The 5 Keys to Achieving a Successful Fabrication Field Installation

posted in Metal Fabrication

Field installation of custom fabricated industrial equipment such as a silo, bulk storage tank or heavy industrial ductwork can provide peace of mind for the customer. It embodies a turnkey approach that ensures the product is fabricated to specifications and is ready to be fully operational as intended without requiring multiple vendors to get the job done.

While fabrication field installation is not necessarily an uncommon value-added solution for fabricators, not every field installation process is created equal.

At Southern Metal Fabricators, we take great pride in our ability to consistently exceed customer expectations, which is why we also believe that there are five particular factors that are critical in achieving a successful custom fabrication field installation.

1 — Communication

From the initial consultation through completion, installation, and inspection, we believe communication is an absolute key to a successful fabrication process, especially for those we handle field installation as well.

One miscommunication or misunderstanding along the way can move a project off target. The longer a miscommunication goes uncorrected, the larger its negative impact can be. That’s why we emphasize the importance of collaboration early on in the fabrication design phase and provide our clients with detailed documentation throughout the process.

This not only keeps our customers in touch with the progress of their project but also helps ensure the customer is on the same page as we are. Any corrections or adjustments can be quickly implemented, minimizing delays and costs.

2 — Expertise

We pre-assemble and fit up projects before they leave our shop, meticulously marking each piece to ensure a proper on-site assembly and smooth installation process. Our field installation teams generally consist of four to five professionals along with a supervisor. These teams are experts at on-site installations of industrial stairs and platforms, bulk storage bins, silos and tanks, industrial ductwork, and structural steel packages.

Our installation crews have successfully completed on-site custom fabrication field installation projects for a variety of industries, including agriculture, automobile, mining, oil, marine, plastics utilities, and more. While each field installation is obviously custom depending on the equipment and several other factors, our teams have likely experienced a similar installation in the past and can leverage that expertise to ensure quality control is maintained throughout the process.

3 — Compliance Verification

Increasingly, manufacturers are beginning to understand the benefits of third-party contracting in creating leaner processes. Beyond cost and capabilities, though, it’s vital that manufacturers properly vet a potential fabrication partner for important factors such as the company’s financial health, safety practices, and more.

There are many benefits to working with a fabricator who is already engaged in the contractor verification ecosystem and familiar with the platforms and processes required.

Customers use these platforms to handle documentation to ensure proper compliance and to mitigate risks, and many government regulations are filtered through these systems including safety reports, OSHA requirements, and more.

Southern Metal Fabricators is required to meet standards and document them through these systems, making it a matter of record should an incident occur. We are also diligent about cooperating with verification requests to show compliance with important standards such as ASME Section 9 and the American Welding Society AWS D1.1.

4 — Quality Control

We believe transparency is the key to superior quality control, especially in fabrication field installation. We maintain tight quality control over materials, labor, and management. We also document progress throughout the fabrication process, including providing quality control and shipping photos.

We believe documentation and transparency are critical in both quality control and in maintaining integrity and building trust with our customer. It minimizes negative surprises and their impact on the fabrication process, and can help us navigate around potential pitfalls when they crop up.

5 — Proximity

The fifth key to ensuring a successful custom fabrication field installation is working with a metal fabricator who is not only capable of meeting your needs, but who is within a reasonable proximity to the installation site.

We typically handle installs for on-site locations across several states that are within 500 miles of our Albertville, Alabama offices.

Staying within this Southeast region has benefits to our customers, including minimizing costs, ensuring superior quality control, and simplifying installation logistics. Since each state can have differing permitting and licensing requirements, staying in our region also makes it easier to stay up-to-date on the those regulations to ensure we can mitigate unnecessary delays or expense.

Custom Fabrication Field Installation Done Right

While our team and capabilities have grown extensively since 1991, our goal has remained the same: To meet or exceed your requirements with respect to quality, budget, and delivery.

We take as much pride in our on-site installation process as we do in the fabrication of bulk storage solutions, material handling products, pollution control equipment, and more.

While it’s true that many other fabricators offer fabrication field installation capabilities, few can match the true design-to-delivery manufacturing approach that we bring to the table.

From fabrication to finishing and much more, give us a chance to say, “Yes, we can do that!” by contacting our fabrication experts today.