Blog

Solid surface fabrication in Harvard's Old Quincy House restroomBathroom facilities in historic dormitory buildings are typically in need of renovation because of code violations and outdated fixtures. Harvard’s Old Quincy (pictured here) was recently renewed to match today’s standards and needs by the Philadelphia Architectural firm Kieran Timberlake. Renovating to preserve the historic character of a building while providing a higher performance design with more function and storage continues to be popular with Design Professionals on college campuses.

With bathrooms, a moist environment is tricky for creating a functional design. Anything wood will swell and eventually deteriorate. Early dormitory buildings like Old Quincy historically utilized polished marble for bathroom areas which would easily stain and eventually crack and spall. Any type of storage in bathroom areas was also not a priority back in 1930 when Old Quincy was first built.

A solution to this problem is not only utilizing solid surface for the vanity tops and shower areas but also for built-in storage as well. Kieran Timberlake designed the renovations to Quincy Hall and ASST was selected to fabricate the custom white solid surface storage bins in the bathrooms. Used for student toiletry items, holes drilled through the door faces are used as a finger pull. Students will likely find the new bathroom storage and overall improved “Old Quincy” a welcome place to call home on the Crimson campus.

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. We look forward to Going Beyond™ to address your exciting project challenges. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Solid Surface Reception Desk at World Trade Center - NYCSafety on the job affects everyone, from the smaller subcontractor to the General Contractor in charge. According to OSHA, nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the United States on any given day. General Contractors need subcontractors who take safety seriously and actively promote accident prevention through accredited in-house OSHA safety training.

Injury rates, for the construction industry, continue to climb higher than the national average in this category for all industries. The causes of death in construction were: falls, struck by object, caught-in/between, and electrocution. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for nearly three out of five (59%) worker deaths. To address this problem Insurance companies increased their rates to cover this added risk. Businesses can be fined, sued or banned from operating. If a serious enough infraction occurs, the accident could halt progress on the site which could lead to loss of the contract or worse.

At ASST we believe in taking a proactive educational approach when it comes to safety. We have found that holding monthly safety meetings, led by our OSHA certified Safety Manager, is one of the best ways to reinforce safety compliance. Training is also offered for forklift certifications, machine operational procedures such as “Lockout/Tag-out”, and those employees requiring any other additional certifications for specific projects. A wide variety of additional Instructional safety videos are available 24/7 on ASST’s YouTube channel for viewing by employees via their phone or tablet devices. The risks to construction worker health requires safety planning to help minimize, address and hopefully prevent construction related accidents before they occur.

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. We are Going Beyond to address your exciting project challenges. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


5-Axis CNC logo pattern with LED backlightsLast week we touched on how Architects and Designers are creating innovative forms to satisfy the branding requirements of their Clients. Design Professionals are increasingly integrating client brand identities with dramatically backlighted translucent solid surface. LED lighting is leading the way with these amazing innovations as fixtures get smaller, more efficient and more precise.

Machining intricate logo patterns can create complex problems. Fabricating solid surface in a cost effective manner is the primary goal, however exorbitant labor costs can result from utilizing inefficient power hand tools. Maintaining a high standard of quality when duplicating multiple parts by hand can be difficult. Creating a “wash of light” with vertically installed translucent solid surface is also a challenge with older lighting technologies such as halogen and fluorescent.

ASST has addressed these problems by harnessing both our in-house CNC machining capabilities as well as our research to identify the most innovative LED lighting products in the marketplace. LED lighting is by far the best way of creating an even wash of backlight without hotspots. LED lighting advancements offer the benefit of energy efficiency, reduced heat and overall maintenance costs. We even address the practical issues of maintenance providing hidden panels for convenient lighting access. 5-Axis CNC machining technologies will no doubt continue to indirectly impact LED lighting and we will be there to ASsiST you with your projects every step of the way!

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. We look forward to Going Beyond™ to address your exciting project challenges. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Thermoformed reception deskArchitects and Designers are continuing to create innovative geometric forms to satisfy their Client’s branding requirements. While companies today have a need to project an image of innovation and quality, this creates the problem of how to fabricate molds in a quick and cost effective manner. Curved solid surface cladding requires molds to form the heated solid surface to the geometry specified on the architectural drawings.

