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“Magic Carpets of Steel” The Evolution of Metal Grating and How We Fasten to It

June 19, 2019 12:11 pm

New York City’s subways were an underground oven of sorts in the early 20th century. Lack of ventilation was the primary catalyst, creating a subterranean environment that was overheated, unsanitary and unsafe. Walter Irving, a talented engineer from the area creatively designed a system of open metal bars that could be used as a platform while also allowing free movement of small particles such as air and water. Mr. Irving’s invention also weighed significantly less than its bulky counterparts. Recognized for its’ versatility, the United States Military honored Mr. Irving for his ingenuity as his steel grating became an integral surface for emergency landing in battlegrounds. Quickly assembled and easily camouflaged, these platforms eventually became known as “Magic Carpets.” These temporary landing pads gave way to similar innovations, like the Marston Mat, one of the most important inventions of World War II, these portable runways helped win the war in the Pacific.

Since then, this incredibly versatile structure has been utilized on commercial buildings, industrial plants, offshore platforms, bridge decks, catwalks and thousands of applications around the globe.






Since then, open steel grating has dramatically improved safety in all of the fields where it is utilized. Where corrosion is a problem, fiberglass grating is employed and therefore used in corrosive environments to reduce maintenance costs. This type of grating can be found in a variety of applications including walkways and overhead platforms. It is also a structural product that can be weight-bearing between spans.
This composite material is manufactured by combining a matrix of resin and fiberglass. Molded grating has very high impact tolerance, as well as the highest chemical resistance of any fiberglass grating. It can also be made slip-resistant by adding grit to the surface. Fiberglass grating is also used when there are safety concerns due to liquids or oils on the floor and more corrosive environments needing chemical resistance.

Many different applications can benefit from Fiberglass Grating, such as: Walkways, Platforms, Protective Shielding, Machinery Housings, Raised Floors and Stairways. In addition, Industries that use Molded Fiberglass Grating can include bottling lines, food processing plants, lift stations, commercial aquariums, lube oil facilities, plating shops, beverage canning facilities, chemical plants and pulp and paper plants.

Where grating is not permanent or if welding is not permitted, mechanical fasteners are used to attach large pieces of equipment and other structures directly to the grating. This is where PFS comes in…. In one instance, a stainless-steel threaded stud is welding to a T-Shaped piece of stainless-steel flat bar. Once inserted through the grating and twisted to grab the lower bars, anything can then be fastened to the 3/8” stud and supported by the fiberglass structure. Invented by PFS founder and president, Gerry Keller, the FGGC Mount was introduced by PFS in 1998, this innovative part can be seen on many platforms around the world today.

Another PFS invention, introduced in 1994, is the SGC Mount, manufactured to fasten fiberglass grating to steel I-beams. The low impact ridge of the bottom section reduces opportunity for potential abrasions in painted beams while providing great fastening strength.










In addition to the above products, a wealth of fasteners and mounts are available to handle each and every problematic situation that exists in the complex world of industrial construction. Many of these parts can be attached using simple hand tools on both thick and thin base materials and all of these products and solutions can be found here at Production Fastening Systems.

And as for the man who started it all, a scholarship was established at The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1942 by Walter E. Irving, Class of 1896 and President of Irving Subway Grating Co. Inc., for students who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, and other criteria that the Institute deems of value. To this day, the scholarship is awarded every year to a deserving student.


The T-SEP Assembly: Stampede, Leviathan, Vito & More

May 21, 2019 8:37 am

The T-SEP Assembly is widely accepted as the preferred tube clamping method for major offshore projects. Most recently, the T-SEP Assembly was specified as the preferred tube clamping method for the Amarata Hess Stampede, Noble Leviathan, and Shell Vito projects. In addition, the T-SEP was utilized on the Statoil Peregrino project and is currently a clamping option on the BP Mad Dog II project. We take great pride in the confidence that has been granted to the T-SEP Assembly and have received great feedback from installers and engineers alike regarding the install process.

“We had zero issues with your product. Personally, it’s one the best assemblies I’ve used on any project.”

