A Cut Above
Advanced Coring & Cutting Corp. reaches for prestigious, challenging projects
New York City goes by a lot of names—Gotham, the Big Apple, the Concrete Jungle. Every jungle needs to be cut back sometimes; and when the jungle is made of concrete, the job requires special tools and skills, like those that Advanced Coring & Cutting Corp. provides.
The experienced team at Advanced Coring & Cutting is capable of handling any concrete drilling or cutting project. For more than a quarter of a century, the company has taken on and completed some of the toughest projects that New York and New Jersey have to offer.
“We tend to do a lot of unique projects most people would steer away from,” says Steven Lisowski, President and co-founder of Advanced Coring & Cutting. “Because of my experience, we’re always looking to do something unique and tactical.”
Making a Mark
Since 2011, Advanced Coring & Cutting has been working at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City. An 800,000-square-foot facility, the hub serves more than 250,000 Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) daily commuters and millions of visitors annually. What began as two continuous years of work has tapered off, particularly since the hub opened in 2016, and the company now does about three jobs there each year, Steven says.
“Most of what we do there is heavy diamond, wire-saw cutting,” Steven says. “This means cutting very thick walls and floors with the use of diamond-segmented wire. The wire is a complete loop, up to 300 feet long, pulled through a constant circuit at an extremely high speed to cut large structures of concrete or steel.”
The tremendous length of the wire used in those saws was vital for a recent project in New Jersey—demolishing a bridge by cutting out its supports 60 feet underwater.
“That bridge might be the most difficult project we’ve ever done, working so far underwater,” Steven says.
“We were assisted by scuba divers working for the general contractor who hired us for the cutting.”
Another recent project, on the west side of Manhattan, found Advanced Coring & Cutting preparing additional supports for the seawall on the Hudson River by drilling 24-inch-diameter holes 18 feet deep into the concrete and stone seawall.
While the bridge demolition may have been the most difficult project, for Steven, it wasn’t the most memorable. That honor goes to a job that Advanced Coring & Cutting did for Princeton University back in the 1990s. The company was hired to make a precision cut of a specific size in the foundation wall of a building so an old piece of equipment could be removed from the basement. What made the job so memorable was that the equipment in question was the magnetic accelerator Albert Einstein used in his research at the university.
“It was a prestigious job,” Steven says proudly. “We like the prestigious jobs, the challenging jobs.”
Advanced Coring & Cutting has been in operation since 1992, when Steven and his father opened the business together. Cutting and drilling was in the family. Steven’s father had been in the business as a sales manager for another firm since 1964, and Steven worked for him all through high school and college. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Roger Williams University in 1988, Steven spent a few years as a salesman in the insurance industry before his father recruited him back to sales in the concrete cutting business. “It wasn’t long before I recognized I could do the business myself, rather than working for someone else,” Steven says. “I told my father I was going to be starting my own business, so we joined forces and did it together. He and I grew the company together for 15 years until he suddenly passed away in 2005. For the first five or six years, I would sell a job in the morning, then be out drilling in the afternoon. That’s how we kept the company profitable at first and were able to grow.”
And grown it has. From a father-and-son operation in 1992, Advanced Coring & Cutting has expanded to 18 employees in its Wall Township, New Jersey, headquarters.
“We have guys who have been with us 20 years or more,” says Kristin Lisowski, Steven’s wife, who officially joined the company in 2010 and helps run internal operations. “We know them; we know their families. One of our key employees is estimator and project manager Joe Wehner. He’s the one who trained Steven in this business in 1984, and now Joe works with Steven very closely.”
A Record of Growth
Most of Advanced Coring & Cutting’s work is for general contractors as a second- or third-tier contractor. The building trades and commercial construction are the primary sources of projects, but about 25 percent of the company’s work is in heavy civil—contracts involving such things as sewage systems or bridge and road construction.
In recent years, Steven says, Advanced Coring & Cutting has been doing more and more work for New Jersey’s thriving pharmaceutical industry. The company’s workload tends to be a mix of a large number of short-term jobs, often lasting only one or two days, complemented by several large-scale contracts each year.
“We succeed because we do high-profile jobs performed by great employees who go out and do very professional work on a daily basis,” Steven says. “A lot of our business is in repeat work, and a lot of work comes through referrals. We’re a family-oriented company that cares about our employees and our customers. We’re hands-on with everything. I’m involved in speaking to almost every customer and maintaining a lot of personal contact with everyone we work with.”
“Since 2005, we’ve tripled in growth,” Steven continues. “We anticipate that growth to continue, especially in 2019. We’ve been able to achieve this with the loyalty of great employees and customers, as well as advanced technology that allows us to be very precise in our work.”
“We’re very safety oriented. If we can’t do the job safely within budget, I won’t take the job. That may hold us back in some instances, but I’m willing to sacrifice that for the good of my people.” Steven Lisowski, President and Co-Founder, Advanced Coring & Cutting Corp.
The right equipment is an essential ingredient for success in the industry, Steven says, and he has become an early adopter of the latest technological innovations. Recently, Advanced Coring & Cutting has moved away from hydraulic machines, and now uses all high-frequency, electric equipment.
“Hydraulics use hydraulic oil pushed through hoses by a pump that turns blades and drills,” Steven explains. “We got away from hydraulics because of the potential for broken lines, leaks and drips. Plus, the equipment is very heavy. The new high-frequency, electric equipment takes the 60Hz we have in the United States and converts it to 400Hz, providing a very powerful motor. The equipment is lighter, safer, more productive and cleaner. These tools have really aided in our ability to do inside work, particularly in high-rises and other places you couldn’t get hydraulic power to because the equipment is too heavy and cumbersome. A lot of our electric equipment is remote-control operated too, meaning the operator can run the equipment from a safe distance.”
Attention to safety is vital in a business that involves the kind of work Advanced Coring & Cutting does on a daily basis. The company has an exceptional Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 300 safety log, which is very important to its clients, particularly those in the pharmaceutical industry, Steven says.
“Safety is very important to us,” Kristin says. “We constantly train our guys and keep them up to date on the latest regulations and safety information. If they ever feel unsafe on a job site, they let us know, and they know we’ve got their back. Steven respects the guys and they respect him.”
“I’m realistic when it comes to production on a job,” Steven says. “I’m realistic in bidding and performing. We’re very safety oriented. If we can’t do the job safely within budget, I won’t take the job. That may hold us back in some instances, but I’m willing to sacrifice that for the good of my people.”