What is Steel Detailing?

Steel Detailing is the production of shop drawings for a steel fabricator. A steel fabricator is a company who provides, and sometimes installs, the steel framework for a construction project. A steel detailer's duty is to generate the drawings that the fabricator will use to cut and weld all the necessary members together.

Steel Detailing is a specialist area of structural drafting. A Steel Detailing Company interprets architectural and structural engineering drawings to gain a thorough working knowledge of the overall design intent of a building or structure. Using this translated information, the Steel Detailing Company then produces an altogether different set of clear, unequivocal and accurate drawings for the purpose of steelwork fabrication. A steel detailer broadly generates the layout instructions to facilitate the installation and erection of the steel framework.

A very generalized description of this relationship between fabricator and detailer can be described like this - the architect designs the look of the structure, and the engineer calculates the required sizes and locations of the steel to make the structure safe and strong. Finally, the steel detailer uses both sets of plans to provide detailed drawings with exact dimensions and lengths for each individual part that the welder and installer and actually use.

All steel members required to build the structure are fabricated and erected from shop and erection drawings created by the structural steel detailer. Traditionally, these drawings were created by manual drafting methods, using pencils, paper, and drafting tools as a parallel bar or drafting machine, triangles, templates of circles and other useful shapes, and mathematical tables, such as tables of logarithms and other useful calculating aids. Eventually, hand held calculators were incorporated into the traditional practice.

Manual drafting got largely replaced by computer-aided drafting (CAD). A Steel Detailing company uses computer-aided methods to create drawings on a computer, using software specifically designed for the purpose, and printing out the drawings on paper only when they are complete. Still, all the information related to drawing, numbering and quantities needed to be manually fed into the system. Steel detailing companies now use 3-D Modelling applications specifically designed for steel detailing. The detailer literally builds the project in 3D before producing detailed shop drawings from the model. Software's like Tekla have a feature called Autoconnection, which can be used to create connections and details automatically, without the need to redraw from scratch.

Steel Detailing companies prepare two primary types of drawings - erection drawings and shop drawings

Erection drawings are used to guide the steel erector on the construction site as to where and how to erect the fabricated steel members. These drawings usually show dimensioned plans to locate the steel members, and they often also show details with specific information and requirements, including all work that must be done on site (such as bolting, welding or installing masonry anchors). Since the erection drawings are intended for use in the field, they contain very little specific information about the fabrication of any individual steel member; members should already be completed by the time the erection drawings are used.

Shop drawings also called detail drawings, are used to specify the exact requirements for fabricating each individual member (or assembly) of a structure, and are used by the steel fabricator to fabricate these members. Complete shop drawings show material specifications, member sizes, all required dimensions, welding, bolting, surface preparation and painting requirements, and any other information required to describe each completed member. The shop drawings are intended for use by the fabrication shop, and thus contain little or no information about the erection and installation of the steel members they depict; this information belongs in the erection drawings.

Choosing the RIGHT Steel Detailing Company is crucial

The steel detailing company plays a paramount role in the overall project progress. The detailer must be familiar with regulations and guidelines from all aspects of construction. All common standards/practices must be included in the detailer's skill set. Among the numerous Steel Detailing Companies, a good detailer can make even the most complex project very feasible for any fabricator. A good and reliable detailer is preceded by its reputation and the number of repeat customers it has. Its experience and expertise make every expectation a reality.

This is where companies like TECHFLOW ENGINEER'S come in. With 23+ years of global experience, Techflow is a TRUSTED BRAND in detailing; used by as much as 100+ fabricators across 6 continents. We have EXPERT DETAILING resources of 500+ working in two shifts. We are present at 7 different locations across INDIA, have our own offices in USA and CANADA and representative offices in Europe (Germany, France, Spain) & Middle East; which keeps us always close to customers. With a strong focus on Quality and Delivery, we try our best to full fill our customer's needs with company MOTTO of "It's more about the Customer's Delight than Satisfaction"