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PanelGrip Fits Perfectly in Airport Terminals

Dry Glaze Railing Solution Speeds Installation at World’s Busiest Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta is the busiest passenger airport in the world, with 2,500 arrivals and departures and serving an astounding 250,000 passengers daily. So when Stainless Fabricators Inc. won the bid to install railings at the facility’s brand new international terminal, it represented an opportunity to be a part of a high-profile project and enhance the company’s reputation.

The project called for 2,000 feet of glass railing to be installed. It included stairways, raised balcony areas, walkways, and exterior railings for both departure and arrival areas – a large-scale project by any standard. Additionally, multiple contractors installing thousands of different parts and pieces and hard and fast deadlines combined to create a situation with no room for error.

Challenges on a large-scale

  • Wet glaze installation issues. There’s a lot that goes into wet glaze panel installations – time and steps to be sure. This traditional method requires sealing of the shoe, setting blocks, plumbing the glass, multiple pours of cement, and waiting for cement to cure. To complicate things, it involves a messy clean-up and tedious removal process if glass panels need to be adjusted, removed, and replaced. On large-scale projects, the cost can quickly add up.
  • Getting around on-site. The international terminal measures 1.2 million square feet of terminal floor space. For the Stainless Fabricators team, traversing the terminal with all their tools and materials would be a time-consuming and arduous task with the wide range of parts and materials associated with a wet glaze glass railing system.
  • Multiple crews, tight deadlines. Constructing a project as large as the international terminal is no small feat. With the coordination of various materials such as concrete, steel, glass, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems along with more than 1,300 workers on site daily, a host of crews needed to carefully execute work around each other, placing a high priority on schedules and the deadlines. Missing deadlines meant minimum fines of $1,000.

Dry glaze railing system fits the bill

For these reasons, a traditional system wouldn’t do. So Stainless Fabricators turned to Wagner and its innovative dry glaze railing solution – PanelGrip®. Unlike traditional systems, PanelGrip® technology is specifically designed to simplify virtually any railing installation.

With a unique locking mechanism of high-strength aluminum and PVC isolator, PanelGrip® eased the time constraints that would have come with wet glaze. It also required fewer laborers to complete each glass panel installation, thanks to the broadest grip range and simple process for locking in panels.

This lightweight code compliant system promotes flexibility and ease of change, especially since the only tool required is an Allen wrench. Additionally, the aluminum PanelGrip® shoe is almost 30 percent lighter than the standard shoe.

Key to the project success was Wagner’s open lines of communication, innovation and ability to design produce and deliver these patent components mechanisms for the PanelGrip® system. It’s this level of special attention and focus that Stainless Fabricators attributes to a win-win partnership with Wagner that dates back to the 1990s.

Success leads to more projects

The terminal project was completed on time and on budget, much to the satisfaction of the general contractor and airport – delivering a well-installed contemporary look in the process. As a direct result of the success in Atlanta, Stainless Fabricators has earned 10 additional jobs for railing installations in other airports across the United States, including Austin, Charlotte, and Houston, among others.

“It’s a special honor to be able to work on projects like the Atlanta airport which have such a global impact. We’re proud our installations have helped to create a safe, clean and open environment for the thousands of passengers that use the international terminal every day. Wagner played a key role in that success with the PanelGrip® technology and helping us do what we needed to do to get the job done,” said the president of Stainless Fabricators.

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