Nuplex sues manufacturing company for defective welding

A manufacturing company is being blamed for costing an East St. Louis facility tens of thousands of dollars after the welding on one of its products defaulted.

Nuplex Resins filed a lawsuit Sept. 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Mason Manufacturing.

In its complaint, Nuplex alleges it incurred more than $30,000 in additional operating costs due to defective welding on a machine built by Mason Manufacturing.

Nuplex had hired Mason Manufacturing to build a pressure vessel with a jacket, which was designed to allowed temperature-controlled fluids to circulate through the jacket without tainting the chemical reaction inside the reactor, according to the complaint.

After Mason authorized that it was qualified to design and fabricate such a product, Nuplex ordered the R-4 vessel from Mason, the suit states. Mason delivered the machine to Nuplex on Jan. 2, the complaint says.

Soon after installation, however, Nuplex claims it noticed that hot oil running through the machine’s outer jacket had somehow mixed with the resin inside the reactor. Consultants discovered cracks in the welding of the machine’s jacket, which had allowed the leak, according to the complaint.

Mason agreed to repair the leaks, but only a few days later, new leaks were discovered, the suit states.

“Further inspection showed that two additional welds in the bottom dish of the R-4 vessel had cracked,” the complaint says. “Mason offered no suggestions for dealing with the cracks and chose not to participate in the repair of the R-4 vessel.”

Because it could not afford to again shut down its R-4 vessel, Nuplex claims it chose to continue using the reactor utilizing a work-around process that would eliminate the risk of oil leaking.

The process required the use of a second machine and additional labor in order to be effective, according to the complaint. However, the R-4’s problems grew increasingly complex, and Nuplex was forced to shut it down on March 19 after additional new leaks were discovered, the suit states.

Placing the issue into its own hands, Nuplex began to repair the equipment, the complaint says.

“The materials and labor for repairing 11 welds and capping all of the 200 welds were approximately $30,000,” the suit states.

Nuplex blames Mason for causing it economic losses, saying Mason negligently failed to complete fusion of the machine, failed to complete penetration and included slag in the weld.

Nuplex alleges breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular person.

In its complaint, Nuplex seeks consequential and incidental damages of more than $500,000, plus attorneys’ fees and other relief the court deems just.

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