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Thai Summit America Polishes Over 1 Million Square Feet of Concrete

Hogan also says that Gregg Denton and Andrew Donaldson, the folks at Jon-Don, were very supportive throughout Thai Summit’s whole ordeal in figuring out equipment and procedure.

Thai Summit America Corp. is a multinational corporation with facilities in Asia and North America. The company has been a leader in the sheet metal stamping industry for the last 20 years. The company recently polished more than 1,000,000 square feet (yes, that’s more than 1 million square feet) in their Howell, Michigan, production plant.

A-Line Before
A-Line Before
A-Line After
A-Line After

An increase in the general quality of the workplace, such as better light reflection and aesthetics, was one goal of the polishing project. Thai Summit also wanted the floor to be easy to maintain. The company wanted to use existing personnel to complete the project with in-house labor. And finally, the company wanted positive feedback from customers and potential customers.

East Press Aisle Before
East Press Aisle Before
East Press Aisle After
East Press Aisle After

James Hogan, of plant engineering, provided some background on the job and how it turned out. “Prior to polishing the floor, we painted all of our lines on the floor and sealed most areas in the plant,” he says. Doing this, however, created two problems. Hogan says the crew experienced difficulty getting the lines painted and sealed without leaving footprints or other issues. The second problem came when a line had to be moved. “If equipment changed or there was a new layout, it was next to impossible to get the old lines out of the floor without a lot of damage to the concrete,” says Hogan.

This led to the issue of getting the painted lines out of the floor. Hogan began researching how to accomplish this. “I rented a couple different types of scarifiers and grinders to see what could be done with a little success, which gave us hope,” he recalls. “I also got information from a couple different companies such as Diamabrush and Kut-Rite.”

Main Office Aisle
Main Office Aisle
A-Line Catwalk
A-Line Catwalk

In February 2012, Hogan deployed with his Army Reserve unit to Afghanistan. Next April, when Thai Summit’s new fiscal budget was released, the company purchased its first concrete grinder and polisher. “We staffed it on two shifts with two people per shift, one grinding and the other pushing the vacuums and they traded off,” says Hogan. “All of them were manufacturing associates with zero experience. We had a huge learning curve which resulted in a lot of damage to the equipment and a lot of floor getting polished multiple times.”

Because the company was using inexperienced workers to do a complicated job, things didn't work out as easily as they were hoping and there was a lot of blaming going on. Some of that was directed at Hogan, since he not only was the person who investigated the polishing/grinding machines, he wasn't there to defend his decisions.

B-Line Catwalk
B-Line Catwalk
B-Line South
B-Line South

By the time Hogan returned from his deployment in April 2012, roughly 970,000 square feet of the facility had been polished, but the crew was still having problems with the equipment. That’s when Scanmaskin’s 1000 series grinder that ran on remote control became a part of the solution. “In January of 2013 we purchased the Scanmaskin SC1000RC, the SC 330 for edging, an Ermator T8600 and an Ermator C5500,” says Hogan. “The equipment ran nonstop with no issues, our output jumped and the plant began to look like what you see in the pictures.”

Thai Summit added a second plant to the property which increased the square footage to about 1.2 million. Since then, the company has also added a Scanmaskin SC650 and a SC800 to its arsenal. “We continue to make progress on both plants and also do maintenance in the form of repolishing our aisles as well,” says Hogan. “The great compliments come from our customers who often refer to us and having ‘glass floors.’”

C-Line Catwalk
C-Line Catwalk
F-Bay Catwalk
F-Bay Catwalk

Hogan also says that Gregg Denton and Andrew Donaldson, the folks at Jon-Don, were very supportive throughout Thai Summit’s whole ordeal in figuring out equipment and procedure. “They have been great sources of a ton of information and support for us here,” says Hogan. “We would not be as well off as we are with out them.”

Panoramic view of warehouse aisle

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