Eric Hopkins, PE, Senior Chemical Process Engineer and Senior Associate at SSOE, recently authored an article in Midstream Business. He shares with readers many insights to help manufacturing leaders plan for change and how understanding planning, assessment, and decision making, even in the gray areas, are crucial to the success of a project. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, December 13, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced today that they have achieved a significant milestone—documenting more than $1 billion in total project savings for their clients. Read more
CHICAGO, Illinois October 09, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is proud to announce it has been named one of Consulting-Specifying Engineer’s 2018 MEP Giants. The MEP Giants program ranks the top 100 mechanical, electrical, plumbing (MEP), and fire protection engineering firms in the United States based on total MEP design revenue. SSOE ranked 45th this year, holding steady at the same spot as their 2017 ranking. In 2016, SSOE jumped 37 spots. Read more
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, September 13, 2018 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, has again partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on their Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Corporate Fellowship Program (CFP). The HOH CFP is designed to train transitioning service members on skills needed to succeed in the civilian workforce. This is done through a 10-week program that consists of educational programming and on-the-job training opportunities for service members while still on active duty. As part of the program, service members gain private-sector work experience and education to help close the gap in employment for transitioning service members. SSOE will participate for a fifth time as a corporate partner with the HOH program by welcoming two new fellows as Assistant Project Managers. Read more
Cliff Reese, PE, Business Leader and Senior Associate at SSOE, recently authored an article in Area Development explaining how obtaining early commitment from both buyers and stakeholders is imperative to a successful modular construction project, which can deliver on cost savings and shorten timeliness. He goes on to discuss how leaders could consider using Advanced Work Packaging (AWP), similar to Lean project delivery, as an option to significantly optimize the efficiency of site-labor costs as well as the project schedule. Read more
Corey Zachel, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE, recently authored an article published in Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation Magazine (IMPO) that explains how to avoid shutdowns at manufacturing facilities. In this industry, repairs are inevitable, however complete shutdowns can create a major loss in revenue. Zachel writes that careful planning and tracking, data from previous work, as well as preparing for the unexpected can all help to lessen the chance of a shutdown.
Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE, was featured in ENR’s May 2018 cover story, “The Top 500 Design Firms: Worry Despite Strong Markets”. From construction tariffs to talent acquisition, the article highlights some of the concerns surrounding the industry, despite its predicted continual growth. Vince’s commentary focuses on the impact of generative design and its ability to help architects and engineers deliver better solutions to clients. Read more
NASHVILLE, Tennessee, November 21, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on their Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Corporate Fellowship Program (CFP). The HOH CFP is designed to train transitioning service members on skills needed to succeed in the civilian workforce. This is done through a 12-week program that consists of educational programming and on-the-job training opportunities for service members while still on active duty. As part of the program, service members gain private sector working experience and education to help close the gap in employment for transitioning service members. Read more
Jason Christen, PMP, Senior Account Executive at SSOE, and Mark LaBell, Senior VDC Technical Leader, were both featured in a BD+C Magazine article that examines the rise of 3D laser scanners, which have recently evolved into handhelds. 3D laser scanning is the fastest, most efficient method to capture existing conditions. In addition to allowing us to scan harder-to-reach places, handheld scanners provide the ability to show clients results immediately after taking a scan with a workable model showing an accurate representation of the facility—a major benefit of the technology that often translates into cost savings for our clients. Read more
Gavin Kaleta, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Mechanical Department Manager at SSOE, recently authored an article published in Area Development Magazine discussing the advantages of preliminary project planning, concise scheduling, and front-end loading (FEL) when renovating an existing manufacturing facility. Even experienced teams benefit from deliberate, phased steps early on in a project, which alleviate productivity issues and inefficiency later on. Gavin’s advice for creating significant savings: spend early. By creating room in the budget for early FEL, you’re investing in up-front engineering that consistently delivers long-term cost benefits, while avoiding unplanned downtime and the dreaded shut down. Read more
Corey Zachel, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Section Manager and Senior Associate at SSOE Group, recently authored an article published in Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation Magazine (IMPO) that encourages early process planning and consistent, inclusive communication to better anticipate the inevitable last-minute changes that occur on manufacturing projects. Using examples illustrating some of the challenges that can emerge late in the project game, Corey shares lessons learned to prepare readers for similar project hurdles. By defining for stakeholders what is driving the project—such as speed to market, product quality, or cost containment—the team is able to prioritize project objectives, while avoiding disputes and mediocre results. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 18, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, announced the appointment of Brian Lloyd as Senior Account Executive. He is responsible for the growth of SSOE’s industrial process business with a main focus on services to chemical manufacturing clients.