Creating wooden molds by carving them with power hand tools was initially the way it was done. The problem was how to reduce the exorbitant labor costs for creating these molds by hand. Also, using solid hardwood is expensive and was required depending upon the mold design.

With ASST’s 5-Axis CNC, we have addressed these problems. Labor costs have been reduced for the customer and new innovative sustainable molding materials can be utilized with this technology. We are also constantly looking for the next generation of materials to create our molds for better durability and machining accuracy.

We have found that the only limits to 5-Axis CNC capability is the designer’s imagination and CNC Engineer’s abilities. The evolution of 5-Axis CNC machining will eventually usher us into a world of instantaneous object creation further expanding the boundaries of innovative designs with solid surface. ASST looks forward to the challenges and opportunities this will present!

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


BarringsGeneral Contractors want nothing less than subcontractors that are on time, organized and ready to mobilize on-site when scheduled. Building a large piece of solid surface millwork is one thing. Delivering and installing it correctly to an Owner’s satisfaction is another. Subcontractors need to demonstrate their dedication to performing their jobs with an attention to detail that ensures a successful solid surface millwork installation.

Many General Contractors can tell “horror” stories of poor installations or uncoordinated work that could not even fit in the elevator. Problems like this over time can damage reputations and contribute to a loss of business opportunity and profit.

To address this serious issue, ASST takes the organization and management of its projects seriously. ASST’s Critical Operating Tasks for scheduling is one of the key benefits of working with us. From the beginning, your project is organized into 21 Event Steps from initial pricing to final onsite installation. The details of your project are properly planned and field verified with shop drawings prepared for approval prior to fabrication. Items for large millwork pieces are labeled and coded with field seaming joints and/or match lines indicated for the onsite installer. These are just some of things we do to get a overhead view of your whole project. The sum of a projects parts are important and you have to be able to assemble them correctly!

ASST is uniquely positioned to fulfill all aspects of your project. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications you require and the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Casework SolutionsWe know that maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace with superior low risk subcontractors is of paramount importance to General Contractors. Since 1998, ASST has been providing casework solutions in a variety of materials. With an excellent risk assessment and value, ASST brings to the table proven experience in healthcare, education, corporate and retail projects.

Today, General Contractors need a reliable single subcontractor source. A source combining Construction Specification Institute (CSI) scopes that drive efficiency and build Owner value. Experienced Project Managers need to coordinate the trades to eliminate unnecessary mobilizations, prevent scheduling conflicts, and avoid gaps and overlaps in each trade contractors’ scope of work. Having numerous subcontractors in similar overlapping trades is a sure “recipe for disaster” contributing to both project scope confusion and costly change orders.

To address this critical management issue, ASST has found value in providing a more proactive comprehensive solution. A “one-stop” casework/millwork custom solution incorporating a wide variety of finish materials. ASST can perform work with wood veneers, plastic laminate, Trespa®, stone, metal, glass as well as all brands of solid surface and resin plastic materials. We believe the fit and finish of the final product is enhanced when building the internal framing structures ourselves. Our innovative team of estimators, planners and project managers collaborate and deliver project results in a way few competitors can.

Contact us today to see how we can ASsiST you with a comprehensive casework solution for your next project.


Modular Vanity SystemDesigning restroom spaces that are both attractive and durable is a challenge. Properly designed public restroom facilities can enhance the experience for those who use and maintain their appearance. Restrooms in public spaces must meet the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Studies have shown that proper design and planning reduces both queuing issues and facility vandalism.

Traditional plastic laminate vanity countertops and drop-in china sink bowls provide an opportunity for moisture to destroy a particle board substrate. This creates an optimal environment for bacterial growth. We have all witnessed restroom countertops with laminate surfaces that have swelled from exposure to water.

To address this common problem, ASST developed a wall hung solid surface vanity system. The 30” wide modular units utilize a sturdy aluminum and polyethylene support structure with a removable solid surface front panel. The front panel is removable allowing for easy access to plumbing. The Modular Vanity system™ is available in 30” wide increments and includes a solid surface top, backsplashes, side panels and your choice of an integral mounted sink. The system is available in all solid surface sheet products such as Corian, Avonite and Staron. Without wood that can rot and grow mold, the system is perfectly designed to handle rigorous public restroom environments.

