What determines if fabrication should be done in the field or in a shop?

WP Law - Thursday, October 01, 2015
Pipe Fabrication

Pipe fabrication is the process of customizing or manufacturing a pre-designed piping system to meet a specific use. A custom fabricated piping component is often created to connect to an existing piping system. The type of pipe and other materials being used are dependent upon the application. While most projects can be completed in the controlled environment of a shop facility, sometimes fabrication in the field is required to best meet the customer’s needs.

Advantages of Shop Fabrication

There are several advantages to conducting shop fabrication.

  • Fabrication occurs in a controlled environment which allows for greater accuracy and efficiency regardless of weather conditions.
  • Items can be tested before they are installed.
  • There are no mobilization costs associated with shop fabrication. You only have to pay to ship the fabricated components.
  • Reduced costs throughout the process.
  • Increased safety for workers.

Disadvantages of Shop Fabrication

There are a few disadvantages to conducting shop fabrication which include:

  • Accurate dimensions are required if the fabricated component is being used as a replacement for an existing component.
  • If components are being supplied by different manufacturers, sometimes it is better to see what you are working with before you start the fabrication process.

Advantages of Field Fabrication

Here are some advantages of field fabrication:

  • Field fabrication is preferred if there are a lot of unknowns, such as the location of pumping equipment.
  • Field fabrication may be the only option if the item being repaired or replaced cannot be easily taken to a shop facility.

Disadvantages of Field Fabrication

There are several potential disadvantages of field fabrication, which can cause some individuals to prefer shop fabrication techniques.

  • Weather can be a huge disadvantage, especially when the facility under construction is not properly enclosed or protected from the elements.
  • Field fabrication is sometimes less efficient and cost effective, when compared to shop fabrication.
  • There are increased safety concerns.

With these advantages in disadvantage in mind, it is clear that choosing between a field or shop fabrication will depend on the circumstances surrounding the work area. From weather conditions to pipe conditions, safety and security should always be evaluated before choosing a fabrication method. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of shop vs. field fabrication, contact an expert at W. P. Law, Inc. For over 40 years W. P. Law has been one of the Southeast's leading suppliers of fluid handling equipment for farmers, contractors, and industries.

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