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Sponsored Content: OSSFA: A Trade Association for Ontario Structural Steel Fabricators

Sponsored by OSSFA

OSSFA
Sponsored Content: OSSFA: A Trade Association for Ontario Structural Steel Fabricators

The Ontario Structural Steel Fabricators Association (OSSFA) represents 40 fabricator and supplier members, employing over 15,000 people across Ontario. OSSFA has been operating for 4 years, working to help represent the needs of today’s structural steel fabricators in Ontario.

OSSFA helps inform and educate our Industry and Industry partners and create a better approach to working within the structural steel marketplace. First and foremost, our members want to meet their clients’ expectations: that begins with clearly understanding budgets and project scheduling. With our best practices as defined in our OSSFA Form 11.3 (this document can be downloaded from our website) our membership has laid out the specific steps we need to present to the entire project team to work more effectively to achieve a positive outcome.

OSSFA members are ready to tackle your next Section 5 structural steel project. Today, our membership has invested in the latest CNC fabrication, plasma, laser, water cutting and robotic technologies as well as advancements in 3-D steel detailing and engineering programs to service our clients. Please see below the list of our members across Ontario.

OSSFA has strived to recognize the challenges we face as a project unfolds. Paramount to project success is the need to understand one another, including consultants, owners, general contractors, to meet the team’s and project’s overall goal: a successful outcome for all. Often a bad experience leads to many bad scenarios, as executive Director of OSSFA, Mr. Gord Rados stated recently.  “Everyone needs to be aware that even on a small 100-ton project, you typically have 4000 pieces of steel, each can only fit in 1 location and 1 way, all having to fit within a 1/16” tolerance. Every structural steel project is custom built. It’s magic to see fabricated steel, rise with a crane and skilled Ironworkers, but the effort, the hours that went into planning, management, drafting, design, fabrication, painting, loading trucks and transportation to get to that first day on site is incredible. Once we are done, most of the other trades are now ready to start working on site to continue with the construction process. We just need our project partners to understand we do not pick materials off a shelf, ready to use.”

Structural steel takes time to design and then draft each piece of steel, order these materials, draft RFI’s, get answers to questions, review approvals, then receive material, fabricate it to a high-quality standard and load onto trucks, ready for delivery to the job site. The entire process can run much better when everyone understands what each other needs to be done.

Our members have seen many new challenges the past few years. COVID-19, new safety protocols, material delays, historical material price increases and longer lead times specifically with steel joists. It is a difficult task to perform with all these variables at play.

Today we must respond quickly, we must tell the design team what we can and can’t do within the project parameters, then let them decide the best course to take.

We recently shared the current state of steel material availability and price increases with our friends at ACEC Ontario. We are all receiving more calls from Engineers asking for help and information on structural steel.  We have told them what products we can and can’t receive from the mills (and that sometimes changes weekly) and to allow flexible options in designing roof and floor systems to get the project built quicker. Mills are telling some suppliers to send them a blank purchase order: They will put you in the queue and provide a final delivery date and final cost later. How can our members perform within these scenarios? The fact is they can’t. Today’s market presents a serious challenge, but our members (suppliers & fabricators) are doing their very best to find solutions, source materials, fabricate to challenging schedules and get the steel to site. It has not been easy, but by working together everything is possible.

We are seeing 15% more time needed and therefore cost from steel erectors per the Ontario Erectors Association’s (OEA) own findings. Our OSSFA members are reporting that because of enhanced safety protocols – i.e., safe/social distancing when working, and more PPE – that production has been impacted by approximately the same (15%) amount in their own fabrication plants. We have also seen a significant jump in the number of projects that are delayed across Ontario due to COVID-19. There is also new sophisticated COVID-19 contract language to deal with, another new risk in these times to encounter.

Our members are also reporting roughly 80% of projects are delayed. The bigger problem is that our members typically don’t get notified by their clients until a week or even just a few days before they are scheduled to be on site erecting steel. Many members state this is now becoming a crisis. We don’t know and we wait, we have the issue of loaded trailers ready to be shipped and expecting them to be unloaded (as these trailers are needed for the next project we are fabricating) and then told the site is not ready and we don’t know exactly when the jobsite will be ready. These are all real time, real project challenges that need proper team work to address.

Our entire construction Industry needs to help with accurate delivery dates, otherwise we all can expect even more delays, longer lead times, longer installation times and more trailer storage fees in future. Some suppliers/fabricators are stating they are at 140% storage capacity and shipping off site because they have no other choice. Trailers are becoming increasingly harder to locate as everybody needs more of them. This is one more issue OSSFA is currently working on.

OSSFA members receive weekly updates from within our industry. News reports and supplier updates on material availability. Safety awareness and training recommendations continue to develop. We send out technical bulletins, speak to government agencies and other trade associations sharing our opinions to continue current conversations to benefit the industry. Our members voluntarily operate within OSSFA to as much or as little as they wish. But the one constant is they all see the value in being a member and they all want a better, safer and more efficient industry. Our approach is working to the needs of our members.  If we, at OSSFA, do not know the answer(s), then we hire the experts to tell us.

Our members expect effective updates and results quickly. This is a big reason that OSSFA was formed by steel fabricators for the steel fabricators in Ontario. We are a resource for knowledge, allowing our members to stay focused on running their day-to-day operations.

OSSFA never rests and our members want to be the best project partners they can be. We are here to find solutions that benefit everyone, including Consultants, General Contractors, and the Owners we contract with.  This is how OSSFA members do business.

List of our OSSFA Members: (s) designates Affiliate (Supplier) members, all other companies are Structural Steel Fabricator members: 

ACL STEEL LTD.

LAMBTON METAL SERVICE

SALIT STEEL GROUP. MYER SALIT  (s)

AKAL STEEL (2005) INC.

LINESTEEL (1973)

SHANNON STEEL

BENSON STEEL LIMITED

LORVIN STEEL

SKYHAWK STEEL GROUP

BETTER IRONWORKS LTD.

MAPLE INDUSTRIES

STEELCON FABRICATION INC.

BRAMALEA STEEL WORKS LTD.

MIRAGE STEEL

TELCO STEELWORKS LTD.

CANAM BUILDINGS  (s)

M & G STEEL LTD.

TRESMAN STEEL INDUSTRIES LTD.

COOKSVILLE STEEL

NORAK STEEL

TREVCO STEEL

CRAWFORD METAL    (s)

PITTSBURGH STEEL GROUP

TRIAD METALS  (s)

ETOBICOKE IRONWORKS

PRECISION BOLTS  (s)

UNITED STEEL FABRICATORS

FALCO STEEL FABRICATORS

QUAD STEEL

VICTORIA STEEL

IBL STRUCTURAL STEEL LTD.

REFAC INDUSTRIAL CONTRACTORS

VULCRAFT CANADA  (s)

JCT METALS INC.

ROESTENBERG WELDING LTD.

WALTERS INC.

KIMCO STEEL SALES LTD.  (s)

RUSH STEEL

 

KUBES STEEL  (s)

RUSSEL METALS INC.  (s)

 

This content is sponsored by OSSFA in collaboration with ConstructConnect® Media. To learn more about OSSFA, visit https://ossfa.com/.

 

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