Design, Manufacture and Installation of Theatrical Equipment Worldwide

Reducing Your Project Costs


The current economy and dramatic raw materials cost increases have changed how we’re all doing business. A few years ago we provided a series looking at overall project costs, instead of just looking at material costs. We’ve updated our numbers, and they’re still valid today!

At Clancy, we take the broad view on price and cost, building cost-saving features into the design, construction, packaging, and installation process for every product. Here are some ways our features reduce your overall project costs:

J-Guide vs. T-Bar Systems – The Real Costs

A customer recently told us that he couldn’t buy J.R. Clancy J-Guide, as their own steel T is 10% cheaper. We thought this was worth close examination to see the real costs.

First – with the changes in raw material costs you may find that T-bar is far more expensive. For example J.R. Clancy’s T-Bar is currently 17% more per foot than our J-Guide product.

But then consider the cost of installing the two different systems:

Installation time for the steel T’s

  • 4 people for 5 8-hour days (160 man hours) @ $50/hr= $8,000

Installation for Clancy J-Guide

  • 4 people for 3 days (96 man hours) @ $50/hr.= $4,800

This means that choosing J-Guide is worth a labor savings of $3,200 in addition to the materials savings! Now, this example assumes that the installation went perfectly. When was the last time that happened?

Let’s look at a situation where the wall isn’t square and is brick. With the steel T’s, the wall battens have to go on exactly 4'-11" centers to match the holes in the T’s. But brick doesn’t line up nicely so you have to move (at least) one row of wall knees up an inch to avoid drilling into mortar. Now you have to re-drill all the T’s by hand, on site. This adds another half day to your installation – or maybe more, depending on how ugly the wall is.

But with the J-Guide, everything is a field-adjustable clamped fit. No extra time is needed for drilling or to cope with site conditions. By using J-Guide, you’ve just saved hundreds of dollars—or even more than a thousand dollars—in addition to the savings in the first example.

Fire Curtains – The Real Costs

J.R. Clancy fire curtains arrive on site ready for installation!

They’re in a custom carton that shows you where to put the box, how to open it, and how to simply pull out the curtain so that it’s on the stage floor with the top of the curtain lined up with the batten location. Plus, it’s packed with heavy plastic sheeting so it’s easy to unfold, moves freely on the floor, and stays clean! This can save your crew $200 an hour (at $50 per person per hour for a four-person crew).

When it’s time to slide the batten into the pocket, the supplied Nylatron “bullet” allows the pipe to slide smoothly and quickly – for another $50 to $100 savings.

Finally, Zetex® Plus 1210 ZP is the only fire curtain material listed by the California State Fire Marshall without needing wire reinforcement, and accepted by the New York City Materials and Equipment Acceptance Division (MEA) for use in New York City venues. The superior design and construction of the Zetex fabric has a lower price than wire inserted fabrics.

If a project is far from the office, we may be able to save you a trip to the site. Your fire curtain can be shipped a week after we receive your field dimensions. If you’re going to be on site for couple weeks or more, you can take measurements when you arrive on site and have the curtain delivered while you’re still working there.

Your Drawings are Free from Clancy

On complete system orders (motorized sets, or counterweight sets with blocks, locks, arbors, and guide system) Clancy does complete submittal and installation drawings at no charge!

You save twice with drawings from Clancy:

  • Preparing drawings for submittal is time-consuming and expensive. Other manufacturers may charge $10,000 to $20,000 for system drawings on mid-sized projects. To avoid this, you can hire a drafter who understands theatre equipment and construction...and still pay several thousand dollars. When you choose Clancy, your drawings are free.
  • We ship a complete set of drawings with the equipment, making your initial layout go faster. Your site superintendent doesn’t have to track down drawings, or worse—start the system layout “blind.” And you can always call the Clancy designer who prepared your drawings with questions during installation.

Properly Prepared Pipe Battens Speed Installation

We’re set up with equipment and jigs to build pipe battens quickly and accurately. You can be sure that when a Clancy batten arrives at your job site, it has been cleaned and painted, and it has a properly sized splice sleeve welded into one end of each pipe length. The sleeve and the mating end of the batten are pre-drilled so that any batten and sleeve fit together smoothly. Plus, our battens are real 1.5” schedule 40 pipe, not lightweight substitutes. We even provide the batten end caps!

Compare this with trying to find the correct sleeve material, purchasing and storing an economical quantity of the material, building a splicing jig (or randomly drilling splices that aren’t interchangeable), and all the lost time this can cause in the field. Not to mention that painting battens is time-consuming, and legally disposing of the leftover paint is expensive.

You’ll save hundreds of dollars by using battens that are pre-painted, pre-drilled and sleeved so that they’re interchangeable at the job site.

Nylon Blocks Save Time and Money

Nylatron blocks can save in two ways – first, single purchase Nylon head blocks are less expensive than the same block made in cast iron. Second, more savings come from the lower weight of Nylon – Nylon head blocks (12”, 8 lines) weigh 41 lbs, while the same block in cast iron weighs 79 lbs. This makes for significant time savings in every step of the installation process:

  • One person can lift a block, instead of two people. No chain hoist required.
  • Underhung blocks can be installed with two people instead of three.
  • It takes roughly half an hour less time to install each head block.
  • The crew is still fresh and working productively at the end of the day, thanks to the reduced weight of the blocks.
  • The labor savings range from 10 to 30 “person minutes” per block, depending on the situation.
  • The lighter blocks are less expensive to ship!

On a 24-set project, at a rate of $50/hr/person @ 1hr/block per hour, you can see a $1,200 savings just by needing one less installer - this savings is all yours. Plus, you’ll have saved $20 – 60 per block at list price on the blocks themselves.

Universal Base Angles Save Trips to the Job Site

Our 55 series head and loft blocks have base angles punched with universal hole patterns. These fit most mounting situations, and eliminate the need for custom punched base angles. The custom punched angles always required a field check, and are a problem if there was an error or if the steel varied from what was expected.

If the universal base angle saves you a trip to the jobsite, or saves you from drilling holes in base angles at the job site, the savings can be thousands of dollars! Here’s the best part: The flexibility of the universal base angle has no added cost.

Packing & Labeling Saves Money

We use PECO pallets - sturdy pallets that don’t full apart in shipment, and can be forked from all four sides. (You’ll want to keep these!). All the boxes and bags are clearly labeled, so you can find parts quickly. The packing list provides the box or skid number for each item.

Pre-Assembly of Arbors

Arbors come fully assembled, square with shoes installed and ready for installation. We’ve even added casters on the pallets so you can get them off the truck more easily (on dedicated trucks).

These features add up to many crew hours of savings as you unload and stage the equipment for installation. On a mid-sized job, this can result in a savings of several hundred dollars.

So please remember – consider price and cost – you may be surprised at the result.

Questions and Comments

We always welcome your comments. Feel free to contact our staff to discuss any of the above topics and how they might apply to your project.

7041 Interstate Island Road | Syracuse, NY USA 13209-9713 | Phone: 315-451-3440 | Toll Free: 800-836-1885
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