N.Y.’s JPW Companies Stays Strong With Good Equipment, Good People

Fri July 31, 2009 - Northeast Edition
CEG

JPW Companies uses its fleet of Manitowoc 16000s to erect windmills.
JPW Companies uses its fleet of Manitowoc 16000s to erect windmills.



JPW Companies of Syracuse, N.Y., has been working with cranes for more than 30 years.

“We have cranes for every job,” said David Schwalm, executive vice president of JPW Companies.

Every job includes loading cargo, erecting buildings and even assembling windmills.

“We have one of the biggest fleets of Manitowoc 16000s on the east coast,” Schwalm said. “We use them for large jobs such as windmill erection.”

Windmill Erection

Because of the recent clean energy movement and because of government incentives like production tax credits, many companies are hiring contractors like JPW that can assemble windmills. The job requires large machines.

“The windmill arrives at the project unassembled,” Schwalm explained. “The nacelle, hub and blades are hauled to the site with the tower, which is normally in four sections. The equipment is then erected by a JPW crane. We use the Manitowoc 16000 crane for this.”

The Manitowoc 16000s have a 440-ton (400 t) capacity with a 453-ft. (138 m) luffing jib on a 315-ft. (96 m) heavy-lift boom. With seven 16000 cranes, JPW has an impressive fleet.

Fabrication

JPW also has a complete steel fabrication facility with a Pedinghaus BDL1250 automated drill line. The line has a capacity of up to 50 in. (127 cm) in depth and 750 ft.-lbs. (1,017 Nm) of force.

A 3D modeling program called “Tekla Structures” allows JPW’s engineers to manipulate a large library of steel shapes on a computer screen. They use this technology to produce shop drawings for everything the company fabricates, including joist and deck drawings. The drawings are then downloaded to the automated drill line, where sophisticated machines cut, bend, melt and shape beams, girders and other structures.

JPW produces railings, fencing, gates, canopies, ladders, mezzanines, structural reinforcement and many other specialized items for everything from erecting a Wal-Mart to decorating a high-end staircase.

Safety

JPW emphasizes safety.

“We go above and beyond what is required by OSHA,” Schwalm said, “with safety classes, safety projects and maintenance inspections. We have an excellent safety record.”

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) provides a certification system that takes contractors to another level for safety preparedness and JPW is certified as an advanced steel erector by AISC.

AISC certification involves third party audits of job sites, equipment, training and personnel to ensure that everything meets AISC standards for safety. Job site superintendents also conduct daily safety briefings that focus on problems unique to each job site and what individual crewmembers should be aware of.

All JPW employees also are trained and certified in fall protection, equipment operation, first aid and CPR, and JPW’s welders hold AWS and D.O.T. certifications. Crane operators are state licensed.

Good Equipment, Good Employees

JPW has a variety of cranes, including Manitowoc 16000, 2250, 999 and 14000 cranes as well as many smaller Grove cranes. The cranes have capacities between 50 and 440 tons (45 and 399 t).

The company buys its cranes from Stephenson Equipment.

“We’ve been buying from Stephenson Equipment for over 5 years,” said David Schwalm, executive vice president of JPW Companies. “They’re on 24-hour call and they’re easy to deal with. They’re always there.”

JPW sometimes needs them at strange times and in strange places.

“They’ve sent mechanics all over the country for us — to Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin, California. Stephenson makes running our business a lot easier.”

Lon Coon, JPW’s sales representative from Stephenson, is especially helpful.

“When he makes a promise, he stands by it. He is always on time and on schedule he has become an intricate part of our safety and maintenance program.”

Safety and maintenance are very important to JPW, as well as keeping up-to-date on the latest crane technology.

Good employees are another important component of the company. JPW’s team includes not only managers and crane operators, but also engineers and detailers.

“We all work as a team, and nobody would go anywhere without the rest of the team from the president all the way down to the guys that sweep the floors,” said Schwalm. CEG