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Johnson Controls Project

Empowering Growth for a Second-Generation Industrial Distributor

Relocating an established industrial facility can be a stressful situation, especially for a firm with a large product inventory that had operated out of the same location since 1996. Penn-Air & Hydraulics Corp., whose entrepreneurial founder Jim Conrad launched the operation out of a rented garage in York, Pa., has come a long way.

CEO Cheryl Rhein, Jim’s daughter, took the reins in 2010 and continued to grow the firm. In order to accommodate this expansion, the firm had hired Harrisburg, Pa.-based Reynolds under a Design-Build contract to renovate its new 116,000-square-foot facility at 580 Davies Drive in York. I.B. Abel was tapped to handle all electric construction work.

Penn-Air helps its manufacturing clients to increase efficiency and reduce waste and downtime through the sale of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products ranging from cylinders, valves, fittings, tubing, hydraulic, electromechanical, and robotics. The firm also puts these products to use while providing on-site preventative maintenance and repair services.

The I.B. Abel team worked closely with Chief Operating Officer Seth Bray to make sure its electrical needs were met in the 12,500-square-foot office and 62,000-square-foot warehouse. “We had no down-time as a result of this project, which was incredible,” he said. “I was pretty demanding as an end user.”

Johnson Controls Project

The existing electrical system was gutted back to the panels in the office area and warehouse, leaving I.B. Abel with a virtual blank slate. The existing building had adequate power consumption. I.B. Abel focused on upgrading the system, adding a few new panels, and bringing it up to code. The team provided several power options in the warehouse, including 120 and 240 volt, to accommodate Penn-Air’s varying needs.  

I.B. Abel worked with Penn-Air throughout the project to design and build the electrical system they required, and met with them frequently to make sure they were satisfied. Part of the challenge was working with the township to secure partial permits so Penn-Air could occupy the space before construction was completed. This also meant that the I.B. Abel crew would have to work around its employees and allow office equipment to be moved around.

The greatest victory on the project, according to Seth and Cheryl, was I.B. Abel’s ability to respond the challenges inherent in design-build construction. Cheryl recalled discovering a mislocated electric line that compromised the office floor plan just days prior to moving in. Understanding that the miscommunication was not caused by I.B. Abel or Penn-Air, they came together as a team and developed a solution.  

I.B. Abel finished its portion of work on December 16, 2016. Cheryl was elated with the overall project and thanked Project Manager Andy Long with his first-ever hug from a client. She followed up with an e-mail to President Pat Kinsley in January 2017: “I wanted to take a brief moment of your time today to share our impressions of several of your I.B. Able team. Kraig Reinhold, Patrick Benton, and Matt Ryder went above and beyond in their efforts to ensure our expectations were met. These three men are to be commended for not only the excellence of their work, but also the care and concern they displayed in making sure we were happy with the results.”