Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Darby Equipment to Expand Space, Capacity in Tulsa

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Darby Equipment to Expand Space, Capacity in Tulsa

Article excerpt

Pipeline tool maker Darby Equipment will expand its manufacturing space 59 percent next month as it pursues double-digit growth in both domestic and global sales markets.

"With our new facility and our current people, we think we can do both," said President Bob Darby.

Darby now shares a 67,000-square-foot west Tulsa plant with D&L Manufacturing, occupying about 30,000 square feet, a tenth of that office space.

The 40-employee company has just bought a 43,000-square-foot plant of its own at 2940 N. Toledo, with plans to add 8,000 square feet of office with geothermal heating and other "green" technologies. Darby expects to move manufacturing operations into the space in February, with architect and general contractor Don Holmes finishing the headquarters addition in September.

With the new building's larger crane capacity and extra space, Darby expects this $2 million-plus expansion to dramatically boost his 27-year-old company's productivity and capacity.

"We will likely add personnel as business picks up steam," said Vice President Ryan Darby, noting the pipeline industry's cyclical nature. "Most of our focus is on expanding our current production lines."

Former Caterpillar seller Lee Darby started his company in 1982 as an equipment broker to the pipeline industry. As it moved into manufacturing, Darby developed outsourcing relationships with several producers, including D&L. The company now manufactures and assembles most of it own equipment.

While it still offers some parts from other firms, Chief Financial Officer Nick Minden said that represents less than 10 percent of sales.

Darby made its name making pneumatic lineup clamps, pipe roller cradles and wedge mandrels, as well as machines that can face and bend pipes.

These devices weigh up to 71,250 pounds, increasing the importance of plant crane capacity. …

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