HOW CHOICE OF SCAFFOLDING CAN SAVE (OR COST) YOU COMPANY-WIDE

LAYHER INC.

Article first posted on BIC Magazine

How Scaffolding Save

THE PRICE OF OIL MAY BE ON THE REBOUND, BUT WITH CAPITAL EXPENDITURES CUT THROUGH THE END OF NEXT YEAR, MANY PETROCHEMICAL AND CHEMICAL PROCESSING COMPANIES WILL BE ON THE LOOKOUT TO CUT COSTS.

If you’re trying to save some extra cash during recovery, there are various factors to consider when it comes to your choice of scaffolding.

Whether you’re a manager, safety leader, engineer or purchaser, it’s worth considering the true cost of scaffolding materials when deciding on a scaffold contractor. Weighing the true cost involves considering more than just the direct cost charged by the seller. It includes the indirect costs to productivity and other consequential costs such as extended downtime and potential threats to worker health and safety.

MANAGEMENT

If you’re overseeing a rebounding operation, it may seem logical to go with the lowest bid, but it’s sure to cost you down the line. High-quality scaffolding is an investment with long-term savings and repercussions across teams:

  • Consumables: First off, inferior scaffolding product drives up your need for consumables. High-quality systems, like Layher Allround®, are meticulously planned with all-inclusive metal parts that don’t rely on the consumer (you) to supplement them with additional purchases of wood, tape and nails that will be disposed of later.

    Along with these consumables comes the labor associated with countless small jobs and repeated expenses necessary to supplement cheaper systems. Once you add consumables and labor costs to your lowest bid, the deal no longer seems so great.

  • Custom parts: Advanced scaffolding systems significantly reduce or eliminate the need for nontraditional parts with fully interlocking components that make numerous combinations possible.

    If you do find yourself in need of something specific, the experience and reach of a worldwide company matters. Layher’s wide-ranging industrial customer base gives clients access to a made-to-order database of over 15,000 drawings that can be modified to meet your needs. In contrast, other scaffolders have to start from scratch to make custom components, transferring the initial costs to you.

  • Change orders: Change orders drive up costs quickly and waste money as a result of poor planning. Avoid them by preparing with an in-house engineering consulting team and advanced technology, like Layplan CAD from Layher, which includes augmented and virtual reality, 3-D drawings, and 5-D models that maximize communication and minimize the unexpected.
  • Scaffolding type: Not all scaffolding is created equal. The industries and applications designers have in mind when creating their product matters. Layher considers petrochemical, energy, manufacturing, and pulp and paper applications for every Allround scaffolding component, making it the most versatile scaffolding on the market. It can be used time and again in a variety of presentations without the need for additional purchase.

SAFETY

If you’re a health and safety manager, you know the costs of cutting corners at the expense of safety. Layher’s built-in interlocking systems, single-tool assembly, and safety features reduce worker exposure and mitigate risks. A one-time Layher scaffolding purchase is more than a material line item; it’s a precaution that prioritizes worker safety over the course of years and thousands of man-hours:

  • Consumables: All-metal parts reduce the need for additional field hours that would be otherwise engaged in cutting wood for corners, planks and toe boards. This translates to a reduced risk of OSHA recordable incidents and trades noncombustible metal scaffolding with wood parts that instead increase fire risk.
  • Custom parts: The safety of any scaffolding product starts with quality materials. A cheaper product often introduces the possibility of bad welding, rust and corrosion that can weaken structure. Layher custom parts start with the same high-quality materials used in Layher scaffolding, with all products meeting OSHA safety standards.
  • Change orders: The same technology Layher uses to reduce change orders can be shared with safety officers to improve safety planning, inform worksite safety meetings and identify ways to reduce risk. Perform virtual walkthroughs of scaffolding in VR for worker training practicums and reduce the risks of OSHA fines and incidents.
  • Scaffolding type: Layher Allround safety features include a locking wedge to hold components securely in place, a locking pin to prevent wind lift and extra board perforations to allow pass-through. Furthermore, hatch decks with inside ladders for material and crew transportation reduce the risk of falls because climbing occurs inside the scaffolding as opposed to outside it.
Scaffolding Save

ENGINEERING

The operations team never needs convincing when it comes to Layher. All it takes is that first-time use of Layher scaffolding, specialized software and engineering consulting support to advocate for the expense. Lighter weights enable quicker builds that save time and money, logical components require fewer workers to complete a job, and smart shipping reduces time spent sorting parts and achieves quicker assembly than other systems:

  • Consumables: Layher users report a 10-percent reduction in labor costs using Layher’s custom software, Layplan CAD. Layplan CAD is an AutoCAD plugin that allows scaffolders to see the build ahead of time and design around potential obstacles. Layplan CAD provides the foreman with a blueprint of the scaffold in addition to a 3-D model that allows rotation to angles not present on a blueprint.
  • Custom parts: Design without reinventing the wheel by using Layher’s database, which includes over 15,000 product drawings that provide a starting point for clients to modify. There is hardly an application that Layher engineers haven’t seen, and they are available to help in the most challenging situations.
  • Change orders: From engineering’s perspective, the major tragedy of every change order is lost time. This can translate to thousands of dollars in lost revenue during shutdown periods. Avoid surprises and excessive outages by working with Layher as an extension of your team to plan every shutdown in detail. This improved process makes for a seamless transition between design and purchasing, so you order and receive exactly what you need based on comprehensive specifications.
  • Scaffolding type: Layher lightweight, high-tensile steel products come in over 4,000 parts to make engineering design dreams come true. Get the job done with confidence using corrosion-protected galvanized steel and a fully integrated system: Layer Allround.

PURCHASING

If you’re in purchasing, you may be used to asking vendors to quote by weight, but in the world of scaffolding, that’s a serious mistake. Like baggage, lighter weights are more desirable because they mean quicker transport and less effort, which conserves energy and keeps workers fresh. If you’re comparing scaffolding prices per pound, you could inadvertently be comparing the price of a single order to double the amount, depending on the make:

  • Custom parts: Avoid the excessive costs in design, material and labor that can add up with the need for special parts. With access to high-quality base materials, a database of unique products ready-made to order and an engineering starting point, Layher has already made the investment so you don’t have to.
  • Change orders: Perhaps no one knows the harsh reality of multiple change orders like the purchasers who see those bills pile up quickly. Mitigate change orders by avoiding weight quotes, which can vary the number of components greatly.
  • Scaffolding type: All too many vendors have taken advantage of weight quotes to cast less-desirable scaffolding products in a more favorable light. Don’t be fooled. Coordinate with engineering to provide vendors with a planned design, and request quotes by the job for a more accurate comparison that includes shipping estimates.

LESSON LEARNED

In short, beware the lowest scaffolding bid. Ensure your company’s recovery with short-term investments in quality scaffolding materials that glean long-term savings over the course of years to come. Consider the true cost of any purchase through a holistic lens that takes into account direct, indirect and consequential costs.

For more information, visit www.layherna.com or call (713) 947-1444.