BP Refinery Project

For Brian Wood, Superintendent at George Gradel Co., working with four, twelve, sixteen, and sometimes even twenty-inch water and ductile iron lines is the norm. In fact, through a partnership with the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery, George Gradel Co. performs anywhere from one to two ductile and cast pipe jobs per month. Wood explains, “The contract for BP-Husky Toledo Refinery goes up for grabs every five years. We’ve been the house team for forty years (underground for ten years). If anything breaks in the refinery, we get it first.”

The BP-Husky Toledo Refinery, with over a century of operations, can process up to 160,000 barrels of crude oil each day, providing the Midwest with gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, propane, and asphalt. So if a water line leaks or a pipe breaks, George Gradel Co. needs to fix the problem as soon as possible.

But working in a refinery does have its challenges. For one, in the past, when a water line or pipe needed to be replaced, workers risked their safety by using spark-producing saws. As you can imagine, in a refinery, sparks don’t mix well with petroleum. For Wood and his crew, the ICS pipe cutting power cutter with PowerGrit® Diamond Chain has changed the game. Not only does the power cutter and chain combination reduce sparks, but it can do what their previous saw (Fein Saw) did in a fraction of the time. “To cut fifteen inches of pipe, it would take 6-7 hours, and we’d go through around twenty blades. With the ICS power cutter, the same job takes four minutes,” says Mike Sandwish, Foreman at George Gradel Co.

During a recent fifteen-inch cast iron pipe repair at the refinery, George Gradel Co. used the ICS 701-A power cutter with a PowerGrit Diamond Chain. The previous platform used would have taken the Gradel crew two days to complete the job. With the ICS tool, it took only two and a half hours. Wood says, “We’ve seen tremendous cost savings with the ICS equipment. Before, if we were cutting fifteen inches on a pipe, it would have taken three days with a five-person crew. That cost alone would have been $2,000 a day. Now, it would take us twenty minutes with a five-person crew.”

With a tool, such as the ICS pipe cutting power cutter with PowerGrit Diamond Chain, ICS Diamond Tools & Equipment has revolutionized the industry standard. Made for smooth portability, efficiency, and agility, the ICS power cutter is considered a jack-of-all-trades. With its unique versatility, users can cut through walls, floors, pipes, and columns, in addition to concrete, brick, block, concrete pipe, ductile and cast iron, natural, and more. This power cutter’s adaptability makes it a favorite among companies like George Gradel.

Specifically, the ICS 701-A power cutter is built tough to withstand harsh environments that include concrete and utility pipe cutting. Outfitted with an integrated water delivery system, water continuously flows to the blade during the cutting process. While performing a job, workers won’t have to worry about making and lining up multiple cuts. The PowerGrit Diamond power cutter allows for flawless accuracy when making deeper, cleaner, and quicker cuts, all within a single pass.

Altogether, the ICS’s whole new generation of diamond chains allows for the job to be done easier, faster, and more efficiently than ever before. With a more enhanced and rigid interface, vibrations and impact loads are significantly reduced. This factor, along with added stability in the cut, means that it won’t contribute to an operator’s fatigue.

Wood and Sandwish have been using the ICS power cutter with PowerGrit Diamond Chain at George Gradel Co. for two years now. With fifteen years of performing similar jobs, they’ve seen their fair share of injuries when using a cut-off saw, such as a significant facial injury and leg damage resulting in over 50 stitches. With the ICS power cutter, they haven’t had any injuries to date.

Wood says, “We prefer using the ICS power cutter over a cut-off saw for our projects. Simply put, it does the job for us in a lot less time and with a lot less backache. In this industry, it’s important when a tool does what it’s supposed to.” Sandwich adds, “Because of its efficiency and versatility, the ICS power cutter is not only the preferred cutting method inside the refinery but even outside of it as well.”

Further information can be found at icsdiamondtools.com or by contacting Al Rizo, PowerGrit Business Development, 971.347.9815 (al.rizo@blount.com)

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