– Instrumentation Superintendent | Noble Energy-Leviathan Project

Tubing runs venturing from ladder tray to another structure all while maintaining separation thanks to the T-SEP Assembly. (Click to enlarge)

The T-SEP’s reputation began with other projects that PFS continues to take great pride in. Notably:

  • Shell: Auger, Ram Powell, Nakika, Appomattox
  • Chevron: Bigfoot, Jack/ St. Malo, Tahiti, Wheatstone
  • BP: Thunderhorse
  • Anadarko: Constitution, Marco Polo, Heidelberg, Holstein, Boomvang

“I love the T-SEP concept and will utilize it as much as possible”

– Instrumentation Supervisor | Anadarko Constitution

Several years have passed since some of these platforms have been subjected to the harsh offshore environment and PFS has yet to receive ANY negative feedback regarding the performance of the T-SEP’s. In fact, it is evidenced by the repeated use that the T-SEP has performed to the desired standard. PFS has gained an abundance of experience in working closely with engineers and installers on these projects. We are proud to now offer T-SEP mounting capabilities for channel tray, ladder tray, stud mounted (SLP), tray side wall mounted (PTCB) and even free mounted in a “sandwich” configuration (flat bar on top and bottom). Of course there are other scenarios where the T-SEP can be mounted, but these are done on a case-by-case basis in the design phase.

T-SEP’s maintaining separation through “sandwich” configurations before being mounted on ladder tray rungs (Click to enlarge)

Every new project is treated as another opportunity to expand on the T-SEP capabilities. The T-SEP will always be an evolving assembly as new ideas, configurations and mounting scenarios emerge. The challenge is always welcomed and met with vigilant attention to detail.


T-SEP Assembly Mounted To Pneumatic Tube Channel Brackets (PTCB's): Eurika!

June 26, 2018 9:03 am

PFS always strives to provide solutions for all things electrical and instrumentation. This one comes in the form of a tube separation clamp for ladder tray side wall mounting. When PFS introduced the pneumatic tube channel brackets (PTCB) in 1993 as a tray type mount for pneumatic tube supports, it was meant for just that; a bracket that could mount to the outside ladder tray wall and serve as a platform for mounting pneumatic tube runs. The goal was to offer a bracket that was simple to install, sturdy once fastened into place, and easy to move along the wall when necessary. As time went on, we learned more about complications that plagued offshore pneumatic tube runs. The main obstacle was crevice corrosion. In 2000, we developed our patented T-SEP Assembly to maintain a separation within pneumatic tube delivery systems while significantly reducing the opportunity for crevice corrosion. The T-SEP design has since been refined into the clamping assembly it is today which offers zero metal-to-metal contact at the point of tube fastening.



For years, the PTCB and T-SEP Assembly stood alone as solutions for different purposes. Recently, we were presented with a situation where additional tubes were necessary in a ladder tray that was simply out of space. The 12 inch ladder tray rung outfitted with a T-SEP Assembly accommodating fifteen 1/2″ tubes could not handle the addition of six more tubes. Then came the solution- utilize the side tray wall with a PTCB. However, we still wanted the tubing to be separated which presented the opportunity to mount the T-SEP to the PTCB……Eurika!

“The T-SEP and the PTCB have both served as excellent parts independently, but now we’ve found a way for them to work in tandem. I think their full potential will be utilized in unison.

-Gerry Keller (PFS President)

Available in grade 316 stainless steel or aluminum, according to your preference, PFS’s tray mount supports (PTCB‘s) allow for pneumatic tube systems to use cable tray walls for support. Our PTCB-type tray mount pneumatic tube supports work by fastening mechanically to the outer wall of trays; they are compatible with both B-Line cable trays and fiberglass channel trays. Both the B-Line-compatible tray mount and the fiberglass-compatible mounts can be used with standard tubing line clamps and now the T-SEP Assembly.

When used in union with the T-SEP Assembly, the PTCB‘s are supplied with the T-SEP bottom tube alignment section pre-attached to one of the PTCB brackets. PFS’s tray mount pneumatic tube supports are:

  • Quick and simple to install (supports fasten easily onto cable trays)
  • Made of corrosion-resistant grade 316 stainless steel (or aluminum, if preferred).
  • Available in two sizes (B-Line: 4 in. and 6 in.; fiberglass: 6 in. and 8 in.)

Our customers in the shipbuilding, offshore platform, and steel fabrication industries depend upon their pneumatic tubing, which is why we provide the most reliable, functional tray mount designs possible and in the most corrosion-resistant materials available. T-SEP and the PTCB Channel Bracket: The Solution for Maximum Ladder Tray

ESLP Multi-Option Hanger: A Bulk Stock Solution

September 1, 2017 9:03 am

The ESLP Multi Option Hanger serves as a great solution for projects where hangers are to be stocked in bulk and pulled for both electrical and instrumentation purposes. Because the ESLP has both vertical slots for electrical and horizontal slots for pneumatic, the hanger can be treated as a versatile stock item

The ESLP Multi-Option Hanger was born out of pre-existing designs of the Production Fastening Systems “ESL”- Electrical Slotted Cable Hangers and the “SLP”- Pneumatic Tube Supports which were introduced in 1991. PFS offers the hybrid Multi-Option Electrical and Instrumentation Hanger in the form of our ESLP, but continues to provide our ESL’s and SLP’s as a more cost efficient solution when the hangers’ purpose is determined prior to purchase.

