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Posts Tagged ‘boost productiviety’

Precision Pipe & Vessel, is a Denver based ASME welding and equipment fabrication business with ‘NB’ ‘U’ & ‘R’ Stamps and certification. Precision Pipe  designs and builds individual components and complete turnkey skid packages. Precision Pipe has successfully completed more than 4500 jobs since 2000 which include small piping jobs, repairs of pressure vessels, TEMA Type Heat Exchangers, Pressure Vessels, and complete turn key skid packages.

Precision Pipe has a long history of providing cost competitive turnkey packages complete with electrical, instrumentation, controls, and complete engineering packaging. Precision has designed and built many components for installation including: Natural Gas Processing Plants (JT & Refrigeration), Separation, Refrigeration Packages, Dehydration, Compression, Chillers, Line Heaters, Production Units, Cabin Heaters, Tanks, Towers, Stacks, Flares, Boilers, Land Fill Methane Collection.

Although Precision Pipe specializes in Chemical, Oil & Gas processing equipment and facilities, Precision Pipe also has significant domain experience in Renewables, Co2, Prototyping and other process equipment. Precision is staffed with a team of professionals with diverse backgrounds, ingenuity, and the willingness to take risk. We find satisfaction in developing new products and building prototypes. Precision Pipe has helped dozens of companies (including ourselves) develop new products, build fully functional demonstration facilities, and seek patent protection for these innovations. Our product development experience includes gas processing equipment, catalyst, fixed and mobile laboratories, reactors, gasification, alternative fuels, cellulosic biofuels, clean tech, directional drilling, fracking, textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, oder & emissions elimination, distillation, traditional and renewable energy related developments.

At Precision Pipe We are always looking for ways to save our customers money, improve lead-time, and deliver an excellent product. If you haven’t had a chance to work with us, give us a call,  we would love the opportunity to partner with you.IMG_3019

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I have heard through the rumor mill that there are many companies that are waiting 6, 9, 12, and up to 18 months for TEMA type heat exchangers.  Not our customers!  Precision has built hundreds upon hundreds of TEMA Type heat exchangers for various processing plants through the years.  There are certainly tricks to building good quality heat exchangers (we believe our are as good or better than industry leaders) but all in all they are not too difficult to build.  Because there is nothing secret to the sauce, I cannot say I understand why a project manager or engineering firm would be willing to wait that long for a heat exchanger.

Precision Pipe has provided dozens HTRI designed, ASME certified, TEMA type heat exchangers to a variety of installations this year alone.  We keep hearing a common theme when we receive new purchase orders, “how does Precision Pipe build these so quickly”?  Really I’m not sure why it takes other’s so long, but I guess our advantage is that we are a custom fabrication shop with ASME Code stamps.   This means we don’t sell all of our capacity on a particular engineered product.  Rather, we respond to the needs of our clients by building vessels, components, complete turn key skid packages, tanks, and TEMA type heat exchangers.  We do have a few tricks we have learned since we built our first exchangers in the 1970’s but it isn’t anything magical… just a few tricks of the trade.

If you need high quality engineered Heat Exchangers don’t stand in line months upon months waiting.  Don’t believe for one second that you need a shop that only builds exchangers for a high quality product.  Shop around and see if you can find a shop that is eager to earn your business and can provide you with the same quality or better, HTRI designed, ASME certified, TEMA type heat exchanger(s).  Our turn around time is measured in weeks not months!

http://www.Precision-Pipe.com IMG_1940

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One of my favorite things about working here at Precision is that we practice  Manage By Wandering Around.  (MBWA as Introduced by Peters/ Waterman in the book, In Search of Excellence)  While the authors were doing research for the book they interviewed HP President John Young who explained what the term meant and its importance to HP especially during times of explosive growth.  Reflecting back on the concept of MBWA and first learning of its meaning Peter’s writes, “MBWA … Managing By Wandering Around … quickly became our favorite “excellence” idea! Technically, it meant staying in direct touch (damn the bureaucracy!) with the folks who do the work. Metaphorically, it stood for all/much of what was wrong with American management—McKinsey & Harvard Business School-style—as we confronted the Japanese challenge in areas such as product quality. That is, “big business” had become an abstraction. It was a “by the numbers” affair, where front-line “personnel” were pretty much interchangeable parts in a well-oiled “machine” and where “strategy” was considered far more important than primitive ideas such as quality and service and turned-on folks. Of course by then the bearings had lost most of their oil and seized up!”

Ok, I know what you are thinking and you are right, we’re not a giganto conglomerate that has thousands of people working for us at multiple locations!  Yes, this is true, but what is even truer is that on a daily basis small companies must fight against losing their nimbleness, effectiveness, and..well, their human touch.  We believe in measurement and standards, but not at the expense of losing touch and becoming irrelevant.  We believe in knowing our employees, not intrusively, but in such a way that they know they are a valuable member of our team.  We believe in getting out of our offices and wandering around.