Prior to joining SSOE, Brian was a director of sales and marketing in the Cincinnati area covering the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana territory. Additionally, Brian spent 9 years of his career working in a technical services consultant role, serving clientele in a wide range of industries including healthcare, higher education, utilities, and manufacturing. In total, he has 14 years of professional experience providing architectural and engineering services to commercial and industrial clients. Read more
Vince DiPofi, PE, Chief Strategy Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in ENR’s May 2017 cover story, “The Top 500 Design Firms: Market Poised for Takeoff”. From healthcare reform and regulation changes to the race to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, the article highlights some of the questions and concerns surrounding the industry following the recent election. Although preliminary indicators point to a strong, healthy market and we’ve already seen an increase in private sector jobs, a theme of caution continues to persist.
Vince, who has experienced nine presidential elections during the course of his career, comments on the buzz surrounding the election and its effect on the industry. He also discusses how potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have already impacted the automotive market, as seen in postponed spending. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, May 11, 2017 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), a global project delivery firm for architecture, engineering, and construction management, is privileged to announce that two of their own were selected for awards by the Toledo Chapter of the American Institute of Architect (AIA). Kevin Costello, AIA, was named “2017 AIA Toledo Architect of the Year” and Christopher Baker, AIA Associate, was named “2017 AIA Toledo Emerging Professional of the Year”. The awards were presented to Costello and Baker during the Honors Awards Program on April 21, 2017 at the Blarney Event Center in Downtown Toledo, Ohio. Read more
Jim Lewis, Electrical Controls Department Manager and Principal at SSOE, recently authored this informative article in Area Development Magazine advising readers to take a business-driven approach to utility projects. Whether your project is driven by production capacity, energy efficiency, regulatory requirements, or environmental sustainability, the ultimate objective is to add value to the business. Jim shares examples showing how a utility challenge can be turned into a business advantage. Read more
Alan Liddy, AIA, NCARB, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, was recently published in Product Design and Development Magazine on the topic of cleanrooms. Alan explains that keeping cleanrooms clean can come at a lower cost, depending on the cleanroom’s classification, while offering strategies to cut costs without cutting corners. Clean standards continue to climb, but with a few operational enhancements, you can avoid contamination economically. Read more
Jens Ebert, PE, PMP, Senior Project Manager at SSOE, recently authored this article, which examines the phased approach to project execution referred to as front-end loading (FEL) and its many advantages. Also known as pre-project planning (PPP) and front-end engineering and design (FEED), the FEL approach to project delivery involves early project planning and engineering, so that design changes are easier and cheaper to accommodate, comparatively. FEL is very structured and can require more cost upfront, but projects are less likely to have issues or costly changes, and gives stakeholders an opportunity to make more informed decisions along the way. Read more
SSOE Group is a leader in leveraging the latest technology to enable integrated and collaborative project delivery. SSOE Group was featured in BOSS Magazine, in an article highlighting the company’s technology strategy and culture — both of which are helping provide better solutions to clients. Driven by collaboration, SSOE is using innovative tools and customized applications to deliver high quality projects more efficiently, while working to maintain employee engagement along the way. Read more
Gavin Kaleta, PE, LEED AP, Mechanical and Process Department Manager at SSOE Group, co-authored an article published in HPAC Engineering Magazine that focuses on high-performance fan systems, which are critical to industrial processes. From air flow to duct leaks, the article digs deep into ANSI/AMCA Standard 210/ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 51, sharing real-world applications to optimize fan performance. Read more
Firms being asked to play a bigger role in providing expertise
Dave Sipes, Chief Operating Officer at SSOE Group, was featured in this article recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR). The article highlights manufacturing, a particularly robust market currently, and the need within this market to improve processes — with an emphasis on output. Popular among manufacturers is integrated project delivery, a concept that focuses on collaboration and commitment among all parties, which is successfully executed with the help of highly evolved technologies like 3D modeling and laser scanning. Read more
