Chapman Corp. holds open housePosted June 2, 2012
Two skilled laborers toil around an automated pipe-cutting machine at Chapman Corp.'s new $6.6 million pipe fabrication shop, using laser precision technology that cuts the man-hours for a job from a full day to a half-hour.
Nearby, a custom-built "shake and bake" paint room allows the company to reduce the time it takes to paint pipelines for the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry from two days to eight hours or less, said Ron Delsandro, shop coordinator.
"We can get that order out a day sooner," Delsandro said Friday when the Washington-based company held an open house for the new shop, which is as long as two football fields.
That's how much of a demand there is to meet the pipeline needs of the gas and oil industry, which is booming across Washington and Greene counties.
"We have to work hard and fast in here," Delsandro said at the company's complex in the 300 block of South Main Street.
The 54,300-square-foot building completed in February represents the largest investment in more than five decades in the city. It also contains areas for sandblasting and prefabricated assemblies.
"We are very proud of it. It's going to increase our capabilities," Delsandro said.
The paint booth uses dry heat up to 120 degrees after each coat is applied, causing them to dry in two hours as opposed to overnight. Each pipeline also undergoes an eight-hour pressure test, which is monitored every 15 minutes, he said.
The company was founded as a wiring, plumbing and heating business in Hackett in 1949 by John W. Chapman, and it relocated in 1983 to Washington at a former Brockway Glass plant. It has worked on natural gas projects since its inception and now employs 150 people at its headquarters and nearly 1,200 union laborers in the field.
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