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Nautical Structures' Custom Fabrication Opens New Markets

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Nautical Structures is well known in the superyacht and cruise ship industries for its sturdy davits and cranes, hydraulic transom lifts, passerelles, and gangways, but its custom manufacturing division, NSi Precision, flies under the radar despite impressive growth. 

"In simple terms, we do custom sheet metal fabrication for a host of manufacturing clients. We have a reputation for skill, capacity and capability to cut, bend, weld, form and assemble virtually any custom component." said Art Sciarrotta, the man at the helm for over a year now. 

"We've built custom tanks for cooling towers and catalyst operations, metal cabinetry and frames for various types of packaging line equipment, and an endless variety of custom components. Some of these pieces are very complex and very large, and often part of a larger assembly." 

Sciarrotta has also expanded Nsi Precision's reach to the general marine industry, building engine mounts and doors for electrical cabinets on boats and large yachts. Their solid reputation in the marine industry has also prompted architects to reach out for solutions to challenging design and fabrication projects for high-end residential projects.

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"We're now taking things we've been very successful at in the marine industry and are finding ways to employ them in land-based opportunities. For example, our skills and experience in building boarding equipment has been tapped for two new residential home projects. The first is an outside staircase that will raise and lower from a deck to the beach. The second is a foyer staircase that can be raised and lowered," Sciarrotta explained.

Much more than a component manufacturer, Sciarrotta and his team work closely with clients throughout the design, procurement and manufacturing process and many clients have stringent tolerances for how components fit together and function.

"We're building assembled components with many pieces that make up the larger assembly. It's very demanding and challenging work," Sciarrotta explained. "Once the design and engineering work is done, I rely on the expertise of my mechanics who are doing the bending and forming, and the team members who are doing the close-tolerance welding work."

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For example, in pharmaceutical packaging lines, medications travel through the line, dropping into metal trays. "Because the drugs are in direct contact with the machinery, everything we do for this equipment must meet food-grade quality specifications," Sciarrotta said.

"All of the welds have to be perfectly smooth, and the components can't have any manufacturing defects that might trap foreign material or bacteria. You've got a tolerance level that is extremely exacting, and that requires a great deal of oversight, attention to detail, and exceptional skill in bending and welding on the part of our craftspeople."

The NSi Precision Team

Art Sciarrotta's impressive resume includes positions in IT and production at American Cyanamid, Coopers and Lybrand, Johnson and Johnson, Florida Power, Lebhar-Friedman, Schroeder Measurement Technologies, and is highly experienced in business development. Sciarrotta relies on Carl Freeburg, a veteran in manufacturing and metal fabrication. responsible for the analysis of quotes, and providing technical recommendations for efficiencies and cost effectiveness. 

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Scott Milford, operations manager for both NSi Precision and Nautical Structures, oversees all manufacturing in custom and marine production, moving skilled craftspeople between the two operations giving NSi Precision the flexibiliy to tackle a wide range of projects. 

"Our quote-to-purchase order ratio is exceptionally high for the industry. We quote 600-700 projects a year, and we have a 75-80% ratio of converting those quotes to purchase orders." said Sciarrotta.

And despite this work load, NSi Precision has additional capacity and is set for growth. "We want to grow the business. We've got the capacity, and we think that there's a lot of opportunity for us. There's opportunity with the people we're already doing business with; and we're re-introducing NSi Precision to past customers who we haven't done business with in a while." said Sciarrotta.

"We have a reputation for good quality work, we're able to meet our customers' often short turn-around times, and we're competitively priced. In terms of pricing, quality and delivery, we fit the bill."

Related Article:
Nautical Structures & the Art of Heavy Lifting

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