What questions should I ask my steel fabricator to ensure quality?
- Will you be able to provide certification documents?
- What do you specialize in?
- What is your level of experience?
- Have you hired a quality manager to oversee the fabrication process?
- Do you finish products in-house or outsource them?
- Can I have a tour of your facilities?
- Do you have references?
The success of your steel project may depend on the use of custom fabricated parts. However, custom fabrication is a complicated service. As such, the parts’ quality (and usability) are limited to the capabilities and expertise of your chosen fabrication partner. Who you choose to engage with is paramount to the success of your project. To help you find and pick the right partner to work with, here are eight questions to ask your custom steel fabricator.
Will You Be Able To Provide Certification Documents?
A qualified custom steel fabricator should be able to provide qualifications and certifications for all of their fabrication workers, including quality control documentation. They should also have a stringent hiring process that includes these certificates in their requirements. If their hiring policies are clear on this, it’s a good indicator that they emphasized sourcing quality talent.
In general, fabricators should be able to follow all the strict procedures and safety measures for the manufacturing stage they oversee. They should also know and be able to meet the industry-specific standards for quality control.
However, it can be hard to tell their worker’s capabilities from words alone. So asking for any certification documents the company has would be solid proof that their workers conform to these requirements.
What Do You Specialize In?
Does the custom steel fabricator you are considering specialize in the kind of project and design you’re presenting? Making custom steel products is a multifaceted process that needs precise and meticulous production. It’s important to find out whether the steel fabricator can handle the steel grade, design, and function you have in mind.
Not all of your potential partners are equal. You will find that those with varying specialties have different ways of tackling your design requirements. While there is a chance that those who specialize in multiple fields can still produce a product of good quality, you’ll want only the best return on your investment. To receive that, you will need to find a company that can reliably implement the specific internal processes your project needs.
What Is Your Level Of Experience?
The experience of a company does not just mean the years they’ve been in operation. It also includes their project experience. In particular, it is important to see what range of products they’ve produced previously and if this fabricator has taken on projects similar to yours.
You can also ask them about the particulars of their past custom-made projects. Ask them which ones they had difficulties with, and how their engineers and fabricators were able to overcome these obstacles. This is a good indicator that they can also address problems as they arise.
Have You Hired a Quality Manager to Oversee the Fabrication Process?
If you’re looking for reliability, then your chosen partner should have a quality manager included in their process. The role of this manager is to oversee the performance of different stages in the fabrication process, and ensure that each one is carried out seamlessly. They also visually inspect the products at each phase, so that they can be documented and approved before shipping.
If they do have these quality managers, ask them how often they update their quality control specifications. If this is updated every six months or so, it shows that they pay close attention to whether the fabrication methods meet current industry standards.
Do You Finish Products In-House Or Outsource Them?
Potential partners who provide in-house finishing services have an advantage over those who outsource. The ability to start and finish custom parts guarantees superior quality as well as reduced cost. This is because fabricators who designed and produced your parts from the start have a better understanding of their specifications. As a result, they are likely to know what finishing methods will suit them best.
Can I Have A Tour Of Your Facilities?
Taking a tour of the fabrication facilities will allow you to confirm with your own eyes whether or not this company has a smooth and efficient workflow. Plus, if the company is more than willing to let you look around, it’s a good sign that they are confident in the quality of their facilities.
While touring, check their layout, how their equipment is positioned, and how the personnel is moving. Pay attention if there are any safety measures present on the factory floor. Lastly, see if their facilities are well-lit, clean, and organized. These are good indicators that they have meticulously planned their facilities and ensured the safety and efficiency of their workers.
Do You Have References?
Looking at their experience, their portfolio, and seeing reviews on their website may be good indicators of the quality of work. However, hearing a direct endorsement of their services is the best way to confirm that they can deliver top-notch products.
Ask your potential partner for their references. This way, you have the chance to hear from similar organizations about their experiences with this custom steel fabricator. You can also take this opportunity to ask about any setbacks they experienced with their service, and how they were addressed.
Choosing the right custom steel fabricator to work with on your steel project is a difficult process. There are many things to consider, and finding out their qualities is difficult when you don’t know what to look out for.
Luckily, we’ve prepared a simple list of questions to ask your custom steel fabricator. These will provide a clearer picture of the quality of their work, and ensure that you’re choosing a partner fit for the job.
If you’re looking for a fabricator that can provide top-notch products — contact Regan Steel today! Send us a message here, or take a look at our services here. We are always ready to answer all your concerns, provide more information on how our capabilities and specialties can benefit your custom steel project.