Industrial Concrete Services Inc.
- Written by: Camila Osorno
- Produced by: Karen Walker
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Robert LeBlanc and Stephen Chrane founded Industrial Concrete Services Inc. (ICS) in 1995, and the company has since grown to become New England’s leading commercial and industrial flooring installation specialist. ICS provides clients with a one-stop shop for all manners of industrial and commercial flooring services and is equipped with an experienced team to help clients make the right flooring and coating decisions. Today, the Maine-based company takes pride in offering innovative and cutting-edge solutions with a no-nonsense approach so highly technical facilities can stay safely in operation.
“We just get it done,” says LeBlanc, president of ICS. The average ICS project is completed within a three- to five-day time frame, and is performed for industrial and commercial clients like Boston Scientific and Pratt & Whitney that can’t afford any downtime. However, some large jobs can last up to two or three months.
The company currently employs around 25 talented professionals who travel across New England and into New Jersey regularly. Additionally, ICS is one of the only companies in the Northeast capable of handling polishing, coatings, resurfacing and rehabilitation of concrete slabs. ICS’ client base runs the gamut of Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 companies, and Chrane has emphasized the importance of an excellent first impression since day one.
“We’re constantly working to educate our staff so that customers are more informed and we can deliver results instead of just selling a product,” says LeBlanc. “For us, it’s not about being the lowest cost commodity, but trying to provide the lowest life cycle cost option.” In turn, the ICS team collaborates with clients to identify the most effective and proven solution for the facility’s needs and schedules, in addition to completing work during off hours, weekends and holidays.
Keeping Pace with the Client
When a facility needs more than an extra polish to the concrete floors or a touch up to its performance coating, ICS can repair and remediate everything from small joints to sprawling curled concrete slabs. In fact, the ICS team once rehabilitated a 600,000-square foot carbonized slab for a Wal-Mart that required the team to grind, polish and seal 10,000 square feet per day.
In 2002 ICS took on a beast of a very specialized kind when Butler Builders brought the team onboard for a complete rehabilitation of an Ace Hardware distribution center in Saratoga County, N.Y. ICS rehabbed 800,000 square feet of carbonized concrete flooring. Most of the concrete was removed using machinery, but about 220,000 square feet had to be done using 7-inch Metabo hand grinders. “We had crews running full speed switching out every seven days and we ended up delivering the project in two months instead of three,” adds LeBlanc.
Building an Arsenal of Equipment
Over the years ICS has supported the diversification of its services with state-of-the-art equipment that now totals over 60 pieces. The team will modify equipment to suit its needs or design and is capable of fabricating new pieces of equipment, fusing together pieces from European manufacturers or even lawn mowers if necessary. “If we can’t find the right piece of equipment, we’ll just make it,” says LeBlanc.
In fact, ICS developed a concrete polishing machine for its own use that proved so effective the ICS team now produces and sells the equipment to other industry professionals.
In addition, ICS happens to be the only concrete company to own and operate a Vactor Vaxjet closed-loop surface cleaning system, a high-pressure water-blasting technology with a powerful vacuum source and micro-filtration system. The system is capable of exerting a force up to 10,000 PSI that can strip a flat surface of contaminants like oil, grease, dirt and rubber while complying with stricter anti-discharge regulations, preventing the contaminants from being discharged irresponsibly and ending up in the water supply.
In recent years the ICS team has witnessed and responded to a shift away from high-solvent products toward more environmentally friendly options. Whereas the company’s volume traditionally consisted entirely of coating applications, today the volume is split evenly between coating projects and polishing projects. “The whole market has gradually been moving toward making the most of the existing flooring and we have been a part of that effort since day one,” states Chrane.
Concrete floor polishing uses no urethane or epoxies and can be stained in a variety of colors, making it a low-VOC, low-maintenance option that is also recyclable and extremely durable. ICS helped to popularize the technology completing millions of square feet in polished concrete.
Furthermore, ICS has a longstanding reputation for working with the industry’s leading manufacturers to provide critical feedback and facilitate innovation. The company has had the pleasure of working with some of the industry’s leading experts in building analysis and testing and solidified a network of contacts over the years. If the ICS team can’t perform the service directly, the team can call upon its trusted network to hire an appropriate specialist and organize and schedule work as the single point of contact.
ICS plans on staying on course for the next two years, maintaining its strong client relationships by providing the same level of responsive service and research-based solutions customers have come to expect. Though the downturn has put a hold on some customers’ infrastructural investment plans, many of ICS’ clients have forged ahead regardless.
Simultaneously, the ICS team has witnessed a shift toward rehabilitation of existing facilities instead of constructing new facilities, which has continued to provide new opportunities for growth. Backed by over 17 years of highly specialized industry experience, Industrial Concrete Services Inc. is poised to find growth in any economic climate and facilitate the development of innovative new products with a can-do attitude and a long track record of difficult jobs accomplished.
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