Client Success Stories

Reaching New Heights

aSa software helps New York fabricator Upstate Rebar grow its reinforcing operation

New York Bridge

aSa customer Upstate Rebar supplied more than 3,000 tons of reinforcing for New York City’s New Kosciuszko Bridge.

More than 160,000 vehicles per day travel the New Kosciuszko Bridge, which spans the Newton Creek between Brooklyn and Queens. If you could look inside the structure’s massive deck and 287-foot support pylons, you would see more than 3,000 tons of reinforcing steel. That steel was supplied by aSa customer Upstate Rebar.

Not all that long ago, Upstate’s fabricating operation consisted of two men and a tiny shear. In the last 18 years, Upstate has grown from a small, primitive shop to a supplier capable of providing rebar for massive projects like the Kosciuszko Bridge and the University of Buffalo’s Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences building. As Upstate has scaled up as a company, so has its

rebar software.

Founded in 1992 by Bonnie and Kevin Chmielowiec, Upstate Steel began as a steel warehouse. Over the years, the company changed as the market changed. General Manager Darrell Felker says, “We diversified and added new products. We focused on value-added components.” As General Manager of Upstate Rebar, Darrell works closely with ownership, lending oversight to estimating, sales, detailing, fabrication, and logistics. “It’s our outstanding personnel and the aid of aSa software that separate Upstate Rebar from the competition,” he explains.

About 10 years ago, Upstate purchased an existing rebar fabricating shop to provide a dedicated facility for reinforcing steel products. The company now has two divisions, reinforcing-focused Upstate Rebar and Upstate Steel, which supplies a wide variety of steel, stainless, and aluminum products, along with value-added services such as metal fabrication and in-house shop drawings.

According to Darrell, the fabricating shop that Upstate acquired was using the DOS version of aSa at the time. Since then, the fabricator has implemented aSa ex software and added several new modules, including CAD/Detailing, Computer Shearing, Rebar Financials, and, most recently Bundle Inventory and Material Tracking. Upstate also uses the aSa Opto-Shear Console.

“At first, buy-in was tough,” says Darrell. “People are naturally change-resistant, and many of the employees weren’t computer savvy,” he notes. But the changes and upgrades eventually produced positive results, according to Darrell.

He explains, “Computer shearing has really helped with yield. It also makes the shearing process more expeditious. Operators used to optimize manually. They would use calculators in the shop … it was painful to watch a shear

not running.”

“We installed Bundle Inventory in January (2018), and it has really helped us to stay on top of inventory levels. (With aSa), there’s no delay due to not enough material on the rack,” he continues.

Darrell also praises aSa Rebar Financials for its ability to provide a quick snapshot of material and money remaining for

a project.

Upstate Rebar is located in Lancaster, New York. The company primarily serves western New York state, but also supplies material for projects in northeast Pennsylvania and New York City. “Logistics were definitely a challenge for the Kosciuszko Bridge project, because we had to ship steel all the way across the state,” says Darrell, adding “but we persevered.” Phase 1 of the bridge is complete, and contractors are about 85 percent complete with phase 2. 

.Approach Slab

(aSa Bundle Inventory) has really helped us to stay on top of inventory levels. (With aSa), there’s no delay due to not enough material on the rack.

— Darrell Felker - General Manager, Upstate Rebar

4 Generations of Service

CMC MMI Stainless Plant

The 3-year old, 70,000 square foot home of Corrosion Resistant Reinforcing in Walton, KY, is capable of producing #3 through #11’s from stainless coil up to 60 feet in continuous monolithic straight lengths.. 

There are not many companies still in business more than 100 years after they started. Yet, the four-generation, family-owned Contractors Materials Company in Cincinnati is celebrating its 111th anniversary. William H. Luken Sr. founded the company in 1907 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. At the time, automobiles were gaining popularity and the business primarily focused on the supply of granite paving stones and curbs for city streets. During the late 1940s, William Jr. and his brother, Robert, joined their father in the business, which added additional concrete paving accessories and 20-foot small diameter reinforcing bars to their inventory. In December 1977, William (Bill) H. Luken III began working at Contractors Materials Company.  On April 1, 1978, Bill became a principal in the organization after his father’s retirement. After his uncle’s retirement in December, 1980, Bill began to add other concrete construction products and accessories to the company’s inventory mix, which now included rebar fabrication. During his tenure, Contractors Materials expanded operations with new, larger, and more up-to-date equipment and related facilities to help meet the needs of their customer base.

