Overcoming Volatility in Industrial Contracting Supply Chains

Shutdowns. Layoffs. Plant closures. Projects on-hold. And now, shortage-driven price inflation. The global pandemic has thrown the entire world into chaos.

In the industrial contracting space, the most noticeable problem in recent months has been price and supply volatility in materials. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 84% of contractors face at least one material shortage. And for 46% of industrial contractors, material shortages are having a high impact on projects.

A Perfect Storm

When the pandemic took hold in 2020, shutdowns across the board brought the nation, the economy and our industry to a near standstill. Almost overnight, many industrial contracting projects were put on hold, although work did continue in regions of the country where construction was considered an essential industry. Those projects that did move forward faced extended lead times and often severe restrictions on how work was performed.

From the start, manufacturers began shutting down operations. This quickly led to shortages of materials for construction. The effects were highlighted in steel production, as mills were closed around the world.

With the easing of restrictions, buyers have seen the basic law of supply and demand showcased, in that as demand for materials exceeds supply, prices rise accordingly. In industrial construction, demand is still running ahead of supply, fueled by owners who are scrambling to restart projects that had been put on hold. Additionally, companies are also moving rapidly to get new projects underway.

Even with the challenges, the construction industry has been somewhat less affected than many others. Many industrial contractors are experiencing high workloads, both in backlogged work from 2020 and projects whose timelines have been accelerated.

A New Normal?

The short-term situation has seen major changes in the way projects unfold, especially in the bidding process. Because of pricing volatility, the old norm of 30-60-90 day quotes has been replaced by quoted prices that are now only good until the end of the day due to the rapidity of price changes. The effects are felt on both the owner and contractor side, introducing a level of uncertainty not seen before in heavy industrial construction. 

Project owners and industrial contractors don’t expect the situation to ease for at least another year. And even as supplies slowly become more available, labor shortages continue to delay projects. For example, it’s not unusual for loaded trucks to sit for weeks before delivery, due to a lack of drivers. At least in the short term, price and supply volatility are expected to be the norm.

The appearance of the Delta variant has once again put the nation on edge. Its effects on the reopening of the U.S. economy are, of course, currently unknown. But even if the variant should have a significant impact, the effects are not expected to be as severe as those of the original pandemic, because industrial contractors and suppliers have learned how to operate effectively under adverse conditions.

A Light in the Tunnel

As industrial contractors closely monitor the ever-changing construction landscape, supply challenges are being addressed by aggressive increases in materials inventories. Leading firms with solid relationships with suppliers and strong buying power are maintaining higher inventory levels and working with stakeholders to keep them up to date on supply and price issues.

This is a boon for project owners, who can benefit from partners that have seen the writing on the wall and made significant inventory investments. Contractors who are unable or unwilling to risk increasing their materials inventory will likely be less competitive going forward.

In addition to our massive in-house inventory, Lee Contracting has a dedicated team of buyers scouring the world for the best combinations of price and supply, ensuring we have the inventory available now to complete your project without delay. Contact us today to discuss the benefits to your next project.


Industrial Pipefitting Solutions

Any industrial facility relies on piping to perform crucial tasks and functions. Accordingly, securing reliable industrial process piping service is key, whether you need a new installation or require maintenance and repair of an existing system. With experience that spans for three decades, we stand out as a leader in industrial pipefitting. We offer a wide range of knowledge and capabilities, which allows us to tackle many diverse projects. The following are a few key traits that set Lee Contracting apart from the competition.

Different Piping Materials

The types of pipefitting materials your plant needs typically depends on the kind of work performed. For example, highly corrosive environments require stainless steel piping, since this material can withstand corrosive elements. Conversely, plastic piping systems often have applications in chemical processing and water treatment. We specialize in many types of materials to best serve your needs, including:

  • Carbon Steel
  • Stainless Steel
  • CPVC
  • PVC
  • Galvanized
  • Copper Aluminum
  • Ductile Iron


An integral part of our mechanical department is our fully stocked inventory of all piping and tubing materials. This advantage allows for quicker job turnaround and emergency service response for all your pipefitting needs.