John Gill, PE, PMP, LEED AP, SSOE’s Director of VDC, was recently published in Engineering News-Record (ENR) discussing the topic of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Gill has over 20 years of industry experience and was responsible for the implementation of SSOE’s VDC program. He writes on the many strengths the VDC framework has to offer our industry, and offers some tips for implementing a solid foundation on your next project. Read more
In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Read more
In moving a project from statement of work to completion of construction, regular collaboration between owners, designers, and contractors is no longer a luxury. It is the managerial insurance the project must have in order to stay on schedule and budget. Much of the unbudgeted time and expense incurred by change orders can be attributed to a lack of integration between the players. It’s often because these parties failed to include the resources and intentional effort for collaboration. Read more
A thorough process definition lays the foundation for a successful greenfield project
Dale Feldhaus, department manager in Industrial Process Controls at SSOE Group, was recently published in Chemical Processing Magazine. In his article, he discusses the importance of the preliminary phase of a greenfield project, which Feldhaus refers to as the “process definition phase.” Feldhaus has nearly 30 years of experience, specializing in the design, specification, and coordination of controls and instrumentation for projects within the industrial industry. Read more
SSOE was featured in this Laboratory Design Magazine article highlighting a recently constructed five-story, 125,000 SF science and technology facility for which SSOE provided mechanical and electrical services, in addition to fire protection construction documents. This facility, referred to as Horizon I, supports programs in engineering, technology, scientific research, and industrial development of alternative energy sources—also serving to adjoin the University of South Carolina’s main campus and its “new urban ‘innovista’ research campus. Read more
Mark Hoffman, Department Manager at SSOE Group, was recently featured in this article in Food Engineering Magazine. The article works to demystify airflow and room pressure questions in relation to food production, and offers expert suggestions to ensure cleanliness is achieved and cross-contamination avoided — namely at points in the process where the product is most vulnerable. From pressure differential gauges and processors, to filtration options and software tools, this article effectively covers a lot of ground, offering a collection of valuable tips that are far from intuitive. Read more
David Wilson, PE, LEED AP, Senior Mechanical Engineer at SSOE Group, recently authored this article in Laboratory Design Magazine. The article explores when it’s worth it to consider commissioning for your facility through three case scenarios encountered by an HVAC commissioning expert. What is observed through testing and verification may prevent expensive operational problems from occurring, by detecting flaws and inefficiency prior to the end of the warranty period. The best approach is to be proactive in knowing what you need before it’s too late. Read more
In the AEC industry, when a client asks for a project to be completed “faster, better, and cheaper,” chances are they will be told that two out of three is about as good as it gets. Thanks to technology, integrated delivery methods, and an exceptional team effort, SSOE raised the bar and delivered on all counts on a recent project for a global leader in the food industry.
Huntsville, Alabama has a lot to celebrate. It was recently selected as the site for the new Polaris plant, which will generate up to 2,000 jobs and create a ripple effect that will boost the area’s economy. Huntsville’s Mayor, Tommy Battle, jokingly suggested it was a plate of exceptional barbecue ribs that clinched the high-stakes deal. SSOE’s Alexandra Segers stands by the full story. Polaris selected her from a field of qualified candidates to conduct the site selection process — beginning to end. Alexandra considers this one of the fastest site selection processes of this magnitude she’s ever conducted. To put that in context, she has more than 15 years of experience helping major corporations find the best sites worldwide. Read more
Tom Fitzpatrick, Power Department Manager at SSOE Group, co-authored this content-rich article, published in Power Engineering Magazine, that explores the cost benefits of conducting a feasibility study during the planning phase of a project. The article highlights project examples where SSOE’s engineers were able to add even more value to a feasibility study with their ability to quickly and easily assess, and point decision-makers in the right direction.
Foreign companies are trending in the direction of the U.S. as they review global site selection options, with suppliers following.
