BANGS — A dedication ceremony to officially unveil the inner workings of a successful local metal fabrication shop took place Tuesday morning. Numerous visitors attended the ceremony which celebrated the opening of the new NiSource fabrication shop in Bangs.
“Our demand has increased by 300 percent over the last four years,” said executive director of communications Steve Jablonski. “And with this demand, we’re in the process of a 20-some year program of replacing aging infrastructure. What this facility brings to us is greater efficiency and safety to help us through this time of growth.”
The new facility went into operation in September 2013. The 63,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility was designed to enhance productivity and employee safety and was a $6 million investment for the company. According to Mark Pinyerd, leader of the Bangs fabrication shop, the former building, located just to the east of the new building, no longer fits the business operation model for NiSource and is planned for demolition. That facility had been in operation since 1961.
The NiSource shop in Bangs fabricates materials for the NiSource Gas Distribution companies and supports gas distribution operation in six states. A total of 15 employees make clamps that NGD companies use to maintain steel gas mains, and they construct measurement and regulation settings used in large projects.
“We take a raw material and build our own components that we use in the gas utility stream,” explained Pinyerd. “It’s a totally in-house operation for Columbia Gas and our parent company, NiSource. And we’ve found that it’s much more efficient to operate this way than to purchase from outside companies.”
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