Monday, November 13, 2017

Colossal Claw Revolutionizes Rigging of Sunken Oil Rigs

One of the most striking man-made sights in the Gulf of Mexico is the Versabar VB 10,000, the largest seagoing heavy lift vessel ever built in the United States. Based on Versabar’s smaller “Bottom Feeder” barge-mounted crane, the $100 million catamaran-style vessel was designed to retrieve sunken oil rig platforms from the seafloor in one piece, rather than expose divers to the dangers of manually dismantling the massive decks and rigging them to the surface in sections. The VB 10,000 is also used for decommissioning and installing offshore platforms.

First launched in 2010, the VB 10,000 is comprised of two bright yellow, 240-ft tall barge-mounted arched trusses with a hook height of 178 feet. Lift capacity of the vessel is 7,500 short tons in a single lift. Each of the two 300-ft long barges are equipped with dynamic positioning thrusters that allow the vessel to remain stationary, with an accuracy of mere inches, without the aid of anchors or mooring lines during rigging activities. With 160 feet of clearance between the barges, loads can be rigged to or from cargo barges positioned below.

Versabar partnered with Chevron in 2011 to produce add-on grappling devices for the VB 10,000 that would minimize diver risk during salvage operations. In just eight months, Versabar designed and constructed twin devices collectively nicknamed “The Claw” due to their uncanny resemblance to the popular arcade crane game. Each of the 122-ft tall, 112-ft wide gantry-suspended steel jaws is capable of rigging 2,000 tons from depths of up to 500 feet without having to send divers into the water to attach rigging. They can be used in conjunction with specially-designed baskets, or “cradles”, used support the fragile sunken platforms. The Claw first “scoops” the underwater wreckage onto the cradle then rigs the entire package to the surface. Due to the versatility of its design, Claw can be customized to suit each individual rigging operation.

R. Baker and Son
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
http://www.rbaker.com

~photo credit Versabar

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tower Crane Luffing Jib

Tower cranes are commonly used for rigging materials and equipment during the construction of tall buildings. The standard tower crane consists of a base fixed to a concrete pad, the mast, the slewing unit (the mechanism that allows the crane to rotate), operating cabin, and jib. There are two main types of jib: the more-common hammerhead (level) jib and the luffing jib. Selection of which jib to use depends mostly on a project’s specific rigging requirements as well as its restrictions.

A luffing jib consists of an A-frame and a boom section. Unlike a hammerhead jib, a luffing jib can move vertically to lift a load. With their high vertical reach, short counter-jib, and variable working radius, luffing jibs are often used for rigging on job sites in congested areas, narrow spaces, when there are other cranes on the job site, or where clearance is otherwise limited, which is why they are frequently seen in dense urban environments like New York.

Luffing jib cranes generally have a larger lifting capacity and better perching accuracy.  It has a higher vertical reach so it can accomplish some rigging tasks with a lower tower height. Luffing jib cranes do have some disadvantages. Luffers are generally heavier than a comparable hammerhead crane and the rigging process is slower.  Due to their complexity, they are usually more costly.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/rigging-contractors.php

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Coming to a Demolition Site Near You: ZeroG Tool Arm

Ekso Bionics is among several pioneering firms that have developed ergonomic tool arms and bionic exoskeleton devices that can be used to maneuver heavy tools as if weightless in a variety of industries.

The Ekso ZeroG tool arm was specially developed for the construction field to help alleviate worker fatigue by employing adjustable springs to offset the weight of heavy tools such as chipping hammers, demolition hammers, rivet busters, impact wrenches, grinders, and rotary hammers (tools that are used on R. Baker & Son demolition projects on a daily basis). The ZeroG is designed to connect to scaffolding, aerial lifts, and other existing work platforms. A universal strap attachment can accommodate tools of various shapes, sizes, and weights in a variety of applications.  By bearing the weight of the tools, the ZeroG relieves worker stress and strain, reduces fatigue and injury, and increases productivity and efficiency.

Pricing of exoskeleton technology, once prohibitively high, has been dropping over the past several years, so the devices are increasingly being seen in use on construction and demolition sites. Ekso ZeroG tool arms are now available for rental in the New York/New Jersey area from United Rentals. R. Baker & Son hasn’t yet tested the Ekso ZeroG on one of our demolition projects, but we expect to try it out in the very near future.

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services 

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards).  R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services 
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php 

*photo courtesy of Ekso Bionics

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Demolition

R. Baker and Son recently performed selective demolition at a renovation project at a pharmaceutical plant. One of the Baker Team’s challenges was to make way for new laboratory exhaust ductwork without cutting through or damaging utilities hidden within foot-thick concrete walls, floors, and ceilings or compromising structural integrity. As-built drawings are can often be inaccurate, especially in older buildings, so R. Baker & Son turned to ground-penetrating radar, or GPR, to reveal what was hidden in the concrete.

GPR is a subsurface scanning method that emits high-frequency radio pulses into concrete or ground surface. When the radar waves encounter a buried object, they bounce back and are captured by a receiver that that processes and interprets the data and displays real-time screen images. GPR used in construction and demolition can reveal rebar, mesh, conduits, post-tension cable, and voids. An effective alternative to GPR is X-ray, which provides a far more accurate image than GPR but comes back with a number of significant drawbacks.  X-ray requires access to both sides of a slab or wall, is slower and more expensive than GPR, and generates harmful radiation that requires special precautions and procedures.

