Getting the right players aligned for the metal needs in your business can sometimes be a puzzle. Labor and vendors can't be eliminated for the sake of your bottom line. But if something has got to give, you need to find a way to maximize productivity and optimize time on projects.
What is so special about stainless steel? Can it be used everywhere carbon steel is used? Should I never use one or the other for certain tasks?
If you don't know all the differences between these two, you're not alone. We get questions about it on a regular basis. So, to help everyone out, we put together this short article. Here are some key facts about each, tips for how you can tell between them, and advice on when you should use one and not the other.
Stainless steel permeates so many aspects of American life of today. The singular properties of this metal make it well suited for a wide range of applications - especially ones where conditions are demanding. From corrosion resistant cutlery and surgical tools, to food and pharmaceutical tanks, to water-tight watch housings and tools that can handle extreme temperatures; it’s safe to say that the world would be a different place without stainless steel.
It has been said before and we’ll say it again - choose your vendors wisely.
Working with a metal supplier you trust and can rely on is key to the success of your project. Calls come in often from estimators and project managers who are trying to find the absolute cheapest price on a product. While we are happy to help, we also feel strongly that searching for “cheapest seamless pipe supplier” isn’t going to give what you really need.
For the second part of our series on the differences between tubing and pipe, we are going to talk about measurements and wall thickness.
It ALMOST goes without saying - a company is only as good as its employees. We want to make sure to say it anyway, and maybe in multiple ways even, because it is so important. Business owners across the nation know that hiring great employees can be really tough. It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money. But hiring is only a small part of the battle. Keeping employees happy and productive over the long haul is an even more challenging endeavor.
The creation of steel itself is a complicated process. We can't cover it in-depth here, but let's talk about the basic process that is behind the majority of steel products.
Iron ore is found naturally in the earth and mining for ore provides thousands of jobs throughout the world each year. It is a major industry for many countries. The iron ore is "smelted" under extreme heat inside blast furnaces. The heat is intense enough to liquefy the rocky ore. Components of the ore react differently to the heat - some float above the raw iron and some sink beneath it. The desired product can be collected, leaving the unwanted portions behind.
As managers look for ways to increase profit margin, the focus often falls on making cuts where the most money is spent. It really is understandable how a price buying strategy comes about. But, as this happens, the important question is this: Is choosing suppliers for your services or materials based on price really going to save money?
While it might seem like a good strategy at first, it is one that can backfire on you in unexpected ways. Here's how:
If you are working on a project that requires tough, stable and/or hygienic metal, you’re probably already looking toward stainless steel. Stainless steel is a term that covers a wide array of products, each of which serve different purposes. As a general rule of thumb, an alloy has to be made of at least 10.5% chromium to be classified as stainless steel. The other elements that are combined with chromium will alter its strength and durability.
You've heard of “just-in-time,” and “just-in-case”. These two sayings seem to epitomize the spectrum of approaches fab shops, machine shops, factories and repair facilities take with inventory management. But these two extremes can leave you with no raw materials to get the job done, or too much waste in inventory you may never use, respectively. Many project managers, lead estimators, and even the owners want out of these extremes. Scouring websites and calling around in a panic to source materials is hard on the team, but housing excess inventory is hard on the bottom line. So, what's the alternative?