Archive for June, 2010

It’s interesting to me to see cycles in the work place. It seems to me that early in the industrial age the thought of a safe work place was quite simply “be careful”. I’ve seen pictures of men working on the erection of the Empire State Building with no fall protection, no hard hats, no sign stating how many days they had gone without an accident, minimal safety equipment what-so-ever!  In just a quick search (and my next statement may be totally bogus) I found to believe that the construction company only had five fatalities in the fifteen month duration which employed 3500 laborers for more the seven million hours of labor. Considering that the building is over 1,400 feet tall that’s pretty dang impressive (see the link below). I’m not sure what happened between the 1930’s and 1971 but it appears that people either stopped caring about being careful or we bred caution right out of the gene pool. Now I’m relatively young and I don’t remember the start of the unions; I honestly don’t remember when OSHA first started but somewhere along the line people started believing that it is the responsibility of any company in the United States to protect employees from every possible scenario that either “might” or “could” happen while someone is at work. My first experience with OSHA left a lasting impression on me that still resonates in my mind, “We have to protect people from themselves”. I have seen people standing on top of forty foot tall fiberglass storage tanks (with a thin layer of ice from the previous night) with no fall protection and not give a thought about what might happen if just one of their boots happened to slip and send them to the concrete below. I have seen people do amazing things that most people would consider not smart. Heck, I’ve done more than a few things in my life that most people would consider downright stupid. But the whole time I was doing those things I realized in the back of my head that I was making the choice to do those things. I knew better and did them anyway. Training would not have helped me in my youthful arrogance. OK, back to the cycles. My latest experience with OSHA has been somewhat different. It was due to a complaint against our company. So we had an OSHA representative come in and do an audit, run some tests, and file a report. In my responses and in my work to correct the items that they felt were inadequate I have come to realize that it is not my responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt. It is my responsibility to provide a safe work place. It is my responsibility to makes sure that employees know the hazards in the workplace that they are working. It is my responsibility to make sure the employees have the protective equipment to perform the work in such a way that they do not get hurt. If an employee has been trained on a certain piece of equipment (and by trained I mean shown the proper way to use the machine, told and/or shown the hazards associated with the machine, told what the machine is for) and a freak accident happens, it’s not the fault of the company. Now it happened on the job so workers comp kicks in but if the employee is using the machine for something other than its intended use or not wearing the PPE (personal protective equipment) that is required the fault falls on the employee. The company is not always the bad guy. Sometimes, people simply need to follow the rules and a repeatable safety record will follow. So hopefully the trend will continue to push people into thinking through their actions before something happens. And hopefully word will spread soon that every employee has a responsibility to “be careful”.

Life images of the Empire State Building

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Having a market advantage is a huge goal for most companies especially during market down turns.  Often times a company may have such an advantage and not know it, or at least not know how to capitalize on such opportunities.  One market segment that Precision Pipe excels at and enjoys is building Dew Point Processing Plants also know as refrigeration plants, NGL, or Natural Gas Liquids Plants.  What sets Precision Pipe & Vessel aside from our competitors is we have many different approaches to building gas processing equipment that other fabricators don’t consider or offer to their customers.

Our approaches include remanufacturing used equipment in a quality manner giving the appearance the equipment is new (often times it is as good as new).  We also painstakingly examine and inspect each mechanical component to ensure reliability and give estimated time before component overhaul.  We also build complete brand new plants from the skid up.  All of our products are turn key with complete instrumentation and piping interconnect as specified by each customer.  As soon as the plant has been connected to utilities and the associated site piping our systems are ready to be started up and turned over to operations.

Our most recent gas plants have taken yet another approach that provide the longevity  and the associated technology of new and modern Gas Plants yet maintain the cost savings of remanufactured equipment.  Recently we have assembled a plant that used brand new wear components such as a refrigeration compressor, glycol pumps, instrumentation, heat exchangers, and other moving components.  However, we created substantial saving to our client by using ASME pressure vessels and a glycol re-boiler off of used equipment.  We simply identified vessels in our inventory and evaluated condition and specification according to the refrigeration plant.  Next, we transplanted the vessels onto the new skid and re-registered the vessels with the National Board.  This process cut months out of the fabrication schedule and reduced the cost of the plant by nearly 30% for our customer.

When it was all said and done we shipped a modern gas plant to our customer complete with computerized controls and modern instrumentation at a greatly  reduced cost.  We were also informed by our customer that our delivery was several months quicker then the next best offer.  As it stands today the plant has operated for nearly a year with no shut downs and only routine maintenance performed.  This has become a good case study for cutting costs and improving our customers ROI by using creative and alternative fabrication techniques.

Precision Pipe and it’s staff has fabricated nearly 100 NGL plants over the last 30 years that are operating in various locations in North and South America.  We have developed a reputation for finding good quality used equipment, rebuilding our customers antiquated systems, and building brand new equipment to operate in todays modern gas fields.  Precision Pipe

NGL Plant

Precision Pipe uses new and used equipment to build great products

is a fully qualified ASME code shop (U,R,S, & NB stamps) that specializes in gas processing equipment, gasification, alternative energy, and product development engineering and fabrication.

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