Tag Archives: structural steel

5 Benefits of Using an AISC Certified Fabricator and Erector

Why do we do it? Why does Macuch Steel endure the costs of maintaining our AISC certifications? Because we see the value and the results! While not all of the jobs hitting the streets are certified, what a difference there would be if more jobs specified an AISC Certified Company.aisc circle logo

Quick Background: The American Institute of Steel Construction was founded in the 1920s to advance the interests of the structural steel design industry in the United States and better serve the overall construction industry. Since then, it has been the leader in research, education, code development, technical assistance, quality certification, and market development for steel construction.

One of the most important roles AISC plays is to certify that steel fabricators and erectors meet a rigorous — and constantly evolving — set of industry standards regarding quality, safety, administration, training, and more.

These certifications are not easy to get. Each takes some time and effort, not to mention expense, in order to qualify and maintain annually — so much so that some companies choose to skip getting certified entirely.

So what is the benefit of using an AISC Certified Fabricator and AISC Certified Erector? At Macuch Steel (we hold both certifications), we believe there are 5 main ones:

  1. Higher Quality

The prime differentiator between an AISC certified facility and one that isn’t is the level of quality control specified by AISC. Every important process, from contract and spec review to material identification to equipment calibration and testing to weld procedures, must adhere to standards and be documented in a Quality Management System to be followed by the certified company in their day-to-day operations.

For customers, this means that the final project and construction experience will have a superior quality with less errors and delays.

  1. Greater Accountability

Each AISC Certified Fabricator and AISC Certified Erector is subject to audit and physical inspection to make sure the company’s QMS isn’t just paying lip service to the standards, but that they are being applied throughout the company.

Hiring a fabricator and erector that is accountable to a third party for oversight gives the customer peace of mind that the firm not only knows what it is supposed to be doing, but is actually doing it.

  1. Leading Edge Technology and Standards

AISC works with many leaders in the construction industry, government entities, and the public to develop consensus standards and programs. As such, certification is the best way to ensure that the company you are hiring is exposed to the latest technological developments, building codes, and current best practices.

With so many changes happening in our industry at any given time, it pays to deal with a firm that stays up to date.

  1. Better Safety

One of the more obvious results of getting certified is the reduction in accidents and product failure thanks to the higher QC specs and greater training requirements for employees when compared with non-certified firms.

Every AISC Certified firm must develop procedures to identify non-conformance and implement corrective actions. The stress is on safety and providing the highest-quality product possible that will meet or exceed industry requirements.

  1. Improved Efficiency

AISC Certified Fabricators and Erectors tend to run more efficiently, since they have consistent processes and formal training procedures as mentioned above. In addition to making things safer, these factors also eliminate wasteful actions and save money — which can be passed down to the end customer through a more reliable and complete quote.

By using fabricators and erectors that pass the rigorous standards established by the AISC, you also prove that our industry can self-police and reduce burdensome government regulations and excessive interference.

While we are obviously a bit biased towards AISC certified firms (since we are one), it really is to your benefit to seek out a certified firm — even if the quote is slightly higher than a competing, non-certified company’s. In going that route, today’s minor savings might just add up to significant costs in the future.

Want to find out more about how our AISC certifications can benefit your next job?  Call us today!AISC Certified Fabricatorassoc_cert_erector

Getting the Benefits of In-House Without the Costs and Trouble

In a time of market volatility, customers can depend on the experience and stability of our “in-house” experts. Think of the benefits of having your own in-house structural steel facility… There are many major worries that you could eliminate from your day-to-day operations. Things like quality control, transportation costs, and material issues would no longer keep you up at night. The biggest problem with this dream might be the overwhelming start-up costs. Just purchasing the machinery can put you in the red for years, not to mention hiring and training workers to both operate and maintain the equipment. It would be ideal to find a solution for Benefits of In House Imagethe inkling of hesitation. At Macuch Steel Products, we have the tools for this age-old problem. Our biggest goal is to bring customers all the benefits of an in-house structural steel operation without the costs and staffing headaches.

From Inception to Completion

In many ways, Macuch is six outstanding companies under one family-owned and operated umbrella. Each of our divisions offers contractors unique services that act like your own personal in-house operation.