In 1989, they expanded again with a sister company, MMI of Kentucky, housed in a new 25,000-square-foot facility in Lexington.  MMI primarily provides the same product mix as Contractors Materials on a somewhat smaller scale.  Their market includes highway and bridge paving contractors and specialty concrete contractors in Kentucky and Northern Tennessee.

Almost 10 years ago, when Bill was considering retirement, an ownership transition was offered to Bill’s daughter, Megan, and her husband, Rob Faircloth. Rob has been  with the company nearly nine years.  Total Luken ownership was transferred to Rob, Megan, and their son, Luke Faircloth, in June 2012. 

A couple of years before Rob joined the CMC/MMI team, the company realized an opportunity to begin fabricating stainless steel reinforcing. Initially, the stainless steel rebar was fabricated at their Cincinnati location. It was soon evident that more space was needed, and a 60,000-square-foot building was leased for the sole purpose of fabricating stainless steel rebar. However, the leased facility did not provide efficient material handling. Rob then began to look for a suitable location to build a new facility. The decision was made to build in Walton, Kentucky, and to also form a new company, Corrosion Resistant Reinforcing (CRR). The Walton location is only 35 miles from their main stainless steel supplier and is located close to several major highway interchanges near the Ohio/Kentucky border.

In March 2015, CRR moved into a new 70,000-square-foot concrete tilt building in Walton for the exclusive purpose of fabricating stainless steel rebar. During the initial years of fabricating stainless rebar, it soon became evident that an exclusive facility was needed to eliminate any contamination caused by carbon rebar fabrication. According to Bill, “Having the least bit of carbon debris on our stainless product can cause the inspector to reject the bars at the jobsite.” He continues, “By maintaining a clean carbon contaminant-free environment in our (stainless) shop, we virtually eliminate expensive rejected products at the jobsite.”

CRR generally fabricates every bar from stainless rebar coils. They prefer coiled rebar for several reasons. First, like carbon bar, remnants and expensive scrap are reduced. Second, because most stainless mills are typically limited to 12 meters in straight lengths, CRR can provide continuous monolithic lengths up to 60 feet for #3 through #11 bar. Also, it’s more productive and economical for the stainless mill to pickle 3,500 pound coils than straight lengths. Additionally, the mills generally offer a discount for purchasing stainless bar in coil. 

CRR is proud of the couplers they developed for stainless steel reinforced construction projects. It was Rob’s idea to make couplers out of stainless steel rebar; this way the couplers have the same chemical make-up as the fabricated steel. The couplers have been tested and approved by numerous states. CRR also produces rolled thread on the male bar they supply with their couplers. In addition to matching chemistries and possible heats, the deformations on their couplers help with reduced isolated slippage when in place.

Stainless reinforcement has been used extensively and successfully in Europe and the Middle East for years. Only recently has the US become more interested in using stainless steel rebar in the interest of its life cycle costing. The majority of CRR’s stainless rebar is used for, but not limited to, highway and bridge projects throughout the US and Canada. Despite being considerably more expensive up front, in the long run, stainless has a considered lifespan of nearly 100 years in reinforced concrete design before it requires major restoration, according to Bill.

CMC, MMI, and CRR use a variety of aSa modules from Estimating to Rebar Financials at all of their locations. According to Bill, one of the major keys to success has been the use of aSa Optimized Shearing. While they own a license for aSa Material Tracking and other barcoding solutions at only the CRR site, a recent inventory of materials has proven its value. “We recently conducted our mid-year inventory at CRR using aSa’s barcoding solutions and saved approximately 50% of the man hours it would have taken without using aSa,” says Bill.  He continues, “For stainless rebar, material tracking is extremely important.  Because of our success and experience with aSa Material Tracking at CRR, we are currently in the process of implementing it at Contractors Materials and will eventually bring MMI into the Material Tracking fold!”

aSa Material Tracking uses barcode scanning technology to record every step of the fabrication process, including the date and time of each operation and the persons responsible for all stages of producing and shipping an item. This real-time record provides an extra level of quality assurance in the shop. Material Tracking also helps fabricators make smart decisions based on employee and machine productivity rates. When used with Bundle Inventory, heat information is automatically associated to each fabricated item. When combined with aSa Scheduling, Production, and Load Tracking modules, employees get all the information they need to efficiently plan, execute, and follow up on material fabrication and delivery.

