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Illustration of baby bathing bowl supporting the spine of a newbornAt some point in your childhood your parents probably told you “to sit up straight” or “don’t slouch”.  Although these are well-intentioned instructions, our spines are anything but straight even at birth. Newborns are in a “Primary Curve” C-shaped fetal position upon birth and for the first few months of life, they do not yet have the muscles to support their head. Research has shown that keeping an infant’s spine straight is not a sound physiological position and in addition to stressing the baby’s spine, it can negatively influence the development of a baby’s hip joints. (Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis, University of Freiburg, 2002).

Although there has been much written about adult ergonomics, there has been little innovation and/or product development addressing ergonomic solutions for newborns. ASST first became aware of the need for an innovative baby bathing bowl solution while working with the labor & delivery team at St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore. The nursing staff had become frustrated with the bathing bowl that had been recommended for a new project at the hospital. In response to the St. Joseph nursing team’s request, ASST began the design development for an ergonomic baby bowl. The new bowl design needed both a sloped bottom that conformed to the C-shaped spinal curvature of a newborn’s body as well as be fabricated in seamless solid surface.

With the creation of several baby sink mockups, the teams collaboratively worked to test and analyze the final design. The result was the Cradle Baby Bowl ® that supports both a newborn’s head and back during bathing. The seamless connection between the bowl and the adjacent solid surface counter also eliminated corners that could pose an infection risk during bathing. A design that is a true blend of both form and function, the Cradle Baby Bowl ® has to date been installed in hundreds of leading edge health facilities and daycare centers throughout North America, Australia and Africa.


ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project.  Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Even our EMR safety rating is outstanding at .793! Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


You want your customer/owner to be delighted with the products and materials that you specify. Most architects and designers know what materials they are going to specify before a project begins. This is because most architects and designers rely on the materials that they have used in the past and they have a relationship with the manufacturing companies.

When architects and designers are taking the obscure ideas of their customers/owners and turning them into a masterpiece project, the fabricators are not usually specified. The job goes to the lowest bid of the subcontractor that meets the prequalification. It may be specified that the fabricator have a minimum of 5 years’ experience working with this product. Does that guarantee a quality job will be done on time and in budget?

At ASST, we have 20 plus years fabricating solid surfaces. Our projects range in size from $30k to multi-million dollar projects. We know that commercial construction environments are dynamic and we plan our projects with contingencies. At ASST, we take a personal interest in our relationships with our customers. Providing quality products and services on time and in budget is what we do.


If you want to be specific about your next solid surface project, let ASST help you with your
specifications. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Reading Hospital - Reading, PA - Architect: Ballinger, General Contractor: LF DriscollYou are designing and building a new healthcare facility or school laboratory. What materials will you choose? The cost of the material, the function of the material and the durability of the material usually have some relevance as what will be chosen for the surfaces.

In healthcare, schools, laboratories and more it is important that surfaces are conducive for a healthy environment. Bacteria and mold in healthcare systems, schools, laboratories, kitchens and bathrooms can be disastrous. Surfaces in these environments need to be easy to clean, non-porous, seamless, repairable and durable.

Acrylic polymer solid surfaces are non-porous and because of this mitigate the risk of mold and bacteria. This makes simulated stone acrylic polymer surfaces ideal for healthcare, schools, laboratories and more. Unlike natural stone surfaces, acrylic polymer surfaces can be thermoformed into just about any shape and size. With color matching adhesives, solid colors are seamless. Acrylic polymer solid surfaces are resistant to scratches and stains similar to natural stone. The benefit of acrylic polymer is that it is easier to clean and repair than natural stone. Cleaning is as simple as using soap and water. Repairing is as easy as sanding with sand paper. Plastic polymer/simulated stone is the obvious choice for most commercial surfaces.


ASST has decades of experience with plastic polymer solid surfaces.  Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Circular solid surface deskWhen a customer wants a surface product that will last and remain relevant for years to come, what material do you call on? For thousands of years, hard woods have been the go-to for everlasting furniture, fixtures and tops. The future is bright and modern solid surfaces are now the go-to for everlasting furniture, fixtures, tops and more.

