As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened over the early months of 2020, Sioux Falls, S.D.,-based Gage Brothers Concrete Products were tasked to step up production on the construction of a manufacturing facility of N95 masks. The client, 3M Aberdeen was awarded a U.S. Department of Defense contract to increase production.
Local news, AberdeenNews.com, reports the details of the contract:
- The first contract, awarded in April, is for $76 million.
- The second contract, awarded in early May, is for $126 million.
- These are in addition to the $80 million that 3M has already committed to expand N95 production capacity in the U.S.
With a significant amount of monies behind the project, the pressure was on to get the project started and completed quick.
Gage Brothers Concrete Products - a member of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute - took advantage of the benefits of precast concrete fabrication and manufactured several concrete components for the initial phase of the 440,000-square-foot production facility ahead of time. PCI explains that precast concrete is manufactured in production facilities and then shipped to jobsites. Inclement weather does not hamper production, so just-in-time deliveries are assured. A small crew can erect thousands of square feet of precast concrete components in mere days.
In a stunning turnaround, fabrication started on April 30 and completed on July 17.
Delivery started June 30 and completed August 21.
As quoted in a Jan. 7 release, “We have the ability to pour several pieces on different beds in the plant at a time, so that when erection starts, they can place many panels very quickly,” says Rachel Swain, project manager at Gage Brothers. The PCI precast concrete producer supplied 200 24-inch-deep double-tees, 60 36-inch-deep inverted tees and rectangular beams, 72 24-inch square columns, and 182 10-foot-wide wall panels.
The facility reports that they now manufacture respirators and filter web for industrial welding, painting, health care, construction, and home improvement applications.