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Driving the Fabrication ProcessMay 1, 2008
In the early 90s, using CNC files to fully automate shop equipment was talked about by most fabricators, but implemented by few. At Central Texas Iron Works in Waco, Texas, this was becoming a groundbreaking reality.
Through the collaboration of Design Data and Peddinghaus in the 80s, the first NC files were generated by SDS/2 and automatically uploaded by Peddinghaus shop equipment. This was just the beginning for CNC communication between SDS/2 and Peddinghaus equipment. CTIW's involvement in the 90s added the real life experience needed to improve CNC, making it a necessary tool to drive the fabrication process.
With their history of working with technology providers, CTIW continues to be one of the world's most progressive fabricators in the use of the electronic production process. Using SDS/2 detailing software and Peddinghaus shop equipment, CTIW works on large-scale projects with the confidence that their work produces nothing but the highest quality. CTIW's demand for quality has raised the bar for Peddinghaus and Design Data.
Many large successful projects under the control of CTIW's numerous SDS/2 stations have benefitted from CTIW's ability to team up with other partners who are also using SDS/2. As a result, they have been able to join together many fabrication partners on large projects, such as the 18,000 ton Crystal River Power project.
Fabricating the 18,000 ton SCR Unit would have been a challenge for many fabricators, but CTIW has the knowledge, experience, and the right tools to make this happen seamlessly. CTIW's management over the detailing gives them the power to control the production, performance, schedule and product quality from start to finish on every project.
As the lead fabricator on the Crystal River Project, CTIW generated all the detailing using SDS/2. With the use of SDS/2, CTIW was able to control all the electronic production files provided to their fabrication partners involved on the project. The controlled information includes: all electronic drawings/gather sheets, KISS files for the material cutting, and CNC hole / DXF plate files, along with all tagging and marking files that are linked to CTIW's barcode tracking system, which provides complete control of the fabrication process and shipping activities.
When the details and CNC files are controlled through SDS/2, we know everything is going to fit up in the field when using our partners that we have on board with this production technology,” said Roy Eaton, Vice President of Operations at CTIW. “The most complicated part of the fabrication process is ensuring that all holes are in the right location and are of the required size, all the steel is cut to the correct lengths and that copes/blocks are in the right place. Dividing the fabrication between multiple fabricators can make this even more complicated. Producing CNC information you can trust and sharing that information with your partners helps us to control the most critical part of fabrication and directly contributes to our success. This process provides the ultimate link to the control of quality in the prefabrication process that is the key to making a project happen for the production of structural steel,” Mr. Eaton added.
For the Crystal River Power Plant expansion, CTIW joined together two partner fabricators. Each fabricator supplied different assemblies simultaneously to meet the project's demanding schedule. All of these components have come together in the field without misfits, in part due to the control that the SDS/2 3D modeling system allowed CTIW to maintain over the project. As a result of 3D modeling, more and more companies have the ability to provide quality work and on-time delivery.
CTIW, Design Data and Peddinghaus all have their unique role in the history and the future of CNC information in the steel detailing and fabrication industries. With their innovation in the past and their continued focus on providing complete and high quality solutions, all three companies have molded CNC into what it is today.
Peddinghaus and Design Data, with CTIW's help, have made CNC technology a necessary tool for successful and competitive fabricators in today's industry.