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RE: Steel Fab Shop Inspections

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At 09:58 AM 11/16/98 -0700, you wrote:
>There are three primary questions, and I will pepper in my comments:
>1.  What, specifically, is the owner wanting you to do?
>Be careful here.  If it is a domestic shop, does the owner want you to
>evaluate the shop's QA QC program.  Or in the absence of a program are you
>to establish one.  Are you buying into some potential liability?  Is shop
>safety an issue?  Is the schedule an issue?

The big reason for doing this is to get on the fabricator ass to make sure
that he meets his deadline so there are no other holdups... He is already
over a week behind.  Not looking into shop procedures or QA/QC

This particular project is only one part of a larger plant upgrade.  On
other parts of the project, other fabricators put splices on beams which
were not called for, had built up w shapes where it should have been rolled
sections.  I was going to inspect these things, randomly check some
dimensions and visually inspect some welds.

>2.  What is your level of competence in evaluating a steel fabricator?
>If you have little or no experience in this area.  Subcontract to someone
>who has.  If you want to learn, go with him.  Every shop is different.
>Their operations and methods vary widely.  That is not to say one is good
>and one is bad, but you need to know how to evaluate the shop practices.

I was just looking for certain things that the fabricator may skimp on,
don't want to have every weld inspected.

>3.  Is the shop certified by AISC or other authority?
>It is much easier if they are certified.  Get the certification requirements
>and see how they are complying.  Who is checking the welds?  Is everyone up
>to date on the AWS certs?  Where are the mill test reports filed?  How are
>the mill test reports tracked relative to the fabricated material?  Is stick
>or wire electrode being used?  Check storage and proper use of electrodes.
>What equipment requires calibration?  How is the calibration monitored?  Is
>there a training program?  Are there bolts fully tensioned in the shop?  How
>is the bolt installation inspected?  Is there a Skidmore in the shop?  If
>the field bolts are supplied by the fabricator, check the certs. and
>consider independent verification.

The company is certified for Canada.

>I don't think that I would look for short cuts the fabricator would be
>making.  I guess the statement implies that there is some diminished quality
>that you are looking for.  
>As with any endeavor, I have seen fabricator errors.  The most glaring error
>was many years ago on a project where stitch welds and caulking was
>substituted for a continuous weld on a plate girder.  This is one of those
>rare exceptions to the general good quality of steel fabrication that I have
>seen all over the world.
>Harold Sprague
>The Neenan Company
>-----Original Message-----
>From: mark gress [mailto:mgress(--nospam--at)]
>Sent: Sunday, November 15, 1998 5:31 PM
>To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>Subject: Steel Fab Shop Inspections
>I will be going to make a visit to a steel fabrication shop in the near
>future to look at the steel members that are being fabricated.  The owner
>suggested that I go and take a look at how the work is progressing.
>The shop drawings were already reviewed and returned to the fabricator and
>as far as making sure he has made the requested changes, what else should I
>focus on?
>What shortcuts could the fabricators be making that I can check??  
>Any ideas???

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                |   mgress(--nospam--at)  |
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