PTL Fabricators - Custom Fabricators – Clarksville, Tennessee

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Posts Tagged ‘Clarksville fabrication and manufacturing’

Equipment Highlight: Surface Grinder

Posted on: September 29th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott

A surface grinding machine is used to produce a smooth accurate finish on metallic materials.

The team at PTL knows that the finishing touches on a job can show the difference between a professional project and an amateur attempt. One of the many ways we are able to provide perfect finishing is by using a surface grinder.  

A surface grinder is a machine that is used to accurately and intricately remove unneeded layers from a surface in an effort to smooth the top most layer. A surface grinder is used to provide the greatest level of accuracy and detail, difficult to achieve by hand. It is also a better option than trying to grind a surface by hand because it’s less time consuming.

A surface grinder consists of a table, capable of moving forward and backward as well as side to side. A surface grinder also has a magnetic chuck that will hold the metal in place during the grinding process. The piece that does the majority of the work on these machines is the grinding wheel that rotates and is also height adjustable. There are several options for grinding surfaces that can be used on the grinding wheel including:

When these abrasive particles on the grinding wheel contact the metal, they act as tiny cutting tools, each particle cutting a tiny chip. Grinding wheels don’t actually remove material by a rubbing action, the process is as much a cutting action as drilling, milling, and lathe turning!

To learn more about the industrial and machining services we offer at PTL visit our website, or contact us today!  At PTL we utilize more than 30 years of industrial experience to tackle our industry’s toughest challenges with innovative solutions.  





American Machine Tools


The Science of Slides

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott

At PTL, we work in the worlds of physics and engineering every day.

While these topics may sound dull to some, there is an element of these areas of science in almost everything we enjoy on a daily basis. This includes awesome things like water slides!

With the summer winding down, you and your family may have enjoyed a water slide or two by now.

Here is a tiny peak into the science behind this refreshing summer thrill!

Let’s start with the basics of how water slides are built. Most water slides consist of smooth pieces of fiberglass, supported by a very strong metal frame. Smaller slides can be formed using one piece of fiberglass, but more complicated water slides are made of several sections held together with a series of heavy duty bolts.

Much like a rollercoaster, gravity is the driving force that gets slide goers from the top to the bottom. In fact, engineers take several factors into consideration to help you have a safe ride down. These include:

In order to regulate speed, engineers also consider the depth of the water at every step of the slide’s progression. Water acts as a barrier that lubricates the space between the slide and the rider, as well as a force to help push you along. We all know water slides are a fun treat, but it can be easy to forget the hard work and science that goes into making them safe to enjoy!

While we don’t often work on things like water slides here at PTL, we are equipped to take on projects large and small. From steel building erection to facility relocation and maintenance our talented team is ready to tackle the engineering and physics behind the everyday issues you face. Give us a call at 931-647-0675 or come see us at our office in Clarksville, TN. You can also check us out on Facebook! Allow us to use our over 30 years of experience to help with your project today!

How Stuff Works: Science
National Geographic

Choosing a Facilities Maintenance Contractor

Posted on: June 21st, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott 4 Comments

There are many factors to consider when looking for a facilities maintenance contractor.

When erecting or operating an industrial facility, it is incredibly important to monitor the need for repairs and maintenance. Hiring a facilities maintenance contractor takes much of the stress and guesswork out of this process. At PTL, we understand that choosing a facilities maintenance professional to fit your needs can be overwhelming. Below, you will find recommendations for steps you can take to make a great choice!

When selecting a facilities maintenance contractor, it is important to:


A) Ask Questions

A good candidate for this role should be willing and able to handle any questions you have about their tasks. Are they prepared to deliver on their commitments? In what ways is their business set up to best serve yours and accomplish your goals? Take note of how they address any concerns you have. Are they confident in their responses? This will be a good reflection of how well prepared they are to take on the tasks of a facility maintenance contractor for your project.

B) Do Your Research  

Just like in school, doing your own research ahead of time can save you a lot of strife down the road. Does the company you are interested in have a good reputation online? Take a look at reviews, their updates to social media sites, etc. You will be able to learn a lot about their capabilities online before making a visit or phone call.  

C)Seek Out Referrals  

Although times and technologies have changed, here at PTL we still feel that one of the best indicators of a trustworthy business is positive word-of-mouth. Check with friends and those in your industry to find a facility maintenance professional they would recommend.


If you are in the market for a facilities maintenance contractor, we at PTL are confident and capable of taking on the task! Our educated team of professionals is armed with the experience and expertise to accomplish your project needs. We have the know-how and manpower needed to build, maintain, and repair any industrial space.

From power plants, to steel mills, to factories, we are equipped to provide quality services.  From building an initial structure to maintaining and repairing the stress caused by the daily grind of production and manufacturing.

