How Steel Buildings Are Manufactured

Have you ever wondered how steel buildings are manufactured? The process is both complicated and precise. The manufacture of a steel building is an awesome combination of engineering, draftsmanship, ingenuity, teamwork, know-how and metal building manufacturing expertise. Each building receives the utmost care and attention throughout the manufacturing process, manufactured by experienced craftsmen and watched over by a dedicated staff of professionals from start to finish. Precision engineering, machinery and components plus exceptional quality control yield a precision high quality manufactured product.

Once a customer has purchased a pre-engineered steel building or metal building system, their sales person, who performs multiple functions of building consultant, building designer, technician and estimator, forwards the purchaser’s order to the steel building factory. In the top metal building factories, the factory itself fabricates all required building components in house. That way, all components are compatible and go together easily on the job site with no surprises and no waiting for components to arrive from different suppliers.

At the steel building factory, the order entry department oversees the order from start to finish, from the time the order is received until the steel building is shipped. Steel building factory staff verifies all design codes, snow and wind loads and seismic information to make sure that everything complies with the purchaser’s contract and enters the order into scheduling software to ensure that the buildings manufacture is efficiently managed.

Pre-engineered steel buildings engineers are responsible for optimization of the steel building, each engineer certified by the state where the building will be constructed. Building details including snow and wind loads and seismic information is input into an advanced metal building software program that generates engineered shop drawings for the framing of the building as well as other drawings needed for the buildings manufacture and construction.

The metal building factory’s pre-engineered steel building engineers review the building drawings and check the purchase order again for accuracy. Permit drawings are generated that can be used to help secure permits to erect the building.

Actual building production begins with the input of building specifications into CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinery, a process that involves the use of computers to control machines programmed with CNC machining language (G-code). The CNC machinery controls all machine features including feeds and speeds. 

Components of steel buildings, such as I-beams, gutters and down spouts, sidewalls and end wall panels, and even standing seam roofs are systematically manufactured in designated areas called “lines” throughout the metal building factory. Each manufacturing line completes a specific function, automated by use of conveyors that move the steel sheeting, I-beams and fabricated metal components from station to station. Since each steel building is manufactured to order, building components are produced as required to fulfill each steel buildings exact specifications. 

The manufacture of steel buildings rafters and columns begins with the Plasma Table. The Plasma Table cuts the web, the center of the rafter or column (like the center of the letter “H”). The web moves to a holding station waiting to move by automated conveyor to the station where the web will be tack-welded to the flange. 

The flange machine cuts flanges into specified lengths determined by the pre-engineered buildings specifications from steel bar stock. After cutting, the flanges move to a holding station waiting to move by automated conveyor to the station where the flanges will be tack-welded to the web prior to going through the automatic welding machine. 

Certified welders tack-weld flanges and webs in place to form rafters and columns. The tacked rafters and columns move by conveyor to the PHI machine. At the PHI machine, an automatic welding process fuses the web and flange materials, permanently welding the flanges to the web. A Welding Inspector checks all welds to ensure that strict AISC standards are met. 

Roof and sidewall panels are fabricated from steel sheeting. Large coils of metal sheeting are placed in a machine called an “uncoiler” which passes the sheeting through another machine called a “straightener” that straightens the sheet. The straightened sheet is die cut and passes through a roll former to give the straightened sheet the shape of roof or sidewall sheeting. As with all machinery in the steel building factory, computers are feeding information to the metal corrugation machine giving it the exact specifications for each building. 

Sophisticated machinery on the Trim Line automates the process by which custom trim is formed and ensures exact bends and perfect angles. Starting with a coil of steel mounted on an uncoiler, the steel passes through a straightener to a series of ten roll formers that form the shape of each trim and make all trim components: rake trim, corner trim, jamb trim, head trim, base trim, eave trim, rake angle, base angle, gutter straps, downspouts and gutters. 

Out in the yard the Staging Department gathers all the steel building components and carefully loads them onto trucks to deliver the building to the job site. Special attention is given to the Bill of Materials ensuring that every order is complete and accurate. The Traffic Office handles the shipment of each building, scheduling trucks and coordinating buildings to arrive at the job site on time where the erection crew is waiting for delivery.

