DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

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 8:55:32 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. 

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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 8:30:00 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!

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Tags: steel structures, galvanized steel

Pros and Cons of using 3D Detailing for Steel Structures...

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Sep 2, 2015 2:30:00 PM

article5Trying to find technical blog topics that can be useful and interesting can be difficult.  Welcome to the world of Blogging some may say.  However; making things easier and more efficient is always a step in the right direction.  The advancement of steel detailing software has helped move the process of design, steel detailing, steel fabrication and steel construction to a streamlined efficient flow of information.

There are a large number of detailing softwares available from manufacturers such as… Tekla, Soft
Steel, AVEVA, AutoDesk and SDS/2.  

More and more you see the rise of 3D Detailing to enhance to the visual representation of structures. Below are some Pros & Cons of 3D Detailing:

Pros -

  • After creating a 3D model, all needed drawings can be generated automatically.
  • Drawing in 3D provides you with a better visual representation of the steel structures being detailed.
  • The drawings/model are done to scale so it’s more accurate.
  • A change to the 3D model automatically updates the entire model & all associated drawings.
  • A Bill of Material can be generated from the model, reducing the likelihood of errors.

Cons - 

  • The costs/training of 3D modeling programs are higher than traditional detailing software.
  • It’s complex process to build a 3D model.
  • You must build a 3D model for each steel structure to get the drawings generated.

Not only do we want to consider the Pros & Cons of a product but also how they may affect all those involved.  Below is a list of how this software and the end product effect the user.

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Detailing/Engineering 

3D modeling has improved the quality of detail drawings largely by reducing the human element which may cause unnecessary errors.  Once the model is created, all drawings associated with model will be accurate (assuming the model is correct) and there will be no contradicting drawings.  Additionally, any last minute changes will be carried throughout the drawing set by making the change in one place.  There’s no need to worry about whether or not a change was made to every drawing.

Steel Fabrication

3D modeling affects fabrication by ensuring accuracy in the fabrication drawings.  Also, with the drawings done to scale, the fabricator sees exactly what the completed piece should look like.

Construction/Structure Erection

Creating a visual image of the structures ahead of time and being able to identify any potential connection errors reduces field erection issues.  Increasingly complex structures can be created with the ability to see how they will fit together and be erected much easier than with 2D modeling.

I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Chase Baum for helping me put together this information. He is a Detailing Supervisor for DIS-TRAN Steel.  We use AutoDesk Advance Steel as our 3D Detailing Software of choice.  This technology allows our software to generate DSTV files which communicate with our Shop Machinery. When the machine fabricates the main members it has the capability to scribe welded part locations, weld symbols, and piece marks.  This shows the fitters/welders exactly where the parts are to be welded and the weld size to use, without looking at a drawing.  This is HUGE in our industry.

Let us know if you have any additional Pros or Cons you would like to contribute to the converstation.  We would love to hear from you on how you battle the difference in Traditional 2D and the Enhanced 3D Software.

 Ultimate Utility Picture Book

 

Steel Structures Can be a HOT Business

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Jul 17, 2015 2:00:00 PM

I just got back from vacation and it was HOT.  I started thinking that this must be the hottest time of the year for most of us.  It got me wondering about the Safety of all the folks out there in the manufacturing industry. I went to the best source I know, Tim Adam with DIS-TRAN Steel.  Grant it, I work in an office (thank goodness), but I work with a bunch who do not get the luxury of air conditions and fans.

In the Utility Industry you have a vast array of people doing outside labors.  Contractors erecting structures, truck drivers loading/unloading trucks, field project folks supervising as well as the steel fabricator and manufacture the steel structures (this one hits close to home).  It’s important to remember that Safety must come FIRST, no matter what you’re doing.

When it's hot, drink plenty of water!

 Below is a list of Heat Related Illnesses:

  1. Heat Stroke - is the most serious form of heat injury and is a medical emergency. Heat stroke often occurs as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion. But it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury. Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly affects people over age 50, it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes. The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105° Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign.  If you suspect that someone has heat stroke -- also known as sunstroke -- you should call 911 immediately. Until help arrives, move the victim to a cool area and remove excess clothing. Fan and spray them with cool water. Offer sips of water if the victim is conscious.

    It is important to hydrate your body well prior to being subjected to hot work environment. Drink and eat a well-balanced meal the night before and have a good breakfast prior to a work shift. Fruit and fruit juices are good to help hydrate your body and restore electrolytes. Do not consume energy drinks as they are full of sugar and your body has to work harder to digest them. Gator aid and Power aid help restore electrolytes but need to be consumed in a 1 to 3 water bottle ratio to help prevent kidney stones. Watch the color of your urine. If it is bright yellow, you are not consuming enough water.

