I worked there until July of 1994 as my path in life then led me to being the plant engineer at GAF Corp in Erie. GAF produced a bundle of shingles every 3 seconds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while also producing a roll of rolled roofing product every 8 seconds. I also would travel to other GAF plants as a project engineer to improve production at various facilities. Projects were many (20 or so at a time), and averaged millions of dollars a year. When the plant manager and the operations manager were not at the facility, I was usually in charge of the facility. Many projects, many improvements, many issues. I designed and implemented a machine to automatically place rolled roofing product on a pallet, eliminating two personnel a shift. Continuous improvement of the facility was my main concern, and it doesn't come easy.
I left there in August of 2001, to manage a 150 year old union rigging company in Erie called Hoffman Riggers. I liked the thought of interacting with all kinds of companies and maybe developing a different type of rigging company, one where maybe I could provide engineering talent to anyone and not be so tied down to one facility. I investigated work, prepared quotes and ensured projects were completed on time and in budget. Customers included everyone from Alcoa to Zehrco. Many projects at General Electrics Erie Plant, moving a few houses and managing a large upgrade at a NRG power plant kept me very busy. Everyday was very important to someone I was working with.
Installation of an automatic pouring system, which increased production 40 percent was the highlite of my time there. We were one of the most automated foundries in the world at that time and Hitachi realized that and bought the company from the owners. I also learned many things from the two Hitachi personnel that arrived. A picture of our brochure is attached and one can see the complexity of the equipment.
A lot of pressure when, a power plant will shutdown if you don't get the job done as promised!!