Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. was established in the early 1970s in Columbia, Tennessee with a vision to respond to the area’s industrial requirements for the fabrication of stainless steel plate and nickel alloys. Nearly 50 years later, the company is still up-to-date and ready to evolve alongside its growing customer base and changing requirements, as they recently invested in PEMA solutions to guarantee better fitting and welding of large diameter shells.
Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. consists of two workshops and approximately 50,000 square feet working area in Columbia, TN. The company serves a large variety of industries, such as power, chemical, cement, aluminium, and carbon products with work experience of all 300 series of stainless steels, duplexes, and 6% moly grades as well as most nickel Alloys.
Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. employs about 40 personnel and has steadily grown its scope of work throughout the years – which is one of the reasons the company decided to invest in PEMA solutions. After the first interactions in 2018, Pemamek delivered the first PEMA solutions to Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. during the spring of 2020.
PEMA solutions to tackle challenges in the fabrication process
“As the scope of our work and our customer base grew, one of the challenges we faced in our fabrication process was the fitting and welding of large diameter shells. The utilization of turning rolls and a welding manipulator with SAW process assisted, but as the required sizes kept growing, these solutions proved to be inadequate”, explains Mr. Tony Sciotto, the President of Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc.
To tackle the challenge and offer various production benefits, Pemamek delivered PEMA Assembly Station TW5000-25 with side support arms and integration to PEMA MD 4.5×5 Column & Boom with single SAW welding head to the Tennessee-based client.
“Before, our manual fitting was quite accurate, but it was also quite slow. We needed to improve the speed and accuracy of the fit-up of large cylinders with automated solutions, which enable a faster and more efficient process. By utilizing the side support arms, we are now able to support the cylinder as we fit the joint and also throughout the welding process – no more manual fit-ups”, tells Mr. Sciotto.
Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. is currently working on a ½” thick alloy 2205 duplex stainless fabrication project 156” in diameter, where PEMA solutions are already put to use.
With PEMA automated solutions, it is easy for welders to become operators.
By investing in PEMA solutions, we wanted to increase our production outflow.
In addition to faster work processes, we also wanted to improve the accuracy of fit-ups.
Pemamek’s automated solutions to enable better, faster production
The delivery from Pemamek took place earlier this year, and the adaption of PEMA solutions is ongoing. The adaption has been smooth, and since the installation took place a mere two months ago, the results are only going to get better.
“By investing in PEMA solutions, we wanted to increase our production outflow. In addition to faster work processes, we also wanted to improve the accuracy of fit-ups. Our fitting time is already improved significantly, and the quality of fit-ups has improved also, during the current project we are working on.
Still, I believe we will be seeing even higher results as time passes; we are improving daily and learning the right methods to utilize PEMA machinery, and the maximum benefits will be in our near future”, clarifies Mr. Sciotto.
Another benefit that Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. has recognized is the trustworthiness of automated equipment and the extent to which it can resolve labor challenges.
“It can be tricky at times, to find qualified labor for our fabrication processes. In this sense also, PEMA solutions really help us”, states Mr. Sciotto.
PEMA Assembly Station TW5000-25 with side support arms and integration to PEMA MD 4.5×5 Column & Boom with single SAW welding head to Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc.
By utilizing the side support arms, the customer is able to support the cylinder as they fit the joint.
“Together with Pemamek, we found the right solutions for our needs”
Mr. Tony Sciotto, the President of Custom Steel Fabricators, Inc. speaks highly of the cooperation between the companies;
“Michael (Bell) has been great to work with. He has followed up on us regularly and is active, and he provides us with all the necessary information. Together with Michael, we were able to figure out what PEMA solutions could fit our needs and improve our fabrication processes. Even now, in these challenging times, Pemamek has been gracious with providing information and being there for us.
As automated solutions enable welders to become the operators, it has been a new experience for the employees of the long-term plate fabricator as well. According to Mr. Sciotto, the transition has been successful;
“Our operators have been great with PEMA solutions. It is new, so they are learning and adapting each day. I am excited to see the developing steps we will be taking during the next months with PEMA solutions.”