Fabrication


SteelFab operates six different fabrication plants across the Southeastern US with a combined capacity of over 100,000 tons annually. These plants utilize the latest high-tech machinery, top-notch facilities, and cutting edge computer driven processes. The most important components of our fabrication capacity are the over 500 highly skilled employees working throughout these plants. Our employees are truly craftsmen whose skills, knowledge, and passion are poured into each piece that leaves the plant.

Download Steel Fabricators' Review - Volume 31, Summer 2009

Equipment

SteelFab has invested in several new pieces of CNC equipment that utilize the latest technology in the industry including high speed drilling, automated tool changing, and advanced part layout marking. This equipment is capable of sawing, drilling, punching, shearing, and burning every type of structural steel. Using these automated machines SteelFab, as a corporation, is capable of machining up to 2,000 tons of material each week.

Plate:

Using CNC equipment, all plate and flat bar is processed in each plant’s plate shop. Typical plates pass through machines capable of cutting using plasma and/or oxy-fuel torches. This type of advanced equipment can also punch slots or drill holes using high speed carbide drills. Simpler shapes can be cut using 10’ wide shears and then bent using a press brake to make concrete pour stops, embeds, or other forms of bent plate detail.

Beams, Columns, Channel, Tubing and Pipe:

Each plant has several beam lines equipped with saws, drills, copers, cambering machines, and all the necessary material handling equipment to run efficiently. This equipment is housed outside of the shop to increase fabrication space and improve safety. As each piece of material is machined, there are checks to ensure the dimensions are within tolerance of our internal quality standards. Each piece created is bar coded, scanned and documented as completed in SteelFab’s database software.

Assembly & Fabrication

After all the required steel has been machined, employees begin transferring crucial dimensions from the drawings to the actual piece of steel. This information contains detail part marks, exact dimensions, and the necessary weld symbols used for final fabrication. This process requires skilled craftsmen, many of whom have been working for SteelFab for several decades.

Receiving

Using detailer generated reports material such as steel beams, tubing, channel, angle, and plate are purchased from one of SteelFab’s many vendors. These vendors are steel mills and service centers located regionally as well as internationally. Material is shipped to each plant via rail roads, trucks and occasionally using ocean bulk carriers. Once material is delivered to one of SteelFab’s fabrication facilities, it is received by following a standardized procedure. At this point material is checked to verify that it is within the tolerances listed in ASTM-A6 Standards manual. Each plant’s inventory is maintained by software called Fabtrol, a database designed specifically for the steel fabrication industry.

Shipping

Using forklifts and cranes, finished material is safely loaded onto trucks to be sent to the job site. SteelFab has increased the accuracy of its shipping tickets by scanning bar codes on the fabricated material to generate a bill of lading. SteelFab uses third party shipping partners to ensure timely deliveries of each load of steel.

Bar Coding

SteelFab has implemented a bar coding system that is used for tracking production of material through the shop as well as generating shipping tickets. This process improves accuracy and increases efficiency. Bar codes are applied to various labels including galvanize resistant tags for traceability from the shop to the field. These highly visible tags quickly and easily communicate accurate information to workers in both the shop and the field. SteelFab is ready for further advancements in this area including heat number traceability, job site receiving and real-time Tekla completion models

Tablets

Due to the fast track nature of some jobs, SteelFab has intergrated the usage of tablet PCs. These tablets give fabrication employees access to real time drawings, revisions, and responses from detailers regarding fabrication questions. They also allow employees to zoom in on sections of drawings enabling them to reduce mistakes and downtime. One goal from this improvement is a reduction in paper waste. Through similar projects, paper waste into the shop has decreased by almost 50%.