MIFDI Visits to Learn about UPF PolyTank Design

MIFDI learns all about UPF Poly-Tank DesignMIFDI joined United plastic to discuss the UPF PolyTank Design

Just last week, United Plastic Fabricating hosted the Massachusetts Institute of Fire Department Instructors at our Massachusetts location. Their visit (led by our CEO and owner Joe Lingel) included an overview of the engineering and fabrication processes. The day started off with an introduction by Joe, who also introduced our VP of Engineering Michael Ashley. The group broke into two groups, with Joe and Michael each leading one. Throughout the tour, the goal was to help the instructors learn about the UPF PolyTank design process, from engineering to manufacturing.

Learning about Engineering

Michael Ashley started his group in the engineering meeting room, where they discussed some of the decisions UPF makes. Engineer John Kendricken presented information on how we design the tanks, and together he and Michael fielded the instructors’ questions. In Michael’s own words, “this group as a whole was the most engaging and interactive among any prior tours I had given.” He praised their inquisitiveness, highlighting their interest in our design and building process. Not having any past experience working with MIFDI, Michael was impressed that their curiosity and interest aligned so well with their mission of sharing knowledge about fire training. Joe was struck by their interest in how detailed the planning process was for tank design through the engineering process.

Shop Tour

Much like the engineering session, the tour of the shop floor featured the group’s same level of interest. During the tour, the group saw the building process for the same tank that UPF showcased earlier in the day. One instructor expressed interest in how each team on the assembly floor worked independently, requiring little supervision in their station. During the showcase of the process, most questions dealt with issues related to machining, baffling, and welding. The shop tour also included an overview of our plastic tow truck body! Despite being fire educators, the group found the PolyBody just as interesting.

It was great to have everyone in the facility to discuss and share information, and we look forward to working together in the future. Micahel and Joe both expressed their appreciation for the questions and curiosity of MIFDI, and how happy they were with the day overall. For more information on MIFDI and their work, check out their site here!


Fire Prevention Week kicks off in South Elgin with an open house

UPF tanks and big OEMs at South Elgin open house for Fire Prevention Week!

United Plastic Fabricating’s Pat Cahill had the wonderful opportunity to attend South Elgin’s Fire Protection open house just over a week ago. The fire protection open house represented the start of Fire Prevention Week in South Elgin, and saw representation from a slew of big name trucks on display. Pierce, Spartan, Rosenbauer, US Tanker, and Crimson were all present with the variety of trucks. Newer models of trucks also featured UPF’s PolyTanks, giving further reliability to both the district and wider countryside!


Fire Prevention week at South Elgin open houseThis was more than just a chance to show off trucks, however; Fire Prevention Week’s focus was on community education as well. The emphasis this year focuses on awareness and how to recognize potential threats. “Look. Listen. Learn.” The name of the game this year promotes community learning, hoping to give people everywhere the agency to know when something goes wrong. You can learn more about South Elgin Fire Protection and the just-ended Fire Prevention Week here!


Register Today for FDIC and Save 10%

Register today for FDIC and receive a 10% discount!  April 8 – 13, 2019.  Join fire fighters from around the world in Indianapolis, IN.   For more information about the the show go to FDIC.


UPF Donates N95 Masks to Local First Responders

First Reponders MaskWhen Joe Lingel, the Owner of United Plastic Fabricating, Inc.  With a shortage of PPE for first responders Joe decided to inventory what his company had for N95 masks.  As a retired Fire Chief of Lynnfield, MA, he knows how important it is to have the right equipment for first responders.

“We purchased these masks a while ago to keep in stock.  I have reached out to other local businesses to check their supply in their warehouses.  The first responders need all the help we can offer,” said Joe Lingel, Owner of United Plastic Fabricating, Inc.  “If you have extra, please consider donating to the local FD and PD departments or local hospitals,” Lingel added.

Lingel decided to distribute what masks UPF had in stock to the North Reading Fire Department, Lynnfield Fire Department and to the North Andover Fire and Police Departments. He spent over 40 years on the Lynnfield Fire Department and retired as Chief on December 31, 2013.  North Andover is where UPF’s Corporate Headquarters is located and to show his gratitude for being there in the event of an emergency, he had a supply of masks dropped off at both local stations. Lingel currently lives in North Reading.

“UPF’s donation of N95 respirators to the North Andover Fire Department will help my Fire Fighters and EMTs to be able to continue to respond to calls for service safely,” said North Andover Fire Chief, Bill McCarthy.    “We have seen an outpouring of donations of PPE supplies from local businesses and families throughout the town.  The central station located at 795 Chickering Road is accepting donations and distributing needed supplies to Lawrence General Hospital,” McCarthy added.

UPF manufactures and maintains water and foam tanks for emergency vehicles, such as Fire Apparatus, Rescues, Ambulances, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Vehicles. This is deemed Critical Manufacturing and our facilities in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Florida remain open.  As a result, our employees still working on site are all practicing Coronavirus guidelines.

In the mid 80s, the founders of United Plastic Fabricating, Inc. evaluated water tanks used for fire apparatus. They determined that water tanks could be made from high impact polypropylene instead of galvanized steel, which is heavy and prone to corrosion. This strong, lightweight plastic could be welded using extruded sheet and made into a water tank, while offering a weight savings and eliminating corrosion.  UPF is the #1 tank manufacturer in the fire industry and will be entering 35 years of business in December.