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    Why is quality control essential in steel fabrication?

    Quality control is defined as a series of standards designed to measure quality. These standards serve as the guidelines for safety, cost reduction, compliance and strength, which are especially important in the steel fabrication process.

    Thorough quality control, during the fabrication process, plays an important role in production. Besides improving your final product, quality complaint products also add to your reputation. On the other hand, if the finished products do not meet the necessary quality standards, there are risks of penalties, charges and related liabilities for both the manufacturer and the buyer.

    Apart from the above, steel quality control is also vital for the following reasons.

    1. Quality and Consistency – For a product to last longer, quality is imperative. When considering the quality of steel fabrication, it is important to assess things like alloy composition, the formation process, etc. Therefore, quality control begins right from the selection of material to the actual production of goods. Quality products not only result in the desired output but also ensures consistency in the manufacturing process.

    2.  Risk mitigation – A meticulous quality control process reduces the hazards associated with steel fabrication. Regular re-evaluation of fabrication designs allows the manufacturer to segregate faulty products.

    3. Cost Reduction – There is a staggering cost associated with running a steel fabrication plant. It is vital to reduce such costs without compromising the quality and health of the workers. Quality control reduces the number of errors which in turn lessens input materials and waste.

    4.  Compliance – All fabricated materials must meet industrial quality standards. It can be vetted through certifications, licenses, accreditations and other permits and documentation. Proper compliance enhances the manufacturer’s credibility and reputation

    When looking to create or even source the best steel, it is crucial to get it from a manufacturer that strictly exercises an in-house steel quality control process. To ensure quality control, there are several steps a fabricator and manufacturer can exercise before and after production. Here is a manufacturer’s checklist that you should take care of to evaluate the steel’s quality before you transfer it to the fabricator: -

    1. Metallurgical Test -Test the steel by subjecting the material to thermal, mechanical and/or chemical actions to evaluate its properties. This will help you understand steel´s composition and structure to eventually predict its behavior under various circumstances.

    2. Hardness Test – This is essential to evaluate the properties like strength, ductility and wear resistance

    3. Tension Test – A tension test is performed to examine steel’s ability to withstand external forces without breaking

    4. Fatigue Test – The fatigue test is exercised to determine the behavior of steel when subjected to fluctuating loads.

    5.      Corrosion Test – The corrosion test is done by destructing the metal (steel) with chemical, electromechanical or metallurgical interaction between the environment and steel.

    Once the manufacturer has quality-tested steel from his end, there are certain quality checks that a fabricator has to conduct during the fabrication process to ensure that the final product is up to the mark.

    1. Maintain timelines for custom fabrication orders – Missing timelines for custom orders can be detrimental to your reputation and customer relationships. Custom orders require double quality checks, hence maintaining timelines is vital, so that all the processes are complete in time.

    2. Maintain equipment maintenance schedule – This will help you minimise costly delays and downtimes

    3. Ensure that the equipment meets the required specifications – Defective and improperly calibrated equipment impacts the quality structure negatively, hence it is important to make sure that the equipment meets the desired specifications and is in order

    4. Measure the steel parts – Measurement differences impact the durability and lifespan of the structure. The measurements mentioned in the design plan should meet the size of the steel fabrication. The measurement is done by a coordination measurement machine (CMM), a device that outlines the dimension points of a component and compares them to the measurements mentioned in the initial design plan.

    In spite of steel being a powerful and durable metal, high standard processes during its fabrication are crucial to ensure its durability. Even the tiniest of details need to be accounted for and everything needs to be double-checked to ascertain the quality results.

    Quality control protocols and dimension measurements are established to make sure that the steel quality is high and that each process is exercised meticulously. Although steel is not a metal that will give in to unfavourable conditions easily, many natural benefits of steel can be rendered useless if the fabrication process is faulty. 

    The main purpose of incorporating quality control measures in steel fabrication is to produce a quality product and create a win-win situation for both the manufacturer and the buyer. Hence, it is important to ensure quality during steel fabrication.


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