Smart Solutions

Smith & Oby Combines Prefabrication and ERICO’s New CADDY ROD LOCK System to Cut Installation Time

Smith & Oby is using ERICO’s CADDY ROD LOCK system to install 250 active chilled beams in an office building. With the new system, instead of rotating threaded rod, workers push them into position, saving installation time.

In early 2011, Smith & Oby Company began work on a new office building in Cleveland, OH, that included 250 active chilled beams, which required an extensive amount of small-diameter copper pipe and multiple trapeze racking systems. To manage installation of approximately 28,000 linear feet of pipe in a 95,000-square-foot building, Smith & Oby turned to ERICO for an innovative and time-saving installation solution.

Having worked with ERICO on many projects in the past, Will Vranich, project manager at Smith & Oby, knew the company could supply the right products for this demanding project. So when ERICO suggested a newer product—the CADDY® ROD LOCK channel nut—Smith & Oby was willing to give it a try.

“ERICO is aggressive in adding new products in the marketplace,” said Vranich. “Not every item will be a hit, but it’s the best way to improve the industry.”

The Idea Behind CADDY ROD LOCK

Threaded rod is one of the most commonly used products by contractors of all trades, but it can be very difficult and tedious to work with. The ability of contractors to use pre-assembly for many high-volume applications is severely limited by how standard threaded connections are made. The CADDY ROD LOCK system, which includes a beam clamp, channel nut, and anchor screw, seeks to eliminate the need for contractors to rotate the threaded rod.

The CADDY ROD LOCK’s “push-to-install” design can dramatically reduce the installation time of threaded rod support structures when compared with conventional fasteners. “Contractors do not have to rotate a threaded rod into position,” said Eric Osborn, CADDY product development manager at ERICO. “Instead, assemblies can simply be pushed into position. This allows contractors to create modular assemblies in an efficient, safe way, saving huge amounts of time and money.”

For a large office building project, Smith & Oby is prefabricating copper racks in its shop, shipping them to the jobsite, inserting ERICO’s CADDY ROD LOCK into the strut, then lifting the racks in place to save labor and time.

So Much Pipe, So Little Time

By using ERICO’s CADDY ROD LOCK channel nuts for the office building project, Smith & Oby could prefabricate their complex assemblies and then easily lift and lock them into place at the jobsite by pushing the threaded rod supports into the channel nuts. The technology even works with threaded rod with minor burrs or imperfections, helping to eliminate clean-up time and the need to replace damaged threaded rod.

For the office building, Vranich said his process has been to prefabricate the copper racks in the shop and then ship the racks to the jobsite. “CADDY ROD LOCK is inserted into the strut, and once onsite, we lift the racks in place with some expected labor savings. The entire project includes about 350 racks of pipe.”

However, Vranich admitted that using CADDY ROD LOCK did take a little getting used to. “There is a learning curve in anything new,” he said. Initially, he saw that the installers were indifferent to using the product. “But indifferent is a really good reaction to new products, because they can often disregard new products quickly.”

The CADDY ROD LOCK channel nut was chosen for this project because of the potential labor savings in the field in conjunction with prefabrication. “Prefabrication is vital to this project both to deal with the delays and also to help manage the materials,” explained Vranich. “And, we expect labor savings by moving work into the controlled environment of the shop.”

For more information on the innovative CADDY ROD LOCK system, contact your local ERICO representative or visit

MCAA thanks ERICO for being a supporter of MCAA 2013.

MCAA’s 2013 Pre-Fabrication Conference includes a tour of Smith & Oby Company’s facilities in Walton Hills, OH.