Get a solid surface vanity counter solution that will last for your next project.  Call us today for a project specific price quote at 717-630-1251 x305.


Infection Control and Prevention Using Solid Surfaces in Healthcare FacilitiesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approximately one in 25 hospital patients acquire at least one infection during their stay. These findings are alarming and have triggered an urgency to address the issues surrounding patient acquired infections. Facilities managers and infection control practitioners (ICPs) are aware of how bacteria and mold grow in and on horizontal and vertical surfaces. It wasn’t until recently that sinks, countertops and wall cladding were studied as potential sites for the spread of disease.

Plastic laminate finishes on healthcare casework and wall cladding have seams and exposed edges that can harbor bacteria. Laminate is actually compressed paper; while it is dense and may appear to be non-absorbent, it is porous and will absorb moisture over time. If caulking around a sink or other seam location deteriorates, water will penetrate into the laminate and the substrate below. The substrate is usually wood or particle board. Wet wood will harbor bacteria, especially Aspergillus fungi.

A solution to these problems can be found by utilizing solid surface which inherently inhibits bacterial growth. By creating a seamless, nonporous surface where pathogens can’t grow, solid surface can help with control issues and maintenance. Solid surfaces such as Corian, Avonite, LG or Krion can survive the impacts, nicks and cuts that ruin most wall surfaces. It is renewable, repairable and reusable. If the solid surface is damaged it can be repaired onsite, saving labor costs and resources. While warranties may vary from manufacturers, some will guarantee the material for as long a ten years.

Solid surfaces have proven superior performance in healthcare applications such as wall cladding, casework, countertops and more. Let us ASsiST you protecting the health of others with our custom solid surface fabrication. Contact us today for a quote.


5-Axis CNC MachiningSolid Surface design and fabrication has changed dramatically within the last 25+ years. Architects and Designers today are creating radical designs that include a wide variety of complex geometric forms. Have you ever had an idea for a 3D design in solid surface but decided not to go ahead with it because it was too complex?

The problem has been how to take a 3D design drawing and translate it to a solid surface 3D form. In the past, creating molds and parts with hand and/or power tools would have been cost prohibitive to fabricate. Today, 5-axis machining solves all of these issues, reduces lead times and increases efficiency.

So what is 5-axis CNC machining? The term refers to the ability of the machine to move the bit in five different axes at the same time. 5-axis machines can rotate on additional axes which allows the bit to cut the materials from all directions with no limits. Software programs are utilized to create the 3D models necessary for the CNC machine to cut the required parts.

ASST has an amazing 5-axis CNC router with a 5’x10’ table. Our talented team uses this technology to create 3 dimensional molds for thermoforming solid surface and cutting repetitive complex 3D parts with solid surface materials. Reintroducing thermoformed parts to the 5-axis and final sizing allows very complex shapes to be recreated. This is done at a level of precision that is uncommon in commercial construction. The project process is completed with final hand assembly, finishing and/or shipping and installation to the designer’s desired specification.

Take off the constraints of solid surface in two dimensions. We Go Beyond Surface Level Solutions even in our manufacturing processes. Contact ASST for all of your 3 dimensional solid surface needs.


Susquehenna Health hallway wall panelsToday, healthcare designers have “raised the bar” with regards to design. The use of textured solid surface for wall protection is becoming a popular choice with many health systems. More hospitable than hospital. Controlling the spread of infectious disease with solid surface countertops has become the standard in healthcare. Vertical textured solid surface applications are also a smart way to incorporate a unique aesthetic that is durable, attractive and easy to maintain.

The installation of textured solid surface panels can be challenging. Mounting alignments for patterns can be difficult, especially around corners. The reverse textured sides of panels do not have a level surface to mount against a wall. To solve these issues we created a proprietary solid surface “leveling puck” and mounted z-clip system which allows for precise adjustments in the field. Panel patterns are able to be aligned with ease and installed according to architect specifications.

To learn more about our innovative Sculptcor® textured wall panel system, visit www.asst.com and click on the products tab. Cut sheets are available for download. Autodesk Revit files are also available upon request. Call us today with your next healthcare project. 717.630.1251 x305