If you hope to thrive, balance investments in skills with selecting emerging technologies and implementing flawless customer service. MC Machinery Systems supplied the laser cutting machines and the material handling system. Donât Rush to Expand. Marketing and Sales strategy We at SW totally understand that satisfied customers will aid our business by referring our company to other clients who need our services. A Quick Guide to Building a Successful Metal Fabricating Business. After almost a year of back and forth and finally testing, a new casting will make its debut in a 2020 backhoe product. Itâs also giving thought to how might be the best way to stage product for shipping to customers. The variety offered by metal fabrication businesses, brings a lot to the table when it comes to matching market supply and demand. Growing company supplies steel and metal products to a wide variety of customers, both do-it-yourselfers as well as major construction companies. âPeople want time, and itâs even more so now than it was 15 years ago. As a trade journal editor he has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, visiting manufacturing facilities and attending the world's most important manufacturing events. Amerequipâs history dates back almost 100 years. Right now the welding department is at about 50 to 60 percent utilization, according to Abfall. Our specific choice of target markets at SW is based on an in-depth understanding of our prospective customerâs needs.We believe that our skills and capabilities will allow us to very well compete and develop our reputation within our business area. Benefits & Drawbacks of a Structural Steel Fabricators Business Acquisition. Amerequip Corp., Kiel, Wis., wants to keep growing its business with a handful of key OEM customers. 2021 metal fabrication forecast: The road to recovery continues, Die Science: Finding the root cause of stamping failures, Ask the Stamping Expert: How to start using tool coatings, Engineering Angle: Draw bead restraining forces in sheet metal drawing operations, Stamping in an EV World: Gestampâs innovative approaches to forming EV components, Aluminum Etc. By then it had its original manufacturing facility in New Holstein and a newer facility in nearby Kiel. They joined the companyâs two hydraulic press brakes. All the cells have dual fixturing tables, either left- and right-hand or front and back, which enable welding to be done on one side as the fixtures are unloaded and loaded on the other side. It is expected to grow at a rate of 3% annually, reaching USD $21.38 billion by 2024. $7,394,379. It added a weekend shift at the Kiel facility, something that Abfall said he had never done before. In my experience, people used to want more overtime. Abfall said the brakes have been instrumental in helping the bending department keep up with the efficient delivery of laser-cut parts. Growing a fabrication business Graniterra relies on customer service and the best technology to continue steady expansion . If yes, starting a welding business â¦ 1. You probably already have an idea of what type of business you want to open and how you want to incorporate. For instance, if an assembly cell requires 100 parts per day, six totes with 25 parts in each might be staged nearby, providing the cell with a day and a half of product. This 15-tower, 200-shelf automated raw material storage and retrieval system supplies six CO2 laser cutting machines with a consistent flow of sheet metal. Nov 26, 2019. After new ownership came in, the fabricator turned its focus to building products for OEMs and taking on more contract manufacturing work. It then flows through welding and finishing before arriving back in assembly. The rise of automationhas no doubt changed the nature of many industries including metal fabrication. The quest to find quality workers is ongoing, but a lot of the churn has settled for the time being. 2010s: Were the 2010s the Golden Age of metal fabricating? Steel fabrication involves the building and making of structures with steel through cutting, bending, and assembling. Bob Heus, the companyâs operations manager, said the big benefit of this automated material handling system is that no lift trucks are needed for material movement. Meanwhile, everyone is working to find the best and most cost-effective ways to build parts and end products for customers. It even builds complete end products, such as commercial mowers. One of its current projects is looking at existing parts that are manually welded to determine which might be good candidates to move over to the automated welding cells. Fabrication shops could be employed by contractors, OEMs and VARs in â¦ Alex Elzein made a bold move where he started his stone fabrication business and managed it by himself for 20 years, slowly growing his company, Graniterra, located in St. Louis, MO. One of the first steps Amerequip took was to renegotiate the contract with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represented its employees. The cylinders are made at the companyâs New Holstein, Wis., facility. It enables the rotary â¦ Once establishing your own metal fabrication shop, learning new ways to grow your business and introduce new clientele will be imperative to your success. Promote Your Drawing Service ; Does your company offer a Tekla drawing service, if yes, promoting it will help you to get an edge over your competition. That way the shop floor is only producing parts that are destined to be used, nothing more and nothing less. The idea is that flow would be simplified on the shop floor if painted parts were exiting from one area and directly into value streams. The idea came from the welding department, he said. When they are empty, they go back to fabrication to be filledâfabrication to welding to painting to assembly. Amerequip now employs 385 people, with 285 of those being hourly workers. It had $55 million in sales revenue in 2016 and expects to reach $110 million in 2020. We did not go out and acquire any other businesses,â Abfall said. Continental Steel has established itself over the years as a company whose specialty is sourcing hard-to-find metals. Like many other metal fabricating operations, Amerequip would like to get more productivity out of its welding department. The key is to keep production going to meet demand, but not building too much. TTM May 2018 SDE. less than the original fabricated and welded predecessor. How fast was the company growing? In the metal fabrication business, everyone would rather be busy than slow, but that doesnât mean itâs easy. In addition to the 71,000-square-foot welding shop expansion in 2014, Amerequip added an 83,000-sq.