Our pipefitters are highly skilled and dedicated to providing the best piping solutions. The qualifications and certifications that we hold include:

  • Certified Victaulic installers
  • ASME B31.3 PVC and CPVC bonder qualification
  • ANSI/ASME B31 qualified welders for carbon steel and stainless steel pipe


When we combine our materials, certifications, inventory and experienced staff, our capabilities become endless. Below are some of the possibilities that our pipefitting department provides:

  • Quality design, installation and repair of all types of piping systems including complete cooling systems.
  • Process piping installations, including but not limited to the following: gas, hydraulic, compressed air, cooling water, refrigeration, coolant, steam and condensate, fuel, lube, material handling and vacuum.
pipefitting at lee
  • Joint methods include the following: grooved, welded, brazed, soldered, threaded, flared, glued, mechanical pressfit (propress), cone and thread and compression.
  • Complete rough and finish plumbing installations including water service piping, backflow installation, backflow certification and service.
  • Pipe insulation installation.
  • Chiller and pump skid rental and installation available.
  • 24/7, 365 days a year emergency service.

We bring all the above traits to every project, no matter the size or scope of the task. If you’d like to get started on a quote for an upcoming project, please visit our website.

You can also call (888) 833-8776 to receive your free quote today.


Industrial Pipefitters

Industrial Pipefitting Services

When you’re looking for the best industrial pipefitters in the business, Lee Industrial Contracting employs an expert mechanical pipefitting staff who specialize in the installation of all types of piping materials, including:

  • Carbon steel
  • Stainless steel
  • CPVC
  • PVC
  • Galvanized
  • Copper 
  • Aluminum
  • Ductile Iron

Our large, highly-skilled staff of pipefitters also hold the following qualifications/certifications: certified Victaulic installers, ASME B31.3 PVC and CPVC bonder qualification, ANSI/ASME B31 qualified welders for carbon steel and stainless steel pipe. 

We offer 24/7, 365 days a year emergency service and maintain a fully stocked inventory of all piping and tubing materials in order to provide the fastest job turnaround and emergency response times possible. Our goal is to provide you with timely, efficient and professional work that stays within your budget. 

Our Pipefitters Are Second to None

Our expert pipefitters are capable of tackling a wide range of projects and offer many different services. Whether you’re in need of a new, improved pipe fitting design, a fire suppression system or plumbing installation, we provide top-quality service that exceeds your expectations. Our capabilities include the following:

  • We provide quality design, installation and repair of all types of piping systems, including complete cooling systems. 
  • We specialize in process piping installations, including but not limited to gas, hydraulic, compressed air, cooling water, refrigeration, coolant, steam and condensate, fuel, lube, material handling and vacuum. 
  • Our joint methods include grooved, welded, brazed, soldered, threaded, flared, glued, mechanical pressfit (propress), cone and thread, and compression. 
  • We provide full fire suppression system design and installation.
  • We offer complete rough and finish plumbing installations, including water service piping, backflow installation, backflow certification and service. 
  • Chiller and pump skid rental and installation is also available. 

Contact Lee Contracting

As lead pipe fitting contractors, Lee Industrial Contracting offers a full range of services performed by proven industry experts. We utilize turn-key solutions for all of our projects and focus on maximizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness while maintaining the highest standards of professionalism.  Contact us today by filling out our online contact form.


Machine Repair

When your equipment is down, it can cost you time and money. At Lee Industrial Contracting, we understand that and have developed a turn-key maintenance and industrial machine repair department to address your needs quickly and efficiently. Our expert team of machine repairmen can troubleshoot, repair and rebuild your machinery so you can get back to work faster. 

Professional Services

Lee Industrial Contracting is the premier repair team that provides professional, cost-effective and prompt machinery repair services. We have a large clean facility full of expert staff and state of the art equipment so we can offer lower costs and reduced downtime.

Highly Skilled Repair Services

When your machinery is damaged, worn-out or not capable of meeting demands, you need a highly skilled team with the experience it takes to service specialized machinery. We know that replacement isn’t always the most cost-effective approach, so our machine repairmen offer onsite rebuild and refurbish alternatives.

Machining Capabilities

Our inspection, maintenance, rebuild and repair services are unmatched. Our team has the expertise required to complete the job accurately and efficiently and our spacious facility allows us to accommodate any size machine. We offer:

  • Complete Machining:  Manufacturing, machining and reverse engineering of components.
  • Portable Machining: Milling, line boring, bore welding, keyway cutting and lamina drilling /boring.
  • Mechanical Press Rebuilds
  • Hydraulic Press Rebuilds 
  • Major Maintenance: Clutch and brake, counterbalance, cylinders, conveyer, die cushion and rolling bolster systems, bushings/bearings, ancillary equipment.