Alexandra Segers, International Senior Account Executive / Program Manager at SSOE Group, shares her insight in this article published in Area Development Magazine. Within, Segers discusses some of the important items — including incentives and cost offsets, utility factors, and workforce availability — that are making the U.S. an advantageous area to consider development, with the Southeast U.S. leading the pack.
Correct design basis requires deep understanding of raw material characteristics and facility conditions.
Mark Hoffman, PE, PMP, Department Manager in Food and Consumer Products at SSOE Group, was recently published in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Magazine. Hoffman has over 30 years of experience in project and engineering management in the pharmaceutical processing, food processing, nutraceutical processing, bio-processing, renewable energy, ammonia refrigeration, and food ingredient industries. In his article, he explains how a consistently dependable environment for raw material storage and conveyance is imperative to practical and profitable production flow in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
A roundup of tools and services that architects are using to break free from company servers and physical boundaries.
Lauren Collier, Assoc. AIA, design technology section manager at SSOE Group, is featured in this article recently published in ARCHITECT Magazine. The article reviews recent industry trends related to cloud-based system use, going beyond file sharing and backup. Companies are beginning to incorporate the cloud into schematic design, project management, energy performance analysis, renderings, and other outsourced tasks. The cloud offers adept speed that releases us from our dependency on less-efficient company servers, and generating productive collaboration.
Third party assessments can provide crucial insights.
Peter Wilmarth, RA, an architect at SSOE Group with over 35 years of experience, offers his thoughts as to how those of us in the chemical industry can gain insight from the West Fertilizer plant explosion in his recent Chemical Processing Magazine publication. The tragic blast occurred in 2013 in West, Texas — killing 15 people and injuring over 160 — and elevated the issue of safety in relation to hazardous industrial processes.
Vince DiPofi, Chief Strategy Officer at SSOE Group, is featured in the July issue of Engineering News-Record (ENR) Magazine. The article discusses current trends in manufacturing, in addition to the new technologies appearing in the automotive sector.
The article “Effective Manufacturing Construction Project Management: On Site, and On It” in Area Development Magazine’s 3rd Quarter issue discusses how an on site owner’s representative solves problems and adds value by assuring coordination of trades and maintaining project focus. In addition, John Hernandez, Section Manager at SSOE discusses how hiring the right person for the job, whether a current employee, member of a consulting engineering firm on the project, or a member of a firm with no other project contract will save the client time, trouble, and money while completing their project.
SSOE’s Dan Vining, a general manager at SSOE, discusses how tackling risk planning and management with intensity leads to positive project results. Read more
Nashville, Tennessee, August 25, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that it along with leaders from Volkwagen Group of America’s Chattanooga Operations accepted the 2011 Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Building Green at the awards ceremony held in Nashville,Tennessee on August 12th. Read more
TOLEDO, Ohio, August 10, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, has been recognized in several sustainable design rankings recently released from Engineering News Record (ENR). SSOE ranked 1st nationally among the Top Green Design Firms in Industrial Manufacturing. In addition, ENR also named SSOE 10th among the Top Solar Power Design Firms. Rankings are based on project revenue.
Greenville, South Carolina, June 30, 2011 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an international engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) firm, announced today that it is teaming with prime contractor Walbridge on the design of ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s first passenger car transmission plant in North America. Located near Greenville, South Carolina, the facility will produce fuel efficient, eight and nine-speed automatic transmissions for the passenger car and light truck market. Walbridge is leading the overall design and construction management team for the project. Read more
SSOE Group’s Bob McCain discusses how to tell if you’re getting a steal when it comes to commercial real estate purchases and how to tell when bargain prices are too good to be true. Read more
The shift in development from the major Chinese metropolises to smaller emerging cities is a trend with serious implications for global businesses.
Until recently, companies planning to develop operations in China honed in only on the areas around Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. These large Westernized cities, often referred to as Tier 1 cities, offered labor at bargain prices as well as the infrastructure to support development. Both the Chinese and the foreign companies have come to understand each other’s business practices, and that has lowered the hurdles for outside developers. However, the dramatic social and economic changes that have rippled through China in the past few years are now reshaping the landscape for industrial, commercial, and retail facilities development.