Nobody in our company does this better than our President, who regularly practices MBWA and often times finds himself in the middle of lending a hand to one of our employees.  (And on occasion our customers)  There is no substitute for MBWA; it is the lighthouse that steers the small business away from the shoreline of irrelevancy that it is headed for.  Engage in MWBA today…seriously, get up and go wander!

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An interesting project has come to our shop that is leading to a new welding procedure. The project is a simple stainless steel pressure vessel, 6” diameter pipe, 0.432” wall approximately 18” long. While this seems overly simple it has led me to investigate the welding options we have qualified for stainless in our shop. We have stainless hardwire, flux core, stick, and TIG procedures but which one to use? Flux core fills very fast, hardwire is clean and neat, TIG has an artistic look when done right but is slower then hardwire and flux core. Stick welding is smoky and unless the welder is REALLY good it just doesn’t look as nice as the others. I’m beginning to think multiple processes. If we hardwire the root then no backing gas is required (meaning we don’t have to purge the inside of the vessel to remove any oxygen exposure on the back side of the weld) then we can fill the majority of the weld joint with either spray arc hardwire or flux core and finish with TIG. We get a solid, quick welded joint that looks like art! But I don’t have a weld procedure that includes three different welding processes. Do I need to break out some stainless steel scrap and weld up a coupon using the three selected processes and have it tested? Conveniently, I do not. Because I have Procedure Qualification Reports (PQR’s) for all three processes I can write a new procedure using the existing PQR’s. I can take the information from each PQR and implement a new procedure that includes all three processes. Each process must be noted on the new weld procedure and the essential variables must also be noted. One other item to be sure to review, the thickness of the additive PQR’s must yield the thickness range required for the intended joint. Maintaining documentation of all our welding processes and procedures makes this an easy accomplishment, an accomplishment that allows us to utilize our knowledge and history to go forward. If you like the way a certain welding process looks but have been told it costs too much or takes too much time, give us a call. We’ll help you find a happy medium that yields beautiful welding and cost effectiveness.

Denver Stainless Steel Welding

TIG Cover Pass

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We recently avoided a costly mistake.  Our vendor had issued a quote on materials for a job that our customer needed expedited.  Throughout the chaos of organizing resources, work space, and reading through material quotes, it would have been somewhat understandable for us to award the materials to the lowest bidder and tell them to get them coming.  Fortunately for us, we have a few procedures in place that keep us from turning something around that quickly.   We stayed true to our practices and within a few minutes of going through our purchase review, we uncovered discrepancies within material and quantities, navigating ourselves out of an impending storm.

Procedures and Policies are good as long as they allow you to work efficiently.  Conversely, when Policies and Procedures are cumbersome and do not allow your organization to be nimble, it is time to examine the reasons behind the P&P and come up with better alternatives or more streamlined versions.

What Policies and Procedures hold you back from becoming better?

 

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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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How do you feel when a project is due to ship in two-weeks time?  Now how about one-week?  Is there a sense of confidence or sheer panic?  When it’s crunch time who/what do you turn to make your deadline?  There are only two choices:  One, ramp up with resources to get the job done. OR, Two, go to your customer and explain why you won’t make your deadline.  (Side note:  When it comes to excuses, I always think of John Belushi in the movie, Blues Brothers, giving Carrie Fisher a long list of why he couldn’t make it to their wedding.)

We know that the two options have serious problems.  If we ramp up resources, our margins slip away fast.  When we go to our customer with a list of why we can’t, we look incompetent and incapable of completing a task we said we could do.  Neither of the two options sound very appealing to me, yet businesses engage in them countless times, usually, with no shame.

How then, do we carry our project through on time and on budget and mitigate the risks and unknown problems that may arise during the project lifespan?  Two words: Hard Work.

It takes hard work to plan out resourcing and stay on task.  It takes hard work to stay motivated to see a project to its completion, but the payoff – well, it’s usually worth the hard work.   Usually, there are simple steps that we can take to make sure we stay on task and that our hard work is not in vain.

Years ago, a mentor of mine encouraged me to write on a 3×5 note card the three most important things I had to do the next day.  (At the end of my day, everyday)  That way, when you come in the next day, you know exactly where to start and what is important to accomplish.  The great thing about this advice is that it keeps you on track in the midst of a chaotic day.

Another great tip from my mentor is to hold a 10 minute meeting at the beginning of each day with various leads and managers of the project that is in progress.  This gives you as project manager  the forum to ask of your leads:  “What are your priorities for the day?”  This in turn, leads to greater communication and accountability within the team.

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