Information For First-Time Steel Fabrication Managers

Does your company need to have their custom-made steel product made into reality? Are they wanting to make changes to an existing product? Whether or not your company has gone through the steel fabrication process before, the whole process may sound complicated if you’ve never managed this type of project before. Here is some information about the various steps you must go through:

Design

You probably already have this step completed, or partially completed. A detailed design is drawn of the item to be fabricated. Depending on the product that will result from the steel fabrication process, the final design could go through several iterations. A mostly two dimensional product, such as a steel plate, may have both life size and larger than life size blueprints created.

If the object you’re having fabricated is three dimensional, such a  box or frame, the process may be more complex. Several two dimensional drawings may be created, showing the object from all sides. From the drawing, a three dimensional model may be built in a computer in order to make sure that everything will be proportioned correctly.

Prototyping

Once the drawings are finished, they’re given to the steel fabrication company. Working from the designs, they will create a prototype version to confirm that everything is correct and will work properly. Depending on the steel fabrication company, they may manufacture and provide you with five or ten prototype models so as to check for uniformity of the process.

Approval

Once the prototypes arrive, you must inspect them to make sure that they are exactly what you wanted. If there are any mistakes, whether in manufacture or in the original designs, the steel fabrication company will need to know this. Issues at this state are typically minor, such as a screw hole that needs to be moved slightly in order to fit with the other pieces.

Lab testing

Once your supervisor confirms that the design is correct, your company may send one or more of the prototype models to a lab for stress testing. Although computer modeling can help to show a piece’s potential weak spots, there is currently still no substitute for actual testing. If your piece needs to be able to withstand a lot of stress, this step can be crucial to ensuring that it won’t fail at an inopportune time.

While steel fabrication can sound like a daunting prospect to someone who has never managed this type of project before, it doesn’t have to be. As you can see, this type of project is very similar to other types of manufacturing projects. The key ingredient is finding a steel fabrication company that will meet your needs.

To learn more, contact a company like Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co. with any question sor concerns you have.

Author: Randy Ross

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