-ft. addition in 2016 to house its laser cutting and bending operations. âBut itâs really changed. The company had followed this approach for almost the last four years. The company began life as the Farm Specialty Manufacturing Co., founded in 1920 by Bruno F. Arps of New Holstein, Wis. These totes are at the heart of Amerequipâs approach to manufacturing flow. Most companies in the metal fabrication business work primarily to fortify their organizationâs strategy in a manner that can best help them make it through changes in the global economy. 1. A mistake made by many new business owners is attempting to do too much at one time. It is just the nature of the business. New online metal fabrication services business owners often find that running an online business is more labor-intensive than they expected. â¦ Heus credited the new equipment for this newfound accuracy, but also said that working more closely with engineering has revealed that some parts may not require as tight of a tolerance as was originally specified. Based on product volume, the number of pallets and totes that feed assembly varies. Until 1983 the manufacturer had mainly focused on its own line of products, which included medium-duty backhoes for compact utility tractors, front-end loaders, front and rear blades, and post hole diggers, which had been marketed through distributors and dealers. Today the payoff is evident. Demand for metal fabrications is forecast for impressive growth in several markets during the coming years. The goal is to grow the business. Professional Welding Workshop. Are you a welding professional? As of 2018, Amerequip had six Mitsubishi CO2 laser cutting machines attached to a River automated material storage and retrieval system that keeps the equipment constantly supplied with sheets to be cut. The absolute first thing you should do is create a metal fabrication business plan. 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The tooling setups can be done quickly because of the Wila tooling design, and software that simulates the bend process in 3D helps the operator to see what is about to happen instead of having to visualize it on his own. âAll of this growth has been organic. The first way to quickly grow your business is by building a sales funnel. âThose companies that are promoting their business, following the sales plan, and keeping track of where they are, are growing,â he said. This kind of consolidation helped Continental Steelâs Don Ascione grow his business in a way he didnât plan for â but was able to recognize and capitalize on as a metal specialist with a world-class network. A recent award-winning cast part is a good example of this type of cost-saving conversation. âItâs a truer sense of what needs to be done instead of having the MRP system pushing the schedule,â Abfall said. Voice of the Customer â Know the Customers to Grow Your Metal Fabrication Business. He lives with his wife and two children in Crystal Lake, Ill. Sign up and be the first to know about the latest industry news, products, and events! It has about 70 welders. These changes enable us to make sure we can meet the demand versus running into a wall and falling behind,â Heus said. Whether you are selling a physical product or a software-based service, knowing your target audience will definitely give you an upper hand. Email * Phone * City * State * For this opportunity our client is asking for a little â¦ It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. Purchasing machines that are not yet cost-efficient or enlarging facilities â¦ Early on it built its reputation as a custom equipment manufacturer, especially unique backhoes, a product the fabricator is still heavily involved in. When Amerequip was looking at rising volumes for an 11-piece steel swing frame that was used on a compact utility tractor backhoe attachment, it realized that it might be more cost-effective to have it cast instead of fabricated. © 2020 FMA Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Be sure to highlight your turn around period and if the service is free to customers. Green means the machines are doing their jobs. To fill up the talent pipeline, the fabricator is looking to strengthen its partnerships with local high schools and technical schools. They didnât want as much free time,â Abfall said. Sheet thickness can run anywhere from 20 gauge to 1 inch, but a majority of the steel being processed through the laser system is 0.375 to 0.25 in. Fudging the numbers is the equivalent of sabotaging your steel fabrication business's strategic interests. âOf course, if we didnât have the pickling system and had to go back to all manual removal of oxide, the nitrogen cutting starts to become more attractive,â Heus said. In order to be a smart metal fabrication services business â¦ Needless to say, the added space gave the fabricator room to maximize its material flow and plan for the future. Abfall said the company has been able to take out about $5 million worth of inventory. Enjoy full access to the digital edition of The Additive Report to learn how to use additive manufacturing technology to increase operational efficiency and improve the bottom line. Now Amerequip has morning and afternoon shifts that run 10 hours each, Monday through Thursday, and a weekend shift that comprises three 12-hour days, Friday to Sunday. (Amerequip President and CEO Mike VanderZanden told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in October 2018 that the company had turned away about $10 million in business because it couldnât hire enough people.) (So focus your resources.) Here are some practical tips to help you grow your customer base. The challenge was a culture of always trying to fulfill customersâ wishes. It will take a significant portion of your time, effort, and resources to run a prosperous business. The system can supply material to nine lasers and be expanded to 18 towers and 250 shelves to accommodate 12 laser cutting machines. The automobile designed for snow was discontinued in 1939, but not before Admiral Richard E. Byrd took a couple with him on his early Antarctic expeditions. In 2018 Abfall said he knew something had to change. It also gave significant raises beyond what the original contract stipulated. Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. A Metal Fabrication Shop. If you don't have a sales funnel, you're making a monumental mistake. Thereâs no guarantee that these and other improvements will get Amerequip to its goal of $150 million in sales by 2023, but all of these recent changes create a solid foundation from which to make a solid go of it. He has been with the publications since April 2002. The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. The finishing department, where parts move from welding, is another area where the operations team will be working to streamline product flow. It had just completed a major expansion of its welding and fabricating areas at its main manufacturing facility in Kiel, Wis., in 2017 and boosted its laser cutting capacity with a major investment in cutting machines and a huge 15-tower, 200-shelf automated raw material storage and retrieval system, but it was still having trouble handling all of the new opportunities from its customers. The acid bath removes the oxidized edges and slag from the laser-cut parts. âWe want to grow our customers.â. Another area of focus is perhaps creating one part load-off area instead of separate ones that dot the large assembly area. When it comes to the metal fabrication sector, the good news is that things are currently experiencing a growth spurt. In this process a metal part is dipped into a tank containing a water-based solution mixed with a paint emulsion. But it's important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of buying a business before you decide on either an acquisition or startup approach. Also offers custom fabrication of products as subcontractor on major regional projects as well as one-off design and fabrication of products as diverse as farm and ranch, Bar BQ, trailer applications and much more. To do that, it canât afford to supply assemblies and end products that donât meet customer expectations. Steel Fabrication Business. The company raised its starting wage to more than $15 per hour. Red means laser cutting has come to a halt for some reason. I have approximately 8 yrs fabrication experience. Before coming to The FABRICATOR he has covered appliance manufacturing, the finishing industry, and manufacturing and business software development. An acquisition can be a great way to enter structural steel fabricators business ownership. Steel fabrication is a segment of the overall metal fabrication industry. (Oxidized edges act as a barrier to superior paint and powder coating adhesion on metal parts.). Executive Summary ; Metal Fabricatorsâ¢ is a welding and fabrication business with expertise in the production of a variety of building equipment and accessories. Heus added that the CO2 laser technology really makes sense for the material mix that Amerequip cuts on a regular basis. 2135 Point Blvd., Elgin, IL 60123 (815) 399-8700. And more would be needed. The fabricator is growing because it has figured out what makes it special and how to maintain that with expansion and new blood entering the organization. That accuracy, along with the precise cuts delivered by the laser, has allowed many parts to bypass the machine shop, which was not the case about three years ago. How to Start a Business in the Steel and Metals Industry, How to Get the Best Price When Selling a Steel Industry Business. Then the fabricator made a major shift in its work hours. Additionally, working with one weldment that is delivered to final assembly instead of having to laser-cut and weld the 11 pieces to create the same thing is always going to be helpful in streamlining assembly and meeting on-time delivery goals. His next project is looking for existing parts that are good candidates to be moved to the robotic welding cell. Preliminary Steps to Start a Metal Fabrication Business. The preliminary steps involved in starting a metal fabrication business are similar to other business startups. (A monorail runs the entire length of the system to insert and retrieve âcartridgesâ of raw material.) This is a business that relies heavily on innovation. Know your customers is the basic rule for any or all business. Around the same time the laser cutting system was being installed, the fabricator also upgraded its bending capabilities with two SafanDarley servo-electric E Brakes, one that is 40 tons and the other which is 120 tons. We at SW plan to serve the metal fabrication market segment. It needs to find more painting capacity. Heus said Amerequip has been fortunate in creating an environment where manufacturing activity is now linked closely to real demand, not unrealistic production schedules or the personal desires of machine operators. Holes and mating features are now machined into the casting, instead of laser cutting them early on, which allows for tighter tolerances and more accurate assembly. To begin fabrication works business, you need fabrication skills and equipment to cut, bend and assemble aluminum metal. In the metal fabrication business, everyone would rather be busy than slow, but that doesnât mean itâs easy. Easily access valuable industry resources now with full access to the digital edition of The Tube & Pipe Journal. 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