Steel is one of the most critical elements of numerous structures: it guarantees durability resistants to time. Nevertheless, that durability also needs proper implementing of constructions. You need to remember that the majority of the project documentations delivered by design offices includes plenty of imperfections, discripancies between drawings and errors, which make the documentation nearly useless when it comes to constructing the building. This is the stage of the process when work is handed over to a steel detailer, that is to a company preparing shop drawings for the steel structure.

Manufacturing plants have been constantly industrialised in a more advanced way, which in turn has been contributing to continuous improvement of steel constructions. For many years the way of constructing has been undergoing a constant change. The process of steel constructions manufacturing has been shifted from a construction site to specialised steel manufacturing plants. Nowadays construction sites are mainly places for merging finished elements into a spatial grid constituting a steel construction of the object.

As we said, manufacturing of steel constructions has become more and more industrialised and the building process has been moved from the construction site to the manufacturing plant.

What is the steel detailing?

Steel detailing is a process of preparing shop drawings for a steel fabricator which is a company that provides structural and miscellaneous steel. The production of fabricated steel starts at the steel detailing company which is a company that prepares  shop drawings and all necessary data for an efficient production and erection of steel structure.

What does the steel detailer do?

A steel detailer prepares a shop documentation for steel fabricators. Steel detailers use architectural and structural drawings, as well as technical specifications, which allow them to prepare and issue a shop documentation for every part of the project that the fabricator is to deliver. In other words, a steel detailer swaps information included in architectural and structural drawings with the information enabling the fabricator to produce the steel structure in the simplest possible way and allowing the erectors to raise it as smoothly as it can be achieved. A steel detailer closely collaborates with the fabricator, architect and engineer, who to some degree checks and approves the shop drawings.

A steel detailer plays a crucial role in the construction process. The design office preparing the shop documentation starts working at the very beginning of the construction process and the results of that work are further used by other participants of the undertaking. Any errors made by the steel detailer may put structure at risk and cause substantial costs for the steel fabricator. That is why it is so important to prepare shop drawings in a very precise way.

To atchieve high quality shop drawings, steel detailer must be familiar with:

-AISC requirements and recommendations
-OSHA safety requirements
-fabricator’s practices and equipment in the shop
-fabricator’s schedule
-steel mill practices
-latest 3D steel modeling software
-sizes and weight limits the erector can handle at the job site