fabrication quality control matters clients

Within any mechanical industry or related field, quality control is one of the single most important areas for any manufacturer – and metal fabrication is no different. From safety areas to compliance and product effectiveness, there are several reasons why robust quality control programs for any metal fabricator are an absolute must.

At Cypress Metals, we’re happy to detail our quality control methods for any of our metal fabrication, laser cutting fabrication or other services. This information is important not only for our fabricators, but also for our clients as they seek to ensure their job is done correctly and in a timely fashion. Today’s blog will give you a primer on why quality control is important to us, some basics on the quality control manual we and other metal fabricators use on a regular basis, plus why this information matters not only to us, but to you as well.

fabrication quality control matters clients

Why Fabrication Quality Control Matters

There are several distinct reasons why robust, detailed quality control programs are vital for metal fabricators. They include:

  • Safety: First and foremost, fabrication products can be dangerous if they aren’t made correctly – both to fabricators and to eventual clients. Quality control ensures not only that fabricators are taking proper safety precautions during manufacturing, but also that products are up to code and will be safe for clients who receive them.
  • Consistency: Quality controls are also vital for the actual products themselves, particularly their effectiveness and consistency. Quality control processes ensure the client’s expectations will be met with precision, keeping both parties accountable.
  • Compliance: We mentioned compliance earlier – quality control helps ensure it within several code areas, including OSHA, ASME and the American Welding Society, among potential others.
  • Cost control: The proper safety and manufacturing standards being upheld, which takes place through quality control, will lead to cost savings for both manufacturers and clients.
  • Reputation: A fabricator’s business often relies in large part on reputation, and without quality control, they’re susceptible to drops in quality that will be reflected in the way they’re viewed.

Quality Control Manual

At Cypress Metals and virtually any other metal fabricator you may call on, we utilize a quality control manual that covers our entire facility in heavy detail. The manual standardizes and documents all our quality control practices, from procedures and basic systems to roles and relationships, safety methods and many others. We regularly audit our entire operation to make updates to the quality control manual, plus require new and old employees to remain up-to-speed on it at all times.

Importance to Fabricators and Clients

This area isn’t just important to us as fabricators – it should be important to you as a client as well, and you should never contract a metal fabricator without quality control procedures in place. A manual for quality control makes it far easier for us to communicate with our clients, for instance, as we can easily spell our all quality control processes to answer any questions you have and get you on the same page as our fabricators. Robust quality control systems give clients peace of mind for processes like welding and high temperatures, plus signal that we take this area seriously.

For more on any of our quality control methods or metal fabrication services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

welding qualities metal fabricators

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the top welding themes you should be inquiring about with any metal fabrication specialist before you begin a given project. One of several areas it’s important to evaluate during your selection process for a metal fabricator, welding is often a central part of a metal fabrication solution being applied to a given product.

At Cypress Metals, we’re happy to detail our welding capabilities and safety measures for any prospective metal fabrication client, whether you require chimney caps, cupolas, radius roofing or any of our other services. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over a few additional areas to check into when it comes to the welding quality of a given metal fabricator, ensuring they have all the proper tools and procedures in place to meet your needs moving forward.

welding qualities metal fabricators

Quality Manager

All high-level metal fabrication companies will employ at least one quality assurance (QA) manager on their staff. This individual or group of individuals is responsible for overseeing welding and tacking performance from all employees on staff, plus documenting their work histories and maintenance of various safety and industry codes.

In addition, the quality assurance manager performs visual inspections of fit-ups and welding equipment periodically. They will also update specific shop welding practices or techniques as needed, plus document and photograph all welds and assembly details for metal fabrication paperwork before a project is shipped.

WPS Numbering and Identification

One important theme during the metal fabrication and welding process is the WPS system, or Welding Procedure Specifications. This system, which is generally overseen by the QA manager, records all important welding information in a given project, from material type and plate dimensions to the welder and operator IDs involved.

The QA manager will also evaluate other important WPS variables, including consumables, interpass temperature, preheat, travel speed and the amps or volts used for preparing the WPS test specimen.

Safe Welding Practices

Finally, the quality control program run by the QA manager should include specific safety practices for all welding processes undergone in the facility. This involves attention to the hiring process, which should only bring in qualified and certified welders who are able to adhere to all required safety processes. Ensure the quality control program aligns with multiple welding standards per AWS, ASTM and CWB specifications, plus industry-specific standards like material thickness or others. Any metal fabricator should be able to provide detailed documentation of each project, including QA inspection paperwork and photographs if needed.

