Steel Advice - The Fabricator's Resource
Dedicated to support the steel fabricator with real world solutions to real world problems.
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Shop Talk with Steve
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The Steel Erector
Creating QC Standards
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The Steel Detailer
What is wrong with this picture?

Besides the fact that the basic presentation is amateurish, this beam drawing looks pretty simple, really. But wait, what IS that little triangle in the circle just above the right hand end of the beam? What does THAT mean?

That little triangle in the circle is an indicator for the erection end of the beam, or the left hand end. Though edited to dimension from left to right, to check the drawings they had to be worked from right to left. All the shop drawings were done in this style.

The steel erector looks to the piece mark put on the beam by the shop to indicate the left hand end or erection end of the beam. The piece mark was applied to the left hand end of this beam as shown, which in this case is actually the right hand end.

The erector then installed this beam using the piece mark end of the beam as his left hand end, the beam then sloped to the wrong direction. Issues in the field with the fabricated steel were numerous and repairs were expensive. The entire project installed poorly. The erector eventually used the contract drawings as their guide to install the steel.

This detailing error cost the fabricator, the steel erector and the general contractor endless problems, delayed the schedule, created claims for backcharges, and eventually forced them into court. All because of this little triangle.
The Steel Detailer
It is the little things that can lead to big disasters!
Building a strong foundation and a good working relationship through creating user friendly shop detail drawings is part of what keeps customers coming back.

Before you do your first project with a new customer, ask for samples of shop detail drawings they have used successfully to help you with setting up your first job with them.

In doing this, you will not only see what did work for your customer, but what did not, helping you to avoid problems of your own in this new relationship.
Presentation makes all the difference.
Go to Shop detail drawing sheet!
Review customer shop detail drawings.
In the October issue of The Fabricator's Resource, five shop fabrication drawing details were shown for your review. Three of these details were by an offshore firm, and two were by detailers in the United States.

These samples were provided to show the improper utilization of computer detailing programs by the workers doing the editing of the steel from the model, which indicates that the firms were using these programs with improperly trained employees or were simply not checking their shop drawings.

The problem with lack of training and checking is NOT governed by the LOCATION of the steel detailer, but by the INTEGRITY of the firm that is selling the work.

This month we have added comments made by other steel detailers who reported in with their opinions of these drawings. Click on the link below to review.