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What kind of Steel Structures Does Your Utility Project Need?

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Sep 8, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Anyone in the utility industry today knows the importance of high-quality products so preparing for any kind of project can be stressful. Structures, whether substation or transmission need to stand up to unpredictable weather and heavy wear and tear. We like to be nimble, adaptable, and fast when we design and fabricate new structures for our customers. Our engineers always design structures for customers with economics in mind, to ensure not just functionality but affordability. They will choose and combine standard shape steel structures and tapered tubular steel structures as they make the most sense for the project at hand.

So, let's break down these two types of structures into why and when they make the most sense and examples of steel structures for each.

StandardShape.jpg

Standard Shape Steel Structures
At DIS-TRAN Steel, our in-house engineering and project management expertise and resources are vast. Using a mix of standard shape material we can exceed your expectations.

Best/Most economically used when:

  1. Low profile
  2. Light loads
  3. Low voltage compact design
  4. Compact design with potential future additions
  5. Shorter leadtime

Types

  1. Equipment Pedestals
  2. Box Bay
  3. Bus supports
  4. Switch stand
  5. Substation riser
  6. Low voltage distribution sub

TaperedTubular.jpg

Tapered Tubular Steel Structures
Right now, fabricated tubular steel poles form about 80% of non-wood electric transmission structures in the United States.

Best/Most economically used when:

  1. High profile
  2. Heavy loads
  3. Higher voltage
  4. Aesthetic effects
  5. High-tension pull-offs
  6. Deflection concerns

Types

  1. Transmission Towers
  2. Distribution Poles
  3. Standard Class Poles
  4. Substation Deadends
  5. Static Pole
  6. High Voltage Equipment Pedestal
  7. High Voltage Bus Support
  8. High Voltage Switch Stand

The Engineering/Sales office and plant facilities are only 15 minutes apart in Pineville, Louisiana, creating synergy across the design, detail and production processes from start to finish. Sitting on 50 acres with over 260,000 square feet of production space, our plant is organized for execution and volume. Whether you need pre-engineered poles, transmission poles, or substation structures, DIS-TRAN Steel can fabricate them to fit your exact needs and specifications. We’re here to make it happen quickly, effectively, and economically every time.

Learn more about our flexible engineering capabilities and collaborative project process by visiting us online at www.distransteel.com today!

Ultimate Utility Picture Book

Tags: steel structures, tapered tubular steel poles, standard shape steel structures

DIS-TRAN Steel’s Quality Engineering Practices Ensure Towers Are Built to Last

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Aug 23, 2016 12:57:19 PM

On Dec. 14, 2009, the failure of a broadcast tower in Tulsa, Oklahoma had engineers scratching their heads. The chief engineer said when the guy wire was tested a few months earlier “everything seemed fine.”

Remarkably, 31% of all substation tower failures occur because of the construction crew’s poor judgment or a lack of basic engineering know-how, according to a recent Consolidated Engineering Inc. (CEI) report. Engineering oversights can cause a significant risk to the integrity of a tower and its foundation, which can ultimately lead to collapse.

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DIS-TRAN Steel has built its company on simple values backed by honest customer relationships. Since 1965, customers have put their trust in us to deliver products – from simple substation structures to complex transmission poles – that are made using the best manufacturing process and the highest-quality engineering in the industry.

We offer the kind of security that comes from knowing exactly who is designing and fabricating your structures and how.

Unfortunately, some standards aren’t consistent across the industry. The CEI report found the top five causes of tower failure are caused by construction errors, ice, aircraft, special winds and anchor failure. The Tulsa tower’s failure was attributed to the latter two factors.

A CEI forensic specialist found in every wind induced tower failure he investigated, the tower wouldn’t have passed the current design code. It is important to design, manufacture and erect per current design codes to minimize the risk of poor structure integrity.  Quality issues are not only costly, but dangerous as well.

So how can you ensure you’re working with the right manufacturer?

  • Look for solid investments in the latest equipment and technology
  • Attention to best practices and quality assurance
  • A focus on hiring the most experienced engineers
  • A commitment to top-notch customer service.

So what has DIS-TRAN Steel done?

  1. Doubled its manufacturing capacity and capabilities at its 300,000-square-foot, state-of-the art facility in Pineville, Louisiana
  2. Employ the latest fabricating innovations and rely on real-time scheduling and product tracking to ensure projects never fall behind
  3. Our in-house quality assurance and quality control program ensures every structure is examined by independent quality inspectors
  4. We are certified by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and American Welding Society (AWS) and adhere to a strict quality standard. All of our welds are performed by certified welders and inspected by certified inspectors.
  5. Our engineering department is highly skilled at combining computer-aided design and drafting with numerical control fabricating systems to create the most efficient structures
  6. Provide Project Managers and Coordinators to be at your beck and call for the outstanding service you have come to expect from DIS-TRAN.

