How We Met an Impossible Schedule... And Cut Project Time Down By Almost 50%

No matter what a project may entail, there’s not much worse than when a project’s execution takes more time than initially budgeted. Establishing accurate construction estimates is critical for electric utility companies to make reliable financial plans for their future. Even if a project is delivered on time, executing the project at a faster rate than initially planned means exceeding expectations and potentially having better control over project spending.

There are those select instances where reasonable project times have to be thrown out of the window, and faster delivery of a project becomes a necessity. Although delivering on a tight schedule is sometimes unfortunate for both contractor and client, the times where this happens can sometimes be impossible to avoid. So you must either accept that more rapid delivery will drastically alter the cost of a project... or that delivery won’t be met on time.

But what if we told you about a project we worked on where we were able to take on the challenge of an “impossible” schedule?

And what if, somehow, we were able not only able to accommodate that “impossible” schedule… but shave nearly 50% off of the overall project time for delivery?

Here’s how we did it in the community of East Fishkill, a town just 1-½ hours outside of New York City.

A Simple Project... With Some Provisions

When you’re working in this industry, it’s easy to look at what a project needs to have done and consider it to be “cut and dry” with very few surprises. At first glance, the project we took on in East Fishkill seemed simple enough. The customer hired DIS-TRAN to tie two yards together with a new line. The project scope also included a breaker, some bus supports, and a new switch.

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary, right?

Well, there were some challenging provisos that we had to acknowledge.

The customer was working on an incredibly accelerated (other companies might say “impossible”) schedule.T

he line boasted an unusually high fault current of 63kA, mandating special requirements in supporting the bus bar.

But we didn’t lay down with such a difficult project staring us down. We hit the ground running, banded together, and did what we needed to do to get the job done.

We pushed some vendors, worked some extra hours, and poured some creativity into solving the engineering challenges. For example, DIS-TRAN’s substation engineers developed a unique double “inverted V” insulator design, pictured above, to account for the fault current loadings. With this design, we could furnish readily available insulators manufactured domestically as opposed to waiting on custom-designed, special insulators manufactured overseas.

As we do with all of our projects, we also managed all of the details, from a 10,000-ft view to the most minute task. Plus, with our equipment and component marshaling services, everything could be shipped directly from the manufacturer’s facility and quality control checks could be streamlined.

What Exactly Did We Achieve?

To put it simply, we were able to reduce time without question. DIS-TRAN pulled the project together in 12 weeks instead of the normal 20 despite not relying on shortcuts, and keeping within specs and code.

“It was all about the customer relationship,” said DIS-TRAN Project Manager, Tim Powell. “With good communication and some creativity, we found a way to meet the customer’s scheduling needs.”

This wasn’t the first time DIS-TRAN went above and beyond to deliver on time and on budget. Check out our projects page to learn more about what we’ve accomplished for customers in the past.If you want more insights on this particular project, please feel free to contact us.