At a Glance
Green Bay, WI
10 office personnel, 20–40 field personnel
Industrial and institutional mechanical contracting
When the University of Wisconsin needed a new boiler and chiller for its Platteville campus, Mechanical Technologies, Inc. was the contractor of choice. This is because the Green Bay, Wisconsin-headquartered company is all about service.
“Our customers are always looking for solutions to needs, and that’s what we’re good at providing,” co-owner Rick Bushey says. “They tell us they have a need, such as cost savings, energy efficiency, or equipment longevity, and ask us what we can do. We’ve always been good at coming up with solutions that meet those needs.”
Mechanical Technologies, formally known as HVAC Systems Service, was founded in 1988 as a full-service mechanical contractor. For many years, Bushey was the sole proprietor, but he welcomed partner Steve Peterson in 1997. The company—with a geographic footprint spanning most of Wisconsin and a résumé of specialized work in other states—handles the installation and maintenance of large-scale mechanical systems, including heating, air-conditioning, piping, and ventilation.
Top 4 Steps to Chiller Replacement
1. Remove refrigerant from the existing chiller. “Because we open the chiller up to the atmosphere, when you replace it, refrigerant has to be captured,” Bushey says. “We send a service technician to remove it.”
2. Remove the old chiller. A salvage company comes in to haul off the old chiller, which is often beyond repair. This involves cutting pipes, removing electrical connections, and dismantling the unit.
3. Clear the site for the new chiller. Each chiller is different. Sometimes a new foundation is necessary because of size differences.
4. Install the new chiller. Mechanical Technologies prepares the site for optimum safety. The chiller is installed piece by piece. Then electricians run the wiring and control people install the controls. Mechanical Technologies wraps the installation up by flushing it, and then a representative from the chiller manufacturer comes to start the unit up.
Mechanical Technologies does some institutional work, such as a recent $875,600 boiler replacement and $780,500 chiller replacement at the University of Wisconsin and another chiller replacement at a state office building in Green Bay. But the bulk of its undertakings are major industrial projects. In 2011 it replaced a chiller at an AT&T service center during the summer. “Most chiller replacements are done off-season, but some companies have more than one chiller, so they can take one offline while we replace the other,” Bushey says, adding that such operations generally take two or three months to complete. “These things are big.”
With between 150 and 200 projects crossing its desks every year, Mechanical Technologies has differentiated itself based on distinctive offerings. On the piping side, Bushey says, certifications such as PP and R stamps allow the firm to complete certified welding, which is rare among mechanical contractors. “We also do custom energy-reduction projects, which involve the design, installation, and maintenance of a customized mechanical-control system that allows the client to track its energy savings,” Bushey says.
Mechanical Technologies is able to offer this level of work because of its quality workforce. “We’re members of the steamfitters’ and sheet-metal workers’ unions and work well with them,” Bushey says. “When we need more labor, they provide us with well-trained people, which is important because the people working for us are selling the business.”
Again, it all comes back to service. “We get a lot of industrial customers running manufacturing facilities that cannot be down,” Bushey says. “We’re good at maintaining their equipment so they stay going, and repairing their equipment quickly as it fails, which is critical to companies like that.” ABQ