Teknor Apex is a global leader in custom compounding that opened its doors in 1924. Today the company has 9 U.S. locations and operations in Belgium, Germany, Singapore, and China. Their 6 specialty divisions manufacture vinyl, TPE, nylon, colorants, chemicals and garden hoses. PSI has been their go-to process piping and sprinkler contractor for literally decades.
Over those years, we’ve done a lot of work for them throughout their facilities. This time they called to ask us if we could fabricate a skid to ship to their plant in South Carolina, weighing in excess of 25,000lbs!
First they sent us their 3D drawings to see if it was something we could handle with our in-house fabrication department. It was—with a few modifications to our shop. We had to erect a tent outside of our plant to accommodate the height of the equipment necessary to do the fabrication. This allowed us to manage the entire project requirements in-house, including the electrical.
In-house fabrication allows us to work in a controlled environment, so jobs progress, and can often be sped up, despite bad weather or extreme heat. Additionally, our clients appreciate knowing where all parts of their job is at all times.
To fabricate this job, we worked with VFD drives, all the pumps, and a lot of steel to fabricate the tanks, all within a good-sized frame. The project consisted of:
Once we finished, there was one more quality-control step before the skid could be strapped to a flatbed and shipped to its final destination.
Teknor Apex sent one of its own engineers over with a laptop to run through all the electrical controls to make sure everything read correctly, they could verify the mission and the unit, and it was ready to be installed on their plant floor once it was delivered.
“It’s working great,” says Whit Duncan, Mechanical Engineer. “Installation was easy and there were no issues!”
PSI happily completes another complex project on time and to specification!
There are 3 factors that make or break a job: Turnaround time, money and accuracy. With our own 17,000 sq. ft. fabrication department, PSI controls 99% of its custom designed projects, and our clients get better work faster.
Turnaround time on projects is getting shorter and shorter. But when PSI is asked about our capabilities and timelines, our fabrication shop gives us a defining advantage. We can promise faster turnaround times and give on-site tours to clients to see where their work will go into production. Additionally, the shop’s locked stock room contains commonly used materials and equipment that are often required in 3 AM emergencies, so we’re not waiting for a third-party supply house to open to fix a problem.
Another factor affecting turnaround time is job-site conditions. Predicting the weather is a level-playing field. But the fabrication shop helps us control our work environment. Instead of putting a tightly scheduled job on hold at the site because of rain delays or extreme heat, we’re able to continue production in our shop to deliver on time–regardless of unpredictable job-site conditions.
Money. Labor costs are one of a project’s biggest expenses. We keep man-hours down by doing most of the work at the shop first, before going to a job site to install. “By the time our guys get to a job site, pretty much everything is pre-cut and grooved, labeled in numbers in order of sequence, and they can go to put the system in place,” says Jason Taylor, VP Operations Manager.
Job site cleanliness also keeps costs down. “We don’t have shavings or oil at the site when we do the cutting and welding at the shop.”
Accuracy. Often it’s not possible to weld at a job site—inside or outside the building. While PSI has a 28’ trailer available if necessary, the fabrication shop is fully loaded with a sprinkler rail, tool crib, scissor lifts, forklifts, a carbon steel area, and welder machines to fabricate anything from ½” to 24” in diameter. There’s also a stainless steel area for sanitary or “clean” work for food manufacturers like Decas Cranberry.