Vessel Support Grid Project
Bar grating + rush deadline = customer satisfaction
Vessel Support Grid Project, The Short Story: Marco Specialty Steel was featured in BIC Magazine regarding a custom fabrication project that was to be completed in record time. The chemical manufacturing company had a new design for a vessel support grid project during a scheduled outage. Marco was up to the task. Our expert metal fabrication department was able to custom make the support-grids from our bar grating products within the rush time-frame.
Vessel Support Grid Project, Explained
Do you like details? Here they are:
Marco Specialty Steel Inc. is a reliable partner for your project, able to work with clients every step of the way. Our sales and fabrication teams are up to the task when under pressure and time is of the essence. Marco recently received an inquiry that needed to be bid the same day with an almost impossible deadline to hit. The project was for a chemical manufacturing company that wanted to develop a new design on a vessel support grid. The material had to be delivered in one month for a shutdown/turnaround to be done at its facility. The project would start Nov. 1 and last through Dec. 1, making it coincide with the week of Thanksgiving. Many of our employees already had scheduled time off during the holiday week, so we all had to adapt and change our plans to meet the delivery date. Our company was able to work through the holiday week with many overtime hours to complete this project on time.
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The project was a brand new design for one of the customer’s vessels, which required certain expertise and tooling to be made by our fabrication department. It was 8-space grating, which is unique with tight spacing between bearing bars, and required our fabrication department to use finesse when welding. A custom jig had to be made to fit the pieces together before welding. Also, we had to create 316 stainless steel (ss) welding tables to not cross-contaminate any other types of steel with the material. After punching the 3/16-inch-thick bearing bar, we took an extra step in the job to flatten and shape the flat bar so it would fit in the jig perfectly. We were able to take drawings on this design, produce approval drawings and provide recommendations on how the material would be made, to be approved by the client.
Procuring the raw material for fabrication was the next step. This project consisted of all 316 low-carbon austenitic stainless steel (Lss) raw material that had to be domestically melted and manufactured, with 317 Lss welding wire used for our welds. There were 895 pieces of flat bar, 176 pieces of round bar and eight spools of welding wire to fabricate this material. We were able to work with our trusted vendors and procure all domestic material in a short time frame to get this project done on time.
The material had to be sandblasted and passivated after it was constructed. We were able to work with our reliable vendors and get both the blasting and passivation done in a 48-hour time-frame to ship out on time. Typically, both of these processes take 7-10 days to complete. Once the material was complete, we used our proven shipping vendor to deliver the material from our shop in Houston to the customer in Virginia in 1.5 days.
This was an experimental process application for our customer. The field employees from the client commented that the pieces fit just right in the vessel and that the finish looked amazing. The customer ended up running tests on the new vessel design, and it worked perfectly. The process has now proven to be effective and will be replicated across our customer’s business line with vessels across the county.
The customer provided the following feedback after the turnaround:
“The outage went very well, especially the grating. All the pieces went in without any problems. The lugs we added on site worked well. There were lots of good comments about the fit and finish of the grating. Getting the material on time was critical to our outage success. We appreciate all the extraordinary effort to make it happen, and make it happen well!
“We are testing the performance of the modified equipment this week. This testing will tell us if we must make the same modifications to a second unit. If we do, I will definitely want to work with you.”
Recently, we received word that the testing was a success, and the customer will be placing the follow-up order for another unit.
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The full article that was featured in BIC Magazine.