Metal Trades, Inc. has successfully completed the first US Army Modular Warping Tug (MWT) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) at our Yonge’s Island, SC facility.
The US Army has a large family of vessels that serve our military, sometimes called the “brown water navy.” Metal Trades, Inc. has been fortunate enough to serve as a Contractor repairing and performing maintenance for the Army’s fleet of vessels for over 35 years!
MWT: Workhorse of the Waterways
Modular Warping Tugs (MWT) are part of the ship-to-shore enablers included under the Modular Causeway Systems (MCS). Modular Causeway Systems is owned and operated by the US Army, and they enable the discharge of strategic sealift ships when suitable ports are unavailable. Currently, Metal Trades, Inc. is working on a contract to overhaul over ninety of these causeway systems at our facility!
The MCS is comprised of a family of vessels including the Causeway Ferry (CF), Floating Causeway (FC), and Roll-on/Roll-off Discharge Facility (RRDF). Specifically, the purpose of the MWT that Metal Trades is about to deliver is to assist in the assembly, movement, and positioning of non-powered modules.
SLEP: A Complete Overhaul
As part of the SLEP, this vessel underwent a complete transformation to include new engines, new electrical components, Operator Cab updates, and much more. This contract included over twenty-six modifications, as well as standard cycled maintenance items completed under OCCM (on conditioned cycle maintenance).
This Crew has Their Sea Legs!
The crew pictured here, in our not-so-humble opinion, is among the best in the World! These gentlemen have over one hundred years of combined experience in marine overhaul and repair. This is not the entire crew that made this project a success, and we wish to recognize each member of our staff that supported this contract. Thank you for supporting our warfighters and for continuing to be the heart and soul of Metal Trades’ success!
Metal Trades, Inc. was founded by the late Ted Corbin in 1962. Sixty years later, MTI is still owned and operated by second-generation members of the Corbin Family, and it continues to thrive.
A Positive Community Impact
All their lives, the Corbin Family has lived in the Meggett/Yonges Island Community. From the inception of Metal Trades, the company has continually sought to make a positive impact in the community. We have long supported local businesses, from the subcontractor to the corner store. We have fostered local talent in the surrounding areas as we built our workforce and apprenticeships, helping to generate jobs in FIVE surrounding counties.
MTI Supports Our Schools
Metal Trades Inc. has regularly found ways to support our area schools. Recent efforts include sponsoring student athletics at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. We have also made donations to support the Sunshine Committee at Baptist Hill Middle High School. This is a program that strives to create a positive working environment for teachers and staff that, in turn, positively impacts the students.
Over the last couple of years, Metal Trades has organized trash pickups on Highway 165 and participated in Meggett Town Hall Clean Up events as well. MTI owners and staff share a very real commitment to our surrounding community. After all, we not only work here, but we also call it Home.
Metal Trades, Inc. wants to be recognized as a leader in the surrounding community, as well as a great place to work. We continually encourage local talent to apply for open positions with our company and join the generations of welders, fitters, machinists, and electricians who have enjoyed long and fulfilling careers as part of the Metal Trades family.
MTI’s Ongoing Community Commitment
Over the many decades, Metal Trades has maintained a commitment to helping our people, our communities, and our schools to grow and thrive. It is a commitment we reaffirm, now and in the future! We invite you to learn more about Metal Trades, Inc at our website.
It was ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ when Metal Trades, Inc. celebrated our staff and their families with the Charleston Riverdogs last week. Hot dogs, birthday cake, and good times were on the roster as we honored our teammates for all they do for us and acknowledged a major league milestone: Metal Trades’ 60 Years in business! That’s a LOT of extra innings!
Everybody had a great time rooting for the home team. And, while we gave it 110% effort, we didn’t quite manage to get everyone onto the highlight reel. But we are so grateful for each and every one of you, including those not pictured.
Thanks to one and all for each grand slam, RBI, and sacrifice fly over the years. And Happy Birthday Metal Trades!
