Two major trade associations for the steel fabrication industry – Steel Tank Institute and Steel Plate Fabricators Association – have reached agreement on a combination.

Members of the two groups – each of which has existed for more than 80 years – voted for the combination today during a meeting in Bonita Springs, Fla. The new trade group will be known as STI/SPFA, and will be based in Lake Zurich, Ill., a suburb northwest of Chicago.

The move culminates 18 months of study and discussion between the associations. Member companies of STI and SPFA are prominent manufacturers of fabricated metal products such as underground storage tanks, aboveground storage tanks for water or fuel, large-diameter water piping, pressure vessels, oil-water separators and many other marketable goods primarily serving commercial, industrial and municipal applications.

“Today’s historic vote will expand business opportunities for all members and unify a sizable segment of the steel fabrication industry,” said Wayne Geyer, executive vice president of Steel Tank Institute. “Our new organization will be roughly twice as large as either STI or SPFA by itself.”

Geyer will assume the responsibility of day-to-day management of the new STI/SPFA association after SPFA dissolves its current organization and closes its Cincinnati offices.

After dissolution, SPFA will transfer its assets, but no liabilities, to STI, and SPFA members will become members of STI/SPFA. The new organization will be organized with two divisions operating under the names of Steel Tank Institute and Steel Plate Fabricators Association.

Prior to moving to Cincinnati in the late 1990s, SPFA had been based in the Chicago area for many years. SPFA has about 100 members nationally – as does STI on an international basis. Active members of SPFA are primarily involved in manufacture and marketing of field-erected elevated water storage tanks, pressure vessels and large-diameter steel pipe. SPFA currently employs two full-time staff.

Recognized as a worldwide leader in storage tank technology, STI members fabricate safe, and environmentally friendly, storage alternatives for petroleum products and chemicals that exceed all current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The storage products of STI member companies are in service on all seven continents.