Facility Construction Services is project driven, and in the fast-growing Metroplex there are a lot of projects.
FCS is a subcontactor to commercial general contractors in Dallas-Fort Worth, specializing in custom architectural woodwork fabrication and installation for commercial projects, public buildings, courthouses, churches and universities. FCS also contracts to perform drywall partitions and acoustical ceilings.
Paul Holden, vice president, business development, says the company does well in high-end one-time custom work such as panel jobs, reception desks and high-end trim jobs. "Because FCS is an Architectural Woodwork Institute QCP certified premium shop, we try to work on the AWI premium grade woodwork projects," he says.
Business has been good, in part due to the strong local market and real estate development. Holden sees development continuing in business-friendly North Texas. In addition, the housing bubble didn't inflate as much here as in some other cities.
The company's customers are general contractors, including Manhattan Construction, Andres Construction, Balfour Beatty Construction and Beck Group, but FCS employees do the installation. Jess Lewis, woodwork operations manager, says that Texas Capital Bank and Crow Holdings office building were two recent major projects. In the tower residences at Ritz Carlton condo tower, FCS did most of the high-end custom work in 91 condos, including casework, panels, pediments and oven hoods.
FCS started in 1947 as a commercial floor tile and acoustical ceiling subcontractor. William "Bill" Holden, now retired, joined the company in 1953 and directed it during the area's rapid growth. Bill's three sons now own and manage the company. In addition to Paul, Neal Holden is company president and Tom Holden is chief financial officer.
Flexibility in the shop
Holden says that work cells are based on custom fabrication of that particular project and equipment and job titles may change to fit the current project. For example, the Akron edgebander and Selco saw were purchased to handle specific large jobs. FCS uses Alliance Millsoft automated estimating and scheduling software, and plans to implement J-MOS floor management software. Microvellum is used for shop drawings and cut tickets. FCS does all cutting, assembling, edgebanding and finishing on-site, but outsources the veneer panel layup.
A Selco EB108 Active panel saw has been in use for more than a year.
"It provides speed of cutting and accuracy," Holden says. "It is a 14-foot-long saw, so it can handle just about any size of sheet and it is heavy duty.
A Komo VR512 router is used for curves or odd shapes. A two-step program allows it to cut and machine for hinges.
FCS does a lot of hardwood and veneer edgebanding. The large Polymac Akron 855 edgebander is a heavy-duty machine that does four-corner rounding. A premill station on the edgebander has worked well for hardwood banding.
The large jobs done for Texas Capital Bank and Crow Holdings caused FCS to purchase the Akron 855 edgebander.
"Those two projects told us that we'd need a high-end edgebander for these panel jobs, which also included custom mouldings, crown, base and wood paneling," Lewis says.
An Altendorf sliding table saw, Whirlwind crosscut saw with TigerStop positioning and Powermatic shaper are also used. FCS plans to buy a new three-head widebelt sander in the near future to replace an older machine. They are also installing a new dust collection system and electrical and compressed air to handle the larger pieces of equipment.
"You really need good dust collection and compressed air for the sander otherwise the machine won't do what it's supposed to," Lewis says.
FCS's location in East Dallas includes the wood shop and storage building with the drywall operation next door. The two buildings occupy about 70,000 square feet, with a shop size of about 50,000 square feet. In the woodwork group, 30 to 50 people are employed in the shop, depending on the project, 30 to 50 in the field and 20 people in the office.
"Our biggest challenge is to keep a constant workflow out on the floor," Holden says.
One of FCS's biggest projects currently will be visible Sundays this fall. FCS is building private clubs and retail space for the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington. It doesn't get any higher profile than that.
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