Innovation is one of McKinstry’s core values.
Throughout 2016, McKinstry’s Western Washington Region organized an “Everyday Innovation” campaign that set out to share innovations and recognize innovators company-wide. We chose this name for the campaign because even smaller-scale or “everyday” innovations can make a big difference in improving the way we work.
All said, the organizers of the campaign have received more than 60 submissions that highlight an impressive array of creative thinking and have sparked discussions about innovation throughout McKinstry.
While the campaign is ongoing, we’ll be featuring nine of the very best innovation submissions we’ve received thus far in a series of Everyday Innovation posts.
Installing fire protection pipe 125 feet up in the air is no easy feat, but our fire protection team safely and efficiently installed roughly 10,000 feet of fire protection pipe with the creative use of a tugger lift.
The team designed a system that includes a cart (holding up to six pieces of pipe) connected to a “tugger” that lifts the pipe into the air. People in a separate lift receive and install the pipe at the other end. In this photo, you can see a test run of the system conducted in our shop.
This simple idea has made our team more productive because it allows them to lift more than one piece of pipe at a time without having to exit the lift each time a new piece of pipe is installed.
Custom Lighting Upgrade
For 11 years, the lack of decent lighting in the main lobby of an important building had been a chronic problem for a major McKinstry client.
To solve this problem, McKinstry’s lighting team collaborated with PLANLED (a local distributor and marketer of human-centric lighting solutions) to design a custom “pendant” light fixture to meet the client’s needs.
The 16 pendant lights now hanging in the building, and seen here, are truly one-of-a-kind—designed, built and certified by McKinstry. They’re made up of two different energy-efficient and long-lasting LED light fixtures—one pointed up and one pointed down. Both lights are independently dimmable, and the “down” fixture is color-tunable as well, meaning it can shift along a color spectrum from yellowish-white “warm” light to bluish-white “cool” light.
Our mechanical special projects group has been testing out a new form of transporting tools and fabricated material to the jobsite. With this new vehicle design, tools are better organized and easier to access, workers spend less time and incur less risk looking for things they need, and a trip back to the truck for a tool doesn’t involve rummaging around inside.
The main cavity is now completely open to store and transport larger pieces of equipment—avoiding repeat trips—since all smaller tools are accessible from the outside boxes, which are lockable by remote. Additionally, the noise level while driving (clanging tools) has been dramatically reduced.