Steel fabrication is a part of our daily lives and it is used by a wide range of industries, including medical devices, aerospace, automotive and consumer products. Every day, we see items and structures that are products of steel fabrication—from that espresso machine we use every morning to that train we ride to our daily commute.
If you are looking for a good steel fabricator for your business, then you should remember to carefully assess your options. There are a lot of options available to you and if you make the wrong choice, you might cost your business a lot of money. It goes without saying that you have to make sure that the steel fabrication firm you’re going to choose has all the necessary qualities for successfully completing your project.
Here are some tips you can follow so you can easily identify a good steel fabricator.
Ensure that they are Compliant with Quality Standards
It would not be surprising if most of the steel fabricators you meet would claim that they are the best in the market. So, how can you be sure that they are staying true to what they promise? Well, the proof is in the pudding. You can take a look at the projects that they’ve completed in the past and try searching for customer reviews online. There are metal fabrication forums you can visit where you can ask other users about their recommended firms.
The most important tip you have to remember is asking for the metal fabricator’s certifications. You know you are talking with a good steel fabrication company if they are compliant with the quality standards provided by the Australian Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). Of course, you have to remember to verify whether their certifications are authentic. In this way, you will know that their operations are legitimate and legal.
Ask What Type of Metals They Work With
Generally speaking, most metal fabricators work with steel, aluminum, and tin while some also specialize in brass, copper, nickel or titanium. You can measure a metal fabricators’ capabilities by asking them what materials they work with and what equipment they use.
Each of the aforementioned metals possesses their own qualities which can be processed and handled differently. They also come in various gauges and grades. For instance, the steel used in construction does not have the same substance grade as the steel used in food preparation.
As we’ve mentioned, the fabrication process and equipment depends on the type of metal you are working with. So, if you specifically need a steel fabricator, you would hire someone who specializes in this type of metal. This is important especially when your finished product requires certain processes like punching, assembly, welding, blasting or painting. Not all steel fabricators have the capability to perform the aforementioned processes. Needless to say, you would not hire a firm that is not experienced and equipped to work on steel.
Review their Skillset and Experience
In many ways, the equipment can be considered a metal fabricator’s bone and muscle. However, this is just part of what you would pay for when you book them for your project. It is true that sophisticated equipment and tools can go a long way in steel fabrication. On the other hand, a fabricator would still not be able to able to complete a project to the highest standards if they do not have the right knowledge, skill set, and experience.
Good steel fabricators have enough staying power to be in the industry for several years. They understand how customer service works and they always make sure that they bring the best results to their clients. As such, they maintain their high standards by hiring exceptional tradesmen. They keep the knowledge and special skills by passing them on to the next ‘generation’ of laborers. When you deal with a good steel fabricator, you definitely have a valued partnership that will last for a long time.
Compare their Rates with Other Fabricators
It is also important that you find a steel fabricator who offers reasonable rates. If you are working on a big project, it is more likely that several fabricators will be more than happy to send you a quote. Take advantage of this opportunity and compare the pricing offered by every steel fabrication company. Your top three should offer rates similar to the average pricing in the market.
You also have to check whether the rates they offer is reflected in the quality and skill they have. There are some metal fabricators that may offer pricing that’s a little bit higher than the others. If they offer better service and end results, then their rates are still reasonable. Moreover, do not forget to clearly specify every little detail of your project and make sure that they are indicated in your quote. In this way, you would not encounter surprise, hidden charges along the way.
When it comes to gauging the overall pricing of the project, you have to consider the location of a steel fabricator’s workshop. As fuel costs continue to rise, the delivery costs also increase. Keep in mind that steel fabrication firms add the shipping costs to the overall fee that they charge to the client. So, make sure that you take note of their workshop location. This is especially important if you’re planning to ship the end result directly from the workshop to your clients who are geographically scattered.
Ask About Their Production Capacity
You should also ask the steel fabricator about their usual turnaround time and then compare it to what other firms can offer. Remember to ask about their production capacity as well. There are steel fabricators who deliver excellent results. However, not all of them have the capacity to deal with big projects. So, if you hire a smaller firm for your big project, you might have to wait longer than the usual.
Keep in mind that production delays cost money. So, make the right decision by choosing a good steel fabricator for your project. Follow the aforementioned tips to make the selection process a bit easier.