A new artificial reef off the coast of South Carolina is boosting ocean wildlife sustainability, and Metal Trades is proud to have played its part!
Artificial Reef projects are a major component of ocean sustainability efforts worldwide. In “dead spots” where a natural reef is not present or is not vibrant enough to support plant and animal life, artificial reefs are employed. It so happens that the South Carolina coast, in its natural state, is one of those dead spots.
“Avid offshore fishing enthusiasts know that the state of SC suffers from a lack of natural habitat to attract and hold fish. Thanks to the South Carolina Memorial Reef projects, what was a desert is now one of the most productive areas off our coast…” SCMemorialReef.com
Decommissioned Ships Become Wildlife Reef Habitats
The SC Memorial Reef Project has been working to bolster ocean wildlife, as well as provide improved opportunities for sport fishing. Often these efforts involve sinking decommissioned sea vessels.
“Large, complex structures…create ideal habitats for a diversity of species. For example, the numerous internal compartments will provide refuge for smaller juvenile fish, while the extensive cargo holds will be useful to larger fish. The vast amount of surface area will allow for expansive invertebrate settlement and growth, which can serve as sanctuaries for larval fish, provide food for juvenile and adult fish, and improve overall water quality.”
M/V Coastal Venture Gets a New Lease on Life
Such a “large, complex structure” is the M/V Coastal Venture, a 250-foot, recently decommissioned cargo vessel. Coastal Venture was something of a Metal Trades alum, having graced our railway in the recent past. In fact, at one time she was one of the heaviest vessels we had docked. As we have grown, however, we have hosted vessels her size or larger in our drydock, including Rail Car Barges, Crane Barges, and multiple dredge vessels.
Promoting Life, and Memorializing It
In addition to its new function as wildlife habitation, the M/V Coastal Venture also furthers the mission of the SC Memorial Reef: to “forever honor the men and women we’ve loved and lost in South Carolina’s sport fishing community.” To that end, memorial plaques were affixed to the hull, as well as a steel cross on the stern of the vessel built by the Metal Trades team.
With holes strategically cut in the hull and the aid of water cannons, it still required ten hours to sink the M/V Coastal Venture. Take a look at the following photos of the process!
The South Carolina Memorial Reef is an ongoing project. Metal Trades encourages you to learn more about their sustainability efforts by visiting https://www.scmemorialreef.com/.
The business of heavy steel fabrication is not for the faint of heart. The size, speed and complexity of fabricated components continues their upward curve, as does the heat of foreign competition. But one heavy steel fabricator handles the heat: Metal Trades Inc.
Your Go-to Source for Heavy Steel Fabrication
MTI is a “go-to” source for build-to-print steel fabrications requiring skilled craftsmen and certified welders of all types of steel. Past projects have included both small and large industrial components (some more than one hundred tons), military vehicle components, and custom-built barges. Our modern fabrication facilities have 40’+ high ceilings and plenty of bridge crane capacity to enable modular construction of large assemblies indoors.
Our team has many years of demonstrated expertise in a wide range of steel fabrication applications, including:
Power Transformer Tanks
Pressure Tanks and Vessels
Manufacturing Fixtures for Commercial, Aerospace, and NAVSEA Industry
Turbine Exhaust Ducts
Armor Steel Components for Military Ballistic Vehicles
Let’s take a quick photographic tour of our heavy steel fabrication operations to give you an idea of MTI’s industry-leading capabilities. So, grab your hard hats and eye protection, and let’s go!
MTI’S PANEL LINE AND MODULAR CONSTRUCTION CAPABILITIES:
MTI’S BLAST BOOTH CAPABILITY:
MTI SPECIALIZES IN SUPPORTING OEMS IN THE POWER GENERATION SECTOR:
MTI SPECIALIZES IN BARGE AND COMMERCIAL MARINE CONSTRUCTION:
Experience Counts in Heavy Steel Fabrication!
