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Thread: Controls geek running pipe.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    19

    Controls geek running pipe.

    I am learning so put me in my place if this is not an acceptable question.

    Guys I own a 2 man industrial controls shop. We assemble UL508A panels, controls, programming, etc. We specialize in machine safety and fast turn around on small jobs.

    On big jobs I farm out 100% of the pipe and field wiring. My contractor quotes it and everyone wins. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF DOING THIS ON BIG JOBS!!!

    I get a lot of calls for a systems that they need within 24 hours. I can't find a reliable contractor to run pipe on a short notice. My go to contractors are busy and need a few days notice to mobilize for a job. These customers want everything done at nights or weekends. So a lot of time we are left to run pipe on machines. (Field disconnects, light curtains, air dump valves, Emergency stop buttons , HMI, PLC, controls only stuff , you get the idea)

    I'm setup to run pipe just in case I need to. I have 700 pony, 300, Chicago, etc.I have a greenlee clampshell setup with fittings for 1/2" ,3/4" & 1".

    What do you guys use to quote stuff like this. It's all on machine piping? The are usually cramped areas with lots of obstacles. We have always just used T&M on these jobs. I want to understand and learn how to bid these jobs.

    I have seen a few guys with NECA books and they are aways way under on time. I see those books as new install on system. Most of these jobs are what I would call a retrofit. I don't own any of those books or software. I'm alawys willing to learn and spend money where it makes "DOLLARS" to spend money.
    Last edited by JeffKiper; 12-23-17 at 11:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
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    38,232
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffKiper View Post
    I am learning so put me in my place if this is not an acceptable question.

    Guys I own a 2 man industrial controls shop. We assemble UL508A panels, controls, programming, etc. We specialize in machine safety and fast turn around on small jobs.

    On big jobs I farm out 100% of the pipe and field wiring. My contractor quotes it and everyone wins. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF DOING THIS ON BIG JOBS!!!

    I get a lot of calls for a systems that they need within 24 hours. I can't find a reliable contractor to run pipe on a short notice. My go to contractors are busy and need a few days notice to mobilize for a job. These customers want everything done at nights or weekends. So a lot of time we are left to run pipe on machines. (Field disconnects, light curtains, air dump valves, Emergency stop buttons , HMI, PLC, controls only stuff , you get the idea)

    I'm setup to run pipe just in case I need to. I have 700 pony, 300, Chicago, etc.I have a greenlee clampshell setup with fittings for 1/2" ,3/4" & 1".

    What do you guys use to quote stuff like this. It's all on machine piping? The are usually cramped areas with lots of obstacles. We have always just used T&M on these jobs. I want to understand and learn how to bid these jobs.

    I have seen a few guys with NECA books and they are aways way under on time. I see those books as new install on system. Most of these jobs are what I would call a retrofit. I don't own any of those books or software. I'm alawys willing to learn and spend money where it makes "DOLLARS" to spend money.
    You never have power/lighting circuits involved on such projects? Typically controls have to control something and an electrician (in house or a contractor) is likely running power to that something.

    Just asking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    19
    Most of the time the machine is existing and we are adding safety devices to it. The motors and standard valves are existing. So we just have to add devices.

    On new jobs or big jobs I let the electrical contactor do all of that work.
    These quick turn around are where I'm trying to learn.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    NE Nebraska
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    38,232
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffKiper View Post
    Most of the time the machine is existing and we are adding safety devices to it. The motors and standard valves are existing. So we just have to add devices.

    On new jobs or big jobs I let the electrical contactor do all of that work.
    These quick turn around are where I'm trying to learn.
    So typical American business policy - somebody gets an idea and wants it done yesterday, right? Or they have been thinking about it for a long time, but first tell you they will be shut down for a day about 12-48 hours ahead of the shutdown and want this done during that shutdown.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    19
    Sometimes it is last minute ideas that they have been thinking about.

    Several of them are safety issues that have resulted in accidents and they need a quick response. We don't design guarding without a proper risk assessment. I will install safety devices while they are designing guarding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Eastern Oregon
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    Like you we generally T&M this stuff.

    If we have to bid, I break the project down into tasks, and price each task accordingly based on experience. I don't use an estimating book for these kinds of projects.

  7. #7
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    NE Nebraska
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow View Post
    Like you we generally T&M this stuff.

    If we have to bid, I break the project down into tasks, and price each task accordingly based on experience. I don't use an estimating book for these kinds of projects.
    I doubt there is much bidding on those situations of short notice he mentions, they call and want it done. If you don't charge an outrageous price they simply pay the invoice. If it is about safety, especially if the need for the work was triggered by an accident or third party inspection - you can make pretty good money and owners still may see it as much less then what they may lose if someone does get seriously injured or killed, and won't balk at all on your price.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    19
    Your right, it is usually do it now!

    I haven't been very good a tracking time. I need to do a better job and start creating a history so I can pull pricing from.

  9. #9
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    US
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    Where are you located

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    19
    Louisville Ky

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