For more on how to ensure a given metal fabricator has all the required qualities for welding in place, or to learn about any of our metal fabrication, laser cutting or other services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

welding qualities metal fabricators

Like with many other services, metal fabrication is an area where clients in need should canvass multiple metal fabricators and choose the best based on needs and their qualifications. There are several areas to evaluate while making such a choice, and one of the most important is welding.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to provide a wide range of custom metal fabrication and laser cutting services, with solutions ranging from radius roofing packages and runouts to custom siding, window well covers and numerous others. We welcome comparisons of any of our fabrication elements to our competitors, including welding – not only do we want clients to get the best possible metal fabrication work, we’re supremely confident we’re the ones best-equipped to provide it. This two-part blog series will dig into the welding themes you should be inquiring about when choosing a metal fabricator, including why welding is so vital for metal fabrication to begin with.

welding qualities metal fabricators

Why Welding Matters

Those outside the industry may not hear about it as often, but quality welding capabilities are an absolutely vital element for successful metal fabrication. Multiple welds will generally be needed for a given product, helping maintain structural integrity and durability.

Even a single weld that’s poorly-done can lead t major issues. This may lead to rust, for instance, or product failure and situations where the final product does not meet OSHA regulations or industry-specific codes. However, well-trained and experienced welders eliminate these risks and ensure your welding sections are always done optimally.

Our next several sections will go over some of the areas to inquire about with a metal fabricator regarding their welding and welders.

Documentation and Certification

Firstly, can the metal fabricator provide certifications and qualifications for every welder on staff? There should not be a single individual on this area of the staff who does not meet every single qualification, which includes the following areas:

  • Ability to weld structural steel according to American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1 regulations
  • Understanding and compliance with Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS) conforming to ASME Section 9
  • Ability to meet AWS D1.6 standards for stainless steel
  • Fabrication of carbon-steel tanks conforming to API-50 standard
  • Following all industry-specific welding regulations

How Welders are Qualified

In addition to the above, metal fabricators should be able to show you a Welder Qualification Record that shows test results and all welding codes the welder in question has been approved for. Such records or tests may include American or Canadian Welding Society codes, various AWS codes noted above, or even various API, AISC and CSA standards.

For more on what to ask a metal fabricator about their welding, or to learn about any of our custom metal fabrication services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

metal fabrication essential pandemic service

The recent worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted numerous businesses and consumers in many ways, one of which is confusion regarding which businesses are deemed “essential” and will remain open while others either shutter temporarily or suspend certain services. The metal fabrication world has been impacted as well, but recent developments at the federal government level have brought some clarity here.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to provide a variety of custom metal design and metal fabrication services of everything from chimney covers and chimney caps to cupolas, range hoods and many other materials. Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security deemed “metal manufacturing” part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce – let’s go over what this means for the industry, plus a couple areas of metal fabrication that have become even more important during this outbreak.

metal fabrication essential pandemic service

“Essential” Definition and Metal Fabrication

Under the guidelines linked above, metal manufacturing is essential within several “critical” manufacturing operations. These operations include:

  • The manufacturing of metals like steel and aluminum, plus materials and products need for supply chains associated with food, agriculture and related fields.
  • Manufacturing and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure needed for mining production and various distribution networks.
  • Workers required to maintain continuity of the above manufacturing functions and all related supply chains.

Now, it’s important to note that the document in question is intended to provide guidance to state and local jurisdictions. That said, due to the vital role these areas play in important pandemic response areas like food supplies and others, they are generally being followed around the country.

Feed and Grain Storage

Feed and grain storage are hugely important areas within agriculture, with contamination prevention serving as a particularly vital need. A single poor weld or rust spot on fabricated metals could compromise a full silo of feed and grain due to moisture or other contaminant exposure, risking entire harvests being lost – but quality metal fabricators create products that prevent these risks entirely.

Through techniques like hot-dip galvanizing (for corrosion resistance), various welding formats and several fabrication detail/ling methods, a fabricator will eliminate any potential for structural issues in agricultural settings. Fabricators are happy to play this important role in maintaining safe storage and transportation of food, water and feed.

Infrastructure Areas

In addition, metal fabricators provide materials for other important infrastructure areas, such as HVAC and pollution control that are even more vital during a disease outbreak. They help manufacture products and materials for medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and various medical supply chains. In addition, they manufacture numerous pieces of equipment that directly support other essential services, plus increases in remote workforce materials like computing and communication devices.