On July 28, 2018, CRR passed its first Wiss Janney Elstner inspection for the CRSI “Standard Practice for Stainless Steel Reinforcing Facilities.” CRR/CMC has been working on the program for the past five years.  This standard is recognized by ANSI and is very similar in structure to the CRSI/ANSI standards program that governs the epoxy coated rebar industry.  Salit Specialty Rebar, another stainless producer, also passed inspection for the new standard. The program will soon be launched with a press release to all US Department of Transportation offices, Canadian Ministries of Transportation, and others within the engineering community.

Stainless Couplers

CRR produces stainless couplers from the same heat as the fabricated bars to ensure consistent chemistry requirements for each job. The deformations on their couplers also help prevent isolated slippage.​



Know how. Can do.

Jobsite Photo - New South Project

In 35 years, New South Construction Supply has grown from a single shop to nine facilities in three states. Pictured above is just one of the company's many projects. 

New South Construction Supply is consistently ranked among the top companies to work for in South Carolina, according to SC Biz News, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and Best Companies Group. This is primarily due to the empowered work environment and “KNOW HOW CAN DO” culture that is encouraged throughout the company.

New South Construction LogoSince the company’s inception over 35 years ago, New South Construction Supply has grown from one location in Columbia, South Carolina, to nine locations across three states – Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The company was originally founded by Wayne Gotto and Wayne Glenn, coworkers who decided to start their own company. They chose the name New South Supply because they wanted to be the opposite of their competitor, Old North Supply.

The company changed hands in November 2001. Jim Sobeck, a construction industry veteran, led an investment group that purchased the company. New South is now 100% owned by Jim Sobeck and his family. To clarify the company’s core product line, “Construction” was added to the company’s name in 2007. Out of their nine locations, New South currently has seven rebar fabrication shops. All locations are also distribution and sales sites, supplying a wide range of items, such as hydraulic products, masonry materials, concrete products, and much more. Jeff Owens, New South’s Sales Manager in the Greensboro branch says, “We sell to anyone who will buy.”

Rob Hovanec, Director of Operations and Safety says, “The opportunity to standardize and optimize the fabrication process” was one of the deciding factors New South considered when they were looking for a software solution. Prior to using aSa, New South employees tracked all rebar information manually. New South began implementing aSa in 2013. They started with one location using Bar List and Production and have now implemented aSa in seven of their nine fabricating locations.

From 2015 to 2017, New South expanded its modules to include Estimating, Bundle Inventory, Shearing, Material Tracking, Load Tracking, Equipment Interfaces, and Shear Consoles. Rebar Fabrication Manager Michael Ray explains, “We added the full Production module to cut down on wasted time at the console, and so the shearman can work with a pre-planned run.” New South added Bundle Inventory and Material Tracking in order to better manage their remnants, to keep track of heat numbers, and to cut down on mistakes such as shipping the wrong bar size or grade. Michael adds, “We want to track the progression of an order through the shop and ensure a better loading process.”

New South relies on aSa products to help fabricate and track material for a wide range of projects. Recently, the company provided reinforcing for the Burroughs-Mollette Elementary School, located in Brunswick, Georgia. The new 130,000 square foot structure is being built to replace a 50-year-old elementary school. New South has provided nearly 210 tons of rebar to McDonald Construction, the winner of the contract. The school will house grades Pre-K through 5. A unique feature of the building is that it will be a geothermal facility. Heating and cooling will be provided using underground temperatures. The project started in May 2017, and the school is expected to open in 2018.

Jobsite Overhead Photo - New South Project

Material provided by New South is installed at the jobsite. Stock and remnant optimization, accurate heat tracking, and built-in validations to prevent shipping errors are among the reasons New South relies on aSa rebar solutions.



