DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

10 Tips: How to Save Money When Submitting a Bid to a Steel Fabricator

Posted by Brooke Barone on Jun 19, 2014 12:25:00 PM

Every structural steel fabricator is different when it comes down to pricing substation and transmission steel structures. But, there are some commonalities that could help save you money when submitting a Request for Quote (RFQ). How do you do that you might ask?

Well, generally, there’s a rule of thumb to consider: the more information you give the Estimating Department, the better price you’ll receive. If very little information is given, it’s harder for the estimating department/engineers to easily go through and pick out requirements, design the structure and then send the RFQ back in adequate time. And sometimes the price might reflect the assumptions that had to be made. 

Different terms used:

  • Request for Quote (RFQ)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Purchase Requisition
  • Inquiry
  • Bid Event / BidQuote / Proposal

DTS_Employee

So, if you’ve asked yourself, “what can I do to save money when submitting a bid,” here are five good starting points.

1. Well-Defined Scope of Work- this could include everything from what the fabricator’s responsibility is, to needing the structures galvanized or weathering, delivery process, how hardware should be shipped, etc.  

2. Technical Specifications- this tells the fabricator how you want the structures built, like what kind of steel to use, etc.

3. Commercial Terms- this is more on the legal side, meaning what type of payment or who to invoice, insurance requirements, warranties, damages, etc.

4. Structure/Electrical Layout- this gives the overall dimensions of a structure such as height and width or phase spacing.

5. Enough Time to Bid- it’s important to keep in mind that fabricators typically have a quote backlog already scheduled out. 

Often, in order to send a bid to a fabricator, customers require the fabricator to be on an approved vendor list in order to quote the project.  The approval process usually involves quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC) audit, industry experience, project references, customer references, commercial term agreement, credit approvals, etc. 

Facts That Could Affect Pricing:

6. Weathering steel generally costs less because unlike galvanized steel, it doesn’t get the galvanized coating. (Typically see weathering steel more with transmission structures.)

7. Usually, the more steel ordered at one time could help give you a better price. In this instance, if you had different structures for one substation, instead of ordering separately, try to coordinate to order all the structures together, which could save money on freight and other expenses.

8. Loads with over-length and over-width sections could get costly because you have to get freight permitting depending on the states along the delivery route. Typically, the price for wider structures is greater than longer structures.

9. Expedited lead times can increase price. Since a production backlog is already in place, fabricators would need to expedite engineering, detailing, rearrange product schedule or may have to include some overtime.

10. Special weld inspection requirements and tests that are beyond typical industry standards could raise the price. If the fabricator needs to pull in a third party to inspect, send material off for testing or bring in an expert, it could increase the price.

These are just a few suggestions, and are not meant to be taken as the rule in every situation when dealing with every fabricator. But it is good to know how your project was priced and what affected it so that there are no hidden surprises or confusion.   

So remember: supply ample information, receive accurate price. 

New Call to action

New Call-to-action

 

Tags: transmission structures, substation structures, structural steel fabricators, structural steel price, rfq request for quote, engineering estimating software, structural steel

10 Ways Knowing About Structural Steel Pricing Will Save You Money

Posted by Brooke Barone on Oct 29, 2013 3:52:00 PM

Every structural steel fabricator is different when it comes down to pricing substation and transmission steel structures. But, there are some commonalities that could help save you money when submitting a Request for Quote (RFQ). How do you do that you might ask?

Well, generally, there’s a rule of thumb to consider: the more information you give the Estimating Department, the better price you’ll receive. If very little information is given, it’s harder for the estimating department/engineers to easily go through and pick out requirements, design the structure and then send the RFQ back in adequate time. And sometimes the price might reflect the assumptions that had to be made. 

Different terms used:

  • Request for Quote (RFQ)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Purchase Requisition
  • Inquiry
  • Bid Event / BidQuote / Proposal

So, if you’re asking yourself-“well, what exactly do I need to include when submitting a bid,” here are five good starting points.

1. Well-Defined Scope of Work- this could include everything from what the fabricator’s responsibility is, to needing the structures galvanized or weathering, delivery process, how hardware should be shipped, etc.  

2. Technical Specifications- this tells the fabricator how you want the structures built, like what kind of steel to use, etc.

3. Commercial Terms- this is more on the legal side, meaning what type of payment or who to invoice, insurance requirements, warranties, damages, etc.

4. Structure/Electrical Layout- this gives the overall dimensions of a structure such as height and width or phase spacing.

5. Enough Time to Bid- it’s important to keep in mind that fabricators typically have a quote backlog already scheduled out. 

Often, in order to send a bid to a fabricator, customers require the fabricator to be on an approved vendor list in order to quote the project.  The approval process usually involves quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC) audit, industry experience, project references, customer references, commercial term agreement, credit approvals, etc. 

5 Facts That Could Affect Pricing:

1. Weathering steel generally costs less because unlike galvanized steel, it doesn’t get the galvanized coating. (Typically see weathering steel more with transmission structures.)

