Prospect Steel Sparks Robotic Welding in the US Structural Steel Industry


[MUSIC PLAYING] Prospect Steel specializes in
heavy industrial fabrication, steel erection, mechanical
equipment setting, and fabrication of platework. The company was
founded 50 years ago. We’re working on our 50th year. My father, Tom Schuek,
started the company with $800 in the bank and a pregnant wife. One of my favorite projects has
been the Ivanpah solar plant. It’s the world’s
largest solar plant. And what it is is a 470 foot
tower with a boiler at the top. We had 36 inch pipe columns
with inch and a half-thick wall. The project was pretty
remarkable to watch it get built. We had three towers. We have done a
tremendous amount of work in the steel mill industry. Any time that I know that
our company is working to push the steel mill industry
further in the United States, it really makes me feel good. At Prospect Steel, our
fabrication division, prior to purchasing
the Zeman, was in a severe shortage of labor. We had plenty of shop
capacity from a standpoint of space and equipment, but
we were lacking our ability in man hours to produce
the welding and the fitting and the painting required to
have a successful project. So it was really
limiting our ability to be a force in
the marketplace. By purchasing the Zeman, we were
capable of replacing man hours that we had lost by not being
able to find qualified fitters and welders in our industry. Zeman gives us
another approach to be able to solve the huge problem
in the steel fabrication business of finding labor. Prospect Steel settled on a
Zeman SBA Compact Plus system, as it was the best fit in our
shop, as far as size and scope went. But we also felt
like for the price, the payback was the fastest. The Zeman acquisition
has allowed us to further advance what
we think is cutting-edge, and that is taking welding
information and fit-up information from the model
directly to our shop floor. It has allowed us to
increase our productivity, decrease fit-up
errors, and in the end, has allowed us to create a
better product for our customer and so save money. Prospect Steel is very
proud to be involved with this first system
in the United States with the Zeman Robotic Assembly. We continue to enjoy
our partnership that we have with
Peddinghaus, and being involved with Peddinghaus
and Zeman, we’re very proud. When we run the
machine consistently, we’re seeing huge reductions
in man hours worked per piece. What we’re also
finding is not only is the Zeman Compact Plus great
for full service fabrication, welding and everything,
but it really works in our system
just as a fitting robot. So rather than just
fitting and welding, we’re able to utilize the
fitting services of the robot, get the pieces out
of the machine, get them back on the
bucks and let our welders do the welding,
which allows us to work more, generate more man hours,
and allows us to cover more overhead. I think any time you put a group
of professionals together– and we’re all kind
of held in the ring together by Peddinghaus. And we work together
in a collaborative way. We’re able to come up with real
solutions to real problems. That’s the definition
of success. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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