The construction industry along with the architectural engineering are possibly two of the toughest marketplaces in the world. Fabrication projects are often both complex and demanding where the final product must have high integrity and capable of withstanding nearly anything. It’s also no secret that modern manufacturing and engineering have changed considerably in recent years. Companies now find themselves under pressure to rapidly introduce new products, adapt to local market conditions and improve quality, cost and efficiency.
We can agree that one of the main elements of any fabrication project is cost. And by cost, we refer to materials, labour and the shipping of fabricated components which are all factors to take into considerations. It’s always easier said than done and reducing the cost of a fabrication project can be a real challenge. So how do you minimise cost without sacrificing quality?
We’ve compiled four smart and simple ways in which you can save on your next metal fabrication project. Take a look and start implementing today.
1. Provide Quality Drawings to the Fabricator
Accuracy is important in every business but probably more so in precision engineering. Complex designs require complex plans and an experienced team. If a drawing is incorrect or of poor quality, the entire workflow is affected and can lead to costly mistakes and delays.
It’s vital to only provide your fabricator with superior quality designs and a detailed project outline. Drawings or drafts that are incomplete and in a wrong format means additional development work is required and that, of course, means additional cost and valuable time. One way to avoid this is to always use a professional designer or engineer before sending anything to a fabricator.
2. Modern Fabrication Equipment
There are the odd exceptions but experienced and qualified fabrication companies will have updated the most essential equipment. Regardless of the size or type of business, boosting productivity and reducing costs go hand-in-hand. Using modern machinery allows fabricators to improve workflow and product quality while minimising costly end product errors.
Not only do you have to think about cost, you also need to look at your entire process. It forces you to see the bigger picture instead of just focusing on the product or singular process. A few examples of what to look at includes:
- Process optimisation
- Energy consumption
- Workforce and labour cost optimisation
- Inventory carrying costs
- Lower quality costs
3. Work With an Experienced and Versatile Team
The secret is to find fabricators that specialise in multiple industries with a proven track record on a variety of fabrication projects. Working with an experienced metal fabrication company can mean the world of difference. Ideally, you want fabricators who can meet most, if not all, of your requirements in terms of custom fabrication work, structural steel, forming, processing, machining and finishing. It’s always better to use one company under one roof instead of working with multiple vendors.
Companies with a solid financial history and stability over a long period of time will likely excel at expertly managing resources, even in complex situations. In addition, check their past and present projects; the quality of work is a great indicator of how they will approach your project.
4. Think and Plan Ahead
No matter how effective your planning process may be, things can still go wrong. It’s how you react to these situations that can make the difference. Always consider what obstacles or problems might arise and discuss with your fabricator things like multiple inspections, how the product will be used and possible material restrictions.
Another good indicator is the fabricator’s investment in resources and technology. It’s a strong reflection of their ability to be flexible and proactively adapt to project specific requirements. If they can handle onboarding or training of staff and streamline the required equipment, they will generally serve your needs really well.
From planning to design, always practice clear communication with your fabricator. Remember, you know what you want but they know how to make it. The better informed they are, the better your end product will be.
PRV Engineering has been supplying steelwork and steel fabrications into the construction industry for over twenty years. Unlike many lead contractors who outsource, we do everything in-house. This means we have the ability to tailor the design to the exact requirements and exercise closer control over the cost of your projects.