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Atlantic Constructors, Inc., Takes Multi-Trade Fabrication to New Heights.

Key Benefits 

  • — Advanced tracking, production, and planning.
  • — Improved production QA and Quality Control.
  • — Real-time status updates and increased productivity.
  • — Eliminated production spreadsheets and Admin effort.
  • — Replaced paper and manual activities with automation.

 

Fabrication Facility Facts

  • — 130k SQFT fabrication facility plans to expand to an additional 155k SQFT facility for large industrial prefabrication.
  • — Commercial and Industrial
  • — Large investment in automation

Overview

Atlantic Constructors, Inc. (ACI), traces its origins back to 1957 as Hungerford Mechanical. More than six decades later, the company has grown into multiple divisions and locations spreading across Virginia and into North Carolina.

Our story features the ACI headquarters facility, located in Richmond Virginia. ACI offers a comprehensive range of services, including MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) and FP (Fire Protection), ironwork, millwright, blast, and paint. Their expertise extends to various sectors, such as commercial construction, including labs, research centers, healthcare facilities, data centers, educational institutions, government buildings, and office facilities.

ACI also excels in industrial projects, catering to sectors like chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods and constructing refining towers and platforms.

We interviewed ACI personnel to gain further insights into what sets this multi-trade manufacturing company apart from the competition and how they leverage technology alongside their expertise. These interviews featured Scott Mezza, Fabrication Manager; Earl Harris, VDC QA/QC; Alex Colgin, VDC; Pat Collins, VDC; and Daniel Rodrigues, Scheduler/Controller.

Industry Trends

“The speed of Fabrication is accelerating, and we need to reduce the amount of admin time needed for tracking and production reports. The primary drivers are eliminating paper and spreadsheets and replacing them with automated production tracking on the shop floor. ACI is not the only business impacted by these issues, but they are committed to investing in the right technology to grow the business,” said Scott Mezza, Fabrication Manager.

The Solution; Why MSUITE?

It keeps track of all the moving parts to identify areas of a problem and resolve them before it becomes an issue.

Not long ago, the fabrication shop and staff needed more time to prepare the technology. “Atlantic tested new technology back in 2016-2017, but we had difficulty deploying it in the shop. Our culture needed to be somewhere other than where it was to implement computers or technology. Today, MSUITE has the features and functionality to offer us superior tracking and production reports. It’s simply a better way to track activities instead of doing everything in spreadsheets,” said Earl Harris, VDC QA/QC.

“We had to keep up with the speed of fabrication, and keeping track of production rates on paper, entering it into a spreadsheet, was too laggy for the speed of work that needed to happen,” said Scott Mezza, Fabrication Manager.

“MSUITE Fab is beneficial for QA/QC reports and material handling to know what’s available and missing,” said Alex Colgin, VDC.

“Seeing updates such as job tracking, things progressing on the shop floor, it’s a real benefit. I came from industrial maintenance, and MSUITE would have been helpful to know where things are on the shop floor when fabricating spools because, often, they’d have to look back at a few factors before moving forward with confidence. Now, it’s seamless,” said Daniel Rodrigues, Scheduler/Controller.

“The diversity and possibilities of where we might be able to use MSUITE in different production and tracking applications will help ACI continue to innovate.”

Scott Mezza, Fabrication Manager
Atlantic Constructors, Inc.

Milestone Capabilities & Benefits

Tracking and production to understand capacity is a significant need for ACI. Mr. Mezza highlights the decision to select MSUITE and the improvements it has brought to ACI:

ACI Ron McCutcheon

Improving QA and QC

On the QA side, MSUITE provides all the information to everyone assigned to the task. When ACI staff can see what needs to be completed and what it takes to get it done, their teams are more empowered to get it done.

Using MSUITE integrated into shop equipment like the TigerStop saws reduces the factors for cutting something wrong.

“Due to the success in the plumbing department, we’re implementing this in our pipe shop on the Vernon cutter to reduce human error and streamline quality and consistency throughout the workflow process. It pushes the whole system to become more exact and consistent in our fabrication processes,” said Scott.

 

ACI Chad PleasantsStatus and Productivity tracking

Productivity and tracking are at the core of our fabricating business and MSUITE Fab. MSUITE is also the platform on which ACI can plan, knowing what it takes to complete specific tasks and plan for the next task. Scott often says, “Know what you can do, and have a plan to do it; if you can do more – do it; if not, let everyone know what the plan is. That is what MSUITE is helping us with. The productivity and tracking we get from MSUITE help us set the plan based on actual history. That transfers directly to our estimating team,” said Mr. Mezza.

 

Workflow Standardization (Design, Fab, Field)

ACI is a multi-trade manufacturing company with many moving parts. “Our fabrication group has nine departments. VDC, Sheet Metal, Pipe, Plumbing, Electrical, Iron Working, Blast and Paint, and Field Technologies. We need a robust system that must be automated and run silently to track the volume of activities, projects, and staff. ACI is just scratching the surface of what MSUITE can do for us,” said Scott.

Automating a workflow that can be tracked in real-time and applying it to a schedule highlights the areas in a workflow that need attention and promotes better planning. Understanding the bottlenecks allows ACI to apply lean construction processes to the workflow and improve the whole line of production and services to their customers.

MSUITE revolutionizes ACI workflows by improving throughput, efficiency, and productivity, ensuring consistency in fabrication processes. MSUITE eliminates their “old way of doing things,” which includes time-consuming updates to the master production spreadsheet and eradicating paper-based and manual activity tracking.

 

Power of Predictive Analytics for Your Shop

ACI is positioned to optimize visibility, productivity, and accuracy in your facility by harnessing the capabilities of MSUITE Fab, managing production from drawing approval to site receiving and empowering valuable insights to enhance efficiency and productivity.

 

Boost Productivity

MSUITE Fab automatically transforms shop floor production data into actionable insights, empowering you to optimize your efficiency and productivity.

 

Effortlessly Streamline Communication

MSUITE Fab simplifies communication between office, shop, and field teams by providing real-time notifications for fabrication approvals, drawing markups, departure of trucks from the shop, and more.

Staff Reaction & Shop Implementation

“Under Gordon Brookes’ leadership, the implementation team brought the MSUITE team on-site to provide training for our staff. Amid our increased workload, Gordon’s involvement, and the high-quality training from MSUITE have been a tremendous relief.

It feels like a genuine partnership with MSUITE, where they care about our success. The extensive use of MSUITE’s online chat by ACI staff has significantly contributed to the increased platform adoption.,” said Scott.

Fabrication Staff reaction:

Our team has greatly appreciated the training and the seamless integration of MSUITE with our TigerStop. It has resulted in significant time and resource savings for our fabrication process.

We no longer must deal with the cumbersome paperwork shuffle and the clerical tasks of recording and tracking everything in the shop. The streamlined process has made our work much more efficient and has alleviated the burden of manual record-keeping.

Design Staff reaction:

One major benefit for our design staff is the elimination of paper drawings. With MSUITE, we no longer rely on physical documents for our designs. This has simplified our workflow and reduced the need for storage space for paper drawings.

The digital platform has made it easier for us to collaborate and share designs, improving our team’s efficiency and communication.

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