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Posted on December 4, 2019

Paul Wagner from WICU Channel 12 visited our offices last week to do a segment on the Wm. T. Spaeder Company for “Giving You the Business.” He conducted interviews with our CEO, Jay Spaeder, as well as Frankie Davis, our VDC Coordinator, and Jay Roehrig, our Fire Protection Fabrication Foreman.

As head of a 100+ year old, family owned company, Jay had a lot to say regarding things that have changed as well as those things that have stayed the same, i.e. the family values. So far, there are four generations of Spaeder owners and five generations working in the business. Five generations is actually pretty rare (less than 3% in the U.S.) and creates an interesting dynamic not seen in less tightly knit corporations. The company is proud of these values, and there are quite a few employee families who have been with Wm. T. Spaeder across multiple generations.

Jay also gave Paul a quick tour around the office, walking him through our VDC Department. VDC stands for “Virtual Design in Construction” – most people think of CAD modeling when it comes to construction design, but over the years it has become much more. Imagine creating a 3D design (either in CAD, Revit, or other modeling software) and then donning a pair of virtual reality goggles to “walk” around the model, collaborate with remote technicians and engineers, and troubleshoot issues in a cloud-based space. In addition to modeling, the department is adept at digital scanning with the Faro and using a host of other tools that help plan and seamless coordinate the many moving parts of a construction project.

(VDC Coordinator Frankie Davis talks about the modeling and coordination process.)

During the tour, Frankie Davis, our VDC Coordinator, presented one of his 3D models of a current job and walked Paul through how we use tools such as Revizto to assist in coordinating with different trades.

Jay later explained that because the number of skilled trade workers have been dwindling in favor of people getting four-year degrees, Wm. T. Spaeder must proactively work to learn about and integrate new technology that can help make up for the shortage of skilled craftsman.

(Jay shows Paul the Fab Shop.)
Once the BIM (Building Image Modeling) is completed from VDC, many of these designs go to our Fab Shop, our on site fabrication facility. There, Jay Roehrig spoke about prefab for fire protection projects. Much of the supplies that we need on the job are created in the shop, saving time and money. Wm. T. Spaeder fabricates parts for fire protection, commercial and industrial piping projects.
Wm. T. Spaeder Company has been in business for over 100 years, and its members take pride in their skillful craftsmanship, family values, technological advancements and dedication to customers no matter the size of the job. The company looks forward to many more years working in the Erie community and beyond.

Watch the Full Interview on Erie News Now


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