MCM Spports Purdue Program

“It was a partnership from the get-go,” said David Mardigian, president and CEO of MCM Management Corp. “All the values we run this business by converged in East Peoria. We got the right job for the right customer, because after we start a job, we would rather chase the project than the customer.”

The massive demolition project-about 2.2 million square feet of manufacturing buildings and multi-story offices-was a partnership in many ways. The 46-acre site was home to some of Caterpillar’s original manufacturing operations developed when the company incorporations developed when the company incorporated and moved its headquarters to East Peoria, Illinois in the 1930s. The site is just across the Illinois River from Caterpillar’s employees, as well as the entire populace of the Peoria region, as well as the entire populace of the Peoria region, were on the demolition project. Many had worked in the structures that had been vacant since 1994.

“Caterpillar had an overwhelming commitment to enable MCM to make every move that would have a positive community impact,” Mardigian said. “We have never worked with a company where there was so much interaction with so many involved parties at all levels. Yet the communications were open and positive, and everyone maintained common goals and a common sense of purpose.”

The two companies also partnered in putting productive machines on-site to do the job. Since MCM formed in 1993, the Detroit-based company has used Caterpillar machines exclusively. Michigan CAT, the Caterpillar dealer for MCM, supplied most of the machines for the East Peoria job, while the local dealer provided maintenance support.

Two other NADC members participated in the project. The Rose Group from Cincinnati managed investment recovery and Sprinco Services from St. Louis managed site environmental and certain administrative issues.

“MCM culture emphasizes the importance of schedules,” Mardigian said. “Our equipment management philosophy reflects that importance. We can’t have significant unscheduled downtime. So we buy Caterpillar equipment and we replace each machine at 4,000 to 5,000 hours. People still want a Cat product with 5,000 hours, so we get much of our original investment back without spending money on repairs, just on normal maintenance, which we leave to the Caterpillar dealers. They pay attention to everything, and they catch things before a machine experiences downtime.”

“A big project with a compressed time frame suits out equipment and techniques” Mardigian continued. “We also focus on exposure issues, such as community impact and destruction of historical buildings. So the East Peoria project was a good fit.” Caterpillar and MCM helped assure a good fit by planning the demolition project with the same care and attention to detail given to a construction project.

Though there were a few critical demolition areas, MCM determined that the most difficult challenge was to move so much debris in what turned out to be less than six months. “This project was more a material handling job and less a demolition job,” MCM senior project manager Philip Kennedy said. “We weren’t dealing with the typical commercial job involving utility reroutes, street closings or close proximity to other buildings. Here, the most critical part of the job was estimating the expense side and handling demolition debris quickly and efficiently.”

“The income side of this job was relatively predictable,” Kennedy said. “This rub was the cost side. The main question was how we were going to get the wood, used mainly in the roofs of a series of smaller buildings, down on the ground, prepare it, load it, and transport it-and how much will the process cost? We had to be extremely accurate in determining the volume of material to be disposed of, and in arranging for trucks to hail it out on a tightly scheduled basis. Loads had to be turned as quickly as possible, because we had to contract for a large number of trucks.”

The careful planning and proper execution of the plan paid off. MCM completed the project on time and on budget despite complexities such as adjacent public streets, generator vaults within buildings and the need to leave the site drainage system undamaged. But MCM did start the project in a way that defied common practices. A 750,000- square-foot steel structure offered a means for quick cash flow from scrap sales.

However, Caterpillar expressed concern about the hazard presented by the buildings containing large amounts of wood, so MCM went to work on them first. “We undertook the largest expense portion of the job in the first 45 days,” Kennedy said. “More than 30,000 tons of wood hit the ground, was prepared and shipped out. The benefit to us was that we knew out costs right away. Everything after that generated income.”

Ultimately, MCM processed and sold for recycling about 17,000 thousand tons of steel and non-ferrous metals. About 41,000 tons of brick found a secondary use in lining cells at the landfill, and about 3,000 tons of concrete was recycled off-site. The wood debris total reached 40,000 tons.

“The primary environmental concerns were taken care of before we started demolition,” Kennedy said. “Our focus was then quickly and efficiently demolishing, processing materials, and transporting for disposal or recycling. We set a goal of zero injuries and zero property incidents. We put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to run the perfect demolition job.”

To help meet those difficult objectives, MCM brought two experienced demolition superintendents, Walt Wortham and Arnold Humphrey, to central Illinois from it Detroit headquarters. Three experienced demolition equipment operators also came from Michigan for the duration of the contract. The rest of the operators (12 total at the peak) were hired out of the local Operating Engineers hall. MCM relies on mechanized demolition on all it jobs, as the company owns a total of 22 Caterpillar machines as well as three American cranes.

TO complement experienced managers and productive operators, MCM used a fleet of 11 Caterpillar machines, led by 375 and 345B hydraulic excavators did most of the demolition work, as each had the reach to pull down trusses and columns. Demolition procedures were especially sensitive near the public streets that go around and through the property. One brick wall leaned toward the street. “One of our guys was in the 375, which has almost 60 feet of reach, and could see that a brick wall was pitched outward,” Kennedy said. “He just reached in and brought it back little by little and took it down before it could become a hazard.”

The demolition operators also had to deal with two generator buildings that were to be left intact inside larger buildings slated to be demolished. First, the crew moved overhead cranes over a generator house. Then the excavator operator tore away the roof and part of the structure of the outer building. The cranes came off and the crew continued demolition in a direction away from the generator building. All in all, MCM dealt with six critical demolition areas that could have affected utility systems serving adjacent Caterpillar facilities.

Two Caterpillar 330B excavators equipped with S50 hydraulic shears followed closely behind the demolition activities. The machines cut metal beams and plate to sizes that could be loaded and recycled easily. Another 330B, equipped with a magnet, loaded the processed ferrous metal onto a Cat D2SC hauler for transport to a staging area on the site and just over the fence from a rail spur.

Two to three times each week, the 375 loaded an average of four railcars (gondolas) with scrap steel for subsequent shipment to a steel mill. Non-ferrous metal for recycling was carefully sorted and loaded onto highway trucks by another 330B.

A Caterpillar 966 wheel loader and a Cat 973 track loader sorted the wood from other debris and a D8N track-type tractor reduced the wood volume by driving over it and splintering it. A Cat D25C water truck frequently sprayed the wood debris to reduce dust generation. The MCM managers remember the initial 45 days as the most troublesome, due to processing large volumes of wood.

The loaders and excavators all loaded trucks with debris destined for the landfill. The wheel loader’s mobility also allowed it to maintain roads for the trucks and to sort materials quickly, using a multi-purpose bucket.

The process went on six days per week from mid November until the end of April, until the 2.2 million square feet of buildings was reduced to 2.2 million square feet of concrete pad. The massive project came to a positive conclusion: on time, on budget, no significant property damage or disruption of utilities, and no lost-time injuries in 17,000 labor hours. The partnership concept carried through to the completion of the project.

“For the duration of the job, the MCM team communicated very effectively with many levels of out organization,” said Jim Despain, vice president of Caterpillar’s Track-Type Tractors Division. “MCM also worked hard to establish good relations with area contractors and suppliers. They kept the site secure and kept all stakeholders informed throughout the project. We appreciate and have deep respect for the way MCM completed the demolition project. We appreciate and have deep respect for the way MCM completed the demolition project in East Peoria.”

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