WHAT IS BISHOP STRUCTURES
Bishop Structures is proud to present it’s own semi-automated, double line manufacturing process to integrate all of its intellectual property. This model is based upon proven success in the steel pole and tubing distribution industry, supporting lower capital and operating costs, as well as improved product quality. Our unique and proprietary system provides a distinct market advantage over our competitors, one that can not be replicated.
Bishop has developed intellectual property designed to be more efficient than traditional steel pole manufacturing plants producing straight and tapered, finished and unfinished, utility poles (pole shafts), with round or multi-faceted profiles, from coiled steel. Management anticipates being able to deliver product in three to six weeks, as opposed to the industry average of fourteen to sixteen weeks. Bishop will build all types of straight and tapered finished and unfinished steel utility poles, initially, the focus will be on producing specific types of poles and transmission towers. Main product lines will be manufactured to exact customer specifications. Bishop will have the ability to produce towers up to 5 feet in diameter for power transmission, cellular, and large diameter sign bridges.
Bishop will provide poleline accessories, base-plates, wire access rings and covers, tenons, nut- caps and will develop a network of strategic partners to produce small non-tapered poles, referred to as “SP’s”, to complete products for the final consumer. The accessory products will be provided to the SP’s, with the pole shafts, for attachment during the finishing process The key to the business model is the equipment design and manufacturing process (“Intellectual Property”) and the capabilities of the management and the ability to locate and source alternate products and resources. The Company has completed its proprietary design for a semi- automated double-line manufacturing plant to produce steel pole shafts that is based upon a model proven successful in the steel pipe and tubing distribution industry and will support lower plant capital and operating costs, improved product quality, and cost savings that are passed on to customers with a distinct market advantage over our competitors.
The American Iron and Steel Institute (“AISI”) states the use of steel utility poles, a market historically dominated by wood poles, has seen triple digit growth in recent years. Replacement poles account for more than 4 million new utility poles per year, in the United States. The AISI has developed a transportation and infrastructure program, the goal of which is to increase the use of steel in the construction market – with one of the areas of focus being steel utility poles, which is estimated to be 185 million in service.
The U.S. transportation system is the largest in the world – comprising some 3.9 million miles of public roads, sufficient to circle the globe more than 157 times. Utility poles are required at all such roadways, including the 5000 public-use airports, the 145 major seaports, and all private sector developments.
Steel poles have become increasingly more popular in utility markets for a variety of reasons. Many industry participants agree that fewer steel poles are required per mile than wood poles. Further, the life cycle of steel poles is estimated at three times that of wood poles. Despite the utility pole market historically being almost exclusively a wood pole market, in recent years there has been emergence of alternate materials, particularly steel.
One of the Company’s keys to long-term growth is management’s unique plan to enter agreements with strategic partnerships (SP’s). Management will qualify SP’s, located throughout America, to finish the pole shafts required by the company. The SP will be responsible for manufacturing and finishing the poles under the brand of the Company. The pole finishing process includes affixing accessories, bending, and galvanizing or painting. The intensive manufacturing will be conducted by the satellite operator then shipped to regional customers where then the company will conclude the sale. Thus, the Company can significantly increase its geographical presence without increasing overhead and be more efficient with its freight costs.
As the value of the Intellectual Property lies in the plant design and the equipment utilized to manufacture the poles, the Company may in the medium term locate a joint venture partner to assemble a fully operational turnkey production plant to be located internationally, outside its marketing area. Such an undertaking would include joint venture or license agreements that merge the manufacturing, sales and distribution processes.
Products & Services
Bishop Structures LLC will produce a wide range of products, including pole shafts for such uses as:
– Roadway and street lighting
– Traffic signals
– Sign support
– Decorative poles
– Area lighting
– Sports field lighting
– Transmission, high-mast, power distribution system
– Cellular communications towers
Poles will be manufactured to customer specifications, as ascertained through in-house engineering and working with the customer’s engineers. Poles requiring 3/8” (10 mm) or less in wall thickness will be made from coiled steel, and for heavier than 3/8” from steel plate.
The necessary poleline accessories and hardware will be either outsourced or manufactured and the Company will develop and maintain an ongoing, after-market program to support sales of these products. In addition, products will be designed to accept pole line hardware of other suppliers.
There are several broad categories of pole shafts produced, each to the exacting specifications of the user. Some of the main categories of poles and towers to be produced are outlined in more detail below:
ROUND TAPERED POLES
Round pole shafts are generally produced in 8’ to 40’ lengths with varying diameters, however significantly longer lengths can be produced as required by the customer. Tapered round poles are manufactured from high-grade carbon steel tube. Each pole is equipped with a reinforced handhole and cover and is available in a variety of finishes. These poles are used primarily for parking and area lighting, highway lighting, traffic signals, and power distribution lines.
OCTAGONAL TAPERED POLES
These shafts have the same basic physical characteristics as round poles.
SQUARE TAPERED POLES
Square pole shafts are used in decorative applications and typically range in height from 8’ to 40’.
SQUARE TUBULAR POLES
Square tubular pole shafts are non-tapered, and range in cross-section from 4” to 12”. Square poles are generally used for parking lots and sign bridges.
ROUND STRAIGHT POLES
Round non-tapered pole shafts are generally 4” to 12” in diameter, uses in stepped pole pylon sign and sign bridges.
SINGLE AND DOUBLE POLES
Bishop Structures LLC produces single and double davit poles, which are built with standard reaches of 6 or 8 feet and heights of up to 40 feet. All poles are equipped with a handhole, handhole cover and grounding stud. All poles are fabricated from steel and are available in a variety of finishes.
The Company will also produce transmission towers for transmission and distribution of electric power.