2. Usually, the more steel ordered at one time could help give you a better price. In this instance, if you had different structures for one substation, instead of ordering separately, try to coordinate to order all the structures together, which could save money on freight and other expenses.

3. Loads with over-length and over-width sections could get costly because you have to get freight permitting depending on the states along the delivery route. Typically, the price for wider structures is greater than longer structures.

4. Expedited lead times can increase price. Since a production backlog is already in place, fabricators would need to expedite engineering, detailing, rearrange product schedule or may have to include some overtime.

5. Special weld inspection requirements and tests that are beyond typical industry standards could raise the price. If the fabricator needs to pull in a third party to inspect, send material off for testing or bring in an expert, it could increase the price.

These are just a few suggestions, and are not meant to be taken as the rule in every situation when dealing with every fabricator. But it is good to know how your project was priced and what affected it so that there are no hidden surprises or confusion.   

So remember: supply ample information, receive accurate price. 

New Call to action

New Call-to-action

 

Tags: transmission structures, substation structures, structural steel fabricators, structural steel price, rfq request for quote, engineering estimating software, structural steel

What Separates Hot-Dip Galvanizing From the Pack

Posted by Brooke Barone on Aug 26, 2013 11:36:00 AM

"Galvanizing is galvanizing. Hot-Dip Galvanizing is the same as any other type of galvanizing."

stop sign

After fabrication, hot dip galvanizing is specified by ASTM A123 and generally refers to fabricated assemblies typically used in petrochemical facilities, power transmission applications and offshore equipment assemblies, although, other materials such as unfabricated (stock) members are also included in the specification.  ASTM A123 clearly identifies these materials in section 1.

This specification covers unfabricated and fabricated products such as:

  • Assembled steel products
  • Structural steel fabrications
  • Large tubes already bent or welded before galvanizing
  • Wire work fabricated from uncoated steel wire
  • Steel forgings and iron castings incorporated into pieces fabricated before galvanizing or which are too large to be centrifuged

 *It does not apply to wire, pipe, tube or steel sheet which is galvanized on specialized or continuous lines, or to steel less than 22 gage (0.0299 in.) [0.76 mm] thick.

galvanizing kettle

Different types of zinc coatings:

  • Hot Dip Galvanizing – Hot dip galvanizing is achieved by immersing cleaned steel products in molten zinc at 830 0F – 850 0F.  When the base metal comes into contact with molten zinc at this temperature, the zinc and iron combine in a “diffusion reaction” forming new metallurgically bonded zinc/iron alloy layers.  The new layers (galvanizing) serve as a super-bonded abrasion resistant barrier, as well as providing cathodic protection. A metamorphosis takes place when the steel and molten zinc react together, forming a series of zinc-iron alloy layers which are: Eta (100% zinc), Zeta (94% Zinc, 6% Iron), Delta (90% Zinc, 10% Iron), and Gama (75% Zinc, 25% Iron).
  • Zinc Metallizing – Metallizing or zinc spraying is accomplished by feeding the zinc in either wire or powder form to a spray gun where it is melted and sprayed onto the steel surface.  Metallizing allows coating of fabricated items, which cannot be galvanized due to their size.  Metallizing is an ASTM approved method of repair of damaged or uncoated areas on galvanized steel.  Before metalizing, abrasive cleaning of the steel to white metal is required.  Metallizing provides cathodic protection but does not develop the zinc/iron alloying (metallurgical bonding) found with hot dip galvanized products.
  • Zinc Rich Paint – Zinc rich paint consists of zinc dust suspended in organic or inorganic binders.  Zinc rich coatings are barrier coatings, which can also provide some limited cathodic protection.  The binder must be conductive or the zinc particles must be in contact with the steel substrate to provide cathodic protection.  The coating does not develop zinc/iron alloys.  Suitable zinc rich paints are approved by ASTM as repair coatings for damaged galvanized coatings.
  • Continuous Galvanizing – Continuous galvanizing is a hot dip process, although usually limited to steel mill operations.  The process consists of coating sheet steel, strip or wire on machines over 500 feet long, running material at speeds of over 300 feet per minute.  The mil thickness is minimal compared to that of hot dip galvanized after fabrication, with minimal zinc/iron alloy layers; however, barrier and cathodic protection is provided.
  • Zinc Electroplating – Electroplating generally refers to a very thin layer of zinc coating applied to steel sheet and strip by electro-deposition in a steel mill facility.  There are no zinc/iron alloy layers, however, barrier and cathodic protection is provided.

The American Galvanizers’ Association (AGA) maintains a website with access to a wealth of information about the industry.  Newsletters, press reports, specification and fabrication guidance, technical papers, and more is available. 

**The most important thing a designer and/or fabricator can do to maximize the probability of achieving a quality galvanized product, is to consult the galvanizer during the design process.

 

New Call-to-Action

Tags: galvanizing, hot-dip galvanizing, hot dip galvanizing process, hot dip galvanized steel, zinc alloy metal, electroplated zinc, zinc electroplating, structural steel fabricators

Subscribe to Email Updates

Categories

see all

Recent Posts