That’s a brief tour and snapshot of Metal Trades’ heavy steel fabrication operations! Remember, the Metal Trades team has decades of combined experience in building complex heavy steel components. Many of our craftsmen, machinists, welders, and management staff had years of prior experience building nuclear submarine components or overhauling naval vessels. And all our welders are qualified to ABS, AWS D1.1, NAVSEA, and ASME Section 9 standards. We qualify welders onsite! Contact us to learn more about Metal Trades Heavy Steel Fabrication.
Above: With the EdgeBreaker 4000’s intuitive touch-screen interface, operators can make adjustments or perform automatic calibration of the tools in no time.
Fabricator uses grinding technology to make deburring process safer and more efficient
December 2021 – When the late Ted Corbin founded Metal Trades Inc. in 1962, he had one piece of welding equipment and a pickup truck. Since then, the family-owned company has grown exponentially. Metal Trades earned certification as a Master Ship Repair Contractor for the U.S. Army and has an Agreement for Boat Repair with the U.S. Navy. The company developed into a multi-skilled specialist in heavy custom steel fabrication for barge/commercial marine construction and ship repair.
The company’s complex is housed on almost 50 acres, and it operates its own deep-water access point off South Carolina’s Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Able to accommodate vessels up to 370 ft. long and 70 ft. wide, including massive crane barges, Metal Trades also supports the power generation market with parts that range from transformers and cooling units to oil tanks.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the last 59 years is the company’s relentless pursuit of quality. “No matter what product, they all have one thing in common,” says Virgil Taylor, processing manager for Metal Trades. “They are custom-made, and they are heavy. Standard solutions don’t stand a chance in the demanding industries we serve.”
Taylor, who has been with the company for 25 years, knows what he’s talking about. According to him, customers who rely on high-quality equipment have equally high expectations concerning product design and functionality.
Metal Trades has increased part consistency and throughput with the EdgeBreaker 4000.
“We do serve a niche market, but a demanding one, that continuously asks us to push our boundaries,” says Dustin Corbin, vice president of operations for Metal Trades. “This requires us to be flexible at all times.” That means scrutinizing the company’s internal processes for ways to improve.
In 2019, Metal Trades identified a need to fabricate and deburr steel more efficiently. The existing manual methods had become a major pain point.
“We employ well-versed welders and fitters who do a tremendous job,” says Taylor. “On top of that, once parts were oxyfuel or gas cut, the staff handled and manually deburred them. For smooth fabrication, we need to take the dross off our parts.”
The process proved to be problematic. Deburring with hand grinders kept the welders and fitters from performing their primary jobs and posed a safety risk. Metal Trades processes parts up to 2 in. thick and 40 in. wide. To mitigate the risk and reduce labor expenses, the company began looking for automated deburring support.
“We wanted to keep our welders and fitters on their jobs and proceed to fabrication without secondary handling,” Corbin explains. “After all, we aim to maintain high deburring quality for heavy parts at all times. Efficiency is our No. 1 driver.”
In 2019, a small team from Metal Trades traveled to Fabtech in Chicago. Equipment at the ARKU booth caught their attention. The company has been designing and building levelers, deburring machines and coil lines for many years. Corbin met ARKU Sales Manager Nathan Brown and they discussed the options for an automated deburring machine. After Brown demonstrated the machines’ capabilities, “it was obvious that the EdgeBreaker 4000 was a highly promising fit. I was particularly interested in the machine’s ability to deburr the top and bottom of a part in a single pass.”
In terms of process efficiency, “this was exactly what we were looking for,” adds Taylor. The EdgeBreaker 4000’s oscillating grinding drum removes burrs from plasma and oxyfuel cut parts up to 4 in. thick with repeatable results. Edge-rounding tools on the top and bottom foster double-sided edge rounding as well. This double-sided design can cut processing times by up to 50 percent compared to conventional single-side machines.
Metal Trades installed an ARKU EdgeBreaker 4000 and found the installation to be straightforward. “ARKU technicians managed the setup smoothly and helped us wherever they could,” Corbin says. “Given the facility’s layout, there was no optimal spot to place the machine, but ARKU worked with us to identify the best location for optimal operation.”
