For a new, state-of-the-art medical school campus, Maxair Mechanical saved valuable time by installing “miles of piping” using Victaulic products rather than welding and relying on Victaulic’s 3D models of the mechanical space to anticipate potential pitfalls and avoid costly delays. Streamlining processes at every opportunity, Maxair completed the project on time, despite labor and supply chain challenges. Victaulic is a major sponsor of MCAA23.
JPG Plumbing & Mechanical Services’ adoption of new oil and grease interceptor monitoring technology from Zurn has significantly reduced pumping overspend and minimized the risk of backups for JPG’s customers. The increased monitoring is translating into more tank repair and replacement work as customers gain better visibility into their systems. Zurn Elkay Water Solutions is a benefactor of MCAA23.
Whether it’s labor shortages, supply chain challenges, tight deadlines, or other hurdles, MCAA members and manufacturer/supplier partners are finding smart solutions to stay ahead of the game.
Breaking ground on the Rex and Alice A. Martin Softball Training Center at the University of Illinois in April 2021, A&R Mechanical Contractors, Inc., faced the unique challenges of building during the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent supply chain issues. They successfully completed the project on schedule thanks to NIBCO, which manufactures more than 90 percent of its products in the United States. “I would have to say NIBCO was very instrumental in helping A&R Mechanical get this project finished in a timely fashion,” said Chris Asklund, A&R Mechanical project manager. NIBCO is a major sponsor of MCAA23.
Barrier-free, accessible, and inclusive design is an important trend in building. Planning for a commercial restroom with all users in mind, regardless of ability, gender, or age, makes for a safer and more comfortable restroom that is easy for anyone to use. Contractors who embrace the concepts of inclusive design can stand out as partners who put users’ needs first, and Sloan, a benefactor of MCAA23, has innovative products to help. Inclusive design is pivotal for supporting people with disabilities and complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. It is also important as society’s awareness of gender identity grows.
A new, state-of-the-art hospital in New York required that John W. Danforth Company use solder connections for mechanical piping and press fittings for the plumbing, so they looked to a trusted and reliable partner, Mueller Streamline Co., a primary subsidiary of Mueller Industries, that could provide both. That decision has paid off with a smooth construction process to date, supported by building information modeling (BIM) technology that ensured accuracy for prefabrication. Mueller Industries, Inc. is a major sponsor of MCAA23.
Silicon Valley Mechanical, a full-service mechanical contractor in San Jose, CA, rapidly improved productivity and increased efficiency by putting PypeServer software into place. Here, Jamie Garza, detail manager, and Dean Garza, piping shop general foreman at Silicon Valley Mechanical, describe how they achieved those gains.
Close collaboration between IMI TA, a branch of IMI Hydronic Engineering, and building designers led to a 23-percent savings in annual energy consumption (equivalent to $19,341) for an Oklahoma public building. The Lawton Public Safety Facility in Clay Coe, OK, is a 100,000-square-foot, four-story building with 350 working stations. The original design strategy for the facility included proportional control valves with no balancing valve on each terminal and a variable speed pump (VSP) differential pressure (DP) sensor.
Egan Company selected Josam Company’s drain system to ensure that LeafLine Labs, the premium medical cannabis cultivator in Minnesota, had the right drainage systems to meet their unique needs. Josam Company’s PRO-PLUS® Trench Drain System was a welcome change from other labor-intensive drain systems that Egan Company had used, saving time and streamlining installation.
With more than 70 million baby boomers set to retire by 2030—more than 10,000 each day—organizations need to rethink the way they capture and transfer knowledge before it is lost forever.
By installing antimicrobial cooling towers from Delta Cooling, Bluegrass Hydronics and Pump helped a rural Kentucky school district qualify for a federal grant to replace a failed tower and another nearing the end of its life. The units solved the two biggest issues the school district was facing: budget constraints and the need for durable solutions.
By implementing Novarc’s Spool Welding Robot (SWR), Harder Mechanical Contractors has minimized their need for highly skilled welders and increased productivity from an average of 120 factored diameter inches (FDI) per shift to more than 200 FDI, while also achieving a repair rate of 0 percent and maximizing arc-on time. Moreover, because the SWR is a collaborative robot—or cobot—Harder Mechanical can assign less experienced welders to operate the machine, significantly improving shop productivity and resulting in high-quality welds every single time.
Not long ago, the impact of a tool on its user was not given much thought when it came to tool design. Today, thanks to advancements in technology and a better awareness of how repetitive use of a tool can contribute to injury, ergonomic tool design is becoming the norm. To help ensure you are making the best equipment investment for your team, here are basic ergonomic tool features to look for.
