By M. Denham
Chairman & Managing Director
Elland Steel Structures Ltd
27th June 2017
Elland Steel have been fabricating steelwork since 1973 in a highly competitive market. We have a long track record of performance on site, coupled with strong financial performance, the company in the next couple of months will issue accounts for the year ending 30th June 2017, which will confirm that the company has been profitable for the last 25 years.
Jeremy and his team of highly skilled estimators are able to price your estimate competitively irrespective of the nature of the building. An allowance is made for the fittings and fabrication labour for each piece of the contract to form the basis of your quotation. Many other fabricators use very crude global rates which lead to large errors in the build-up of their price. This can work in two differing ways, their price is way in excess of the market rate, or even worse they set an artificially low value for the estimate. The problem with that, is that in the final reckoning that type of pricing is unsustainable and as such many of these contractors become insolvent, only to rise again, in a slightly different guise. Unfortunately, the same team, make the same mistakes and the pattern continually repeats itself. The larger problem at hand, is what short cuts are they making in the delivery of their product and will the company be there to deliver the steelwork contract at that low price. How many times we hear that a Principal Contractor has gone in on a low price, only to win the contract and to discover the steelwork contractor has let them down with either a weak excuse on not being able to do the delivery, or admitting to their mistake in estimating. This leaves the Principal Contractor with a huge problem, more often than not, in desperation an inappropriate steelwork contractor is used and problems usually arise on site.
We have in-house designers, supplemented by tried and tested external consultants that have the ability and experience to be able to fully design the structure or to design the connections for the steelwork on your building. We have a great blend of Engineers academically trained, coupled with designers who have come through the ranks of the drawing office, who bring with them a wealth of practical knowledge. We have in house Chartered/Incorporated Engineers who are Members/Associate Members of the Institution of Structural Engineers.
Our detailers are fully trained with the Tekla 3D modelling system and have been trained for BIM level 2. The company boasts two in-house detailing departments and these are assisted by tried and tested external detailing houses.
Our in-house coordinators will drive the contract by attending meetings, raising technical queries and production of general arrangement drawings prior to issue of the detailed drawings to our production department. We will constantly strive to keep you up to date as early as possible with potential issues with information flow so that your site dates are not jeopardised.
Our fabrication shop is centrally based in Halifax to serve the whole of the UK and has the capability to fabricate up to 450 tonnes per week with both shifts fully utilized. Our detailing office produces CNC data for our drill and coping functions. Time served platers and welders will fabricate the steelwork, which will be primed, if required, in our painting facility. In-house PCN Level 2 Inspectors execute routine random inspection coupled with the agreed inspection regime for a particular contract with the client. External inspection is organised to test butt welds with UT when required. The fabrication shop is accredited to CE mark it’s product up to execution class 4, the highest possible class, which covers all building types including fatigue sensitive structures.
Welding is controlled to “comprehensive” level by an in-house International Welding Engineer, who is ably assisted by welding coordinators who have attended the BCSA’s welding coordination course. Our welding engineer is a staff member, not an external consultant who visits the shop once a year! The intention of CE marking is to build quality into the structure during fabrication, by having welding procedure specifications and processes that add value to the product. Unfortunately, there are two types of company in the market, ones that pay lip service to the requirements and ones like Elland Steel Structures Ltd that have embraced the recent legislation, taken time to fully appreciate the requirements and to implement procedures that control the process. the majority of welding undertaken in our production facility is fillet welds, unless the welds are tested to destruction it’s very difficult to assess the volume of the weld, for the most part methods such as UT are not able to be used due to the nature of the system and the geometry of the weld.
Agreeing an appropriate specification prior to fabrication is key to both the fabricator being able to give the client exactly what he is paying for, all too often the specification is not adhered to by unscrupulous companies and companies that are ignorant of their responsibilities.
Elland Steel Structures Ltd sub-contracts out its erection to tried and tested companies who have proven over the years to have a fabulous record for health and safety. They are supervised by an Elland Steel Structures Contracts Manager who will be trained to SMSTS. These Managers understand what our customer’s demand, adherence to programme, be safety conscious at all times and to deliver a quality product. Our aim is for Elland Steel Structures to be your “go to” company for structural steelwork.
We use tried and tested sub-contractors for other trades you require Elland Steel Structures Ltd to supply, namely metal decking, PC flooring systems and PC stairs, edge protection, steel stairs and steel flooring solutions. We appoint the sub-contractor and we manage them.
Elland Steel Structures Ltd have an in-house CMIOSH HSQE Manager who often visits site to help our site teams to ensure our high exacting standards for health and safety are maintained on site. When he Is not on site he will be helping our production department keep our employees safe in our shop. Our HSQE Manager is the current Chairman of the BCSA’s Health and Safety committee, the best thing about this role is that we are able to react quickly to new legislation and the latest health and safety guidance.
The health and safety performance on site starts with our designers working with the Consulting Engineer to ensure the structure or part of the structure will be stable in all temporary conditions. Method statements are not generic, every structure has its own individual peculiarities and deserves individual attention. There are literally millions of stability checks that could be a problem, it’s not easy to understand which ones are the critical ones, the calculations can be labour intensive and it requires expert knowledge and experience to get it right. This is an added benefit to our commercial offer, other companies simply choose to take chances on your site, eventually their look will run out.
Every effort is made to ensure our tenders are clear with respect to what is included in our bid and what is more importantly not included. We fully understand how frustrating it is when additional costs are raised during the contract especially when the customer thought that the cost was included in the original offer. It is important to stress that all bids by steelwork contractors are not the same and steelwork contractors who aim to win a bid with an artificially low price, can only do one thing to make the contract work financially at the end of the process.
Delivering a quality steelwork contract safely to programme requires the knowledge and experience of a good number of team members, the knowledge required is so extensive and covers so many disciplines that we find it difficult to understand how one person could possibly be fully competent in all areas of the business, that is why Elland Steel Structures Ltd employs over one hundred people to bring value to our contracts.
In line with the requirements of our various accreditations we are expected to continuously improve by listening to constructive criticism from our customers, on the whole the feedback we get is excellent and as such the amount of repeat business the company wins is a testament to our continued great performance.