Successful firms tend to have high expectations when it comes to the companies they do business with. When the decision was made to expand its tank fabrication operations in New Prague, MN, Chart Industries involved a pair of Minnesota firms who are demonstrated leaders within their respective fields: Greystone Construction Company of Shakopee, and Schweiss Doors Inc. of Fairfax. They combined to give Chart an award-winning building outfitted with bifold doors, which greatly enhanced the efficiency of the company's operations.
Chart Industries is a leading global manufacturer of standard and custom-engineered products and systems for a wide variety of cryogenic and heat transfer applications. The New Prague facility is focused on manufacturing vacuum-insulated vessels of up to 90,000 gallon capacity for storage and distribution of liquefied gases.
Chart Industries selected Greystone Construction Company to design and build Building 22, a 111,000 sq. ft. structure. The building was so named because the company already had 21 other structures and additions on its 30-acre Minnesota site. Groundbreaking was conducted on Oct. 15, 2012 and the building was completed in June of 2013. Chart invested $23 million in the facility, creating 80 new jobs.
Greystone's design for the project utilized a pre-engineered metal building system with interior steel column and beam construction. Precast panels were used for a second floor office section. At each end of the building, the contractor specified 34' x 30' Liftstrap Bifold doors from Schweiss.
Eric Bender is Project Manager and Director of Field Operations at Greystone. His company has used doors from Schweiss in the past, which made the decision to use them on the Chart project an easy one. "We went with Schweiss Doors again because they are known in the industry for their high-quality doors,” he said. "We definitely had no issues and Schweiss delivered what they said they would. Everything went well despite the installers having a very difficult and muddy site to work at, with 70 other contractors to work around. Jeremy (at Schweiss Doors) was very helpful with accurate specs delivered on time and the shop drawings came out telling us everything we needed to know before sending them to our engineers to properly size the supports.”
The new doors, which incorporate door base safety edges to stop the doors from closing when something is in the way, facilitate getting new tanks—some measuring 14' x 160'-long—out of the building. Each door is equipped with a 3-hp. bottom drive motor and larger-than-normal sprockets, which help open and close the doors as quickly as possible to save on winter heating costs.
“Our first Schweiss doors were a quantum leap," notes Steve Thoresen, Engineering Mgr., Chart Industries. "We removed two steps in getting our tanks and trailers out of the building.
"We chose Schweiss Doors because we have a straddle crane that goes in and out of the building for shipping. There are no other doors that worked for us that were as economical as a Schweiss Door, and I like their performance and craftsmanship.”
Thoresen credits the doors with helping the company better meet its customers demands, noting that it used to take up to a day to get a completed tank out of the building. Now, with the help of a gantry crane and fast-acting doors from Schweiss, Chart is able to strap them up inside, open the doors and quickly get them out.
For its work on the project, Greystone received an Excellence in Construction Eagle Award from the Minnesota chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and an Award of Excellence from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP).
For its part, Schweiss Doors earned something too, adding to its ever-growing list of satisfied customers and its reputation as the first name in bifold and hydraulic doors for projects large and small, standard and custom.
To see more on this project on the Schweiss Doors website, click here.