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Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

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Steelcraft’s Engineered Products Division recently produced four pressure vessels for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for use in the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. At this state-of-the-art facility, shared by PHAC and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, scientists help to prevent and control infectious disease in both humans and animals. Their work is critical in public health crises like the SARS outbreak and theH1N1 epidemic. When an outbreak of an infectious disease is reported, specimens are sent to this research facility in Winnipeg, which contains Canada’s only Level 4 laboratories.

The Steelcraft pressure vessels will be used to treat all waste water generated in the facility’s Containment Level 3 Agricultural (CL3Ag) and Containment Level 4 (CL4) laboratories including bio waste from sinks, toilets, showers, and animal wash-down areas.

CL3Ag pathogens are those which cause serious disease in animals or plants and that result in severe economic consequences (eg. Foot and Mouth Disease). The most dangerous pathogens affecting humans and animals are classified as CL4. Level 4 pathogens can produce highly contagious, serious or fatal diseases for which there are no treatments or vaccines.

Les Wittmeier, Manager of Technical Services, and his team ensure safe and efficient functioning of the research facility that handles these pathogens. As the team oversees the electrical, structural, and mechanical aspects of the operations, they try to avoid any unscheduled breakdowns.

When Wittmeier was sourcing replacements for their aging bio-waste treatment tanks, he needed a company that could produce a top quality product that met PHAC’s rigorous standards. On a visit to Steelcraft’s Engineered Products facility, he noticed that, “Everyone was very friendly and cooperative. I really sensed when I was in the plant that there was a real team approach—everybody from the plant floor to the office took pride and ownership in the work.”

A team from Steelcraft’s Engineered Products division in Stratford (Ken Cook, Ralph Bahar, and Chris Wyatt) began work on a proposal to the Public Health Agency of Canada to fabricate four waste-water treatment tanks for their lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba in June 2007. Steelcraft was awarded the contract in August ‘08 and began production in December. “Our experience of both pressure vessel design and manufacturing of exotic alloys proved to be the key asset for us being chosen for the project,” says FCF Sales & Marketing Manager Chris Wyatt.  

The welding team was co-ordinated by Murray Sinnamon, General Foreman, and included craftsmen Justin Baker, Michael Mitchell, Pat Kempen, Dan Smith, Elden Michel, David Schwartzentruber and others. Quality Manager, Roy Langford, ensured in-house and regulatory quality requirements were met.