For more on why metal fabricators have been deemed essential during the COVID-19 outbreak, or to learn about any of our metal fabrication or laser cutting services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

safety precautions metal fabricators

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the vital safety precautions that must be taken by metal fabricators on a daily basis. Precision metal cutting, shearing and other related services can carry risks if they are not performed using proper safety precautions, which must be understood and put into practice by all employees in a given fabrication facility.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to observe stringent safety requirements for all our metal fabrication processes, from chimney caps and chimney covers to pots, cupolas, range hoods and numerous other products. In today’s part two, we’ll go over a few additional themes and areas our metal fabrication professionals are constantly adhering to when it comes to safety during metal fabrication.

safety precautions metal fabricators

General Cleanliness and Related Methods

Just like many other industrial facilities or production areas, one potential safety risk is clutter and mess on the floor or other major areas of the facility. You’d be surprised just how much even a few out-of-place items might lead to hazards based on proximity to machinery and other unseen risks. Even a single small mistake in general housekeeping could lead to a major accident with such high-powered equipment nearby.

For this reason, we practice several areas of decluttering and general organization. These include:

  • Using industry quality control standards, regularly organizing and decluttering the facility.
  • Removing piles of scrap metal or any other items that have begun to pile up on the floor or other common work spaces.
  • Making sure all tools are properly stored and marked.
  • Stacking all boxes or other items clear of walkways, emergency exits or common employee routes.
  • Storing heavy or potentially dangerous equipment in safe areas, including those where employees do not have to stoop or strain to pick them up.

Covering OSHA Requirements

The OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a US government agency that regulates metal fabrication and numerous other industrial areas. It has a variety of standards that must be met in such facilities, many of which relate to items like ladders, stairs, platforms and a variety of equipment pieces that might be present in the facility.

Creating a Reputation

Through many of the methods we’ve outlined in this series, the best metal fabricators – including ours – build up a reputation for safety and effective processes. This, in turn, leads to limited employee turnover and more attention from the top workers in the field, who always want to work for reliable companies that treat employee safety as a top priority. Areas that help improve safety reputation include posting diagrams and charts, providing detailed employee training, and consistently reinforcing safety and training methods to existing employees.

For more on vital safety procedures taken by top metal fabricators, or to learn about any of our metal fabrication or other services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

safety precautions metal fabricators

As with any industry where heavy items and potentially hazardous machinery are used on a regular basis, safety is a vital concern for those in the metal fabrication world. Precision metal cutting, shearing and various fabrication services carry risks if they are not performed correctly and with proper safety precautions taken.

At Cypress Metals, we take great pride in the safety measures taken throughout our facilities and services, from fabricated chimney covers and caps to our laser cutting areas, sheet metal fabrication and many others. In fact, many top clients in the fabrication realm will even investigate a given manufacturer’s safety practices, which are often an indicator of overall quality. With this in mind, our two-part blog series beginning today will dig into some of the vital safety precautions that must be taken by any metal fabricator, from materials and equipment to training and other important themes.

safety precautions metal fabricators

Equipment and Guards

First and foremost, it’s essential for any metal fabricator to have the proper safety equipment and guards present in their facility at all times. This begins with the presence of important features like safety guards, emergency shutoff switches and protective equipment for all employees (plus extras on hand).

In addition, at Cypress Metals, we place significant weight on organization and a general culture of safety. Employees are trained to always keep tools or pieces of equipment in their proper location, plus to ensure no scrap metal or other materials build up in the wrong places. We always stack boxes or store heavy equipment out of walkways, plus in areas that are safe for employee access.

Workforce Education and Training

We mentioned training a moment ago, and it’s another vital piece of this puzzle. All the best safety equipment in the world will only do so much if the individuals using it are not trained on how to properly do so.

This involves specific training on all equipment or tools through licensed trainers. Not only should employees be trained on the proper usage of a given piece of equipment, but also its safety hazards and all precautions to take while the item is in use. Employees should also be trained on basic facility practices in terms of storage, posture and other simple areas.

Employee Satisfaction

Another area you may not necessarily connect to employee safety, but one that has several direct links, is employee satisfaction. We’re referring here not only to a positive, friendly work environment, but also to areas like good health coverage, positive relationships between managers and staffers, and other related themes. Employees who feel safe and cared for will be more consistent in their work across the board, from production levels to safety practices.

For more on how quality metal fabricators like ours at Cypress Metal maintain safety at all times, or to learn about any of our metal fab services, speak to our staff today.

metal fabrication increase steel ROI

For those in any industrial field, the last couple years have provided some stress points when it comes to metals like steel and aluminum. While steel costs have stabilized a bit in 2019, large tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in 2017 and 2018 meant that manufacturers had to take more care to improve their return on investment when dealing with these metals, steel in particular.