Our slotted cable hangers- ESL’s are made to support a wide range of cables of varying diameters. Our cable hangers can support up to eight cables each, and their practical design makes moving individual cables as needed—without neighboring cables becoming tangled or bunched—hassle-free.

Our ESL’s and SLP’s have successfully completed shock testing by the U.S. Department of The Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding Shock and Vibration (Test Report #6913-3-3650:

In shipbuilding, offshore platform, and steel fabrication projects, maintaining pneumatic tubing is essential to the work at hand. At PFS, we offer easy-to-install, corrosion-resistant stud mount pneumatic tube supports to ensure that your tubing systems are protected at all times.

Our SLP tapped tube supports fasten to 3/8-16 studs and can support pneumatic tubing sized 1/4 in. through 3/4 in. PFS’s SLP-type stud mount pneumatic tube supports are manufactured from grade 316 stainless steel, and are used with standard line clamps, resulting in a durable, convenient tube support method.

PFS’s stud mounted ESL’s, SLP’s, and ESLP’s are:

  • Quick and simple to install (supports fasten easily onto welded studs)
  • Made of corrosion-resistant grade 316 stainless steel (other alloys also available)
  • Adjustable (to allow increase or decrease in number of tubing runs)
  • Mounted to 3/8 in. diameter studs (to allow for standardization of electrical and pneumatic weld stud supports)
  • Designed to prevent rust from accumulating (the studs allow for the tubing to stand off the base material to prevent corrosion)

PFS receives US Patent # 9,732,884 for the T-SEP Assembly

August 16, 2017 2:26 pm

On August 15th 2017, Production Fastening Systems, L.L.C. was awarded US Patent (#9,732,884) for their T-SEP™ Assembly (Tube Separation Assembly). Since its inception in 2000, Production Fastening Systems’ T-SEP™ Assembly has continued to evolve while keeping one goal: preventing crevice corrosion by efficiently fastening, aligning, separating, and elevating pneumatic tubing in one assembly. PFS’s pneumatic tube separation assembly is designed to maintain a separation within pneumatic tube delivery systems while significantly reducing the opportunity for crevice corrosion.

Traditionally, parallel runs of pneumatic tubing have been separated through the use of “saddles” or “notching”; a method that is effective in terms of tube separation, but allows corrosive elements to gather at the points of separation or beneath the tube. Furthermore, the saddle / notch method creates difficulties in the installation process. Without a snap-in-place aspect, other locking systems require multiple persons / hands to secure the tubing in place until the top retainer is ready to be fastened.

The T-SEP™ Assembly’s unique design allows harmful offshore elements (salt water, salt spray, chlorides, etc.) to escape the tubing before corrosion can develop. Through diligent research and utilization of evolving technology, PFS stands by the T-SEP™ assembly as the most efficient method of pneumatic tube separation. The latest version of the T-SEP™ Assembly is the non-metallic version which is designed to maintain a 3/16” separation within pneumatic tube delivery systems while significantly reducing the opportunity for crevice corrosion by avoiding metal-to-metal contact with the tubing.

Every surface that makes contact with the tubing is both non-metallic and utilizes a round-on-round geometry to limit surface contact and maximize the opportunity to inspect the contact points. This also allows for effective application of fresh water cleansing from time to time. The other elements of the assembly that do not make contact with the tubing (flat bar & mounting hardware) are manufactured out of stainless steel grade 316.

For more information about T-SEP™ Assembly and the Non-Metallic Tube Spacers, visit, email, or call (800) 216-1827.

Production Fastening Systems LLC, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a complete line stud welding distributor and metal fastening specialist serving the offshore, shipbuilding, and steel fabrication industries since 1987.

Link to US Patent # 9,732,884

Link to T-SEP Patent Press Release Article






Tray Mount Video

January 10, 2017 5:03 pm

Production Fastening System, PFS, has created a Pneumatic Tube Channel bracket install instructional video.