All products manufactured will be engineered and designed to satisfy applicable technical requirements published by leading national institutes, including:
– American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
– American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)
– American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
– American Public Works Association (APWA)
– American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
– American Welding Society (AWS)
– Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
– Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB)
– Underwriters’ Laboratory, Inc. (UL)
In addition, the production process will incorporate technical requirements published by the Department of Transportation of the state and/or municipality to which the product is destined.
Each satellite operator will be contracted by the Company to utilize the Bishop Structures LLC Intellectual Property.
SP’s have an advantage over building turnkey plants as the start-up capital costs for a satellite plant are significantly lower than for a turnkey plant; overall operating and inventory costs are reduced; and the satellite operator opens a broad new market with access to the large variety of tapered poles supplied by Bishop Structures LLC.
The benefit to Bishop Structures LLC will be increased market penetration, market presence and increased production without significant capital cost to Bishop Structures LLC.
Research & Development
An on-going research and development program will be maintained to develop efficient and cost effective processing methodologies and for production of safe, unique, and competitively priced equipment and products. Several components of the manufacturing process, most notably the press break, seam welders, cut-to-length line and davit benders are considered proprietary to the Company as part of the Intellectual Property. This new design is the Company’s first R & D project.
Management has identified that product research and development is a critical factor in future success and, to that end, has put in place Research and Development personnel managed and operated by STRAHNET™ which will assist in the ongoing online development and launch of new and innovative products and product improvements.
Central Issues & Opportunities
Per the North American Wood Pole Coalition (“NAMPC”) the U.S. currently has approximately 110 million utility poles in use. One of the objectives of the AISI is to increase the use of steel utility distribution poles in North America and obtain at least 10% of the replacement pole market or approximately 100,000 tons of steel annually.
Utilities are considering alternate materials, principally steel, for replacement of wood poles in ever-increasing volumes. Such policy shift is due, in some measure, to impending price parity between steel and wood poles, greatly reduced maintenance costs for and longevity of steel poles, and environmental concerns associated with wood treatment.
Many industry participants agree that fewer steel poles are required per kilometer than are wood poles. Further, the life cycle of steel poles is estimated at up to three times that of wood poles. The typical steel pole is approximately 600 pounds according the AISI, with wood being 30% heavier. The life span of steel poles is estimated at 70 – 80 years, compared to a 30 to 35 year life span for wooden poles. Further, wood poles must be treated with creosote or other like chemicals. Finally, wood poles must be land filled whereas steel poles can be recycled.
The product requirements and specifications are unique for each province, state, and country. In general, however, utility poles are required for such applications as:
o Lighting – highways, streets, parking lots, sports facilities, area lighting, and others.
o Signage – traffic, sign bridges, billboards, and others.
o Telecommunication – data gathering, surveillance, microwave towers, and others.
o Transmission systems – electrical and telephone, wind and solar energy, and others.
o The “replacement pole market” generally refers to the exchange of existing wood overhead distribution poles impacted by biological degradation and other natural causes with new poles.
o American utilities are the largest consumer block of wood poles in the U.S., as these are generally used for overhead electric and telephone transmission lines.
The Company will initially focus on sales in the United States then the rest of North America, eventually expanding internationally primarily through licensing and joint venture agreements. As the Company ramps up its operations, management will expand the scope of marketing efforts SOP’s will be the primary method of such expansion. International expansion will continue through the licensing or sale of turnkey plants outside of North America on international trade missions.
Market Size and Scope
The AISI sees the construction market as one of the greatest potential areas of growth for steel manufacturers. Per AISI, approximately 4 million utility poles are installed every year, either as replacement poles or new lines.
Over 3,000 utilities function in the United States and maintain more than 150 million overhead electric and telephone distribution poles. In addition, utility companies in Canada maintain some 15 million similar poles. Existing wood utility poles that require replacement at the present rate of 3% to 4.5 % annually, equates to 3 to 5 million poles per year to support these distribution systems.
Traditional Pole Manufacturers
The North America steel utility pole market consists of three major competitors and a number of smaller, regional operators. Historically, the larger companies have supplied large-scale projects, such as transmission lines, government road contracts and large commercial and residential developments. Large companies also manufacture a multitude of non-pole products, thereby reducing efficiencies with respect to each production item.
The smaller companies generally limit production to local market needs, thereby maintaining advantage over larger companies with respect to production flexibility, personalized service, shorter delivery times, and lower production costs.
Management has identified a need in the market for shorter response periods, competitive pricing, and heightened design and manufacturing standards. The Bishop Structures LLC manufacturing facility has been designed from the outset to meet such critical market demands.
Management of the Company has identified the following competitive advantages derived from the development and deployment of the Bishop Structures LLC Intellectual Property.
1. SHORTENED PRODUCT DELIVERY PERIOD.
Bishop Structures LLC will be able to deliver completed poles in less than six weeks from date of order. Industry averages, relating to delivery, are generally considered to be twelve weeks.
2. COST SAVINGS.
Management contemplates that significant cost savings will result from the proprietary designs and processes instituted, including:
• Lower production costs resulting from the state-of-the-art, semi-automated production line. The Bishop Structures LLC plant will initially operate with ten to twelve employees, approximately half the staff required to operate a competing plant.
• Semi-automation results in reduced warehousing space that is needed for material staging in the production sequence of older plants.
3. MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE.
The Company’s operational and executive management team has over 50 years of experience designing pole manufacturing plants, machinery and poles. The Bishop Structures LLC Intellectual Property is derived from such expertise, resulting in a next generation plant design and manufacturing process.
4. MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT.
The equipment utilized will be the most up to date pole manufacturing equipment available on the market.
5. SATELLITE PLANT EXPANSION PLAN.
The Company’s unique marketing and expansion plan allows Bishop to rapidly increase market penetration without incurring significant capital costs.