After five decades in business, you can trust that DIS-TRAN Steel is using the most innovative technology available to deliver structures that are both sound and incomparable in quality. No one can afford to skimp on quality manufacturing and engineering when it comes to transmission and substation structures. We pride ourselves on the unrivaled attention to detail, solid communication, and genuine customer service that all point to why we’re the elite steel supplier.

Steel Structure Quote Template

Visit DIS-TRAN Steel to learn more about our unique capabilities, mission, team and more.

Tags: substation structures, transmission poles, Engineering

DIS-TRAN Steel Cuts Metal, Not Corners

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Jul 1, 2016 4:00:07 PM

America the GREAT

In celebration of the upcoming July 4th festivities, we thought it appropriate to share why we think it is so important to support and sustain our GREAT Country. HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA...

Manufacturing companies must often make decisions between cutting corners and doing the right thing when it comes to their customers, country, and the environment. As an industry built around a finite resource, the steel industry relies on sustainability efforts and companies that put the environment first in their decision-making. Through smart recycling programs, and companies taking advantage of the environmental benefit of domestic-made products, the steel industry will continue to prosper for generations to come. DIS-TRAN Steel is proud to be a leading champion of sustainability efforts for the steel industry. As a U.S.-based steel manufacturing company, DIS-TRAN Steel can provide domestic-only material to their customers.

As the earth’s renewable resources diminish, manufacturers, consumers, and the power industry as a whole are grappling with how to continue growing while using a finite resource. Recycling is a clear solution, and steel scrap recycling efforts are strong across the globe. 60% less energy, according to some estimates, is used when recycling scrap steel than manufacturing the metal from scratch. Further, recycling preserves a finite resource since steel can be recycled and reused indefinitely. Recycling not only benefits steel consumers and manufacturers, it also benefits the environment. Recycling may cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300-500 million tons (according to the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries), and uses 40% less water (according to the Canadian National Institute of Health, 2012). DIS-TRAN Steel is proud to put recycling at the front of our efforts, and over 95% of the raw materials for our steel structures is generated from recycled domestic scrap metal.

Manufacturing done RIGHT

The 1983 Buy America Act supports the purchase of American-made products, which stimulates our economy, and also has a positive environmental impact by reducing the necessary travel required to ship materials. The Act applies to mass-transit-related procurements, and it establishes a preference for domestically produced materials for projects supported by federal funds. DIS-TRAN Steel, as an American-born and –bred company, can supply products that comply with the Buy America Act. Customers can request Buy America for federally-funded projects, Department of Transportation projects, and end-user requirements. DIS-TRAN Steel and the Buy America Act are ensuring an environmentally friendly future for the steel industry.

Manufacturing and the environment are often seen as enemies, but with strong recycling efforts and a focus on minimizing the distance products must travel, we can preserve our resources for the future. Whether you’re working on a federally-funded project, a Department of Transportation Project, or your end-user requires it, the Buy America Act allows you to put U.S.-built products at the top of your consideration list. DIS-TRAN Steel can easily satisfy the Buy America Act requirements to bring home-spun products to your U.S. project. Follow DIS-TRAN Steel on Facebook and LinkedInto stay informed about all the ways our company is protecting the U.S. environment for current and future generations.

Ultimate Utility Guide

Tags: manufacturing, Buy America Act

The Billionaire’s Guide On DIS-TRAN Steel’s Alliance Partners That Will Get You Rich.

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Jun 27, 2016 9:55:32 AM

Okay, maybe not RICH but Powerlinx[1] recently conducted a study and the results concluded that approximately 66 percent of senior level executives believe that the main benefit of business alliances are increased revenue. I would include the benefit of reduced overall cost of doing business. The study conducted by Powerlinx also revealed that “strategic partnerships are increasingly becoming a vital element of businesses’ corporate growth strategies with executives setting aside 20 percent of their assets or more to developing and maintaining partnerships.” DIS-TRAN Steel offers Value Added Services for its Alliance Partners. We believe in clearly communicating with you during each step of the project and are dedicated to delivering top quality solutions and service. Communication is a vital part of managing production space schedules, project management, and shipping details for all of our customers.  Since DIS-TRAN Steel believes in the importance of communication, each of our Alliance Partners are assigned a personal “go-to” Alliance Coordinator whose main job will be to provide a seamless operation and allow you to relax and feel confident that the job will be completed. 

