FTLComm - Tisdale - November 11, 1999

This welder joined Northern Steel Industries in February and has been putting things together ever since. In this picture she is cutting out a hole in the formed top of a tank to install the cylindrical opening she will weld in place in a few minutes. She told this reporter that at first getting the hang of cutting a nice smooth circle was a tough task but with practice and experience it has become routine. The skilled work in this factory is performed by each worker who assembles and forms the parts they need for each product rather then specialised workers doing
each phase of the assembly.
The man grinding below is preparing small plates to attach a control box to a nearly complete tank (see below the man grinding). Once he gets the parts into shape he takes them over to the tank and welds them in place.
This form of factory work gives the assembler more feeling of accomplishment when they put their pieces together rather then just perform repeated tasks making parts or repeating the same form of weld time after time.

The Northern Steel Industries plant is well ventilated so that the products of the work process are moved away from the workers and it is surprisingly quiet. All employees wear ear protection and safety boots and of course eye protection appropriate to the work at hand.

Tanks of various sizes are being assembled in the main production area as flat steel is rolled and turned into rings and the rings are then welded into the steel cylinders.

The picture on the right is at one of the two exit doors where products are finished off and sent for sand blasting and then to the paint shop.

The plumbing and support structures make these products far more then just tanks as Northern Steel has been progressively moving toward system products that are ready to use on the site without the need for extensive installation and hardware finishing.

In the picture below we can see the large tanks on the right and the smaller specialised products being built in this small vessel line. The welder with his back to the camera is just finishing off the installation of a tank top and a few minutes later has pressured up the tank checking for pressure leaks.

Northern Steel has this main assembly plant but it also operates a second operation that creates specialised parts as with the fittings you see below right or the tank opening covers like that in the picture above right.