History of Pre-Fabrication

History of Fabrication at Action Inc. started in the early 1990’s; with an individual insisting that he refused to travel to work on a project at the Bull Shoals Dam. This project included the re-piping of cooling coils within the Dam. As a very young craftsman relatively new to the trade, I was assigned to help this individual pre-fab a tremendous amount of stainless piping that would eventually be transported to the site and installed. As the pile of twist and turns with flanges that hopefully would mate up to the existing equipment more than 200 miles away kept growing, I remember is the individual kept saying “If this is wrong we will all surely get fired”. Luckily, I was working with a fabrication specialist / perfectionist that fabricated and tagged every single piece of that project. The project was a huge success with little to no re-work of the product that was sent to the project for install. So well, that the individual that fabricated the product took a different job when he completed fabrication, leaving the install to a different group of individuals that had not participated in the drawing of our fabrication.

In 2002, we were lucky enough to get to participate in a huge poured in place concrete structure that had a very aggressive schedule. The only way to complete the project on schedule was to fabricate all piping within this building, while the structure was being built. I can remember walking into the owner’s office and him saying, “Take a look at these drawings over the weekend and let me know how much you think we can fabricate at our facility in Barling.” Over the weekend I looked really hard at the documents and had come to the conclusion that we at best could do 50 percent of this project. Well, as asked to do, I reported to Owner my findings of 50 percent. After cooling off, the owner says, “well I may have picked the wrong guy for this project.” In the end, after a little motivational speaking from the owner and dissecting all details and drawings, we fabricated 75 percent of all pipe, valves and fittings form hand sketches. This project was a success as well with us cutting and repairing 4 total pieces of the 75 percent.

In 2004, we landed the sister building to the project we completed in 2002. We were able to fabricate 90 percent of the pipe, valves and fittings in Barling and delivered to the project, with the same 4 total pieces that had to be re-worked. This project was another huge success for our company and this new idea of fabrication.

From there we started looking at the below/above grade plumbing , mechanical rooms and  piping in various projects such as Supercenters, Distribution Centers, UAMS Central Utility Plant, Children’s Hospital Central Plants and anything we could build at our facility and ship to the sites to help increase productivity and decrease risk. In the beginning we would draw everything by hand and create a very primitive spool sheets and layout maps (as we know it today) using a set of plans and highlighters.

In 2007, a group of us traveled to a facility in Denver, Colorado to tour a facility that was ahead of us in the fabrication process. This trip was very valuable in many ways. We figured out that we were not as far behind in this process as what we thought. The company that we visited was more than triple our size and had a lot more things to work with. The one common thing we all walked away saying “we have to be able to generate these drawings and reports using technology”. We gathered multiple ideas including our VAV box fabrication and weld process that we use today.

In 2008 to present, we added what I consider the most important cog in the gear of the fabrication process being the CAD department. We hired a manager for this department that is company orientated in developing a product that is both cost effective to produce and user friendly for the fabrication shop, as well as the field personnel. The CAD department consists of the manager and 3 more full time individuals. As we continue to grow this department with great success, we continue to look for individuals from inside and outside of the company that possess the trade skills and are willing to learn the technology that produces the drawings required to fabricate. Until, then we rely on individual project managers and foremen to work with the CAD manager to develop drawings for their respective projects.  On some projects, depending on the work load within the CAD department, we still utilize primitive hand drawings to maximize our prefabrication opportunities.

Action Inc. Fabrication Shops currently employees 12 full time individuals ranging from 1st year Plumbing Apprentices to Foremen.  We also consider our Tool/ Shipping and Receiving Manager, as well as our Truck Driver as members of this very important resource. All full-time personnel carry valid license in their respective trades or are enrolled in a state accredited apprenticeship program.  If the workload requires additional manpower, we either pull field personnel into the shops to support the additional load or we occasionally employ temporary help to support these shops on an as needed basis to allow us to deliver product on schedule. Our goal is to produce 20,000 man hours of product per year through the fabrication shops. This is a very lofty goal for a company of our size, but very obtainable depending on the economy and the cooperation of all parties involved.

We fabricate all types of piping, hangers and fixtures including: above and below sanitary, roof drain systems, domestic water systems, hydronic systems, medical gas systems, mechanical rooms and any other support systems that may present themselves.

Action Inc.’s goals in fabrication are to increase productivity, increase quality due to products being constructed in a controlled environment, decrease material waste and decrease risk of injury to our valued workforce with products being constructed in the controlled atmosphere. All these are key ingredients that allow Action Inc. to better compete in a very competitive market.

For the calendar year of 2015, from Jan 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 the Fabrication group has worked over 12,000 man hours in support of various projects for all Action Inc. locations. These projects include the following:

1)     Baptist Hospital Conway

2)     Hunt Tower

3)     Queen Wilhelmina

4)     U of A Student Success

5)     UAFS Visual Arts project

6)     Wal-Mart Data Center projects

7)     Gerdau plant

8)     Bekaert plant

9)     South Mississippi County Elementary

10)  WMNH Market Jonesboro

11)  WMNH Market Marion

12)  WMNH Market Paragould

13)  Kroger Jonesboro

14)  Target Jonesboro

15)  Jackson County Jail

16)  Bartlesville Schools

17)  Sam’s Club Moore

18)  Sam’s Club OKC


20)  WMSC Jenks

21)  WMSC Norman

Other fabricated projects

1)     Wal-Mart EDC

2)     Wal-Mart NDC

3)     Wal-Mart SDC

4)     Mars Pet Care

5)     Mercy Ortho Hospital

6)     Falcon Jet

7)     30- Walmart Super Centers

8)     4- Walmart Distribution Centers

9)     U of A Ozark Hall

10)  UAFS Boreham Library

11)  Bull Shoals Dam

In conclusion, fabrication has been an evolving part of the construction business to allow us to be more competitive in the open bidding market. It also allows us to keep up with schedules that otherwise could not be met. It allows us to better control quality of items that are being produced within these shops. We here at Action pride ourselves in being one of the leaders in utilizing technology to produce CAD generated fabrication for use on our project with success.