Metal Fabrication Deemed Essential During COVID-19 Crisis

While many businesses are temporarily shut down in the wake of COVID-19, “essential” metal fabrication operations are manning the manufacturing front lines, providing the infrastructure to house our food and agriculture supplies and other vital resources.

Defining “Essential”

Currently, it’s up to the cities and states in the United States to determine which businesses are considered “essential” or “non-essential” during this COVID-19 health, safety, and economic crisis. However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently deemed “metal manufacturing” part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.

These “critical manufacturing” operations include:

  • Workers necessary for the manufacturing of metals (including steel and aluminum) and materials and products needed for supply chains associated with food and agriculture
  • Workers necessary for the manufacturing and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary for mining production and distribution
  • Workers needed to maintain the continuity of these manufacturing functions and associated supply chains

In essence, manufacturing – including metal fabrication – is now essential to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on to function resiliently during our country’s pandemic response. This is especially the case for food and agriculture, beginning with feed and grain storage.

Essential Feed & Grain Storage

It only takes one faulty weld or rust spot for moisture to compromise an entire silo full of essential feed and grain. Custom-fabricated steel silos, bins, tanks, and hoppers can protect entire harvests from moisture that can lead to grain caking.

An experienced custom metal fabricator can apply steel detailing techniques to protect the integrity of bins and silos, even during extreme climate changes that expose steel to water and fluctuating temperatures.

These techniques may include:

  • Hot-dip galvanizing (HDG) to coat the metal in corrosion-resistant zinc
  • Spot or metal arc welding to fuse silo or hopper parts together prior to galvanizing
  • Additional fabrication detailing, such as adding metal fasteners that are compatible with with the zinc coating

A qualified metal fabricator should be able to address design considerations to reduce the chance of structural problems during hot-dip galvanizing. Does the structure require one or more discharge mechanisms? Are custom accessories required, such as steel legs or bracing, or skirted bottoms?

Every deceptively simple-looking bulk storage tank requires custom fabrication to ensure the safe storage and transport of dry food, water, cattle feed, and other essential dry and wet goods to sustain our daily lives – even during a pandemic.

Essential Infrastructure

HVAC infrastructure and pollution control, including heavy ductwork and dust collection, can help essential manufacturers more safely:

  • Manufacture the materials and products needed to produce medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel on the COVID-19 front lines
  • Manufacture materials and products needed for medical supply chains, and for transportation, energy, communications, information technology, food and agriculture
  • Manufacture equipment that supports continued operations for any essential services and increase in remote workforce (including computing and communication devices)

Pollution control mechanisms must be fabricated with adequate water-proofing or fire-resistant finishes to ensure durability and allow essential workers to safely focus on their manufacturing tasks. Each ductwork fabrication must also meet specific industry standards, which can vary widely among essential manufacturers.

Your Essential Metal Fabricator

According to the Homeland Security guidelines, essential businesses provide the critical infrastructure now required to respond to COVID-19 – for health and safety, as well as “community well-being.”

Designated as an “essential” business, Southern Metal Fabricators is working with our nation’s industries to keep critical infrastructures intact for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Our quality, custom metal fabrications are helping to keep the wheels moving for critical infrastructure industries, including:

  • Feed and grain
  • Mining production and distribution
  • Oil and gas
  • And essential manufacturers requiring custom-fabricated metal storage and infrastructure support

Plus, Southern Metal Fabricators backs up each custom metal fabrication with quality control (QC) documentation, including industry-specific inspections and welding certifications. Our dedicated QC inspectors go the extra mile to make sure every metal fabrication meets or exceeds safety and quality standards.

If you’re ready to work with an essential metal fabricator that goes above and beyond to ensure safety and quality, give us a chance to say, “Yes, we can do that!” by contacting us today.

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