Selecting the right steel fabricator can be a big challenge especially when it comes to choosing the right material for the job. Before deciding on which steel fabricator is best for you, it is important to first understand the process. With more dynamic construction designs being introduced in the industry, the process of steel fabrication has become even more diverse and specialized.
Steel fabrication involves a lot of technical input and thus is always done by a professional, especially in large projects such as building a bridge or a walkway. This is because there is no room for mistakes and thus the process should be precise and accurate. Steel fabricators take many pieces of metals and bind them together either through smelting or smoldering to create a final product that comes in different shapes and sizes. It also involves cutting, folding/ bending, and assembling steel to make different products.
The process normally occurs in three stages:
- Cutting- this is done by shearing, sawing or chiseling metal with the use of equipment such as laser cutters, plasma torches or water jets.
- Bending- this is done by hammering either manually or by the use of a machine.
- Assembling- this is simply bringing together molded parts to form complete structures through welding. Heat is applied slowly to the fabricated parts which join them together.
After the completion of the above processes, steel fabricators who operate on a larger scale, use a software package to shape steel in to the desired design. A majority of fabricators use cutting-age technology to monitor and maintain the proficiency of the entire fabrication process. To give the end product a smooth edge, laser- cutting devices are used.
The importance of steel fabrication cannot be undermined as it is used in various industries such as motor vehicle and the construction industry. Not only does steel reinforce the strength of buildings and homes, it also increases their durability. However, before selecting a steel fabricator, there are a few things to keep in mind.
When selecting a steel fabricator, it is essential to understand the purpose of the product you have in mind. Mr. Ashu Sennik from Desbro Engineering Limited, for instance, says for those who are in the food and beverage industry it is advisable to select companies that only specialize in stainless steel.
Desbro Engineering Limited are specialist in stainless steel Vessels and Tanks and because of that, Mr. Sennik says they understand the needs of the food and beverage industry with the handling of food products. “We therefore fabricate only stainless steel Vessels and Tanks to avoid contamination from other metals,” he says.
Different fabricating companies offer different types of fabrications and a client should select that which best fits their needs.
It is important to always seek out quality when selecting a steel fabricator. This is because quality products are durable and reliable. Most clients go for less quality products simply because they are cheaper; however, this might cost them big time. Mr. Ashu Sennik says their products are made of the highest quality grade of stainless steel and they use the latest fabrication methods in producing their Tanks and Vessels.
3. Production Capability
Before seeking out services or products from a steel fabricator, ensure you are aware of the production capability of the company. This is because your product of choice might involve a lot of processes such as welding, cutting, installation and finishing. If a company is not able to provide all the services you need, it is therefore best to find another steel fabricator that will match with your needs.
To be on the safe side, it is best to select a steel fabricator who runs a wide range of services and skills. This includes skills in steel fabrication, steel drafting and detailing, surface treatment, and delivery and installation.
4. Type of material used
It is very essential to know the type of material a steel fabricating company uses and if that material is genuine and of good quality. This is also in regards to size and thickness. Checking the quality of the product will ensure that you get a quality finished product that will not lead you to losses.
While selecting the best steel fabricator, it is important to know how much experience they have. It is also important to know their specialty as well as some of the projects they have done in the past. This is because some steel fabricators specialize in a certain type of building or only work on projects of a certain size. The reputation of the fabrication company is also important and it is possible to judge depending on referrals and testimonials from previous clients.
6. Certified personnel
In addition to selecting a company with experience, it is also equally important to check if the steel fabricating company has certified personnel. Christine Wanja from Mogaya Contractors Limited says engineers working in steel fabricator companies should be well versed as they are the ones who have the knowledge in design and drawing.
“If you miss the first step of failing to get a qualified person, most likely the whole structure will fail,” she says. The lead engineer at Mogaya Contractors, Mr. Stephen Mwita, has more than five years experience in the field and this, Christine says, has made the company excel in its steel fabricated structures.
The company has been involved in steel works ranging from tanks, towers, billboard frames, go-downs, crane buildings as well as multi-level story buildings.