We can also work with you to design a preventative maintenance program that fits your facility’s needs. We will help you implement the program and perform inspections to prevent costly repairs and downtime. 

Cost-Effective Solutions

When you’re shopping for industrial machine repair, choose a company that has single-source solutions and turn-key capabilities. When you restructure your plant, choose a company that is capable of moving your machinery accurately and effectively. Our team can help you design an optimal workflow, easily disassemble your large industrial equipment and quickly reassemble them for minimal time lost.

We use the same experience and expertise to assist you in relocating your plant. Moving machinery from one location to another can be costly and challenging. You can’t just choose any moving company. Instead, you need a team that understands the complexity of your industrial machinery, is capable of disassembly and can reposition your equipment anywhere in the country.

Finally, in order to save you money without any dramatic changes, we have department estimators who are experienced in improving productivity and restructuring plants. If you feel your bottom line is being affected by inefficient workflow, contact our team today to review your shop floor and determine a quick fix or major overhaul that can improve productivity.

Prompt Repairs

Time is money. Don’t shop for machine repair and plant restructuring services based solely on the price. You may find a more affordable local company, but you need to consider how long the project will take. High-volume plants can lose out on major contracts or days of work hours as you wait for your machinery to be repaired.

Because our team at Lee Industrial Contracting has all the in-house tools, equipment and labor needed to finish the job, we can shave hours or even days off your timeline. An emergency repair can either be resolved at our location or right on your shop floor. If we are unable to secure the necessary parts in time, our team can machine the components you need for unparalleled turn-around time.

Request a Quote Today

Don’t take our word for it. If you’re looking for premier industrial contractors in Michigan, choose Lee Industrial Contracting. Request a quote today to find out how we can solve your repair or machining issues. Whether the job involves one piece of equipment or a large plant with multiple pieces of industrial machinery, our team can handle your needs with prompt, professional and cost-effective services near you.


Mechanical Press Rebuild

Lee Industrial Contracting specializes in the installation and maintenance of all types of industrial equipment, aiding in a variety of plant projects and industrial operations daily. The need for such equipment, maintenance and service is vital to the continued operations of many plants. Therefore, mechanical press rebuilds are a priority. The process for such a rebuild is intensive, but a capable and experienced contractor understands the need to follow procedure, ensuring the solution and continued function of your press.


The first part of the rebuild process is to inspect the equipment thoroughly. Examining the press will ensure that the team can identify the problem areas and come up with a viable solution and explanation that can be provided to the client. There are many elements that must be checked for damage, but there are a couple that are among the most vital.

  • Crown
    The crown is the uppermost portion of the structural weldment and includes the cylinders that drive the ram motion. This element is made up of shafts, gears and bushings that if damaged or misaligned will create an issue with task execution.

  • Ram
    The ram is the portion of the press that creates the pressure and movement of the process. It can move horizontally or vertically, and if damaged causes issues with the press cycle. Also, it is attached to cylinders which may be damaged resulting in speed, pressure and consistency issues.

Disassembly and Gathering of Required Materials

As with most press repair companies, a full inspection may require partial disassembly. However, once the issue is discovered and the clients have agreed with the plan of action, complete disassembly is likely, especially when one of the critical internal components need replacing. While a press is being taken apart, the essential pieces and tools are being gathered for repair and replacement. Additionally, if there is any welding needed to repair minor damage, it will also be completed at this stage.

Machining and Welding

Once all the necessary elements are gathered, an experienced repair team will begin fixing the damaged components by replacing necessary gears, shafts or other mechanical elements. However, sometimes mass-produced parts will not fit into custom presses or machines. Therefore, it may be necessary to perform machining tasks on-site to ensure the proper fit and function of replacement parts. Once again, welding will be used to secure essential elements and ensure the durability and longevity of any permanent fixture repairs.

Assembly and Testing

The last phase of the repair process is to reassemble the machine press and test the repair. While inspections have been performed to ensure the solution of the initial problem, reassembly is where this solution becomes more than a hypothesis. Once all components have been reinstalled, the repair team will test the press, putting it through a few different tasks to make sure that all repairs hold and that there are no other persistent issues. If any other problems arise at this stage, then the team will start the process over to make sure that your equipment works correctly before moving on to another client.