At Cypress Metals, our sheet metal fabrication and other custom metal design services will help you assess every detail of the process and bring back a strong ROI for all steel-related projects. Let’s go over a few ROI-related areas many manufacturers are focused on, plus how our processes help streamline things for you in these areas.

metal fabrication increase steel ROI

Descaling Issues

In areas where you have to store steel for long periods of time, one of the issues that sometimes comes up is the formation of oxide scale on steel surfaces, sometimes minor but occasionally significant levels as well. These oxides can damage the qualities of steel, opening it up to risks of corrosion or weakness that manufacturers can’t afford.

Luckily, full-service metal fabricators are qualified to assist with this sort of thing. This is done in a process called descaling, which involves pickling applications and heat combined, then scrubbing that helps remove the sludge areas. Finally, descaling involves rinsing and finishing the steel in nitric-hydrofluoric acid.

Galvanization

In many situations, we’ll even help you ward off these oxidization issues before they ever form in the first place. This is through one of a few processes, the most common of which is hot-dip galvanization – a process that creates a zinc layer around the entire steel surface, making it resistant to corrosion at every point, even edges and crevices.

Hot-dip galvanization is often a huge benefit in terms of steel-related ROI. It can increase steel value in several ways:

  • Allowing for outdoor construction due to resistance to corrosion or weather.
  • Preparing for utility uses like electrical transmission towers or similar areas.
  • Protecting stairs, ladders and other industrial areas from wear and damage over time.
  • Preventing embrittlement due to age, including the kind that can crack steel over a long enough period of exposure.
  • Limiting damage due to friction on various working components.

Welding Measures

In addition to dealing with oxidization, welding is a vital part of steel ROI. The right welding techniques must be applied before hot-dip galvanization to avoid cracking of the zinc or other negative reactions if this process isn’t don in the right order. Welding QC areas that will help add ROI to your steel include:

  • Ensuring matching thickness for the zinc coating from hot-dip galvanization, so long as the welding is done before the galvanizing process.
  • Post-galvanization techniques that will remove zing from welds and weld zones while protecting the surface area from corrosion.
  • “Push” welding techniques are preferred over “pull” techniques, allowing for a flatter bead and better penetration qualities.

For more on how metal fabrication services will help raise your steel project ROI, or to learn about any of our metal fab or laser cutting services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

experienced full-service metal fabricators

Modern technology continues to benefit several major industries in significant ways, and the metal fabrication world is no exception. Recent advances like 3D printing, laser tube technology and various automation tools are changing the way fabrication processes are carried out in many areas, improving efficiency in several.

At Cypress Metals, we’re here to remind you that behind all the high-level tech that goes into sheet metal fabrication and other metal fabrication methods is a high degree of human expertise. No matter what level of technology becomes infused into our industry, you need experienced quality fabricators who understand the fundamentals and how to apply the technology in proper ways. In today’s blog, we’ll look at several of the vital steps our full-service metal fabrication professionals help you complete properly, plus the problems our services help prevent before they ever crop up.

experienced full-service metal fabricators

Vital Steps to Metal Fabrication

To be sure your design concepts and visions for the project translate into the proper components without any issue, a process for metal fabrication must be followed. Even a small mistake in one area here can lead to a failed inspection or a need to restart the entire project, and those with expertise in the industry are trained on how to spot the signs of these issues.

Here’s a broad look at the steps included in a custom metal fabrication project:

  • Original concept design
  • Specific fabrication design
  • Product design
  • Engineering and prototyping
  • Fabrication

Issues Prevented by Full-Service Fabrication

Now, the steps we just laid out above are very general. Each of those areas includes several additional steps, and a metal fabrication project will involve areas like forming, cutting, assembling, finishing and installing the finished work. During these various parts of the process, a number of logistical issues may pop up – here’s how a full-service team that works together for your project helps avoid several of them:

  • Pollution: Ensuring projects are completed in green, efficient ways requires pros who know the right materials, finishing requirements and welding standards. Without this, your project may not meet code during inspections.
  • OSHA concerns: The OSHA is an incredibly strict regulatory body, one that can ding you for issues as small as ladders, safety cages, rails or landings. Every single metal component must be fabricated properly.
  • Bulk storage: Custom-fabricated metal accessories are vital for the bulk storage industry.
  • Cost-efficiency: Maybe the top single benefit of hiring an experienced, full-service metal fabrication company is the ability to streamline your material handling. We’ll oversee each individual measurement required for your project, plus help move specialized materials through the process without any damage or waste that might show up in other less organized arrangements.

