Panels and Pipes Mechanical Services
Since 1999, Panels and Pipes Mechanical Services has provided practical and efficient solutions in creating industrial solutions in the areas of air conditioning, distribution & ventilation, heating and heat recovery, HVAC services, pipe and duct insulation, plumbing (pipe and gas fitting) and sheet metal/spiral duct fabrication. Besides these core services, Panels and Pipes expanded into offering several specialized services such as asbestos removal, hydronic heating, industrial cladding & insulation, removable insulated covers and scaffolding.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Lynne Troulx about Panels and Pipes services and its expansion of the specialty services, especially the scaffolding business that has seen a tremendous success in the Alberta oil sands development, and the installations’ challenges. “We launched the mechanical scaffolding and installation in 1999, and we always abide by the idea of the customer always receiving professional service and being satisfied with the work. In the meantime, work safety represents our main focus and concern, as our work is usually executed in dangerous heights above the ground, whether it’s our duct work or scaffolding. For example, scaffolding can be storeys high, and work in such heights always represents a challenge,” says Troulx.
While work safety always represents a massive challenge, the company built lasting relationships in the industry sub trades, giving it the ability to deliver projects according to clients’ requirements. According to Troulx, Panels and Pipes has the capacity to bring as many people as needed to execute any given project —whether it’s five or 500.
Panels and Pipes follows the traditional business approach of delivering quality work, focusing on the goal of receiving a call back by the client when new projects arise. It is this approach that lies behind Panels and Pipes’ growth, and its success of becoming one of the leading mechanical services providers that offers a fully automated, state- of-the-art fabrication shop, and talented industry professionals who can design and tailor solutions to meet specifications of even the most demanding and unique commercial or industrial projects.
Panels and Pipes’ whole production and installation process passes stringent quality control processes, while the firm’s mechanical contractors follow strict safety policies, always mindful of risk prevention being the best policy, best summarized as “make your prevention your intention”.
Just like their many skilled manufacturers and mechanical engineering firms, Panels and Pipes jumped at the obvious opportunity in Alberta’s booming energy sector, expanding its presence to Alberta, and opening an office in Edmonton. “We started operations in Alberta in 2008 because of the opportunities present in the oil sands. It’s been an awesome upward trajectory; we’ve been there front and centre, offering our skill, capacity and reliability, and we are able to act upon a short notice and deliver projects from start to finish,” says Troulx.
One of Panels and Pipes’ major projects in Alberta thus far has been working with Canadian Natural (CNQ). Canadian Natural is one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers in the world, and launched its Horizon Oil Sands Project in February 2005, with the project’s potential of delivering 6 billion barrels of oil, and with a production goal of 232,000 to 250,000 barrels of light, sweet, crude oil per day for the next 40 years.
“Our ability to deliver the necessary personnel to the site comes to mind when we talk about Canadian Natural, because the company requires a flexible number of people, and based on their project schedule they may require us to build scaffolding and provide anywhere between 20 to up to 500 workers in a few weeks’ time. The first time we worked with the company was in 2008 on a project worth up to $38 million,” says Troulx.
According to Troulx, the Panels and Pipes crew offers impeccable working ethic, able to work in some of the hardest conditions known to man. “The work ethic [the mechanical services providers] have is second to none. They are isolated out there, working 12 to 20 days at the time, stationed in camps away from their families, and often working in extreme conditions, and still delivering top performance. As a subcontractor, we work closely with our contractors in Alberta, giving safety presentations and discussing safety issues with the crew in order to assess what needs to be done and what work can be done more safely,” says Troulx.
As the company expands in the industry, its team continues to seek new clients in the energy industry. The company is currently looking into the Kearl Project.
Located 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, the Kearl oil sands project is jointly owned by Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil Canada, and will become one of Canada’s largest open-pit mining operations.
Panels and Pipes expects the Alberta energy sector to continue to expand, and it will follow suit. The company also considers business south of the border, offering its services in the Texas oil industry. To create an industry presence in the U.S., Panels and Pipes hired a U.S. vice- president who has experience in mining, focusing on scaffolding and insulating.
Coming from humble beginnings, this Ontario-based industrial solutions provider has a long journey ahead, but its allegiance to quality execution and its clients will surely provide a solid base for future success.