The most important aspect of the installation wasn’t space. “Training and knowing how to handle such a powerful tool are infinitely more relevant for quality,” says Taylor. “In addition to standard machine training, we make sure operators understand that thickness is crucial for smooth operations.”
Nick Cromer, Metal Trades steel processing lead, left, Daniel Freeman, Metal Trades steel processing specialist, Virgil Taylor, Metal Trades steel processing manager, and Nathan Brown, sales manager at ARKU Inc.
Above and Beyond
“In our industry, I encounter new challenges every day,” Taylor continues. “Sometimes, equipment is intended for certain processes but we take pride in using it above and beyond its specifications. I like coming to work without having to dread the repetitiveness of other industries.”
The EdgeBreaker 4000 is processing roughly 10,000 lbs. of heavy parts per month. “ARKU’s equipment is a real lifesaver,” says Corbin. “It takes the dross off neatly and has accepted all matching parts without major issues. For us, the improvements are mainly internal, since we’re saving rework and manual labor hours.”
The EdgeBreaker 4000 also helps to achieve good painting on the parts’ edges, which boosts corrosion resistance. One of its major benefits, though, is barely perceptible: it’s a virtually silent operation. According to Virgil, “the EdgeBreaker is one of the quietest machines I’ve ever run. Even at full capacity, except for a low humming, you can barely hear it. This is highly unusual in the industry and creates a quiet working atmosphere. Standing right next to the deburring machine, a customer once even asked me if it was running at all.” FFJ
The Metal Trades processing center is the critical first step of a journey that turns raw materials into high value-added products for our commercial and governmental customers. Today, we take an in-depth look at the Metal Trades Processing Center.
Metal Trades, Inc. is a Heavy Steel Fabricator, Government/Commercial Ship Repair, and New Vessel Construction Facility. As a build-to-print, job-shop-type manufacturer, it is easy to focus on our end-product without adequately highlighting all the critical aspects of production which contribute to the successful delivery of our products.
Turnkey Processing: Convenience and Accountability
Ours is a turnkey facility that offers onsite processing, machining services, indoor blast and paint facilities, a 650-foot marine railway with deep water access, and a 200-foot loading pier that offers dockage. We have extensive in-house heavy lift capabilities. Our unique, expansive facility and our expert staff help simplify complex logistics when customers need to build and move large fabrications over land or water.
The heart of our fabrication process, after estimating and award, starts in our AutoCAD Department and Processing center. Metal Trades has four Drafters on staff with extensive experience working with industry-known programs that support project detailing and nesting such as, but not limited to, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, ProNest, PrimecutNE, JT2Go, Navisworks, Romac, 3D Modelling software.
Superior Capacity and Capability
When raw material is received to our facility and formally processed through Shipping and Receiving, MTI offers over 25 acres of dedicated, secured, lay-down area to store customer product. We have the capability to bend, form, cut, shape, and machine raw plate. Metal Trades, Inc. has proven processes and quality procedures in place which we follow in accordance with customer specifications, regulatory agency requirements, and we boast a Quality Assurance Department that is ISO 9001:2015(E) compliant.
In our Processing Center, we utilize a Heavy Duty Plasma Cutting and Drilling Machine, Model K5000XMC. MTI purchased this machine under a successful application for MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program in 2018. This machine has a 10’ x 40’ effective cutting/processing area for both machining and burning. It offers plasma and oxy-fuel cutting, plasma and oxy-fuel beveling, plasma etching, and machining to include drilling, tapping, milling, interpolation, counterboring and part marking.
We also have two 260 Volt Titan Messer Plasma Burn tables. These two tables utilize a 10’ x 40’ effective cutting/processing area. Even though we are in with the new, we stand by our tried and true. These two Messer machines are workhorses, and both tables have plasma cutting and etching as well as each has ALFA oxyfuel torches capable of cutting up to 8”.