  2. Heat exhaustion - can occur after you've been exposed to high temperatures for several days and have become dehydrated. Symptoms include confusion, dizziness, headache and fatigue.  Although heat exhaustion isn't as serious as heat stroke, it isn't something to be taken lightly. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death. If you, or anyone else, have symptoms of heat exhaustion immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can't get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.

  3. Heat cramps - are painful, brief muscle cramps. Muscles may spasm or jerk involuntarily. Heat cramps can occur during exercise or work in a hot environment or begin a few hours later. Heat cramps usually involve muscles that are fatigued by heavy work, such as calves, thighs, and shoulders.  Painful cramps occur in the arms, legs, or stomach while on the job, or later at home. Move to a cool area at once if cramping is experienced. Loosen clothing and drink cool water or an electrolyte replacement beverage, such as Gatorade®. Seek medical aid if the cramps are severe, or don't go away.

  4. Dehydration - occurs when the loss of body fluids exceeds the amount that is taken in. With dehydration, more water is moving out of our cells and bodies than what we take in through drinking.  Along with the water, small amounts of electrolytes are also lost. When we lose too much water, our bodies may become out of balance or dehydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to death.  See the Dehydration Urine Color Chart help identify whether you may be dehydrated or not.  Click here

As a quick resource OSHA has Quick Cards with valuable information for quick references.

Osha3154Card

Working or playing in a hot environment puts stress on the body and when combined with physical work, loss of fluids or fatigue it could have detrimental effects.  WATER is crucial and remember to not push yourself beyond your limits.

At DIS-TRAN Steel, we have made it a priority to educate and remind all of our employees the symptoms and prevention techniques.  Our Safety Manager keeps in contact with all the supervisors about weather conditions, heat indices, and conducts multiple heat related Tool Boxes.

How do you keep cool while working in a HOT environment?  We would love to hear from you so please use the comment section below.

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Tags: safety, contractors, steel fabricator

3 Transmission Structures Broken Down

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Jul 7, 2015 9:45:00 AM

When designing transmission structures...

it’s not as simple as saying “ok, I want self-supporting tangent mono poles with delta configuration for my entire 80 mile stretch.”  While that idea might be more economical than having h-frame or 3-pole structures, it’s just not practical.

Ultimately, the wire configurations determine which type of structure will be used, and typically there will be a mix of these structures in order to follow the right-of-way through small or tight turns. Right-of-ways go alongside or through interstates, highways, fields, woods and even water, so an engineer must keep all these situations in mind when designing.

Three common transmission structures:

  •  Tangent
    • Used when transmission route is straight
    • Generally, no longitudinal loads on the structure
  • Angle
    • Used when transmission route changes direction
    • Used from anywhere less than a 5 degree angle to a 90 degree angle
  • Dead-End
    • As name applies, dead-ends are designed to take the full component of every wire's tension
    • Does not necessarily mean end of transmission line 

                              

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Whether the structures are tangent, angle or dead-end, wire phases can run in multiple configurations.  Horizontal Configurations provide the lowest profile. Vertical Configurations require the minimum width right-of-way. And Delta Configurations is an attempt to use the value of both horizontal and vertical configurations to maintain phase clearances.

Transmission structures can be classified as either self-supporting or guyed.

Self-Supporting Structures do not use guys: meaning they are not tied to the ground or any other structure in a way that offers additional support. They are better for restrictions to right-of-ways and tend to have loads small enough to not warrant guys.

Guying of structures is used to support the structure and allow for a more economical design in both the steel structure and foundation. Guying reduces bending and deflection. However, the downside is that it requires more right-of-way. 

*Here are some main contributing factors to keep in mind when deciding on whether or not to guy a structure:

  • Structural loading
  • Right-of-way requirements
  • Aesthetic design criteria

**Here are some other contributing factors you may want to consider:

  • Line voltage
  • Electric air gap clearance requirements
  • Ground clearance requirequirements
  • Insulation requirements
  • Number of circuits to be supported
  • Electric and magnetic field limits

There is so much to learn about Transmission Structures.  What questions do you have?  We would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

Check out our newest resource for Anchored Transmission Structures.  Click below.
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Tags: transmission structures, guyed structures, tangent, dead-end h-frame structures, configurations

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