When your product stands out from the others it normally does not come cheap. This is why it is important that your product stand the test of time. Most commercial environments are hard on surface products because of the amount of traffic. The path to success is using material that is durable, manageable to fabricate and is uncomplicated to repair.

At ASST we have 20 plus years of experience fabricating commercial solid surface projects. We know details such as, a patterned material is more likely to show a seam than a solid color. We know gloss finish and dark colors can be difficult to maintain. We know the temperature requirements to thermoform different solid surface materials. Most importantly, we know that our customers expect us to go Beyond the Surface Level ™.


To bring your next solid surface project full circle, let ASST help you with your specifications. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Corian Glacier White staircaseSpecifying solid surface in today’s commercial construction doesn’t have to be difficult. Many architects/designers will rely on products they have used in the past. These specifiers are the conservative group and usually have been in their career for many years. More and more of today’s architects/designers are willing to use new products, green products and even experimental products. Both groups are now starting to understand that solid surface can be used for much more than just countertops. Solid surface is being used for everything from staircases/hand railings to outdoor seating. It doesn’t matter which group specifiers are in, they are all worried about one thing: price.

Problems can cost time and material. There are many problems that you can run into if you have never specified a solid surface color, pattern, shape, size or material. Problems that you may run into with patterns are seaming. Solid surfaces come in sheets. If the dimensions of your project are larger than the sheet, you will have a seam. If there is a pattern in the solid surface you have specified, there is a good chance you will see the seam. Solid colors in solid surface typically show no seam. A problem that you may encounter with shape is knowing which fabricator has the experience to thermoform and CNC the desired shapes for your project. Problems that you may experience with different types of solid surface materials are the restraints of the chemical makeup. Acrylics are great for back-lighted projects and are bad if it is extruded and has to be joined. No specifier wants to take on a project where the design calls for an eyesore of a seam which will be the first thing noticed. No specifier would want to take on a project where the size and dimensions have weight that cannot be managed.

At ASST we have 20 years of experience working with solid surfaces. We know just how tight a radius can be with different materials. We know how to hide the seam of a patterned material. We know that the weight for materials made of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate is approximately 4.5 pounds per square foot at ½” thickness (yes, that is important). At ASST, we know how to be specific with solid surface and we can help specify projects.


If you want to be specific about your next solid surface project, let ASST help you with your specifications. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


ASST Employees on Shop Floor

Most companies will tell you that loyal employees are their most important asset. What does that mean? How does a company keep the employees engaged in their job, feel valued and keep the company going in a positive direction? When employees are engaged and feel valued it shows in the quality of their work.

Many employers today view their employees as overhead. Some organizations see employees as a line item on the accounting spreadsheet, somewhere between cleaning supplies and fuel expense. Employees that don’t feel valued or engaged will always perform at a lower level. The cost of letting employees know they are valued and keeping them engaged compared to unhappy employees is minimal. Disengaged employees are less innovative, discontented, less productive and more likely to leave. High rates of employee turnover can be costly especially when it comes to training. According to Entrepreneur.com unhappy workers cost the U.S. up to $550 Billion annually.

At ASST we value our employees. We show our workers this by promoting and nourishing professional development, providing lunch for our monthly safety meeting, sharing stories/pictures of high profile jobs and sometimes just a “hey nice job”. Our management staff is not afraid to make some dust, often will help out in our fabrication facility an even help do installation. At ASST our employees are our most valuable asset. They know it and it shows in the quality of our solid surface fabrication.


If you want your next solid surface project to stand out from the rest, let our employees fabricate it for you. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Dupont Corian Dental Office CaseworkThe healthcare industry has long understood the necessity of reducing the spread of bacteria by minimizing the use of porous materials. For years the healthcare industry has utilized Plastic Laminate (PLAM) casework because of the cost effective traits. Solid surfaces such as Corian ®, Durasein ®, Krion ®, LG HI-MACS ® and Avonite ® may cost more upfront; however, this material is virtually future proof.

