has been able to build for BayoTech and other industries like it. This is a partnership moving both companies into the future.

PESCO 50-Year Anniversary

Process Equipment & Service Company, Inc., also known as PESCO, is celebrating 50 years of service. This family-owned business has a foundation of leadership that is dedicated to service within the company and to the community. PESCO was founded in 1970, by Ed and Mary Lou Rhodes. Ed provided field service and pump repair, while Mary Lou handled the clerical duties and ran the parts counter. Ed had a vast knowledge of production equipment, which he translated into manufacturing, growing his company into an industry leader.

(historical photo of Ed & Mary Lou Rhodes)

Fifty years later, PESCO remains a part of the Rhodes family with Ed and Mary Lou’s sons Kyle and Jim managing it. “PESCO is all I’ve ever known. Working with mom and dad was fulfilling, interesting, and at times frustrating.  We had a closeness that I’ll always cherish,” PESCO President Kyle Rhodes said. “I’ll always remember how dad would model his faith as I would quite often catch him on his knees in prayer.”

(historical photo of Kyle Rhodes)

Kyle’s brother Jim is the vice president of engineering, quality management systems and research and development. “Working with my brother Jim has been phenomenal.  We make a great team because our gifts complement each other,” Kyle said. “We’re both degreed engineers, but Jim is easily the most intelligent and gifted engineer that I’ve ever been around. PESCO would not be here without his designs and expertise.”

(historical photo of Jim Rhodes)

Kyle said that he and Jim discussed coming back to Farmington and taking over the family business when they were in college, and they knew if it happened, they would do it as a team. “We knew we would be working 60-hour weeks, which has not changed much in the last 40 years, and our starting wage would be 30% less than other starting engineers,” he said. “We would have no retirement, and no health insurance.  But we knew we would have the ability to change things that needed to be changed and knew that the foundation of PESCO was built on strong Christian values.  It was a decision I have never regretted.”

(from left to right: Jim Rhodes & Kyle Rhodes)

Those Christian values have translated into the businesses core values of Integrity, Mutual Respect & Trust, and Commitment to Excellence, and when management at PESCO brings someone into the business as an employee, vendor or customer they share those same values, and that makes them family. The Rhodes like to say that “family is more than just blood.”  Every one of the company’s 218 manufacturing employees and 13 field service operations employees are part of the PESCO family, along with every vendor and customer.

PESCO even has an employee success manager on its team. Craig Curry says finding how he is able to make a difference in the lives of PESCO employees builds relationships that lead to trust and teamwork. It also opens the door to conversations of “assistance, care, and improvement,” which creates opportunities to celebrate successes.

(photo of Craig Curry at Horseshoe Bend, AZ)

“Every day seems like a fresh walk on a new trail to see what adventure we get to have,” Curry said. “Not every adventure is easy or fun, but it takes us to a new place where we get to see how service, sacrifice, and risk has made a difference for employees, customers, and community.”

Randy Large joined that adventure in November 2014, when he joined PESCO.

(photo of Randy Large)

“PESCO’s values of Mutual Respect and Trust, Integrity, and Commitment to Excellence have driven the success of this organization,” Chief Operating Officer Randy Large said. “That PESCO has thrived for 50 years is a testament to those values. I have been continually impressed with their adaptability, their quality, and the ability of their people to persevere through challenges.”

Prior to working at PESCO, Large’s focus was on leadership development and executive coaching. “The people of PESCO – some of them generational employees – have continuously impressed me with their dedication, talent, and hard work. I’ve never worked with an organization that had such a deep bench of experience and ability. When the opportunity to become Chief Operating Officer presented itself, I jumped at the chance to work with such a talented group of people.”

Large added that even the face of a crisis, such as a collapse in oil prices and a pandemic, the leadership team built by Kyle and Jim has helped see the company through. “Kyle and Jim have put together a remarkable team of leaders that communicate well, build consensus, and execute on the plans to address our many challenges. The trust and respect I have for my fellow PESCO employees inspire me every day to do the best job I can.” 

