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Mahaffey Creates Recycling Storage Fabric Structure for Industrial Mining Manufacturer

Recycling scrap metal helps the environment in many ways. It reduces the burden on landfills, conserves energy and natural resources, and produces more environmentally friendly products for future generations. For instance, recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone. It's no wonder major industry manufacturers have made corporate sustainability such a big part of their culture.

For one mining equipment manufacturing factory located in a large urban area, maintaining an environmentally safe footprint was extremely important. The factory produced and assembled parts and equipment for the mining industry. Different types of scrap metal resulting from the fabrication process were stored in bins on the premises until they were ready for recycling.

The problem was that bins stored outside needed to be protected from the rain. These bins contained scrap quenched with oil. Oil is used to cool and harden the metal quickly, however, the residual oil left on the metal can cause serious problems. 

If the scrap bins outside fill with rainwater, the residual oil will mix with the rainwater and potentially overflow and seep into the soil. This incident would cause an environmental breach with serious legal and financial repercussions.

To avoid this situation, the factory team needed an economical solution to store and protect the scrap bins from the elements. It needed to be installed quickly and have the flexibility to be relocated if necessary.

Located in the Great Lakes region, the factory was part of the mining equipment division of a Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer who hired Mahaffey for previous projects. On the recommendation of the manufacturer, the factory lead contacted our team to discuss the requirements of installing a temporary storage structure.

Mahaffey landed the job based on our past relationship with the client, the results of our previous partnership, and our solid reputation as a turnkey vendor in the industry.

The Challenge

The greatest challenge for the mining equipment factory was finding a custom design solution that was tall enough to cover the bins, yet narrow and compact enough to occupy a small footprint. They also required a structure that could be easily moved to another location. 

Additional requirements included a structure that would remain on site for at least six months and a dependable, sturdy product that could withstand the harsh winter weather in the region.

Most importantly, a large capital expenditure was cost prohibitive. They had previously considered and decided against building a permanent structure. 

The client’s needs included a structure that:

  • Could be installed in a short window and quickly operational.
  • Would remain onsite for several months.
  • Would keep the scrap bins dry during rainy conditions.
  • Was engineered to withstand harsh winter winds and snow loads.
  • Would be tall enough to cover scrap bins.
  • Had open ends on each side. 

The Solution

After careful consideration of the details and requirements, Mahaffey proposed a custom solution using the SuperSeries™ product. SuperSeries™ structures are modular, with 16.4 ft., or 5m, bays which can be combined to theoretically unlimited lengths.

Chosen for its versatility, aluminum box beam design, lightweight durable fabric engineering, and easy installation process, the SuperSeries™ was hands down the best imaginable application for the scrap metal storage project.

The challenge of delivering a narrow, tall structure with the structural integrity to withstand harsh wind and heavy snow was met with Mahaffey’s usual aptitude for innovative custom design. To adapt the height, we added 16-foot legs and reinforced the SuperSeries™ structure with extra bracing to accommodate the tall profile and to assist with the snow load capacity. The structure’s total area was 2,178 sq. feet. Overall it was a smart compact design that adhered to the details and economical requirements requested by the client.

The final proposal came complete with a timeline that promised the finished structure within a two-day window.

Mahaffey's Solution included the following features:

  • 2,178 sq. feet – Custom Warehouse Structure
  • Mahaffey SuperSeries™
  • Additional bracing
  • Steel stakes and concrete anchor plates
  • Expert project managers, designers, and an expert installation team 

The Result

The scrap storage design was approved quickly. The team arrived on site on a Saturday and completed the project by Sunday evening, despite rainy weather.

The client successfully used the structure for a few months in one location, then asked Mahaffey to move it to another because of some changes to the existing factory. Again, the Mahaffey team mobilized quickly and easily relocated the versatile SuperSeries™ structure.

We enabled the client to safely store their scrap metal in a dry location until it was ready for sorting and eventual smelting into new products. This greatly benefited the environmental concerns of the mining equipment manufacturer and satisfied their goal of recycling scrap into useable products for the future.

The Takeaways

In today’s times, major manufacturers are always being asked to do more with less. They need vendors who can respond quickly when it comes to finding economical solutions to resolve their end of life cycle issues with products, byproducts and scrap. Mahaffey has helped clients find practical solutions to problems, both big and small, for over 90 years. 

Do you have a project coming up that calls for a savvy partner with a full-line of customizable solutions? If so, call our expert project managers at Mahaffey.

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Topics: Manufacturing Warehouses and Storage