To learn more about how we can exceed your expectations as your facilities maintenance contractor, contact us online or call us at our office in Clarksville, TN at 931-647-0675. At PTL we employ experienced millwrights, riggers, ironworkers, welders, pipe fitters, pipe welders, and more armed with a complete arsenal of specialized equipment. We provide service you can trust for all of your facilities maintenance needs and more!

Source: FM Dashboard

Equipment Highlight: 500 Ton Press Brake

Posted on: May 29th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott

What is a press brake and how does it work?

At PTL we have lots of specialized equipment, and our team of experienced technicians is ready to use each piece. One of these is our 500 Ton Press Brake. A press brake or brake press, is a machining tool used to bend sheet metal. It forms bends by clamping the sheet of metal that needs to be bent between a punching side of the machine that is aligned with a die side.

The machines are made of two C-frames which form the sides of the press brake. These are connected to a fixed table at the bottom and a movable beam at the top. The bottom tool is mounted on the table with the top tool mounted on the upper beam.

There are several types of brakes, they are named for the way that force is applied to create a bend:

With technology improving quickly for hydraulics and computer controls, computer controlled hydraulic machines have quickly become the most popular type of brake press used today.

Press brakes often include multi-axis computer-controlled back gauges. Optical sensors allow operators to make adjustments during the bending process. These sensors send real-time data about the bending angle in the bend cycle to machine controls that adjust the parameters. This helps to make for a more exact bend, which is essential to modern building and fabrication techniques.

To learn more about our 500 ton press brake and more of our specialized equipment, contact us at PTL. At PTL we employ experienced millwrights, riggers, ironworkers, welders, pipe fitters, pipe welders, and more armed with a complete arsenal of specialized equipment. PTL can provide crews from 1 to 80, ready to take on any job. Let us get to work on your project today!

The Fabricator

PEMB: Pre-Engineered Metal Building

Posted on: April 27th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott 1 Comment

A pre-engineered building is the perfect choice for a wide range of structural and aesthetic design choices.

Pre-engineered Metal Buildings are typically known as buildings that are all metal but that isn’t always the case. The major difference between the metal building and the other systems is the way the system is designed and the nature of the components. The design of the PEMB is processed through complex software that analyzes each of the various members at all locations along the lengths of those members.


Historically, the primary framing structure of a pre-engineered building is an assembly of I-shaped members. A computer is used to design the beams for these building. They are designed to meet the required maximum load at each point along the length of the beam. This is why you see tapered beams and columns in a metal building. This is one of the reasons that metal buildings are less expensive than other types of buildings. The I beams are then assembled to form the entire frame of the pre-engineered building. Once the frame is in place our teams will use a variety of materials (dependent on each project) to create the outer walls, roofing, and interiors. Some of these materials include:

Advances in computer-aided design technology, materials, and manufacturing have helped grow the amount of styles available when you are designing and customizing a PEMB to your exact needs


When designing a pre-engineered building, engineers consider the clear span between bearing points, bay spacing, roof slope, live loads, dead loads, collateral loads, wind uplift, deflection criteria, internal crane system, maximum practical size, and weight of fabricated members. Once all of these factors have been determined and input, the designers will then select the most efficient I beams size for their projects based on the computer’s recommendations.

Energy Efficiency

Because buildings account for such a significant amount of the energy consumed in the world, choosing materials and designs with sustainability benefits provides one of the biggest opportunities to be environmentally conscious. There are a wide variety of insulation systems that significantly improve the performance of the roof insulation. Also, an efficiently designed pre-engineered building can be lighter than conventional steel buildings by up to 30%. Lighter weight means less steel, and a potential price savings.

At PTL we offer a variety of services that include installing PEMB, as well as complimentary construction and fabricating services. To learn more about your options when building a PEMB, contact us today. At PTL our reputation for customer satisfaction and quality, as well as competitive pricing, and experience makes us a trusted source for businesses of all sizes.

Butler Buildings

What is a millwright?

Posted on: March 22nd, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott 2 Comments

You may think a millwright is a piece of equipment, but they are actually highly skilled tradesmen!

Originally, millwrights were specialized carpenters who designed and constructed mills. In modern times they work with steel and other materials using a combination of skills in multiple mechanical trades. They install specialized industrial machinery as well as assembling machines from prefabricated parts. Modern millwrights must also be able to read blueprints and schematics to aid in the construction of complex systems.

Millwrights install, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot industrial machinery and mechanical equipment in sites such as factories, production plants, and recreational facilities. Along with extensive apprenticeships, a typical training course to qualify as a millwright may include the following:

Millwrights are also trained to perform critical lifts involving major components. Using cranes and other equipment, they are able to raise and place components into place with incredible accuracy. As a result of their specialized training and expertise, millwrights are generally chosen to work on tasks associated with flying and setting heavy machinery.