In addition to this equipment, we have a Marvel Touch Tech 60 Vertical Band Saw with a 50-foot rail system and a 25” H x 20” W vice opening at 0 degrees. This saw is capable of cutting a 60-degree miter. We over a Cosen horizontal band saw with a 20’ rail and a 10’H x 10” W vice opening. We offer a Geka 110A Iron Worker capable of punching, sheering, and notching angle, flat, square, or round bar. We have a Faccin Plate Roller with a 10’ plate capacity. We also offer a 750-ton CNC Press Brake with a 20 ft wide capacity. In our processing center, we have two 10- ton overhead cranes and our two-door openings are 20 ft wide x 30 ft tall.
Investing in New Technologies
Recently our staff was featured in Arku, Inc.’s InfoMAX publication highlighting a recent purchase of an EdgeBreaker 4000. This machine assists with breaking mill scale, removing sharp edges, and prepping material for fit-up. This equipment reduces the necessity for manual grinding and therefore, in turn, more efficiently distributes manpower. We use our EdgeBreaker 4000 primarily for our Power Generation Customers, which is also a core business area for Metal Trades. Due to the nature of the work we perform for our Power Generation Customers this equipment supports our systematic, high-volume production capacity for this specific product line.
Processing: MTI’s Firm Foundation
As we say, the processing center is where MTI lays the groundwork for successful projects time after time. From start to finish, MTI’s governmental and commercial clients are assured of superior processes and technology and unmatched customer service, backed by six decades of experience. To learn more, please contact Metal Trades today.
As we approach July 4th, a time to honor our pride in being American and a time to celebrate our independence, we cannot forget our roots. Metal Trades, Inc. was founded by Ted Corbin in 1962. He had a welding truck and a dream and the grit and determination of his children (5 sons and 2 daughters) who supported the growth of his vision.
Ted founded Metal Trades during the onset of the Vietnam War. He wanted to find a way to support our military. He took a government overhaul contract, and he made a promise to deliver. He was determined to honor his word and hired a crew of men he housed and fed around the clock to accomplish the work scope. In the end, Ted and his crew exceeded the terms of the contract, and from there, the foundation of Metal Trades was set.
Ted Corbin’s Original Welding Truck
From that foundation, Metal Trades, Inc. has grown into a state-of-the art facility that far surpasses what could have been imagined at the time of our humble beginning. It’s a facility that proudly honors Ted’s legacy and the Corbin name.
MTI: Adding Value in Government Contracts…
On this July 4th, 2021, Metal Trades, Inc. is a world-renowned Government Repair and New Build Facility. We have built over 150 barges for the US Navy. We have also overhauled over 130 Landing Craft Units and multiple other brown water boats. We support MARAD, USCG, DOT, US Army, and many other Federal, State, and local governments. Over the course of the last decade, as the government continues to place a strong emphasis on the importance of “Buy American” and sourcing materials through qualifying countries, Metal Trades is no stranger to the terms and conditions governing these regulations. As a United States manufacturer, we recognize the importance of domestic sourcing and creating jobs for our local and surrounding communities.
…and Commercial Contracts, too!
While we are well versed in the inner workings of government contracts, Metal Trades, Inc. continues to maintain a stronghold in the commercial industry, as well. Our modern facility offers a turnkey experience for our customers, including:
Indoor Blasting and Painting
Indoor Fabrication Facilities
650’ Marine Railway
200’ Loading and Off-loading Pier (which also provides dockage, and extensive heavy lift capabilities)
Metal Trades, Inc. works with multiple small businesses including women- and veteran-owned along with other 8a companies. MTI continues to invest and contribute to the prosperity of America in every way we can, whether it is through supporting our government, other small businesses, creating jobs, or sourcing our steel domestically. We are proud to be American and fortunate to continue the vision of our Founder by offering American-made products and services.
July 4th: Cause for Celebration!
Every year, Metal Trades hosts a July 4th picnic for our men and women to celebrate the holiday. We will be hosting this year’s luncheon on Thursday, July 1st. Since, we realize the South Carolina heat is sweltering at this time of year, we always work to do our best to provide our men and women time off during the July 4th holiday. This way our men and women – who work tirelessly to support our production – enjoy a long weekend to celebrate with their family and friends! Monday, July 5th is a paid holiday. We wish each of you a wonderful, safe and happy Fourth of July.
