When OFS approached Alston Construction in 2017 with plans to build a new optical fiber manufacturing expansion in Norcross, Georgia, we knew our shared commitments to safety, precision, and innovation would make for a promising partnership. A world leader in fiber optic solutions, the OFS expansion needed to be finished in under a year. Every day without incremental capacity meant lost revenue, so finding a business partner who understood speed and attention to detail was imperative.
To start, we visited other OFS facilities to observe operations and learn from production engineers, building out the new construction as a computer model based on our findings and equipment layouts from OFS. Project managers went through the model floor-by-floor after breaking ground to assign and review tasks, and surveyors inspected the construction site every day to ensure construction crews followed each step exactly. Steel beams took the place of finicky, slow concrete columns, and precast panel envelopes built off site let construction crews erect beams and put up walls at the same time. This helped us shave weeks off construction.
In addition to the aggressive timeline and level of quality, OFS also required rigorous safety standards and coordination with their equipment vendor every step of the way. Weekly meetings gave superintendents time to cover safety precautions for new phases of construction, and high-risk moves received their own special safety briefings. In 11 short months, OFS had a new facility—on time and under budget—and without any major safety incidents. The equipment installation team also received regular updates for making transport arrangements.
By November 2018, the equipment installation team was setting up machines onsite, and the facility was ready for work. This saved OFS substantial sums in opportunity cost, provided a state-of-the-art facility for making high quality optical fiber, and created new jobs for the Norcross community. Thanks to strong teamwork, communication, creative problem-solving, and craftsmanship, we were able to help OFS do more of what they do best—producing top-notch optical fiber to power a data-hungry world.