Midwest FAST Structures

Vincennes, Indiana


Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures' fabric-covered steel truss buildings are a low cost solution to your storage or work space needs. The company manufactures and installs all of the buildings they sell with their own construction crews and provides their own concrete walls and floors. F.A.S.T. structures are easy to maintain and their non-stick coating on the fabric allows for natural lighting in the building. This type of fabric creates the feeling of being outdoors, while still being protected from the elements, as well as providing you with higher air quality, keeping maintenance costs lower, and puts lighting expenses at a minimum.

Situation:

Aware of the quality track record at Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures, an Evansville company contacted Rex Alton, President, Founder and Owner, about a planned building measuring 280-by-132 feet for storing 1 million bushels of grain. Alton realized he would need standalone concrete walls as high as 20 feet – each weighing about 16 tons – to support that much stored grain.

Solution:

Alton contacted Purdue TAP officials who led him to Steve Shade of the Purdue Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Shade connected with civil engineering professor Mohammad Alhassan of the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) campus to work with Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures.

The TAP project’s focus: Assess the 20-foot-high wall design based on its geometry, anchorage system, reinforcement, lateral de ection and other stability factors through a nite element analysis. In September 2011, Professor Alhassan delivered his report.

Results:

The partnership has had a major impact on the Vincennes company on several fronts:

  • Created four new positions at Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures, expanding total employment by more than 30% to 15 workers.
  • Supported the company decision to invest $100,000 for equipment and additional upgrades to design, develop and deliver the 20-by-10 foot tall concrete walls.
  • Resulted in a patent pending for Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures on the unique design and other features of these taller concrete walls.
  • Sparked additional discussions between Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures, Purdue TAP and MEP, and Professor Alhassan for applying the concrete-wall concept to tornado-proof homes and commercial buildings.

Hiring a large engineering company was going to be expensive. And we couldn't afford to spend that kind of money if it wasn't going to work. The experts at Purdue helped us analyze the hurdles we would have to clear as a small company before launching into this product.”

- Rex Alton, President, Founder and Owner, Midwest F.A.S.T. Structures

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