Pneumatic Tube Supports: Tray Mount

In addition to our stud mount pneumatic pipe supports and hangers, PFS also carries PTCB-type tray mount pneumatic tube supports. Simple to install, these tube supports will get the job done where stud mount supports won’t.

Available in grade 316 stainless steel or aluminum, according to your preference, PFS’s tray mount supports allow for pneumatic tube systems to use cable tray walls for support. Our PTCB-type tray mount pneumatic tube supports work by fastening mechanically to the outer wall of trays; they are compatible with both B-Line cable trays and fiberglass channel trays. Both the B-Line-compatible tray mount and the fiberglass-compatible mounts can be used with standard tubing line clamps.

Because our tray mounts are designed for easy installation, the only hardware needed to fasten them is a 1/4-20 SS316 hex head bolt, a 1/4-20 SS316 flat washer, and a nylon insert lock nut. These pieces of hardware are included with every PFS tray mount tube support order.

PFS’s tray mount pneumatic tube supports are:

Quick and simple to install (supports fasten easily onto cable trays)
Made of corrosion-resistant grade 316 stainless steel (or aluminum, if preferred)
Available in two sizes (B-Line: 4 in. and 6 in.; fiberglass: 6 in. and 8 in.)
Our customers in the shipbuilding, offshore platform, and steel fabrication industries depend upon their pneumatic tubing, which is why we provide the most reliable, functional tray mount designs possible-in the most corrosion-resistant materials available. To view a photo of PFS’s tray mount pneumatic tube supports at work, you can click on the “See it in Action” button to the lower right.

ARC 656, A Cost-Saving Welding System

February 15, 2016 3:23 am

When it’s time to replace older stud welding equipment, fabricators look for systems that offer the latest in welding technology advancements. At PFSNO, we work with engineers and manufacturers to identify areas in which equipment can be made more efficient, more ergonomic, and more economic, and the ARC 656M stud welder provides all of these benefits and more.

Improved energy efficiency and extended weld system longevity

PFSNO’s ARC 656M replaced the standard continuous duty fan to cool the internal working of the ARC 656 stud welder with an on-demand cooling fan. This advancement means that the fan is only activated when components needs to be cooled.

Not only is the innovation an improvement in energy efficiency, it also extends the life of the stud welder. The continuous fan of the factory model make the stud welder more vulnerable to dust and debris on worksites.

Reduced welder fatigue due to more ergonomic design

PFSNO’s refined ARC 656M model offers dual handles, making it more manageable for two or even one welder to move the equipment. The 50 Ft. extension cord is double the size of the factory model, allowing welders to cover a much larger area without having to relocate the system.

Both of these modifications mean that welders can accomplish more with less fatigue, which improves overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Increased productivity and diminished waste

Clearly, a more energy efficient stud welder that lasts longer is a more cost-effective system. Reduced welder fatigue and increased speed means greater productivity, which means greater profitability.

The ARC 656M also decreases margins of error with its improved arc gun. The gun’s dampener ensures a smooth weld fillet, reduced spatter, and improved perpendicularity for each stud. Fewer mistakes decreases wasted materials and expenses.

Contact the welding innovators at PFSNO to learn more about our ARC 656M stud welder and all of the other high quality stud welding supplies that we provide. Our factory-certified technicians will come on-site to train your welders, making the transition to new equipment even smoother.

When To Replace Welding Equipment

February 1, 2016 3:20 am

Stud welding has been a fabrication staple for more than 80 years, and during that time, the process as well as the equipment has undergone a continuous evolution in design, efficiency, and ergonomics. Today’s solid state stud welding equipment is a vast improvement over the early mechanical models, providing more precise control over weld cable resistance and other parameters.

However, even modern equipment must eventually be replaced. Consider replacing welding equipment under these conditions.

When welding equipment has become obsolete

While it’s not necessary to replace welding systems with each new iteration, when spare parts for older equipment become increasingly difficult to find, it’s time to replace the system.

When the cost of repairs affect the total cost of operations

Along the way, welding equipment will pick up wear and tear. Wiring connections may become dangerously friable; cable connections may disintegrate. Even solid state components can depreciate as they age and accumulate debris and moisture.

When the cost of repairs over time become greater than financing new equipment, an investment in new equipment becomes the more cost-effective decision.

When welding equipment poses a danger

While declines in manufacturing may make fabricators overly cautious about concerning investments in updated equipment, retaining outdated welding equipment can ultimately cost more. Welding systems that lead to hazardous conditions – whether due to injuries during use or to lower-quality welds – are an expensive gamble.

