Company: Cubic Designs Inc.
Interview with: John Moore, Vice President
What prompted Cubic Designs to develop this product?
Cubic Designs originally started making Pipe Rack structures for an equipment manufacturer who needed to support their pneumatic piping systems over rail car loading areas, connecting outside storage silos directly to the plant. We looked at this application and realized that OEMs typically want these kinds of support systems to: 1) have the same shop-quality and appearance as their own manufactured equipment; 2) be as easy and timely to install as the rest of their systems; and 3) be hassle-free for them with regard to structural integrity and design. We were able to satisfy all three of these goals simply by providing these structures in the same way that we provide our mezzanines.
How are these Pipe Racks different from comparable units?
Because we see hundreds of industrial facilities every year, we are aware of many new construction or production line projects, where contractors typically provide overhead support structures for their piping, ducting, or wiring services. Those structures are usually fabricated in the field from standard construction materials: angle iron, C-channels, threaded rod, and strut-style channels, and are often hung from the ceiling or walls. We can provide our pre-engineered and pre-manufactured support structures as an economical alternative.
Primary differences between field-fabricated supports and Cubic Designs’ Pipe Racks are the pre-engineering, ease of installation, and the quality and appearance of the finished steel. The design parameters for Pipe Racks are typically much simpler than those of our mezzanine, yet the basic Pipe Rack structures that we provide use similar column and framing components as our mezzanines. We can manufacture these systems very efficiently and economically, providing many of the same customer benefits that we provide with our mezzanines, like PE stamped drawings, seismic design considerations, powder coat paint finish, clean appearance, and quick installation. Contrast that to field-fabricated supports that are often unfinished and unpainted, and often installed without any forethought to integrating all of the overhead systems. This last-minute planning can create a lot of excess overhead steel structures that are both unsightly and wasteful.
Who do you consider the primary users of this product and what can they expect to benefit?
The primary users of Cubic Designs Pipe Racks would be plant and facility owners who are installing new systems or production lines, or the companies that have been contracted to implement their projects. This contracted group could include system integrators, equipment manufacturers (who have been contracted to install complete systems), engineering companies, construction managers, general contractors, and even local mechanical and electrical contractors who want a cleaner and less expensive way to support their facilities services.
Did cost factors have any effect in changing the final design of this product?
Definitely. This product would not make sense for customers if it wasn’t competitive to what contractors were already providing. The fact that we are making these Pipe Racks using the same process that we already have in place for manufacturing our mezzanines (design, manufacturing, materials, and installation) is what makes these systems so economical. This product is still part of our core business, just aimed at a different application.