I work as an editor. Innovation for writing trades comes in two flavors: media and method.
For example, take interviews. I cut my teeth as a reporter toting around a miniature tape recorder. Remember cassettes? Then, tapeless digital voice recorders came along. Now I have an app that records conversations from my smartphone and emails me an mp3.
Publishing, broadly speaking, has also changed a lot. The letters CMS, which stand for “content management system,” didn’t mean much to me 20 years ago. Now my daily workload revolves around those letters. Stories are published and parsed online and in social media before they even make it to print.
That’s the media aspect. Let’s touch on method. We interview people, sit down, write, revise, repeat. Journalism isn’t rocket science. You might not think methods change much, but they evolve over time with the experience of the person wielding them. Anyone working in this field for as long as I have who hasn’t improved at interviewing, writing and revising is probably late for another career.
Now, think about drilling trades. It seems to me that, like writing, foundation innovation comes in both media and method. The media are the tools people use to get the job done. Take Rockmore International’s recently released ROK 600T as an example. It’s a simple innovation: remove a plastic foot valve, which the company says leads to premature breakdowns and unnecessary trip-outs. In a recent interview we did with Rockmore’s Ronnie Edwards, he said many customers can’t believe such a simple innovation hadn’t been done before.
It’ll be a solid product for construction drilling (as well as other water well drilling and mining).
In construction, you can specify this tool or that, but there’s always a better way to engineer a project, too. That’s the method. Project design has a solid, underlying, set of rules that probably don’t change much. But those rules do change and evolve. That’s what makes groups like the Deep Foundations Institute and ADSC so valuable. The professionals that make up those groups move the industry forward by advocating the most up-to-date methods.
I recommend that all professionals think about innovation. You don’t have to obsess about it. Just give it some thought. Don’t be the one stuck in a mindset of using outdated tools or approaches. And, if you are, don’t be surprised when your competition thanks you for his latest contract.
Stay safe out there, drillers.