“Although industrial investment seems close to levels we were seeing before the 2009 recession in China,” says Andrew Kwok, SSOE’s General Manager of Asian Operations,” new foreign investment is experiencing a geographic shift.” Attracted by lower development costs (including land, labor and materials), operating costs, and more aggressive government incentives, some investors are opting to develop in more dispersed regions in China. Corporate giants like Ford, GM, Borg Warner, Coca-Cola, Cummins, Goodyear, and P&G are among them.
Any time a catastrophic event occurs that is related to an industrial or manufacturing process, there is speculation as to how it could have been prevented. Was it human error? Were the safety standards followed? Did the company know there was a potential hazard?
Many companies equate assuring worker safety with following OSHA mandates. Although OSHA’s regulations apply to a long list of situations, not all environments where hazardous materials are handled are covered. Despite the fact that OSHA has been in force since the early 70’s, there are many vulnerable areas in terms of safety they have yet to address. Then too, with new technologies and products come new hazards.
That leaves the onus to fully protect workers on the companies themselves. To make this easier, SSOE advises its clients to apply “ready-to-use” OSHA procedures voluntarily even to areas or industries that are exempted or are not yet covered. One method for identifying potential safety hazards is a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) that OSHA requires of companies engaged in the processing or handling of hazardous chemicals.
The Three Ws of a Process Hazard Analysis
PHAs take place in a single meeting, or series of them, and have a prescribed format.
Looking out the window of SSOE’s world headquarters in Toledo, Ohio on a gray January day, one might wonder why publications like the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek recently cited this city as a center for the solar industry. But the designation isn’t based on the amount of sunshine; rather how to put it to work. Toledo, long considered a “rustbelt” city, is applying the strengths it acquired in its manufacturing heyday to new markets, solar energy for one. It’s doing so by forging partnerships with local businesses, higher education, and government.
SSOE is undergoing a parallel transformation as it enters its 60th year. It’s redirecting the manufacturing capabilities that led to robust growth in the past to take advantage of new opportunities. Here’s a look at how a global company and its community are reinventing themselves as leaders in emerging alternative energy markets.
For years, Toledo was home to big players in the glass industry, earning it the moniker, the “glass city.” Along with glass, Toledo had been a hub for the automotive, manufacturing, and energy industries. As with the rest of the country, Toledo suffered a steady decline in manufacturing sector jobs over the last several decades.
Anna Koperczak does more to safeguard the environment in a week than most of us do in a decade. As an SSOE specialist in environmental permitting, she’s a lynchpin connecting regulatory agencies, companies whose products and processes impact the environment, and the engineers who design the systems. Her mission is to help SSOE clients grow their businesses in harmony with environmentally safe practices.
Manufacturing and industrial companies need an “Anna” any time new regulations are enacted, when they are building a new facility, or designing or changing a process. Doing so invariably requires compliance with a series of regulations starting at the federal level with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, then on to state-specific requirements, and finally whatever local environmental laws are in place. Read more
Industrial plants have long been considered the villains in the battle with the forces of eco-friendliness. They’ve been known to consume as much of whatever energy resource is necessary to meet production goals. End of story? Hardly. Regardless of the type of facility, where lots of energy is consumed, there is energy to be saved. In industrial facilities, the opportunities lie in how to manage energy usage and waste. And you don’t have to be an avid environmentalist to want to save energy. Energy costs are rising and availability is increasingly unpredictable. It’s time to take a serious look at industrial sustainability options.
Foreign factories aren’t just about cheap labor and low tariffs.
If your company has or is planning overseas production plants, follow the lead of superior global manufacturers. They have come to realize that using foreign factories exclusively for cheap labor is squandering an opportunity to gain competitive advantage.
Leading manufacturers are expanding and elevating the role of their foreign factories. “They use them not only to gain access to the usual incentives but also to get closer to their customers and suppliers, to attract skilled and talented employees, and to create centers of expertise for the entire company.” (Kastra, Furtows, Harvard Business Review)
SSOE’s China office, which has tripled in size and capacity over the last year, is taking advantage of these types of opportunities. SSOE China has developed relationships with an extensive network of local suppliers and has attracted a talented staff that values SSOE’s global focus.
Have a question regarding our services? Need assistance with an upcoming project? Send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you and will follow up soon.