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Steel Plant Upgrades

A large producer of long steel turned to Lee Industrial Contracting to upgrade multiple system components during their 30-day shutdown in June 2021.

DEPARTMENTS INVOLVED

  • Rigging
  • Electrical
  • Pipefitting & Mechanical
  • Fabrications
  • Foundations

SCOPE OF WORK:

A large producer of long steel turned to Lee Industrial Contracting to upgrade their systems during their 30-day shutdown in June 2021. During the plant shutdown, Lee completed several upgrades for the steel industry giant, all in support of the client’s twin ladle furnace installed by Lee in 2019/2020, as well as another new furnace installed earlier in 2021. Some of the notable projects during the shutdown included:

  • Removal of an old cooling tower and reinstallation of a newer, larger one. This allowed for better temperature control throughout the plant. This project also included necessary upgrades to stairways, structural steel and foundations.
  • Upgraded the client’s rolling mill saws by removing the existing outdated equipment and replacing and reinstalling with new. With these upgrades, they can increase efficiency in changing the shape and thickness of steel.
  • Assembled, installed and integrated a brand-new controls/material handling system on the client’s conveyors.
  • Upgraded the plant’s cooling system. This resulted in an increase in volume production for the client.
  • Removed the client’s old caster spray chamber and installed a new one. The upgraded caster machine allows the customer to cast molten steel more effectively.

When completing large-scale projects, Lee is prepared to expect the unexpected.  One major challenge our team faced took place during the removal and installation of the caster machine. Due to the location of the equipment in the plant, moving this large piece of machinery was nearly impossible without the quick thinking of Lee’s team to cut open the wall to safety remove the large piece of equipment. The teams then pre-assembled the new caster machine and rigged it through the same opening. After the machine was installed, Lee’s teams worked to weld the wall opening shut with galvanized steel plates

In addition to limited space, the Lee teams were also faced with the challenge of a 30-day deadline to get all work done. In typical Lee fashion, our teams completed all work prior to the deadline.

Lee Contracting was the perfect partner for this client during their shutdown. Our teams are skilled in 13 different trades and can service our clients in a variety of projects – we are truly a one-stop shop! Because Lee doesn’t have to outsource work, it saves time which gives us the tools to complete a project within our client’s deadline 100% of the time!

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Cement Kiln Chain Removal and Replacement

Remove and replace nearly 600, 90 pound interior cement kiln chains through a 26-inch manway in only 9 days? This is how we achieve the unthinkable.

DEPARTMENTS INVOLVED

  • WeldFab
  • Rigging

SCOPE OF WORK:

Manufacturing cement in their Paulding, Ohio location, Lafarge Holcim Ltd. operates two cement kilns that are over 800-feet long with a 12-foot diameter. The inside of the kilns contain over a thousand chains weighing over 90 pounds each. The chains are hung by tombstones which are welded into the steel walls of the kiln. When the kilns are turned on, they slowly rotate, crushing the mined rocks which are fed into the front end of the kiln. The kilns are heated to 1,500 degrees Celsius and continue to rotate until the rocks are crushed into fine dust. That dust is then bagged for concrete production. Over time, the chains on the interior of the kilns become worn and need to be replaced. As a result, Lee Contracting was tasked with removing and replacing nearly 600 chains in a nine-day window – which is no small feat.

To remove the heavy chains from the cement kiln, Lee Contracting’s teams attached them to a crane and raised the chains through a 26-inch manway on the side of the kiln. Additionally, the team was tasked with removing any worn tombstones and welding in new ones in a precise pattern.  To do that, welders burned the weakened pieces off and welded the new ones into the interior of the kiln. The Lee Contracting rigging team then lowered new chains into the kiln, which were reattached to the tombstones.

The team was then presented with a new challenge – how to safely reattach the 90+ pound chains above their head.  The solution? The Lee team used pick boards to elevate the workers so they didn’t have to lift so far above their head. While inside the kiln, the team ran into a few other challenges along the way:

  • Uneven flooring that caused little to no traction
  • Chains laying across the ground which created a trip hazard
  • Limited Space
  • Dark working conditions (there is no lighting inside the kilns, so the team had to light the space themselves)
  • Space is dusty; workers were confronted with giant dust clouds consuming the kiln

At the end of the project, the client was pleased with the crew’s teamwork and for Lee providing a cost-effective and timely solution for this project.

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Press Maintenance and Repair

The crown of an automotive supplier’s Verson press machine was damaged beyond repair. Installing a new one on their existing press was a…crowning achievement.

DEPARTMENTS INVOLVED

  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Rigging

SCOPE OF WORK:

After the crown of one of the largest tier one supplier’s Verson press machine became damaged beyond repair, the company purchased a new one and called Lee Contracting to install the crown on their existing press. However, the job consisted of much more than simply removing the old crown and setting the new one. The rigging team first went to the site to pick up the old crown with their in-house gantry system, rolled it over and set it down on bunks. Next, the Lee Contracting maintenance and repair team disassembled the old crown in hopes of using those same parts in the newly purchased one.

