Their plan was to add an additional wood treating cylinder, also known as an autoclave, to meet this production demand.
This would require extensive modifications to their existing wood preservation equipment, the facility’s building, and possible downtime of their current production output during the installation of the new cylinder. They reached out to Tank Fab for help.
After our initial conversation, we visited the location and determined that adding one of our material handling systems, which we call a transfer deck, in front of one of their existing treating cylinders would meet their increased production demands.
This creative solution had a number of benefits for Great Southern Wood:
- It eliminated the need for a major renovation to the facility’s existing building and existing wood preservation equipment– which would have required a huge investment by Great Southern Wood.
- The cost of the transfer deck was 30% less than the cost of a new treating cylinder – and all of the equipment needed to make the cylinder work (tanks, piping, valves, pumps, automation)
- During the installation of the transfer deck, the treating cylinder that would use it was still able to produce preserved wood products for Great Southern Wood. This minimized the amount of production downtime by 85%.
We presented the alternative recommendation when we met with the company’s stakeholders, and they agreed with the option of adding a transfer deck instead of the second autoclave.
In order to meet the demands and challenges of this particular location, our design team found it necessary to alter the deck’s standard configuration. Once this customized design was completed, we met again with the client’s stakeholders for approval of the changes.
We then began construction of the deck at our North Carolina manufacturing facility.
In the 4th quarter of 2015, the completed transfer deck was loaded for shipment to our client’s facility. In the 1st quarter of 2016, the deck was installed and placed into operation.
Since that time, the deck has operated and performed as promised and has met the client’s increased production demands, resulting in an average increase of 75% – 80%.
In 2018, Great Southern Wood also placed an order with us for a second transfer deck system to increase production at another one of their southeast wood treating facilities. It will be installed and in operation by the 3rd quarter of 2019.