Metal Trades, Inc. (MTI) gave a preview of our Team Up to Clean Up efforts back in March of this year. That’s when a team of internal volunteers joined together for our Highway 165 clean-up day. Based on that success of that project…
“Metal Trades is committed to making community clean-up a regularly scheduled event. The Town of Meggett is planning the next event for Saturday, April 17th. We are planning to attend to show our support and commitment to keeping our community beautiful.”
On April 17, 2021, despite a misty rain, a Metal Trades team consisting of Rusty Corbin, Patsy Corbin, and Kristi Rowe joined forces with several Lowcountry Leadership Charter School students to become MTI’s “Team Up to Clean Up” crew. The Town also provided the students with community service hours for volunteering their time.
Of course, as everyone fanned out to fill their trash bags, a little friendly competition developed to see who could find the oddest item by the side of the road. Some interesting items found by our team members included extension cords, safety glasses, gloves, a trash can lid, medicine bottles, and a whole bunch of other bottles! Other volunteers found a snake in a jar and a circular saw which proves anything can be found on the side of the road!
Team Up to Clean Up: MTI Gives Back to the Community!
That concludes this most recent example of MTI giving back. There will definitely be more to come, as Metal Trades takes community service and involvement very seriously. So stay tuned!
Why a Community Clean-up Day? Metal Trades, Inc. (MTI) has been part of the Meggett community for almost 60 years. Like any good corporate citizen, the company continually looks for ways to give back to the place we call our home and to lead the way in making our town a better place to live, work, and play.
In that spirit, MTI employees completed another successful community clean-up day on Friday, March 5th, 2021. Team members scoured ditches, shoulders, and the roadside from Ethel Post Office Road to the end of Highway 165 at Metal Trades.
Highway 165: Target-rich Environment for Community Clean-up!
Highway 165 is the main road that travels between the town of Meggett and the Metal Trades facility. There is high traffic volume, some speed issues, and the occasional bit of littering. As a candidate for a community clean-up, HWY 165 is a target that makes sense, and one that provides bang for the buck. What’s more, it provides evidence of what we always knew – but perhaps the community did not – that MTI truly cares about the local land and water that provide us our livelihood.
Environmental Avengers, Assemble!
And so, on that clear, cool Friday morning a team of smiling MTI faces assembled, including Camy Swanson from Accounts Payable and Receivable, Safety Director Patti Corbin, Director of Contracts Megan Dean, Controller Daniel Reed, Human Resources Director Kristi Rowe, and Estimator Greg Crites.
Armed with positive attitudes and upbeat tunes, our band set about their task, dancing down the highway and filling their trash bags for the entire morning. Together, our team picked up an impressive amount of trash (10 bags!) along Highway 165. All agreed it was an extremely rewarding and productive session.
Environmental Leadership by Example
With our longstanding presence in the community, MTI has a duty to lead by example. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. We will continue to positively impact our community. And together with the Town and its people, MTI will continue to do its part to keep Meggett clean. If you have questions or suggestions to help us achieve our goal of environmental leadership, please contact MTI today!
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MTI is committed to making this a regularly scheduled event. The Town of Meggett is planning the next community clean-up on Sat April 17th. We are planning to attend to show our support and commitment to keeping our community beautiful.
Metal Trades, Inc. (MTI) is a family owned business located just south of Charleston, South Carolina operating with deep water access on the intracoastal waterway. We have been in business since 1962 and have extensive past performance in Heavy Steel Fabrication, Manufacturing, Machining, Vessel Construction and Vessel Maintenance and Repair for both commercial and Government customers.
” J.E. Corbin, Jr. founded Metal Trades, Inc. in 1962 with a pickup truck, a welding machine, and years of metal fabricating experience. Since that time MTI established a solid reputation for its multi-skilled work force and strong commitment to high quality.”