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ARCHER WESTERN RALEIGH 9/18/07 12:21 PM Page 269

tion pieces to the ends. The system was and the safety of the workers. ognized it, so we had to adjust to how we
prefabricated in China and put together “I had never used it before, but it was were doing things for tight tolerances,”
on site. worth the extra energy and effort,” Thompson says. “We adjusted the steel
Thompson says the company had to Thompson says. manufacturing to support that.”
look overseas for some of the materials “With the direction of these trusses,
because American vendors haven been they came in pieces and we had to assem- About Archer Western
inundated with orders for projects in ble them here on site,” Thompson adds. Archer Western is a general contracting,
hurricane-ravaged areas. “The erection contractor developed a lift- construction management and
“Hurricanes and all that has occurred ing table, where the truss was assembled design/build firm established in 1983 in
here in the states has increased the work- on its side. Illinois. Today, the company is a sub-
load for many manufacturing companies “For a truss, that is its weak direction. It sidiary of the Walsh Group, which is
here,” Thompson adds. was lifted in a vertical position, hinged on ranked among the nation’s top 20 con-
With materials coming from so many one crane, to lift the truss off the table tractors by Engineering News-Record.
locations abroad, Archer Western had a and set it into the space.” The firm performs as an open-shop
crash course in international purchasing, contractor and is an expert in various
according to Thompson. Different Tolerances building, civil and transportation sectors,
“We learned about international pur- Another issue Archer Western came including wastewater and water treat-
chasing and how to best handle that in across with the truss system was the dif- ment plants, rapid transit, highway and
the future,” he adds. “There are differ- ference in tolerances between the wood bridgework, educational facilities, ware-
ences in dealing overseas.” and steel used for the roof. house/distribution facilities and office,
Thompson says the wood has a very according to the company.
Complex System precise tolerance, while the steel had a “In all of its years of construction oper-
Because of the complex nature of the larger tolerance than the wood. ations, Archer Western has never failed
truss system, Archer Western employed However, the company recognized the to complete a contract,” the company
the services of a peer review structural differences during preplanning and adds. “The company has invested over
engineer, who reviewed the erection plan made the adjustment before it became a $300 million in capital equipment and
and made sure nothing had been left problem. regularly employs over 1,000 engineers
unturned in terms of caring for materials “At the beginning of the project we rec- and skilled tradesmen.” ■