While the crown was disassembled, the Lee Contracting team found damage to the eccentric bushings. This is where Lee Contracting was presented with the first challenge. Eccentric bushings help to reduce friction between two objects and are critical because of their ability to minimize vibration and noise. Ordering new bushings could take six to 10 weeks for delivery, but Lee Contracting knew that would push the project timeline back significantly.  Thankfully, the team used their experience, and positive supplier relationships, to think outside of the box. Lee Contracting was able to get unfinished bushings from the supplier, machined them and hand grooved each one in-house. The result? A two-week turnaround for the client instead of six to 10 weeks.

Once the maintenance and repair team was finished with the disassembly, the rigging team hauled the old crown out and brought in the new one. The Lee Contracting maintenance and repair team stepped in to put the machine back together with the refined parts.

During the project, Lee Contracting’s maintenance and repair team had a few more notable accomplishments:

  • Re-built the hydraulic overload protection system to prevent any damage to the press in the event of an overload
  • Fixed damaged intermediate gears by in-house welding the entire shaft

Lee Contracting was the perfect solution for this client’s project because the experienced team had the expertise to notice the imperfections to the crown and provided a cost-effective and timely solution to the client.

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Steel Slitting Line Installation

When a heavy industry client in Indiana needed a Steel Slitter Line installed, Lee Industrial Contracting was called to put their “turn-key solutions” tagline to good use.

DEPARTMENTS INVOLVED

  • Foundations
  • Rigging
  • Fabrication
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical

SCOPE OF WORK:

When a heavy industry client in Indiana needed a Steel Slitter Line installed, Lee Industrial Contracting was called to put their “turn-key solutions” tagline to good use. The foundation team’s job was to construct new foundations for the coil steel slitting line equipment. While the crew was working on the job site, the building had to remain partially open. This was the first challenge for the team. Since the project was taking place in the middle of winter, the team had to think on their feet. To ensure the crew was able to safely complete the project, they installed temporary walls with panel doors to keep in the heat in and to allow access for construction equipment and concrete trucks to the work area.  This allowed Lee crews to excavate, install underfloor conduits, and set reinforcement steel in the foundation areas.

Next, Lee Contracting’s fabrication team played a vital role by fabricating in-house, and installing the following:

  • Embedded Structural Steel Beams
  • Entry & Exit Turnstile Anchor Bolt Frames
  • Coil Car Rails with Support Channels
  • Utility Trenches with Cover Plates
  • Stairs and Handrails

Once the foundations were finished and the concrete cured, Lee’s rigging crew offloaded, set in place, aligned, leveled and anchored the new equipment onto the new foundations to the tolerances set by the equipment manufacturer.

Following the installation of the equipment, Lee’s electrical team then supplied and installed new wiring, from the equipment to the main control cabinet. Lee Contracting was able to complete all the electrical and mechanical interconnections in-house.

From the foundations and loop pit, to the transportation and equipment repair – and everything in between, Lee utilizes its in-house teams to design, construct and complete all of the work.

Lee is your single source contractor for coil steel processing throughout the United States.

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Milling Machine Foundations

Designing and pouring foundations for 8 large milling machines is a pretty straightforward project. Doing it on frozen ground while buildings are being constructed around it took Lee’s Power of One.

DEPARTMENTS INVOLVED

  • Foundations
  • Rigging
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Fabrication

SCOPE OF WORK:

Visioneering, an Aerospace supplier, began building a new facility in 2015 with a goal of consolidating their buildings and machinery under one roof. They contacted Lee Industrial Contracting early on to provide a design/build project to pour foundations for eight large milling machines during the development of the new facility. The first step in this year-long project was to begin planning with the Visioneering facilities team to obtain the machine layout inside the building to make for a good process flow. Additionally, since foundations were being poured while the new facility was being built, the field teams at Lee had to work around various timelines and work being done within the construction site.

After the development of a working process flow, the project broke ground. The Lee team had the added challenge of starting a foundations project in the middle of winter where the frozen ground made it nearly impossible for an excavator to dig into the terrain. Lee was quick to come up with a solution as heaters were then brought in to warm the space. This put added pressure onto the foundations team as this project was already presented with a compressed timeline. Due to the extent of this large project, Lee had between eight and 12 workers on the site at any one time. The experience of the Lee team allowed them to complete the foundations for the milling machines in under 10 months, which exceeded timeline expectations.

After the foundations were finished, the teams assisted with the transportation and installation of the machinery to their newly poured foundations. That’s the advantage of having a one source industrial contracting solution. The installation of the milling machines revealed the team’s largest success; all of the foundations were completed with zero errors or mistakes, and with such precision, installation for all eight milling machines went smoothly.

Other notable accomplishments include:

  • 2,320 total cubic yards of concrete was poured
  • 750 cubic yards of concrete was poured in one single day
  • One of the foundations was fit to support the largest milling machine in North America

Due to a great working relationship, Lee’s quality work, Lee’s ability to offer multiple trades under one roof and the skill of completing projects ahead of schedule, our team has returned to the Visioneering facility to complete a variety of other projects including, machine installations, foundations, electrical upgrades, rigging, transportation, machine repair and more.