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Re: STEEL FAB: QA/QC Procedures

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As you realize you've got a big problem. (that comment was sure a lot of help)

Let me see if I've got this straight..... 

Your client is the GC & is also a fab shop. Your client's shop is non-certified but is jobbing out to another non-certified shop.

In your situation I'd take a step back & instead of trying to whip up a minimal QA/QC plan on the fly & then get  the shop to work with it,  I'd go with a more informal approach.

Your client's shop fabs for your client's GC & most of the time services erection activitiy's needs.  They must have an idea of the "goodness" the stuff they are making, that is, the guys in the field knows how easy or hard it is to build with the stuff provided by the in-house shop.

If (according to the erection folks) the in-house stuff is good, then is a QA/QC "procedure"   it's just not written down.

Shops with QA/QC plans can make junk (& fail to discover it) and shops without QA/QC plans can make good stuff.

If your in-house shop makes good stuff then they are doing the right things, whether or not its written down. They've got the right combination of: man, material & method.

(btw if they have QC problems themselves then you're SOL)

But if they make good stuff you've go a shot.  The in-house shop must a shop foreman or lead guy (or two) who know what they're doing & make things turn out right.  These guys are going to be key in getting the "sub shop" to deliver comparable stuff.

Talk to these guys, they'll be your "QA/QC" plan.   Through them you can impose "QA/QC  plan by walking around"

kinda like the structural observation (not inspection) requirements in California, not a true inspection program but if an engineer walks the site during / after framing he can get a pretty good idea of the quality of the work.

If the sub shop is not nearby my concept will be nearly impossible to implement.

Trying to impose a written QA/QC plan on a shop with no history of this type "paperwork" will be an exercise in futility, a lot of effort with a low probability of yielding good results.  You're not going to be able to change the entire culture of the "sub shop" just for this one job. 

The "sub shop" is what it is & the only thing you might be able to do is inject some of the skill & expertise from the in house shop into the "sub shop".

Failing this,  there's always blind luck & hope.


On 7/16/07, Bill Polhemus <bill(--nospam--at)> wrote:
Paul Blomberg wrote: 
I'd start by visiting the AISC web site and look through their requirements for a fab shop to be certified.  
Yeah, I'm way ahead of you. The problem is that the AISC document is really a comprehensive outline of how to set up an complete "Quality Management System" for your fab shop. It's not really a "procedure" or "specification" stating precisely what the minimum QA/QC requirements are.

For example, if you want to figure out what percentage of connections or assemblies to directly inspect, you won't find it there. Instead, you'll find a "requirement" that such frequency of sampling be clearly stated. It leaves it up to the fabricator what that should be, etc.

This is NOT my area of expertise so I'm at a huge disadvantage.

The other respondent who mentioned the AWS D1.1 criteria is on the right track as well, but still there are too many "decisions" to be made which I don't think I can do on the part of the fabricator. I may just have to punt this time around, and make this a long-term objective, to make sure that either AISC Certification is non-waiverable, or set forth our own alternative requirements.

Ironically, my client is also in the fabrication business--this is an outsourcing situation because of limited internal shop capacity--but I'll be darned if I can identify any internal QA/QC written requirements!

BIG problem.
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