On this particular demolition project, R. Baker and Son opted for ground-penetrating radar over X-ray due to budget and scheduling constraints. A GPR specialist was brought in to identify and mark out areas where there was little to no concealed electrical conduit and rebar before Baker crew members could proceed with cutting and drilling through concrete. In areas where it was impossible to avoid cutting conduit, GPR allowed the crew members to carefully chip away the concrete to expose the conduit and trace it back to its origin, where it was safely locked- and tagged-out. Other project work included selective demolition of lab casework, existing ductwork, and lighting.

About R. Baker and Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker and Son All Industrial Services, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker and Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker and Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/selective-demolition.php

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Environmental Cleanup

A lot of people may not associate demolition and rigging with environmental cleanup, but contractors like R. Baker & Son play a big part on many fronts. Rigging and demolition contractors remove abandoned vehicles, engines, tires, equipment, and other various large debris from the sides of roadways and bridges in areas that are hard to reach by tow truck. Cranes and cargo nets are often needed to hoist illegally-dumped from steep hillsides, drop-offs, cliffs and riverbanks, and in some instances, bobcats and other equipment must be lowered by crane to move debris to a central point for rigging.  R. Baker & Son is often involved in such cleanups, particularly after Superstorm Sandy struck the New York and New Jersey coast, but this is a problem that affects all fifty states.

Rigging and demolition contractors are usually hired to perform environmental cleanup by private enterprises or by local, state or federal government, but many donate services to volunteer programs like Adopt-A-Highway, Boy Scouts, churches, and other organizations. Carting companies get involved as well to properly dispose of metal, concrete, and other trash.  Safety is imperative, so it is important that trained rigging and demo personnel take charge to keep volunteers safe and ensure they are not injured during demolition, crane and rigging-related activities.

About R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/environmental.php

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dust, Noise, Vibration and Odor

R. Baker & Son worked closely with the owner of a large three-story building during a recent interior demolition project to develop a dust, noise and vibration schedule. Occupied office buildings surrounded the structure, so noisy activities like pneumatic hammering and use of heavy equipment was limited to a three-hour span from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., followed by cleanup and low-noise tasks between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Dust was controlled by water misting and exhaust fan particle filtering to keep the space negative, preventing infiltration to other areas.

One of the client’s biggest concerns was preventing odor from permeating a nearby building with 100% outside air intakes that shared a courtyard space with the building being demolished. After some brainstorming, the Baker team addressed the issue by purchasing and installing ¾-inch thick rolled pre-activated carbon filter media on the intakes to capture particulates and absorb odor.  The filtration was checked daily and replaced on a weekly basis during demolition and cleanup phases. The client was duly impressed with the care and ingenuity applied to their project. “Every project has specific challenges”, says R. Baker & Son owner David Baker, “and providing solutions for those challenges is where customers find value.”

About R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)   in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Demolition by Implosion

Demolition by implosion, in which explosives are used to make a building collapse down into its footprint, can be an impressive sight to see. Huge buildings, arenas, bridges and other structures that took years to build can be taken down in a matter of seconds with explosives that are strategically placed and timed to undermine supports. 
Implosion of tall buildings and landmark structures throughout the world are often highly-publicized spectator events, with hundreds or even thousands of people in attendance. Most demolition implosions are scheduled for Sunday mornings when area activity is at a minimum. Media outlets and photographers perch on ideal viewing spots, and remote cameras are set up to capture close-up views of demolition. Bright banners and advertisements are often hung on the building slated to be demolished. 

Cordoned-off viewing areas have food trucks, vendors and musical entertainment for the enjoyment of the spectators, and toy detonators are handed out to children. Speeches often precede the main event talking about the building’s history and the preparations that went into preparing for the implosion. The crowd is sometimes treated with a fireworks display, some in the sky above the demolition site, others emanating from the doomed structure itself. 

As the scheduled implosion time approaches, the demolition crew performs a final check and the countdown begins. At zero, children press their plungers, setting off (in their minds) the spectacular sequence of explosions that cause the building to neatly collapse in on itself in a cloud of dust, and awed spectators cheer and applaud the remarkable show. 

About R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services

R. Baker & Son All Industrial Services, a  Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)  in business since 1935, is a premier specialized contractor operating in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with over one hundred employees and an exemplary safety record (we have been directly involved in four sites that received VPP OSHA Safety Awards). R. Baker & Son is financially strong, with bonding capabilities over $10 million. Capabilities include industrial and commercial demolition, rigging, machinery- and plant-moving, dismantling, decommissioning, plant and equipment relocation, interior demolition, selective demolition, warehousing, wrecking and razing, millwright, plant reconfigurations, heavy rigging, salvage, environmental services, remediation, decontamination, abatement, and investment and asset recovery.

R. Baker & Son - All Industrial Services
190 Boundary Road
Marlboro, NJ 07746
732-222-3553
http://rbaker.com/demolition-contractors-new-jersey.php