B’HAM MARINE EXPANDS TO MEET DEMAND, ENHANCE Q.C.
June 13, 2005
In an important step toward meeting increased demand and building for the future, marina constructor Bellingham Marine has just completed a major expansion and consolidation of its Northwest US Division. Production operations have been transferred from the original Bellingham, Washington, waterfront location to a new 26,000 square foot facility 8 miles northeast in Ferndale, Washington.
The Ferndale facility was extensively modified to incorporate environmental control technologies and handling systems, enabling Bellingham to reach new levels of efficiency and quality control. The new plant is substantially larger and encompasses float casting, pre-stress fabrication, wood shop and metal shop all under one roof.
The company has a strong backlog of orders and can now ramp up production and provide better value to its customers. In order to meet current demand, the old facility will continue to operate simultaneously with the new one to complete projects currently in production. In addition to expanding plant and equipment, Bellingham expects to double its Northwest Division workforce in the coming months.
Providing an ideal environment for casting specialty concrete and fabricating pre-stressed concrete components was a foremost consideration in planning for the move. Control of temperature and humidity is critical to achieving strength, durability and crack resistance in concrete. The company’s pioneering heated-floor technology, so successful in Bellingham, was duplicated in Ferndale.
“We designed this plant to improve efficiency and make strides toward ever higher levels of quality control,” said NW Division General Manager Stan Reimer. “Environmental factors are critical to producing concrete components according to Bellingham Marine’s strict engineering specifications. At Ferndale, the plant is always at optimum condition for concrete work, no matter what the weather is outside.”
Handling of super-sized, heavy marina components was also a concern addressed by the industrial planners. Operations managers modified a 35-ton straddle lift to the specific requirements of the plant. Its suspension system spreads the loads over the length of the dock component, and its maneuverability keeps the flow of work going smoothly. “With local trends toward longer dock modules, handling was becoming an issue,” said Reimer. “Our new lift has no problem handling the size and weight of the larger floats.”