Chief Financial Officer Linda Rodgers echoed Large’s sentiment. “Our leadership team is a fantastic group of hard-working, talented, and honest people. We have faced many challenges together as a group and emerged stronger and better because of those challenges. I have tremendous respect for this team and am humbled by their dedication and commitment to PESCO,” she said.

(photo of Linda Rogers)

PESCO follows a model of servant leadership in its business design. “Servant leadership is what we try to model and teach here at PESCO.  Many people have the perception that Servant Leadership is the same as having the ‘monkeys run the zoo’ that perception could not be further from the truth,” Kyle said. “Servant leadership is about equipping, understanding, clear expectations, and accountability.  It’s about knowing where each individual is in their professional and personal life – situational leadership – and equipping them to continuously improve.”

The business is built on relationships, which are the bedrock of the team’s values. The customers know PESCO’s employees will do what they say and never compromise standards even when facing challenges. Those relationships are too important, and they are what has kept PESCO going for 50 years. There also is an engineering standard within the business that is always met. PESCO is known for its engineering, manufacturing and servicing production equipment for the oil and natural gas industry in the Rocky Mountains, Permian and Eagle Ford Basins and throughout the United States. The company has even branched out, partnering with BayoTech to develop onsite hydrogen production units.

Michelle Wilcox is one of PESCO’s engineers. She was born and raised in Farmington and was familiar with PESCO and its reputation for quality. “When the opportunity presented itself to work here, I jumped on it. I loved the idea of working for a family-owned business, where I could learn from experts and further my career while maintaining a work-life balance,” she said. “I love PESCO’s dedication to employees and the community, and it’s fun to be part of an organization that is always adapting, improving, and striving to provide the best value for our customers.”

(from left to right, PESCO Engineers, Leanna Martinez and Michelle Wilcox)

PESCO is always ready to meet the customers’ needs by manufacturing the best equipment available in the industry to meet their needs. “We will always tell you the truth.  If there is a problem, we will let you know and work with you to resolve it.  We will deliver on-time, within the budget.  We know we are a small part of a larger mission for the companies we work with, and we want to ensure we are doing everything in our power to meet their equipment needs,” Rodgers said.

It is no surprise that PESCO was named Business of the Year by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce in 2014, with its core values and philosophy of service, that translates outside the walls of its nearly 160,000 square feet of production space. PESCO’s leaders serve their communities and work to make them better places. The company is a community leader in manufacturing trade education. Kyle Rhodes serves on the Farmington Municipal Schools’ Board of Education, and Rodgers is a Farmington City Councilor. PESCO also partners with the Navajo Nation to provide employment opportunities for tribal members.

It is this dedication to building relationships and building better communities that made Supply Chain Manager Logan Myers want to work for PESCO. “My journey began in a flooded office in Houston. The call I received from PESCO that day was not the usual check-in, it was a job offer,” he said. “Excited at the prospect of a new challenge and ready for a change of scenery, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Myers said he loves the fact he lives in an area with great weather that is rich in outdoor and cultural activities, “but those benefits are only a convenient by-product of working for PESCO.” Myers added, “When considering my dream job, it would have to be challenging, actively encourage change and experimentation in search of a ‘better way,’ provide opportunities to learn, respect family relationships and provide time for developing those and support the local community in pursuit of a better city for all. I imagine everyone has their own list, some searching in vain for a role that checks all the boxes their entire lives. I consider myself fortunate to have found that role so early in my career. The entrepreneurial, loving spirit that founded PESCO is still alive and well.”

Construction of New PESCO Paint Facility

Our main facility here at Process Equipment & Service Company, Inc. (PESCO) is getting a brand new paint facility.

To keep up with growing demand for PESCO’s world-class production units, we are expanding our facility footprint through a multi-million dollar construction project at our main location to add a new paint facility – and through our new 60,000 sq ft PESCO South facility across the highway.


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