  • Structural Steel
    Our full-service shop provides clients estimating, budget pricing, detailing, engineering calculations, fabrication, welding, shearing, bending, punching, painting services, and installation.
  • Rebar
    Since the 1960’s, builders all over the Southeastern U.S. have come to Macuch for their rebar needs. We supply just about every type of rebar you will ever need.
  • Steel Service Center
    As well as carrying a wide range of steel products, Macuch will also cut, punch, bend, weld, and paint steel to our customers’ specifications.
  • Em-Co Metal Products, Inc: Structural Steel Fabrication
    Located just outside Savannah, this smaller offshoot of Macuch mainly focuses on heavy welding high-man-hour-per-ton types of work. This facility fabricates steel in lengths typically up to 60′, widths up to 17′, and weights that range up to 10 tons, with 170′ lengths.
  • Shewmake Steel Erection Inc.
    If you need efficient and cost-effective installation and erection of structural or other steel products, our subsidiary Shewmake is the perfect choice. We have the experience crew to operate cranes, lifts, trucks, and welding equipment to complete all of your projects.
  • Southeastern Stair & Rail
    If you need high quality stair and rail products, including ladders, compound radius stairs, grating platforms, grating treads, hand railing, ornamental railings, monumental stairs, primary egress stairs, and guard rails then Southeastern Stair & Rail is the perfect choice.

By allowing the divisions that make up the Macuch family to handle all the services above, you get personalized service without having to pay the often-debilitating cost of bringing everything in-house. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

If you want to learn how to eliminate your next contracting head-ache, please visit our website. We also post more industry news on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Demand for Steel in 2015

Macuch Steel - Structural SteelWe’re feeling very optimistic thanks to a new forecast from the Thompson Research Group that predicts 2015 to be the best year for the steel industry since the Great Recession. The main driver behind the improved outlook is the in growth commercial construction. According to the research, developers were not investing in retail projects during the economic downturn, however they are now pursuing more commercial building projects which are creating a greater demand for steel.

These new construction projects are expected to drive growth between 5 and 10 percent in 2015. This growth can also help improve our economy. Domestic steel producers will benefit from an increased demand as well as companies which manufacture, distribute, and install steel.

As a Family of Steel, Macuch Steel can help contractors and construction companies with all their structural steel needs. Our steel service division houses a range of steel products to meet our customers’ needs, including beams, channels, plates, round bar, pipe, and more. We also have our rebar division which fabricates concrete reinforcing steel, smooth dowels, specialty projects, supply welded wire fabric, and bar supports. Additionally, we have our structural steel fabrication, steel erection, and steel stair divisions to provide full service to our clients. To learn more about all our divisions, visit our website. We are also actively posting more company updates and steel industry news on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Industry Voices – Don’t Let Roof and Floor-Opening Frames Create Discord

Welcome to the first post in our “Industry Voices” series, where experts from Macuch Steel will address topics that are relevant to the steel industry. This blog is from our President, Gary L. Cowart, who discusses the importance of cohesion between General Contractors and Subcontractors.


Most contract documents are clear on the requirements for roof and floor-opening frames. The documents will identify the structural shapes that make up the frame, the general configuration of the frame, and how the frame attaches to the structural framing.  What is not commonly found in the contract documents is the dimensional location and size of the frames.  This information is generally not available at the time of the structural design, and, for the most part, is dependent on the suppliers and subcontractors chosen by the project’s “General Contractor”.  Long story short: at the time a building contract is awarded, the information required for the floor and roof-opening frames is simply not there.  As a subcontractor, we receive a contract that has some language (and I paraphrase) along these lines: “you must coordinate with other trades”.  On the surface, this sounds great.  Have you ever heard an orchestra without a conductor?  It just does not work!  I have seen the construction progress on very large structures such as high schools, hospitals and office buildings come to a screeching halt because of the lack of floor and roof-opening information.  So what is the answer?

It’s simple!  Someone has to OWN the problem before a solution can be found.  I believe that, as a team with the General Contractor coordinating the input from subcontractors, the issue could be resolved.  But until someone acts as a good conductor and pulls it all together, it is nothing more than noise.  Floor and roof-opening frames should never be a show stopper on construction projects.

Call Macuch Steel…we can help your orchestra make beautiful music!

Gary L. Cowart


Macuch Steel Products, Inc.