Peak time for cranberry processing is no time for down time. Yet the State was having an issue with Decas Cranberry Products Inc.’s boiler, the cranberries were piling up, and profits were being affected.
But Jason Taylor, PSI’s VP Operations Manager, and his team sprung into action when the emergency call came in, and this story includes a cold November weekend; prefab construction; and a hand-delivered, overflowing cranberry gift basket.
When PSI got the call, Decas was in an emergency shut down but had ordered a temporary boiler that was arriving soon, on a trailer, to be parked in the yard. To get them up and running again, PSI’s job was to get a temporary 6″ steam line run from the mechanical room to the temp boiler, that would resupply the steam to the building.
When we got to the plant, truckloads of delivered cranberries were sitting idly waiting to be processed, and no one could do a thing. This job needed to start this job as soon as possible.
It was a Thursday afternoon. The crew determined the fastest way to get the steam line operational was to run it through the existing boiler room roof, instead of through the facility. We’d need to find a crane operator with a big enough crane who was able to meet us on the job site that Monday; and if we fabricated everything at the shop all weekend, we’d all meet, hoist it with the crane, and get the project installed.
Prefabrication was the perfect solution for this project. It was November; it was cold and rainy; and we didn’t want the crew laying on their backs in the elements for hours to weld. Fabricating in the shop let us control the environment and the crew’s safety, and meant there’d be no welding on site.
The guys volunteered to work 10- to 12-hour days on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Everything would then be fabricated, loaded, and ready to go Monday morning.
Monday’s installation started out great, despite the blistering cold rain and high winds. But about three-quarters of the way through, the crew was handed a major change request. The project called for us to fabricate the header for the final connection to the tent boiler. But when the contractor arrived with the temp boiler, it needed more connections than originally requested.
So we sent a driver back to New Bedford to locate the fittings, and the guys modified the header right on site that same afternoon to accept the new specifications.
Finally, with all the parts of the job coming together, we were piped by 5:00pm, and the boiler was up and running by 7:00pm
A project of this scope normally would take up to 2 weeks to order materials, hang them in the building, get the facility ready and take delivery of materials. But because of PSI’s prefabrication capabilities, we were able to take measurements on site that day, and knew we could eliminate significant time from the required schedule.
Decas thanked us multiple times for this job. They couldn’t believe the guys worked in those wintry conditions, all weekend, to get them back up and running. The owner of Decas even made a point of coming down to our office that following Friday to bring us a nice basket of cranberry treats with a letter thanking Piping Systems for everything we did.
A great story of planning, prefabrication, logistics, grit and, of course, cranberries.