Mechanical presses are vital components to the continued operations of most industrial organizations. Therefore, when one breaks down, you need to find a repair team that will take the time to go through the entire repair process, from inspection to testing. While it is easy to assume that any industrial contracting company can handle such a job, why not go with a company with an established reputation. As a leading and recognized industrial contracting company, Lee Industrial Contracting has a highly skilled machine repair team. Contact a representative today by calling (888) 833-8776 for all your repair needs.


Industrial Process Piping Service

Any large-scale industrial plant or facility likely relies on piping to perform crucial tasks and functions. Accordingly, securing reliable industrial process piping service is key, whether you need a new installation performed or require maintenance or repair of an existing system. With experience that spans the last two decades, Lee Industrial Contracting of Pontiac, MI stands out as a leader in pipefitting, which is why so many clients look to this company when in need of a helping hand.

This pipefitting service offers a wide range of knowledge and capabilities, which has allowed them to tackle many diverse projects for their clients. Their prowess also enables them to guide companies who are in search of the very best when it comes to piping installation and repair, as it’s vital that all work is performed competently and on schedule. The following are a few key traits to look for if your facility is in need of piping assistance.


Knowledge of Different Pipefitting Materials

The types of pipefitting materials your plant needs typically depends on the kind of work performed. For example, highly corrosive environments require stainless steel piping, since this material is able to withstand corrosive elements. Conversely, plastic piping systems often have applications in chemical processing and water treatment. Of course, these are just two examples of the materials that are commonly used for industrial pipefitting. There are also carbon steel, aluminum, galvanized steel, and copper just to name of few, and it’s best to find a company with knowledge of many different materials to ensure your needs are capably met.


Fully Stocked Inventory

In the same token, a company’s piping inventory also has a lot to say about their capabilities. This is especially true when it comes to emergency repair or installation. The last thing you want to hear when operations are halted is that you’ll need to wait for days or even weeks before your piping or tubing material is available. Reliable pipefitters understand that easy access to the desired material is crucial to ensure your facility is able to produce without interruption. That’s why they make it a point to keep a fully stocked inventory containing many diverse pipefitting materials. Not only does this make emergency response much faster, but it also greatly reduces turnaround time for other projects.


Experience With Process Piping Installations

There’s seemingly no end to process piping installations, and some plants will require a combination of processes to operate efficiently. For instance, some pipes are equipped to handle gases while others will deal with the transport of compressed air. There are also hydraulic, fuel, steam and condensate, water for cooling, refrigeration, material handling, and even vacuum pipes. Variety of joint methods is also important. The pipefitting company your hire should come equipped with knowledge of welded, soldered, grooved, flared, threaded, and compression joints.


Pipefitting Certifications

Qualifications are another important concern. While any industrial pipefitters can claim to possess extensive knowledge and ability when it comes to projects, how can you be assured that they have the acumen to back up these claims? Certifications are vital in this respect, as they illustrate that a company hires workers with the knowledge necessary to best meet a facility’s needs. Look for ASME B31.3 bonder qualifications, which addresses PVC and CPVC piping. You also want to ensure any welders on the project are equipped to work with carbon and stainless steel pipe, which is expressed via ANSI/ASME B31 qualifications. Some companies even take steps to receive certification on behalf of specific manufacturers.

Lee Industrial Contracting brings all of the above traits to every project, no matter the size or scope of the task. They’re also capable of designing your new pipe installations and even offer 24/7 availability in the event your facility requires emergency service. If you’d like to get started on a quote for an upcoming project, feel free to visit the website. You can also call (888) 833-8776 to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable representative about your specific needs.


Air Compressors in the Manufacturing Industry

Air compressors are extremely useful in the manufacturing industry. They can be used in a variety of ways in a manufacturing plant. These uses include: operating air tools, ejecting pieces from production molds, blowing molded equipment or operating automated machinery. Compressors are also a key component to your HVAC system. They are used in air conditioners to cool the surrounding air.


Lee Contracting’s air compressor department is skilled in the installation, service and repair of all makes and models of air compressors and air treatment systems. It is important to perform routine maintenance and testing on your air compressor systems to prevent future problems and to extend the lifespan of your equipment. Our service technicians can perform service at your facility or at our shop. We are available for 24/7 service as well as emergency rental compressors.


