Sterigenics

Situation:

Krusinski Construction Company was just the company for the job when Oak Brook, Ill.-based Sterigenics International decided to expand its operations in Willowbrook, Ill. Krusinski planned and managed the logistics and installed the chamber flawlessly on a tight deadline.

Challenge:

Sterigenics’ Willowbrook facility sterilizes surgical tools, medical devices and related equipment in massive chambers using ethylene oxide, a flammable gas. The company hired Krusinski Construction to install a new chamber that was 52 feet long by 15 feet wide to supplement three smaller sterilization chambers. The new chamber can process up to 26 pallets of medical equipment at one time.

Solution:

Coordinating the delivery and installation was a major feat. The chamber was so large that Krusinski Construction had to make special transportation arrangements to receive it from the manufacturer in Memphis, Tenn., on a 129-foot-long truck. Bridge and highway restrictions prohibited the truck from taking the most direct route.
“We also had to factor in which days and hours the truck could be on the road based on state regulations,” says Dominic Valvano, Krusinski Construction project manager. “We needed to be sure the driver could get from Memphis to Willowbrook on a tight schedule and without encountering any roadblocks.”
The firm also made special arrangements for the truck when it arrived at Sterigenics, including finding an adjacent parking lot that was big enough to accommodate the vehicle and its load, and setting up a 350-ton crane that would move the chamber from the truck to Sterigenics’ building.

To prepare for the transfer, Krusinski Construction removed part of an exterior wall at the site. The company also installed temporary steel beams from Sterigenics’ dock into the chamber room. The crane picked up the chamber, rotated it 90 degrees and set it down on the beams. Crews were then able to move it into place, a process that took about four hours.
“It was a slow and controlled process,” Valvano says. “We had to guide the chamber through a narrow pathway and to its final position.”
Meanwhile, Krusinski Construction was cognizant of Sterigenics’ operations, keeping interruptions to a minimum. Because Sterigenics uses flammable gas to clean medical equipment, crews had to take special precautions to maintain safety, such as not welding inside or near the chamber room.

Results:

“Krusinski Construction maintained excellent communication with us throughout the project,” Hammond says. “If I had any questions or concerns, they got back to me right away.”
Valvano attributes the successful completion to months of meticulous preparation.
“There were a lot of moving pieces,” he says. “Everyone did a great job.”
Hammond agrees. “I’m very happy with how this project went, and I would definitely work with Krusinski Construction again,” he says.

Project

Sterilization Chamber Installation

Client

Sterigenics

Location

Willowbrook, IL

Architects

Kwasek Architects