2019 News

Industrial Services: Ductwork Moves Air – and Much More

Industrial Services: Ductwork Moves Air – and Much More

Ductwork in industrial settings can move not just air, exhaust fumes and gases from point A to point B, but it can also be designed to move materials like dust particles, ashes, agricultural products, chemicals, paper and food-grade products. Materials used to fabricate ducts also varies and includes carbon, stainless and galvanized steel; aluminum; titanium; plastic; and specialty coated metal ductwork. Baker Group’s Sheet Metal business unit works with all these scenarios.

“Every industrial facility’s ductwork is unique – you can’t buy it off the shelf,” says Tom Wengert, Vice President of Baker Group’s Sheet Metal business unit. “We custom design and fabricate each project to meet the client’s objectives to make sure it fits in the allotted space working around other utilities such as piping, electrical, equipment and structure.”

Engineered to Perform
Jeff Jordan, a Sheet Metal Project Manager at Baker Group, says, “Industrial work often involves using higher pressure air or a certain type of pipe to move product from one bin or vessel to another. These require some unique engineering, which we do as well.”

Jordan says all projects start with listening to the customer’s needs. “We design, prefabricate and install around that criteria,” he says.

  • 3D scanning. Baker Group’s industrial projects typically begin with 3D scanning of the existing facility.
  • Design and detailing. 3D scans guide Baker Group engineers in designing and detailing the job.
  • Completed designs are sent to Baker Group’s inhouse Advanced Manufacturing facility, where Sheet Metal craftsmen sheer-cut the material using a plasma or water-jet machine and complete welds. “We are also able to prefab multi-trade systems with piping, electrical and controls. This has a big effect on getting jobs completed faster,” says Wengert.
  • Completed sections of ductwork and other components are sent to the client’s facility for installation. Jordan says, “Industrial facilities typically operate 24/7 and can’t stop for installation, so we usually do the installation during holiday breaks.”

Wengert adds, “Throughout the process, our Sheet Metal team works side by side with other crafts including engineering and detailing. Having all related crafts inhouse is a huge benefit because we are not sending designs or components back and forth between companies. The advantages are time, money and quality.”

Reputation Expands Market Area
Baker Group’s team has worked in 38 states. “We have Iowa clients with facilities in other states. Often, they ask us to do work for another location and we’re delighted to do that,” says Wengert.

 These projects may involve turnkey work – engineering, design, detailing, prefab and installation – or Baker Group can ship product and hire local installers to complete the installation. 

Safety is Job No. 1
One reason Baker Group’s industrial work is growing is its excellent safety record. “Industrial facilities and plants have extremely strict safety guidelines. We also place a high value on making sure everyone goes home safe at night, and our safety program is really second to none,” Wengert says. “It is a major reason we get industrial contracts.”

About Baker Group

Founded in 1963 and with 650 employees across Iowa, Baker Group is the Midwest’s premier full-service specialty contractor providing mechanical, sheet metal, electrical, compressed air, building automation, process automation, security systems, fire alarm systems, parking/revenue controls and 24/7/365 service. For more information, call 855.262.4000 or visit https://www.thebakergroup.com/.


Best of Des Moines 2023

Best of Business Record Award

Baker Group was recognized by readers of the Des Moines Business Record for best Mechanical Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Security Company and Best Company to Work For in 2023.

Top Workplaces

Best of Business Record Award

For a seventh consecutive year, Baker Group was recognized by the Des Moines Register as one of the Top Workplaces in the state.