At PTL we are incredibly proud of our millwrights, if you have a project that needs specialized expertise we have a millwright and a team that will be able to take it on and see your project through to completion. We employ experienced millwrights, riggers, ironworkers, welders, pipe fitters, pipe welders, and more armed with a complete arsenal of specialized equipment. Our reputation for customer satisfaction and quality, as well as competitive pricing and experience makes PTL a trusted source for businesses of all sizes.

Trades Info
Millwright Employers Assn.

We put our tube roller to good use!

Posted on: February 27th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott

Metal tubing can be formed to almost any angle.

But how do we do it? We use a tube roller! The science of bending tubes to the exact angles we need for every project is both complicated and simple at the same time. To form metal tubing into the shapes that we need, we utilize specialized equipment.

Metal tubing can come in either round or square shapes, depending on its purpose. Most tubes, though, are bent one of four ways: ram-type bending, roll bending, compression bending, or rotary draw bending. At PTL, we most often use roll bending. In general, this type is best suited to our purposes.

When it is time to start bending, we calculate the exact angle required of each tube in order to create the correct shape. Next, using mathematical skills and our technical expertise, we set the tube roller to the specifications of each job. This involves moving three separate rollers that are a part of our tube roller into the correct position. Once these rollers are set to the proper  dimensions, the pipe is inserted and the machine helps us bend the metal to meet our requirements.  

There are a few problems that can occur during the process of bending pipes to the correct angle:

Once we have bent tubes into the proper shape, they can be used for all kinds of jobs. Bent tubing is used for everything from plumbing, HVAC systems, wiring, and gas lines, to musical instruments, industrial frames, and decorative elements. At PTL, we have a team with the exact experience you need able to handle any size job.  Contact us if you need custom metal tubing and for all of your upcoming projects. Our reputation for customer satisfaction and quality, as well as competitive pricing and experience, makes PTL a trusted source for businesses of all sizes.

The Fabricator
Tube Bending
Roll Bender

What is a CNC Hi-Def Plasma Cutter?

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott

A Plasma Cutter is a hand-held torch used in cutting a variety of metals.  

It is an excellent tool for quickly cutting through sheet metal, metal plates, straps, bolts, pipes, etc. A hand torch can be used for cutting small shapes from steel plate and as a gouging tool for back-gouging weld joints and removing defective welds. It is good to note that, when you use a hand torch, it is almost impossible to get the kind of accuracy and edge quality that is required in most metal fabrication.

So, how do we solve this problem?  

With a CNC Hi-Def Plasma Cutter! The term “CNC” is short for “Computer Numerical Control”, which means that a computer is used to direct the machines motion based on numerical codes in a program. A CNC Plasma Cutter can be used for cuts in metal similar to a hand torch. However, it does use a different type of plasma system. CNC Cutters are built with a table, designed to allow a computer to control the torch head producing clean sharp cuts.  

CNC plasma equipment is capable of cutting thick material on multiple axes using a mechanized cutting system rather than a handheld cutter. This process allows for complex welding seams that are otherwise impossible. As technology improves, CNC cutters offer even more flexibility, optimum safety, and faster operation.

There are 3 main types of CNC Plasma Cutting machines. These are differentiated by the forms of materials being processed and the flexibility of the cutting head.

At PTL we have the experience and equipment for all types of metal fabrications. From small jobs to massive projects, our team has the expertise to provide exactly what your project requires. We utilize more than 30 years of industrial experience to tackle our industry’s toughest challenges with inventive solutions.  Contact us to learn more about what PTL can create for you!   


Do you know what a baghouse is?

Posted on: January 14th, 2016 by Jazzy Elliott

At PTL we are skilled at industrial ventilation.

This includes ducts and baghouse installations. So, what exactly is a baghouse? The simple way people sometimes explain them is by referring to a baghouse as a “giant vacuum”. Although this summary is correct in principle, a baghouse is so much more. With a baghouse, a system can be engineered for almost any dust producing application, covering almost any set of circumstances. This places them into a totally different class than a giant vacuum.

A baghouse is an air pollution control device that removes particulates out of air or gas released from commercial processes or combustion for electricity generation. Power plants, steel mills, pharmaceutical producers, food manufacturers, chemical producers and other industrial companies often use baghouses to control emission of air pollutants. Baghouses came into widespread use in the late 1970s after the invention of high-temperature fabrics capable of withstanding temperatures over 350 °F.

Baghouses can…

To learn more about baghouses, or to have one installed or moved to your specifications, contact PTL. We utilize more than 30 years of industrial experience to tackle our industry’s toughest challenges with inventive solutions perfect for your every need!

Global Spec

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