Steel Structures and Metal Building Design Contractors

Metal building design contractors can work with steel building designs for a variety of structures. They manage and oversee the plans and construction of structures comprised of metal framework. The steel or other metal material is the main material source for the infrastructure of the building. These structures include but are not limited to barns, airplane hangars, warehouses, shipping and distribution facilities, retail stores, auto body and repair businesses, car dealerships, and truck terminals, to name a few. And each one of these structures has slightly or sometimes drastically different specifications for the construction of their walls, heights of their ceilings, and width of their room(s) in order to accommodate the equipment, live stock or live beings that venture in or are housed inside of the metal dwelling.

Metal building design contractors also work for a variety of government agencies, commercial venues or residential groups to create housing and protection on large or small property or for large or small groups of people. For example, there is information available on how metal building design contractors work with government agency structures to make sure the buildings are equipped to sway and still stand. And they also help with the construction of airplane hangars for government agencies and large corporations or private citizens. For commercial ventures they typically work with the construction of stores that benefit from the aesthetics or simplicity of the steel construction. On one hand, these stores include fishing, sporting goods, or automotive supply and repair stores, for example. In the automotive industries these large steel buildings make it easier to maneuver the vehicles, to insert lifts, and to perform the required mechanical engineering. On the other hand, there are plenty of big name warehouse stores that benefit from the size and convenience of the steel construction for the sheer girth of their commodities housed inside. Another example would be how they also help with residential or domestic structures. These include farm dwellings for horses and other animals.

Metal building design contractors work with their client’s plans and the prepared site to utilize the steel frames and sheets to create the vision that they have for the space. There are many benefits to steel construction. First, there is less of a need for load bearing walls and columns in a space. Second, there is less need for up keep. Third, it is less of a threat of damage due to fire or many other concerns as well.

Team Building Success – 4 Steps To Implement

Do you want your team building program to be a success? While many factors play a part in creating a successful meeting, off site and team training program – here are 4 ways that work for organizations team success.

1) Full understanding why they are there.

It is imperative for the team to be knowledgeable of why they are involved in the team training. Transparency in the goals expectations and needs of the team and members that are part of the team make participants feel comfortable. If you plan on surprising the team with a jolt of, “The Company feels you are dysfunctional and we are going to spend a day team building” this will show a lack of trust and that you are treating the team as children. Even youth groups will not take well to this.

Meet with the team ask them what they feel is the team problems involve them in making decisions. Team members know what is going on and they will tell you what they need – all you have to do is ask.

2) Proper sequencing of events.

This is why meeting with the team building consultant is necessary. Sequencing is building from a “safe” point to a “riskier” point. If done properly the team grows and the program progresses. Whether it is 2 hours or 4 weeks – sequencing takes planning and time. A good starting point to understand how to sequence would be viewing Tuckman’s Stages of group development, Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. This illustrates the progression of teams in development. It is imperative to understand that at any point the team may shift from one stage to another. This should be kept in mind when sequencing team building activities and lecture based materials for the team program.

3) Focus on Processing and De-Briefing.

If you truly wish for a team building recreational event – realize that is all you will get a great time and laughs. That is a wonderful thing, and does build teams.

If you wish for an educational event (recreation – fun and education – fun) then do your research. The team building activities are just vehicles to deliver learning to the team. The point of hands-on initiatives is to allow the team members to reinforce and test new learning and skills gained during a lecture part of the team program. Additionally the hands-on and experiential nature creates a learning centered environment. Processing (with the right facilitator) is exciting and motivating. Before you commit to a program ask the facilitator to lead a small sample exercise. You should feel at the end that you learned and gained some knowledge, a great facilitator in the processing makes you feel like you taught him something.

4) Follow up and now what?

Team building and experiential training are long term projects. At the end of the session ask the team what to do to harness the energy and ideas that were generated. Create a concrete plan to follow up. Even go so far as to write down and put the goals and skills learned from the team building program into evaluations for the team members.

An effective team building program has the ability to encompass many different learning styles and skills at once. This is best viewed as a symphony of ideas. Any great composer (in this case team building facilitator) is able to keep the sounds beautiful and know just when different instruments are needed.

Invest in your teams abilities and the results sound like beautiful music!