You cannot eliminate the possibility of business disruptions—but you can prepare for them. Whether the cause is a storm, a cyberattack, or another unexpected event, a sudden disruption could affect your organization at any time. To grow and thrive in an uncertain risk environment, your business needs preparation to absorb, adapt, and be resilient to disruptive events. CNA, a benefactor of MCAA23, offers a series of short podcasts (about 15 minutes each) on risk and resilience.
Welding preheating is used to ensure weld quality and reduce the chance of cracking and other defects that can result in costly rework. Preheating is commonly used in field and shop applications when welding steel or steel alloy pipes or plates that are 1” thick or more. Applications that often use preheating include power plant and structural construction, as well as pipe fabrication. Here, Miller Electric outlines four common methods for welding preheating and how to choose the best option for your application.
Complex and sensitive facilities—such as nuclear and fossil fuel plants, refineries, steel and paper mills, chemical processing plants, and semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants—require sophisticated piping systems. These systems must perform under great stress while adhering to strict safety, health, and governmental regulations. Relying on well-developed, industry-recognized standards ensures that your work meets even the most demanding criteria.
From apprentices to expert craftsmen, the construction industry employs a workforce that spans multiple generations. While an age-diverse workforce brings well-rounded skills and experiences to the table, it is not always easy to manage efficiently. Employee expectations and preferred communication styles vary greatly from generation to generation. With today’s labor shortages and low employee retention rates, if mechanical contractors want to attract and keep top talent, they need to explore strategies to help their age-diverse crews work together effectively.
With a goal of eliminating paper in the shop, increasing efficiency in cutting, and using barcode labels to improve shop workflows, Postler & Jaeckle started working with STRATUS software from GTP Services in 2015. Since then, the company has seen a continuous return on investment with STRATUS, most recently by using labels to increase efficiency with hangers.
When processes are not aligned at every stage of a construction project, costly delays and unnecessary expenses are inevitable—and in the worst-case scenario can even result in legal disputes. Communication with stakeholders, the ability to monitor site progress, and the interconnected nature of construction work can all pose challenges to your bottom line.
For Graco Mechanical of Houston, TX, Marley NC® Cooling Towers from SPX Cooling Tech, LLC proved to be the ideal solution for replacing a highrise building’s aging cooling tower in a tight space with an even tighter timeline—just one weekend. These factory-assembled, or “package,” towers allowed for faster installation than a field-erected option while meeting the building’s needs.
Confidence in your installation and its reliability are important to any contractor, but labor shortages and economic constraints can often make you feel like you have to choose between speed, cost, and quality. Balancing all three can be a challenge, especially when it comes to water heater installations. Water heater supports, in particular, often get cobbled together using leftover jobsite materials or other makeshift methods in hopes that they will keep the unit stable in the long run. While this may be the cheapest solution in the moment, it is not the best choice for your budget or your reputation.
Recognizing that pipe fabrication was slowing down its prefabrication process, F+F Mechanical Company invested in a Watts-Mueller pipe cutter that dramatically improved speed and quality while decreasing labor costs. In fact, thanks to the efficiencies gained from prefabrication using the Watts-Mueller machine, F+F Mechanical recently completed a full boiler room change-out for a hospital in just three months.
McKinstry set out to gather more insight into fabrication shop productivity and enhance the connection between its Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Fabrication teams. They partnered with MSUITE to improve communication and better understand the costs of work, which ultimately will help them target investments and improve overall project management.
Therma’s steady growth and sterling reputation over the decades has been driven in part by its highly motivated and skilled innovators, each with their own approach to process—which also resulted in a disjointed recordkeeping system. They chose Procore’s scalable construction management platform to standardize their project processes and centralize their document management, creating seamless collaboration, complete flexibility across project types, and a single source of truth and project data accessible to all. Now, workers collaborate through a common platform with deep visibility into all the information they need, all available on mobile devices.
B&W Mechanical, one of the largest mechanical contractors in the Southeast, chose ServiceTrade software to help them make the move from paper to digital, shortening the time it takes to provide quotes for repairs. Swift, detailed, clear communication is one way that B&W builds trust that leads to long-lasting customer relationships.
A hospitality industry veteran opted for A.O. Smith for a dependable water heating solution for a new four-story Hampton Inn in Ashland City, TN. “Hampton Inns thrive on being local,” said hotel general manager Sammy Naquin, “so it made sense to turn to A. O. Smith, who is right here in Ashland City, for a solution.” Naquin worked closely with A. O. Smith, which specified two 750,000 Btu/hr Cyclone® XL commercial gas water heaters, recommended for the hotel’s size and water heating demands.