Casework has traditionally been made of Plastic Laminate clad MDF with PVC glued to the edges. Some of the shortcomings of PLAM casework is the lifespan before adhesives start to fail, the durability of laminate materials and the lack of positive aesthetics. Once the casework is damaged or begins to come apart, it is no longer suitable for healthcare without the risk of harboring bacteria. No health system wants to find out that the loose PVC edging on a piece of casework is spreading bacteria. PLAM is traditionally made using square or rectangular shapes which limits the creativity of design. Today health systems are looking to assist people with ailments as well as being known as a leader in design.

Solid surface material is ideal for the healthcare industry. Solid surfaces are non-porous making it resistant to bacteria growth. Solid surfaces are easy to clean and because there are no layers, it will not separate. Solid surface is easy to repair, long lasting and can be thermoformed into any shape. At ASST, we have 20 years of experience fabricating casework for the healthcare industry. If you want to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and wow your customers with the design, solid surface is the obvious choice.


If you want your next project to stand the test of time and “wow” your customer, let ASST help you out. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


20 Years

 

The period of 2013 to today has brought many exciting and challenging opportunities for ASST. Large solid surface spiral staircases, thermoformed ribbon wall features and unique exhibit booth fabrications continue to stretch ASST’s experience and capabilities.

We look forward to Going Beyond™ with you for the next twenty!

Over the past three months we have rewound the past with some highlights of our history to date. Below are highlights from the most recent five years:

Timeline of ASST's second five years

Solid Surface TableA considerable part of fabricating with solid surface is adhering separate pieces together. The solid surface fabrication joint requires a strong bond while maintaining aesthetics. This is accomplished by using the right solid surface adhesive that is matched to the surface color. The solid surface adhesive can be stronger than the material itself and with color matching, it is possible for the joint to subsist unnoticed.

Solid surfaces such as Corian©, Avonite©, Krion©, LG HI-MACS©, etcetera require adhesive to be joined together. Incorrectly joined solid surface can be unappealing and even dangerous. In most cases, designers and architects do not want seams that are visible for their projects. In all cases designers, architects and contractors want solid surfaces that will not come apart. Imagine someone leaning against a solid surface top and it coming apart. No one wants a product that could injure a customer.

Each manufacturer of solid surface makes adhesive that is color matching and ASST uses the correct color matching adhesive for each project. ASST has 20 years of solid surface fabrication experience. We know what adhesives to use, the correct amount to use and the correct way to finish the adhesive.


If you want your next project to stick in the minds of your customers, let ASST help you out. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


TMI Systems CaseworkWith the environment continuing to be a focus in the news, design professionals are required by end users to specify materials that are environmentally friendly. Carbon emissions generated from building products are a tremendous challenge for manufacturers across the globe. Specifying casework fabricated with woodbased products that are not only recycled, but also contribute to a lower carbon footprint is the end goal.

Many casework manufacturers utilize formaldehyde wood fiber particleboard for casework construction. These manufacturers tend to “downplay” their material construction in favor of a better price point. Laminates are usually not Greenguard certified and may contribute to off gassing. Specifying casework products without the proper green project credentials will likely prevent opportunities for LEED participation towards the fulfillment of point requirements.

To minimize the above issues, ASST has now partnered with TMI Systems as a dealer for their line of casework. Based in North Dakota, TMI is a leader in high quality plastic laminate modular casework fabrication. Their commitment to sustainability is impressive. With Single Chain of Custody certification from the Rainforest Alliance, TMI can provide a sustainable casework solution. Their modular casework products feature railmounted overhead cabinets and forward-thinking reconfigurable base cabinets. With Autodesk 3D BIM software, design professionals are able to more thoroughly document planning decisions in drawings used in the approval process. With cutting edge computer 3D renderings, end users can understand the proposed designs even better. With the new TMI/ASST alliance, design professionals are providing solutions that can truly evolve with end user needs.


Let us assist you with your next casework project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.