Alliance.jpg

John Beshears, an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business school says that "When you see an alliance over here, and a solo firm over there, there's a good reason for that. That's because the alliance is probably particularly good for the investment projects it is pursuing, and the solo firm is probably particularly good for its projects."[3] Beshears is a firm believer that alliances are more efficient than solo firms. He goes on to add that "What that suggests to me is that the members of an alliance were able to learn something from their past experience and contribute that to achieve a better outcome.”[4] When choosing to partner with DIS-TRAN, let there be no doubt that you will receive the best possible delivery date, as well as the highest quality product and experience. Alliance Coordinators are committed to working around the clock each day in order to promptly answer emails and phone calls. Being loyal and committed to the relationship we built is essential for Alliance Coordinators. We are here for you and we are on your side.[5]

When becoming an Alliance Partner, you will experience many benefits: 

  • Ability to lock in production space ahead of time
  • Improved lead times
  • Real time scheduling and product tracking
  • Alliance Coordinator acting as your customer advocate
  • Potential for economies of scale
  • Lower TCO (total cost of ownership)

Make the decision today to take advantage of the capabilities provided by partnering with DIS-TRAN Steel. Our plant capacity is suitable for any size project needed, large or small. Schedules can also be expedited for small or medium projects if necessary when lead times are critical.[6] Have you decided what you want out of your partnership? Take a look at the DIS-TRAN website to learn more about manufacturing processes and their distinctive project capabilities.

[1]https://www.powerlinx.com/blog/strategic-partnerships-benefits/

[2] http://distransteel.com/alliance-partnerships/

[3] http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/when-do-alliances-make-sense

[4]http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/when-do-alliances-make-sense

[5] http://distransteel.com/alliance-partnerships/

[6] http://distransteel.com/manufacturing/

 

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Tags: alliance partner, benefits of alliance partnerships

DISCOLORATION: THE MARKS OF SUPERIOR QUALITY

Posted by DIS-TRAN Steel on Jun 15, 2016 9:30:00 AM

For hundreds of years steel has served as the physical backbone of civilization. Landmark structures all over the world including Paris’s famed Eiffel Tower, San Francisco's stunning Golden Gate Bridge, and Dubai’s towering Burj Khalifa (currently the tallest building in the world), all count steel as a fundamental material used in their construction.

Prized for its versatility and strength, design professionals rely on the indispensable alloy to bring creative compositions to life. But even seasoned builders are sometimes perplexed by a discoloration phenomenon that occurs in steel after workers galvanize it. The surprising fact is this -- the very same chemical properties that give steel its renowned durability also yields its unaesthetic blemishes.

Although seemingly unbreakable, steel has an Achilles’ heel in its susceptibility to corrosion. Harsh elements can weaken the alloy, and strip it of its strength. Builders coat steel to protect it from corrosive conditions, but often mistake normal discoloration for deterioration. While rust and other decay must be safeguarded against, there’s nothing to fear in the dark blotches and spotting that appear atop of steel surfaces. In fact, they should be welcomed as a positive sign that, chemically, everything is proceeding according to plan.  Check our “A Two-Part Recipe for Understanding Galvanized Coating Appearances.”

Galvanized steel structures for Utility IndustryDIS-TRAN Steel produces premium substation and transmission steel structures designed to be durable and environmentally-friendly. The superior chemistry of DIS-TRAN products lends itself to inherent discoloration, a mark of top-of-the-line quality. At the molecular level:

“The coloration variations on the steel are due to variances in the steel chemistry, primarily the silicon content of the steel. Hot dip galvanizing involves a chemical reaction between the steel atoms and the zinc atoms during the dipping process. The base steel chemistry sets the course for the final color and appearance of the coating.”  – PAT SMITH, DIS-TRAN Steel.

Your steel fabricator can offer the use of silicon controlled steel, while it is not easy to source silicon controlled steel in standard shapes, it can easily be sourced (at additional cost) for tapered tubular structures.

Silicon – naturally occurring element commonly found in steel; silicon is particularly reactive in molten zinc metal

Silicon-killed steel – steel treated with silicon as an oxidizing agent in order to reduce the oxygen content to such a level that no reaction occurs between carbon and oxygen during solidification. 
(as referenced https://www.galvanizeit.org/inspection-course/course/glossary#s)

To minimize these inherent variations, other methods to help mitigate the differences include light sweep blasting after galvanizing to even out the zinc patina oxidations. Or, chemical dulling is another method employed to provide a more uniform final zinc patina. Costs, climate, and manpower are all factors to consider when deciding which of these optional cosmetic measures works best for a specific construction project.

While it may be considered unsightly, discoloration is a natural and normal oxidation process that occurs through the galvanized steel process due to the chemical compounds found within the steel. DIS-TRAN’s first-class products are inherently prone to these color variations that serve as proof of superior quality. The topical imperfections are purely superficial, and the experts at DIS-TRAN have scores of knowledge to help reduce their visibility. If the appearance of these blemishes are of concern to your project, our professionals are happy to help you find an aesthetically pleasing solution. Give us a call today!

Galvanizing eBook

Tags: steel structures, galvanized steel

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