ProRebar in Action at Crimson Steel

aSa ProRebar helps Oklahoma fabricator detail innovative projects for new riverfront recreation complex.​

A Gathering Place for Tulsa, a new riverfront recreation complex set to open next spring, will allow visitors to enjoy a lodge, boathouse, sport courts, nature walks, and a large lawn for concerts. One of the park’s main features is a land bridge that allows motorists to traverse the park via tunnels without interrupting the landscape for visitors above. Reinforcing for the 2,300-ton project was provided by aSa customer Crimson Steel Supply.​

When future visitors to A Gathering Place for Tulsa — a new riverfront park currently under construction — walk, run, and play among the trees, they may not even notice that cars are zooming from one side of the park to the other below their feet. They certainly won’t know how the complicated curves of the roadway’s tunnel made placing the structure’s rebar a true challenge.

But Scott Morrison knows it all well.

Scott was responsible for detailing the park’s land bridge project. He relied on aSa ProRebar® to help him visualize the structure and place the bars. “The way the structure curved had so many radiuses, I don’t know how I would have done the math to figure it out without ProRebar. But, I knew I could model it and put the rebar in there,” says Scott. He detailed the project for Diamondback Steel, which has since merged with Crimson Steel Supply.

The project consists of a pair of 300-foot tunnels that are covered by recreational space. Deemed land bridges by the designer, the space above the tunnels will be landscaped to block the sights and sounds of cars passing underneath.

Diamondback (later Crimson) shipped the first load of steel in January 2016. The fabricator eventually provided 2,300 tons of rebar for the tunnels. Crimson worked closely with general contractor Crossland Construction on the project. Funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, A Gathering Place for Tulsa represents the largest private gift to a public park in U.S. history. The 66-acre recreation complex is set to open in spring 2018.

Scott explains the process he used. “I created a wire frame model as the basis. Using ProRebar tools, I created lines and patterns, then individually placed the bars I needed. It was very complex. Some of the bars had four or five different radiuses,” he says. It took three to four weeks to model the tunnels, and the entire project lasted a year, according to Scott.

Although Building Information Modeling (BIM) was not a requirement for the project, Scott says he definitely benefitted from creating the 3D model. In addition to helping visualize the bars’ placement — the main reason Scott used ProRebar — it also helped in collaborating with the engineer and general contractor. “At one point, the engineer had a problem and didn’t think the bars would fit as detailed. So, I sent him the 3D file to view and he signed off on it,” says Scott. At another point in the process, the general contractor came to Scott’s office, and they looked at the model together to help answer construction questions.

Recognizing the benefits of working in BIM, detailers from Crimson (Diamondback) were among the earliest aSa customers to begin using ProConcrete and ProRebar more than six years ago. Bentley ProConcrete is the base modeling package developed by Bentley Systems with assistance from aSa. ProRebar is an extended version of ProConcrete that includes special tools for fabricators and detailers, such as the ability to take off material from the model and connect to downstream aSa operations modules.

Scott says aSa CAD Consultant Bryan Diana was very helpful when he had questions. “When the software didn’t let me do what I wanted to do, Bryan was able to help me think of a different way to approach things,” he notes.

In addition to the tunnel project, Scott also detailed a cantilever staircase for the park’s Boathouse structure (see our front cover). He explains, “I decided to do it in 3D because the bottom half of the stair has a varying angle, making it extremely difficult to figure all of the different ties needed.”

Scott has been detailing for Diamondback and Crimson for 14 years. Recently, his role shifted, and he now serves as Director of Estimating for the company.

With fabricating locations in Tulsa and Muskogee, Crimson Steel serves the construction market in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. “Service is what sets us apart. The customer can never ask for too much. We strive to get them what they need in a timely manner,” says Scott, concluding, “We want them to come back for more.” Currently, Crimson Steel is providing reinforcing for several large projects. The new Osage Hotel and Casino in Tulsa is a six-story building with a two-level casino that will require 1,000 tons of rebar. Cross Residence at the University of Oklahoma is a 1,600-ton project that includes student housing and a parking garage.

Scott Morrison of Crimson Steel modeled land bridge tunnels and a Boathouse staircase (top of article) using aSa ProRebar. ProRebar lets you create a model of all the concrete and reinforcing required for a project. From the model, you can then generate 2D details and take off material directly to your aSa database for use by downstream applications.

The 3D Advantage. ProRebar-generated details for A Gathering Place for Tulsa’s land bridge tunnel and Boathouse staircase projects.