For more on the issues a full-service metal fabrication team can hep prevent, or to learn about any of our metal roofs or fabrication services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

money-saving benefits fabricated metal roofing

At Cypress Metals, we’re extremely proud of our high-quality metal roofing materials. Produced using only experienced fabrication experts and welders, we can create custom metal roofing options that fit your every need, including several important processes you may require before installation.

Why should you be considering a metal roof for your home or business? There are actually several reasons, and each of them at least touches on one overarching theme: Financial benefits. That’s right, not only can a metal roof provide the absolute best protection and efficiency for your structure, it can save you money in the process. Here are some reasons why this is the case.
money-saving benefits fabricated metal roofing

Energy Efficiency

This is an area we’ve detailed before in this space, so we won’t go too far into the weeds, but the basics are these: Metal roofs have an enormous impact on energy savings due to their light weight, durability, reflection capabilities and their recyclability. With more and more states passing laws regarding energy-efficient roofing materials, and these guidelines around the country getting stricter every year, these benefits are huge.

They also impact your wallet in a big way. A metal roof can often lower your heating and electric costs by up to 20 percent compared to other roofing materials, a massive savings in many cases. These roofs are easy to vent and insulate as needed, including installation over previously insulated attics.

Durability and Maintenance

Another big way metal roofs save you money? Through their extremely limited maintenance or repair needs. You won’t find a more durable roofing product than our fabricated metal, and this means that instead of more common roofing damage and resulting repairs, you’ll get a roof that stands the test of time and holds up to the elements throughout the year.

Not only does this save you money you might have spent in the past, it can go a long way toward increasing home value if you ever choose to sell. One big factor in home sales is “curb appeal,” which refers to the visual first impressions a buyer gets when they come for a tour – a pristine metal roof with zero imperfections gives off a much better look than another material that’s missing shingles or is otherwise damaged.

Style, Color and Home Value

Down similar lines, modern metal roofing materials have the versatility to match any style. They can be made to mimic other materials like tile or shingles, and can now be made in virtually any color scheme you desire. If keeping your home looking great so the curb appeal stays high is a priority for you, metal roofing offers all the options you need.

For more on how metal roofs impact you positively from a financial perspective, or to learn about any of our metal fabrication services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.

bulk storage metal fabrication

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the common metal types used for bulk storage within the world of metal fabrication. Many companies who require such storage containers can’t buy prefabricated units due to size, so they turn to custom metal fabrication to fill their needs.

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to offer a wide range of custom metal fabrication and design materials, from chimney covers and caps to range hoods, post caps and numerous other types. While knowing which metals are possible for a given bulk storage option is important, we’re also here to help you make the final decision for your next project. Here are some basics on how we’ll help you split up the project into a few different classifications, then the additional steps we’ll take to make sure we deliver a great product that meets your exact specifications.

bulk storage metal fabrication

Dividing Into Classifications

The first step toward determining which metal and metal specifications will be best for your fabrication project is splitting the project into one of five possible classifications that will help determine the processes required and the purposes of the project. These classifications are:

  • ASME Sec. IX
  • Atmospheric
  • Certified
  • Code
  • Non-Code

Additional Steps to the Process

Once we’ve determined the classification your project falls into and helped you select the right metal based on this, we can move forward with the following areas:

  • Design: We will create and process basic drawings and renderings through our engineering department. We’ll then present these to you for basic assessment, any changes necessary, and eventually final approval.
  • Scheduling: Once plans and diagrams are approved for production, we’ll set up a schedule that fits your timing needs. This will include a target completion date and the elements required to hit it.
  • Production: From here, it’s time to consider any major steps necessary to complete the project, whether they include fit-up, weld-out or even plate-forming. All these are processes we can handle for you as standard pieces of production.
  • Finishing: Before any work goes out to you or your clients, our in-house quality control inspectors will perform a detailed evaluation of the finished product. We’ll ensure all specifications are in compliance with both your desires and any safety or handling regulations.
  • Shipping: Finally, once the project has been fully inspected and approved, we will prepare it to ship for final installation. There are several shipping methods available depending on the project itself and the distance being covered. We’re also happy to discuss various field installation options with you to ensure your project is completed on time and properly.

For more on choosing the right metals and performing other important processes for bulk storage metal fabrication projects, or to learn about any of our fabrication services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.