By Tom Whitaker, Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3).
Many people in the roofing industry are having difficulties finding and retaining workers; KPost Roofing & Waterproofing is among them. After celebrating being awarded the contract in Fort Worth, Texas to build an 8,000-square-foot roof for Facebook’s new data center, they wondered how they could manage their workers to keep this large install on track without hindering the progress of their other projects.
Steve Little, a KPost founder who calls himself “Head Coach,” and his staff began discussions with manufacturers of modified bitumen for tools that could reduce the labor required on the rooftop. They found a tool primarily being used in Europe and Canada that can apply roofing membrane in a way similar to how a paver applies asphalt to a road. The machine is called a MINI-MACADEN®, and SOPREMA® manufactures it.
The type of system applied at Facebook’s data center would ordinarily take a crew of 10 people. The MINI-MACADEN that KPost used reduced the number to six people. That’s a 40% labor savings!
Additionally, this new technology reduced the amount of material waste, propane used and increased the safety on the site because there were fewer open flames.
With fewer workers on the job, it wasn’t crazy to assume that the job might take longer. But that’s not the case. The MINI-MACADEN applied the roof system faster so the job is ahead of the roofing production schedule.
According to SOPREMA’s website, a crew can average between five to nine rolls per hour with traditional welding techniques. SOPREMA predicted that a four-member team using the MINI-MACADEN could install over 20 rolls per hour. KPost is getting more like 16-17 on this Facebook project in the side open areas. Still an amazing improvement.
“Completing our projects much faster allows KPost to move our crews to the next job quicker, maximizing our revenue potential during the construction season,” says Little.
Technology can be the silver bullet with a huge segment of the workforce nearing retirement and fewer younger workers entering the construction trades. Companies like KPost have realized this, giving them an advantage. Will your company follow or fall behind?
Original article source: RT3
Photo source: SOPREMA Canada
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