L. Allivato a.k.a. “Alli”, has been involved in the sheet metal fabrication industry since she was ten years old. Her first job was sweeping out her family’s sheet metal shop. She was the first female in her high school to enroll in shop drawing classes. Obtaining a B.S. in Clinical Psychology and minoring in business, she returned to work at her family’s sheet metal shop where she met her future husband, Jim, who was a sheet metal worker by trade. His enthusiasm for learning led him to becoming a Project Estimator and Project Manager, while Alli stepped into the administrative and business end of the company.
Growing their sheet metal shop into a mechanical construction company, they found themselves having to purchase items of hardware for mounting and supporting the ductwork they fabricated typically from general hardware stocks. These items were not specifically designed for the ducts they installed and often did not fit correctly. Other support parts had to be custom-fabricated in their sheet metal shop or on the job site by hand for each project. Besides using angle iron, the strut they purchased only made contact with the duct or pipe they were installing in one spot i.e. a round duct or pipe sitting on a horizontal support bar creates a single point of contact. Over time, the stress of a single point of contact often caused an egging effect deforming the duct or pipe and constricting the flow of air or other gases passing through it often exposing the interior of a duct or pipe to air, water or gas leakage. Weak or failing supports can cause entire HVAC duct and pipe systems to collapse. Such installations took too much time and effort, did not adequately support the duct they proudly made and were prone to failure.
In 2013, Jim and Alli committed to developing a robust support system - one that would address all of the problems they had continually experienced over the years. They engineered versatile manufactured components applicable for all mounting conditions and locations such as on a rooftop, a wall, or below grade. Manufactured components, while raising the quality and standard of supports within the industry, eliminate the need for field laborers to measure, cut, weld, de-burr, etc. which translates to an impressive reduction in labor costs. In addition, it was important that their supports not only meet but exceed published Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association standards (SMACNA) for supporting duct and pipe while also addressing load requirements as well as wind and weather conditions so that the integrity and performance of HVAC duct and pipe systems do not become compromised over time. In 2016, they were granted a patent for their SmartSupport Kits®.
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