AIS Fabricated Fittings is a Veteran-owned and operated business that started in 2009, with a view to providing job opportunities for returning servicemen and women.
While the company’s original scope of work focused on delivering in-field services for customers who required High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe installation, it’s since diversified to provide a much broader offering, including as a manufacturer of HDPE fittings and specialty products. One thing that hasn’t changed though, is its commitment to supporting Veterans who make up around 25 per cent of the company’s workforce.
A recent acquisition to aid the business’ diversification is a new Worldpoly PolyWorkshop48 – it’s the first Worldpoly machine to be welcomed at AIS’ Bon Air, Alabama facility, but likely not to be the last.
The machine provides AIS with the flexibility to produce a range of fittings including production of bends from 24” to 48” OD, 24” to 48” 90-degree equal tees and crosses, as well as 45 and 60 degree equal branch tees from 24” to 48”.
AIS Manager, Cody McDonald, said that while he hadn’t had any previous first-hand experience with Worldpoly products, some colleagues had.
“One of the business owners thought that the Worldpoly equipment would be better engineered and the quality would be higher being that it was designed out of Australia,” Cody said.
“For me it was about seizing the opportunity to further grow the business by becoming one of only a few fab shops in North America to have a machine of this size.”
Now that the PolyWorkshop48 has been operating for a number of months, Cody said there are a number of benefits that the machine provides compared to others. “It has a better design and operates more smoothly than our smaller existing machines,” he said.
“Key points are the design of the inserts and the ability to manipulate the heater and facer plate. This process isn’t automatic, so you can set the two where you need them, compared to other machines having a certain stop point.”
While the PolyWorkshop48 machine is performing strongly for AIS, it’s just not the product that has made an impact – the company is also impressed with the aftersales support services provided by Worldpoly.
“Worldpoly North America Manager, Ron Zachau, trained us to use the equipment and was confident we had the knowledge and experience on the machine before leaving. He went the extra mile in providing us with the necessary support,” Cody said.
Worldpoly also provided the services of world-renowned HDPE pipe specialist Harvey Svetlik to get AIS off to the right start with their large diameter fittings business, and to provide the ideal point of contact for future development.