Rising technologies Safscan® and QuikDeck® allow lumber mill to rehab plant without shutting down

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High-definition laser surveying and suspended access system make recent feat fast, easy

Image produced from SafScan

Image produced from SafScan

“Because all the access for skilled trades occurred 50 feet above the mill floor, the QuikDeck solution limited any disruption to plant operations." - Joe Rizzo, regional manager, Safway

At a recent rehabilitation project at Irving Forest Products’ sawmill in Dixfield, Maine, Safway Group Holding LLC demonstrated the combined success of its SafScan™ High Definition (HD) Laser Scanning technology along with its QuikDeck® Suspended Access System.

The Dixfield sawmill focuses on white pine and turns out 200,000 board feet per day. Over the past five years, the Irving Forest Products’ Sawmill Division has invested $70 million in ensuring the most up to date technology in its operations. Part of that effort involved rehabbing the rafters, which involved cleaning and painting them, as well as installing roof liner panels and upgrading the fire protection sprinkler.

To complete this work, painters, plumbers and other skilled trades needed access to the rafters, located 50 feet above a busy mill floor. The job presented two major challenges. First, there were no current “as-built” construction drawings on which to base an access plan. These drawings let access planners know where they can place loads and locate access equipment. Compounding this situation, the rafters had irregular diagonal braces connecting to equipment below. Second, the company did not want to disrupt production. This ruled out the use of traditional scaffolding, as it would have obstructed the mill floor.

The first challenge was solved with Safway’s SafScan HD Laser Surveying technology, which uses state-of-the-art laser scanning to deliver a precise, up-to-date image of any job site. “Instead of having to rely on out-of-date drawings or estimated measurements, SafScan provides accurate data and documentation. SafScan allows us to engineer an access solution utilizing a solid foundation of information,” says Joe Rizzo, a Safway regional manager.

By using SafScan to survey the sawmill, the rehab project was planned based on highly accurate – within millimeters – information, saving valuable time and money during planning and engineering on the front end .

To solve the second challenge, Safway used the QuikDeck Suspended Access System, a patented modular system that allows a platform to be built in the air in modular segments. The first segment was hoisted into place and suspended from the rafters using clamps and chains. From that base, additional modules were built outward using swing-out trusses placed by hand, pivoted, then locked in place. Floor panels were placed on the trusses to create a flat, rigid and stable work surface. Because QuikDeck has enough cantilever strength to support workers as they install new supporting chains for the next segment, workers were able to “leap frog” the deck as the job progressed.

“Because all the access for skilled trades occurred 50 feet above the mill floor, the QuikDeck solution limited any disruption to plant operations,” said Rizzo. “Also, it mitigated risk that would have been caused by loading in and hoisting materials to cover the entire area at once.”

Brad Cadman, construction manager for Atlantic Construction, the contractor handling the rehab project, said Safway’s capabilities make Safway a valuable partner in such jobs. “They provide the right equipment, and they either provide a skilled set-up crew or they train our own crews in the right way to use the products safely,” he said. He noted the mill’s production never skipped a beat.

About Safway Group
With more than 110 locations in the U.S. and Canada and a growing system of distributors worldwide, Safway Group companies deliver efficient, high-performance multiservice solutions – The Smart Way® – by collaborating, communicating and sharing resources. Offering experience and expertise in access, scaffolding, insulation, fireproofing, surface preparation and coatings, Safway Group companies include CL Coatings; Mobley Industrial Services; Redi Solutions; Safway Atlantic; Safway Services; Safway Services Canada; S&E Bridge & Scaffold; and Swing Staging. With the largest engineering staff, an exclusive project management system, award-winning safety excellence and a full line of products and services, Safway Group companies design and implement innovative, quality solutions at the lowest installed cost for projects of any size and scope. Safway has been an industry leader since 1936. Safway Group companies serve the petrochemical, oil and gas, power, refining, marine, manufacturing, transportation and commercial construction industries worldwide. For more information about Safway Group, visit: http://www.safwaygroup.com.

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Karla Cuculi
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