Because fabricated pipe spools play an essential role in most heavy industrial projects, owners and their fabrication contractors develop long, lasting relationships that span years. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to check in with your pipe fabricator periodically to make sure it’s keeping up with the industry’s latest processes and technologies. Below are a few questions you might ask to help assess your pipe fabrication provider:
As your pipe fabrication project’s first stop, does your fabricator have an in-house engineering team? It’s also worth asking what software/technology they utilize for shop drawing creation and tracking. Computer-aided design (CAD) can optimize and streamline workflows, improve the quality and level of detail, and provide precise documentation.
CAD can provide significant benefits that include:
• Lowering production costs.
• Making workflows more efficient.
• Simplifying communication and collaboration.
Project management and procurement
One spool on a shop floor can easily become a needle in a haystack at a fabricator’s facility. Does your fabricator have a dedicated project manager to oversee your project and ensures it receives the level of care it requires? A good project manager should be able to easily show your project’s progression from beginning all the way through to delivery. There could be more than 100 steps that go into pipe spool fabrication. How is your vendor keeping track of them all?
A fabricator’s procurement system can also make or break your project. Ask if your fabricator has a robust inventory management system in place, and if they have international sourcing capabilities. The best fabricators have a robust procurement department and stringent vendor requirements.
From automatic to manual fabrication and everything in between, the more fabrication capabilities, the better. Have you received a full list of production offerings from your contractor? Have you considered proven cost and time-saving production methods like heat induction and cold bending?
A fabricated pipe spool is useless if it doesn’t meet industry quality requirements. What in-house testing methods and tracking processes does your fabricator offer? Having “S,” “U,” and “R” stamps are a must, but you should also expect complete traceability, standard and custom document packages, in-house NDE/NDT, heat testing and stress relief processes.
Painting and coating
Painting and coating should not be an afterthought. Are your fabricator’s coating and painting facilities climate controlled? Do they offer not just your standard multi-coat systems, but fusion bond and thermal spray coatings as well? What accreditation do their facilities and inspectors have?
Does your fabricator meet you at the last mile? When it comes to delivery, does your pipe fabricator have a mix of transportation options? Getting your pipe spools delivered safely and tagged for easy onsite sorting should be a requirement of your pipe fabricator.
For over 60 years, Turner Industries’ Pipe Fabrication Division has been exceeding clients’ expectations, offering all the services and processes listed above—and more. This has resulted in Turner becoming one of the leading pipe fabricators in the U.S. Find out what Turner Industries can offer you.