When cost-saving innovations are introduced

At times, innovations in fabrication tools can be drastic enough to make early adoption the wisest course of action. Equipment that has been designed with extended longevity in mind or welding equipment that offers vastly improved technology that ensures higher quality welds and improved efficiency are ultimately worth the investment for forward-thinking fabricators.

Consult with trained welding representatives

If you’re not sure whether your welding equipment is in need of repairs or replacement, consult with trained representatives capable of evaluating stud welding systems and their components. The factory-certified technicians at PFSNO are always available to provide our customers with on-site service, so contact us today to get started.

PFSNO's Guide To High Quality Stud Weld Materials

January 15, 2016 7:03 am

As with most endeavors, the success of fabrication is largely determined well ahead of the act of fabrication. Before the first fastener is ever attached, decisions must be made to ensure their stability and resilience.

At PFSNO, engineers and other manufacturing stakeholders have access to the highest quality stud welds in a variety of shapes and sizes suited to fit the needs of industries as diverse as offshore oil drilling and construction. Our arc weld studs are manufactured from materials that meet codes and specs established by the AWS, ANSI, ASTM, and other respected industry associations.

AISI 1006 low-carbon steel

AISI 1006 low-carbon steel contains by weight .05% to .30% carbon. A soft, ductile alloy, this mild steel is ideal for use in projects that require bending and welding. One of the easiest metals to weld, low-carbon steel is also relatively inexpensive.

AISI 1020 low-carbon steel

With a higher carbon ration than AISI 1006, AISI 1020 low-carbon steel’s increased carbon content translates to increased hardness and strength; however, the trade-off is a loss of ductility. With a higher-carbon steel, preheat must be used to prevent cracking in heat-affected zones. Like other low-carbon steels, AISI 1020 is economical and easily welded.

300 series stainless steel

With a chemical composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, 300 series stainless steel is the most corrosion-resistant, ductile, and weldable type of stainless steel. Carbon steels are unprotected from air and moisture, which leads to prolific rusting. Stainless steels, on the other hand, are protected from corrosion-causing oxygen diffusion by a passive layer of chromium oxide. Stainless steels are more costly, but they’re necessary in heavy duty fabrication.

5000 series aluminum

With exceptional welding characteristics and high corrosion-resistance, 5000 series aluminum  is ideal for harsh marine environments. Though aluminum is not heat treatable, it can be strengthened by cold working, improving both the tensile and yield strength and reducing crack sensitivity. However, it’s important to bear in mind that too much cold work can result in stress corrosion.

Find the right stud weld materials at PFSNO

Get in touch with our factory-certified welding experts today to learn more about our stud weld offerings.

Avoid Common Stud Welding Failures

January 6, 2016 12:48 am

Manufacturing companies that survived the recession have begun to lead the fabrication industry in post-recession America, and they all have one thing in common. They recognized the importance of identifying means to increase productivity, decrease wasteful budgets, and maintain high quality products.

Stud welding facilitates each of these by standardizing expedient fastening processes, and it has proven to be a consistently reliable fastening method. However, to assure high quality welds every time, it’s critical to take steps to mitigate the most common causes of stud welding failures.

Follow these steps to prevent common stud welding failures:

  • Use only high quality stud and base plate materials.
  • Adjust weld settings appropriately.
  • Ensure a minimum plate thickness of one-half the stud diameter as recommended by the pCI Design Handbook.
  • Thoroughly clean the weld area prior to welding, including the removal of weld splatter, weld berries, and ferrule pieces.
  • Keep ferrules dry to prevent damage to composition and potential for expulsion of molten metal via steam.
  • Regularly clean and inspect equipment to prevent malfunctioning, including cable and wiring connections and solid-state components.
  • Provide formal training for stud welding operators.
  • Conduct visual and physical inspection of finished welds to assure satisfactory weld quality.

Secure a relationship with reliable stud weld supplies in New Orleans

Production Fastening Systems New Orleans supplies superior quality weld studs manufactured from AISI 1006-1020 low-carbon steel, 300 series stainless steel, and 5000 series aluminum. Every arc stud that we supply meets the standards of the most respected associations within the offshore, shipbuilding, and steel fabrication industries, including the American Welding Society, ASTM, the U.S. Navy, and the American Bureau of Shipbuilding, as well as the Department of Highways and Transportation in all fifty states.

Contact our stud welding experts today to learn more about our innovative product lines.