Checklist for Selecting a Pipe Fabrication Company

February 24, 2016

One invaluable component across most areas of the industrial sector is piping. Having well-constructed piping is the key to the initial and continued success of a project. The necessity of quality piping makes it extremely important to select a pipe fabrication company that can completely meet these needs. From quality design and construction to expedited, on-time delivery, the right pipe fabrication company can make an industrial facility’s job that much easier and more successful.

Service Aspects to Consider When Selecting a Pipe Fabrication Company

Finding the ideal pipe fabricator requires taking a high-level view of one’s total piping needs and evaluating every service aspect that they’ll need their supplier to support. This goes beyond simply determining what type of pipe a company will need for a given project and which provider supplies it at the most competitive costs; rather, it requires an in-depth analysis of project time requirements, pipe materials, quality control measures, and budgetary restraints. The information provided by this research will offer a comprehensive view of one’s current piping needs, and help in formulating a checklist to review in comparison to the service options made available by each potential pipe fabrication partner. The more common components of such a checklist should include:

  • Specification Options – First and foremost, one needs a provider that can fabricate pipe using materials that are uniquely suited for the application they will be employed in and to the size specifications that said application requires. Thus, only those providers that offer the use of a wide array of alloys should be considered. Such an array should typically include:
    • Carbon and stainless steel
    • Chrome and chrome-moly
    • Aluminum
    • Hastelloy
    • High and low temperature grade
  • Fast Fabrication Times – Rarely does a project not involve either strict deadlines or at least an emphasis on meeting a production schedule. Thus, a quality pipe fabricator should have the manufacturing capacity to deliver orders of any size at any time, even if it requires many manhours of work in order to meet time requirements.
  • Welding Expertise – A fabricator cannot support a claim of being a premier provider if it does not have the welding expertise to back it up. Therefore, one should play close attention to the capabilities of a prospective supply partner’s welding shop. Key aspects to look for are the certifications held by welders and craftsmen, as well as the welding processes and technical capabilities the company can provide. A capable provider should be proficient in tig, mig, and flux-core welding, as well as submerged and shielded arc welding. The facility should also have all relevant ASME certifications for the type of work being done.
  • Effective Quality Controls – Good pipe fabricators are not afraid to have their products scrutinized according to the highest of industry standards. This requires extensive in-house testing on completed products to ensure that they can maintain their promised structural and operational integrities. Look for providers that subject their products hydrostatic and pneumatic testing, along with dye-penetrant checks. A good benchmark for any good provider is a weld reject ratio of less than 1 percent.
  • Strong Customer Service – The best client-provider relationships are a collaboration and strong partnership that benefit both companies. The client comes in knowing the specification of pipe needed, the resources it has to dedicate to pipe fabrication, and the time-constraints that have been placed upon it by stakeholders. An ideal provider will take those parameters and find a way to work within them, helping the client meet project planning and development guidelines. A progressive fabrication company will also see the current project that a client brings as what it truly is: an opportunity to establish a long-term relationship based upon high performance and mutual respect.

While the process of finding a qualified, experienced pipe fabricator may take some time, the overall cost-savings that one will experience in fast delivery, constant performance, and long-term durability will make the investment of time well worth it. STI Group offers comprehensive pipe fabrication services. We are proud to deliver the highest quality fabricated pipe fully to client specifications in the timeline and quantity needed.