Our auditing system combines the first data logging system specifically designed to meet the comprehensive requirements of today’s compressed air system. Our auditors are trained so they can provide the ultimate in compressed air system analysis and optimization. We work with you to understand your needs even going beyond the requirements defined by the Compressed Air Challenge and DOE.


We work with all types of air system equipment including:

  • Oil flooded rotary screw compressors – 3 horsepower to 600 horsepower
  • Refrigerated compressed air dryers
  • High efficiency filters
  • Oil free rotary screw compressors – all sizes
  • Cold regenerated desiccant dryers
  • Rental air compressors
  • Complete line of accessories


We are a factory distributor and installer of:

  • Boge Compressed Air Systems
  • Chicago Pneumatics Air Systems
  • Elgi Compressors
  • Beko Mfg Compressed Air Treatment
  • Great Lakes Air Products


We provide treatment and condensate management products for compressors that include:

  • Oil water separators
  • Coalescing filters
  • Particulate filters
  • Zero loss auto drains


Call us today (888.833.8776) for a free quote on your next compressor installation or preventative maintenance.


Who are Mechanical Contractors?

According to the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, mechanical contracting companies are responsible for installation, alteration, and repair of plumbing, piping, heating, cooling and refrigeration systems in buildings and structures. A mechanical contractor is licensed and skilled to handle anything involving mechanical parts.


How Do They Contribute to the Economy?


Mechanical contractors are responsible for many of our modern amenities like regulated temperatures, clean breathing air, sanitary surroundings and effective drainage. These workers also save millions of dollars every year by ensuring the units which define our modern life and productivity function optimally.


For example, if an HVAC system isn’t installed or repaired properly their efficiency decreases. They begin to consume excess energy to maintain the given output which increases the demand for electricity.

Industrial HVAC


At Lee Contracting, our mechanical department is responsible for installing, troubleshooting and repairing HVAC systems, pipefitting systems and compressed air systems.


Our HVAC team is trained to handle every part of your project. From fabricating custom ductwork to installing a dust collection system, to performing routine and preventative maintenance, we can ensure your equipment is running to its full potential and that your shop remains fully functional.


industrial pipefitting

Our pipefitting teams specialize in the installation of all types of piping materials including: carbon steel, stainless steel, CPVC, PVC, galvanized, copper, aluminum and ductile iron. Our key advantage is maintaining a fully stocked inventory of all piping and tubing materials to allow for quicker job turnaround and emergency service response.


Lee’s air compressor team can install, service and repair all makes and models of air compressors and air treatment systems. Testing and performing routine maintenance on your air compressor systems will add years to your equipment’s lifespan and can help to prevent future problems. We can perform service at your facility or at our shop. We provide 24/7 service as well as emergency rental compressors.


Lee Contracting is a full-service industrial contractor. Our turn-key services are performed by our expert in-house staff on every project. We offer an extensive list of capabilities to ensure that you receive the solutions your project needs.


Check out our careers page to see and apply for open jobs within our mechanical department.


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3 Reasons Why You Want to be a Pipefitter

Pipefitting has been under the radar as a skilled trade for far too long. This rapidly growing area of work has one of the shortest training times on record for skilled trades. Demand for industrial pipefitting, especially in Michigan, has been steadily increasing for quite some time.


Growing Industry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the pipefitting and plumbing field will see a 21% increase from 2012 to 2022! They go on to further point out that the industry will outgrow the labor supply on every single year during that period. For example of demand, Lee Contracting is currently looking for a pipefitting estimator as well as a pipefitting foreman.


Short Training Time

The only thing required to start an apprenticeship in pipefitting is a high school diploma. You can start making money right away with no delay. Some technical schools do offer programs to get you started but most apprentice programs do not require previous educational experience besides a high school diploma.


Great Pay

On average pipefitters make over $50,000 a year! This isn’t even calculating in the fact that this is one of those skill sets where overtime is almost guaranteed. Potentially you can make as much as you’re willing to work.


Give Lee Industrial Contracting a look if you are looking to start a career in the exciting field of pipefitting! Positions are open in Pontiac, MI. We pride ourselves on the highest quality design and implementation Services.