With today's increasing demands to reduce construction cost and compress project schedules, modularization can offer a significant advantage. Benefits from prefab construction in a controlled environment often include higher productivity and quality, reduced craft-hours, shorter project durations and safer assembly that can translate into cost savings of 30% when compared to structures that are stick-built in the field. To take advantage of the benefits of modularization, Graycor Industrial Constructors recently invested in a new state-of-the-art fab shop in Portage, Indiana, and industry-leading safety and quality certifications.
In addition to a 12,000-square-foot climate-controlled fabrication space, Graycor's facility also includes three acres of laydown area and 44,000 square feet of operation center space that is used for virtually every major industrial sector, including the process, metals and power markets. Located just one mile from major interstate I-94 and within close proximity to the Port of Indiana, the strategic location of Graycor's fab shop allows for efficient transport of fabricated components.
The fabrication facilities main bays are equipped with 5- and 10-ton overhead bridge cranes along with numerous 1-ton workstations jib cranes. The facility is also outfitted with advanced computerized welding equipment, various multi-axis positioning equipment geared to satisfy the most stringent welding application, as well as a 1000amp AC/DC Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) unit capable of producing exceptionally high/ X-ray quality welds in a very efficient manner.
Graycor Industrial Constructors latest modularization accomplishment includes four 60-ton collection header modules for a major client in the steel industry. These modules were each 85 feet in length, weigh upwards of 60 tons each and are scheduled for installation in an upcoming outage. Crews worked nearly five months through the torturous winter of 2013/2014 and because of the indoor work space were able to complete the project on schedule. Another advantage to this project was the facility's proximity to major shipping thoroughfares, as the completed modules were shipped over the road via self-propelled module transporters to the plant. Graycor was able to coordinate this shipping with the local sheriff as well as utility companies in facilitating the flawless transport of these difficult pieces. Pat Kouns, Graycor's Construction Manager of the module project states: "The project benefitted greatly from the use of the shop facility. A safe, productive, indoor work area was critical as our team was able to work with the client to identify and solve any issues in preparing the modules for the easiest installation during the outage."
While the shop facility provides benefits in the producing modular assemblies, the aforementioned welding equipment also allows for the fabrication of complex piping systems. A recently completed large bore (24-30") alloy piping assembly was completed in the facility, which again showcased the flexibility of the facility. The pipe assembly is designed to operate in extreme conditions requiring extensive quality control procedures for the welding of the pipe as well as a refractory lining to complete the assembly. Again, the fab shop team met the delivery schedule set forth by the client, and a significant reason why was the ability to install a large oven to cure the refractory at the shop facility prior to shipment.
Sam Potter, President at Graycor Industrial Constructors states: "As competition increases within the industrial markets we serve, we continue to search for ways to gain a step up. By using innovative construction techniques in our fab shop, we are reducing costs and timelines to a degree that would not have been possible using traditional construction methods." Graycor continues to invest in the fabrication facility to provide its clients with value-added turnkey solutions to facilitate construction for even the most demanding projects. A state-of-the-art fab shop, cutting-edge training programs and strong leadership have been essential to the success of these efforts. With a focus on safety and a commitment to quality, Graycor continues to find new ways of putting the pieces together ahead of time.