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RE: Steel test reports below specified strength

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Given that steel availibility is a problem and steel prices are increasing
what is keeping the foreign mills from exporting to the USA?

Mark Gilligan


As a Project Manager for a steel fabricator, I would like to offer some
comments to the original message by Randy Diviney.

I have also had to request for a deviation from material specifications in
order to help keep a project on schedule.  In my experience, it has not
because of cost savings or internal issues, but because of:

1.  The mill rolling tested out inadequately, and we were asked if the
(material test reports) were acceptable prior to us taking delivery.

2.  The mill rolling was not conducive to the schedule, and the only
material that could be located did not conform to the specifications.

In all of my experience, we offer the customer the full story of why the
problem occurred, and also a full copy of any and all MTR's that would
apply.  More often than not, the affected materials are acceptable to use
and we can proceed accordingly.  Also, more often than not, there are cost
involved with this issue that do not get passed onto the customer.  It is
simply the nature of the beast in the market environment that currently

For the past six months or longer, fabricators have been hit with numerous
problems that generate from our mill sources.  We have experienced rolling
after rolling schedule delay.  Just last Thursday, January 6th, we were
that our order for some W10x49 material would move out from February
rollings into March rollings, and at that we do not know if it is the first
week or last week of the month.  This material was placed on order around
October/November of 1999.  Since we have already committed to a March 6
delivery for some of this material, we may be forced to procure warehouse
material, or possibly change member sizes to maintain our original delivery
commitment.  However, we can not locate any W10x49 at our sources until
material is delivered from the mill in rollings this month that we were
unable to get booked into.  All in all it makes for a very stressful
relationship with customers who have planned other work based upon our
original commitment.

Therefore, when a fabricator presents this problem to you for resolution
please do not think that he is looking for ways to cut his cost or deal
his internal schedule problems.  A lot of times it simply because he is
dealing with issues and people that are beyond his control, and he is
looking for a way to salvage what could be a monumental problem for the
project as a whole.  As a fabricator, I have heard a lot recently (and been
involved in a couple of projects that incorporated the concept) about
"partnering", and the idea of all affected parties working together in
mutual interest for the benefit of the project.  Surely that would apply to
this type of issue, although each individual case would have to stand on
own merits.

Alan Howell
Project Manager
Qualico Steel Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 149
Webb, AL  36376
Phone 334-793-1290
Fax     334-702-1118
email  ahowell(--nospam--at)