Metal Panel Material… Mounting System… Fabricator… Installer… or all 4??
This blog continues on from Part II: Mounting Systems that we published last month. The aim of this series is to provide clarity around this often-confusing topic in the Metal Panel Facade industry. Part III focuses on the role of fabricators in the supply chain from raw material to the building.
The Fabricator cuts, routs, folds and otherwise processes the MCM to fabricate panels to mount on the building. These fabricators can either have their own tested installation system using aluminum extrusions, or they can use a third party’s installation system like our Arrowhead family of systems.
There are many different levels of quality in craftsmanship, which needs to be carefully watched to ensure that the general contractor chooses someone that will perform, just like any trade on every project. There are the “cliché” criteria such as size of company, experience with the product, affiliation with industry groups, and more. None of these should be considered deal-breakers. Even the largest fabricator with the most experience who pays the most to have the biggest seat on the industry group can have the worst craftsmanship on your project.
Important Considerations for Specifiers include ensuring the fabricator is trained and certified by the system manufacturer (and not just “pay-to-play”), fabricator understands the important considerations of the system you are specifying (i.e. effects of thermal expansion), and that the fabricator has a good relationship with the system manufacturer as well as the panel manufacturer. Every company is entitled to take on a new “largest” project, so rather than dismissing a fabricator because they have not taken on a project of this size before, consider analyzing their past performance on smaller projects and whether they have the ability to scale that to a larger project… this might yield better results than choosing a fabricator solely on their size.
We hope that you found this blog of interest. In the next and final part we will be looking at the role the Installer plays in the specification process.