Facility Tours

Each SteelDay host will be providing details of their individual event in due course. In the meantime, you can find descriptions of what to expect at each type of event below.

Structural Steel Fabricators

Witness the heart of the structural steel supply chain by visiting a steel fabricator near you. Learn how off-site, controlled conditions ensure a consistently high-quality product and reduce or eliminate errors and fixes at the job site. Experience the use of advanced machinery and technology. See how the steel industry has taken advantage of information technology (BIM) to streamline production and increased efficiency.

Attendees will learn about the processes steel fabricators go through from receiving the steel through to shipping steel to the job site.

About Structural Steel Fabricators

It is the fabricators who typically have the closest relationships with the design and contracting community and who will receive the steel contract from the general contractor. They then orchestrate the supply chain to fulfill the contract. There are approximately 2,500 fabricators in Canada, serving every corner of the nation.

The fabricator works to a predetermined schedule developed in consultation with the project team. This schedule controls everything from how the detailers release information to when material is sent to the shop, to the order of trucks shipping fabricated steel to the job site.

One of the major advantages of building with structural steel is the quality of the fabrication process. Off-site fabrication allows for a quality controlled environment unaffected by climate and weather changes, or by adverse site conditions. The nature of the material allows it to be fabricated to very close tolerances and at every stage of fabrication the steel is inspected to help guarantee a quality product and eliminate mistakes and costly site work.

Fabrication itself consists of tasks such as cutting, drilling, punching, shearing, welding, piece assembly and assembly of complex geometry and trusses. Fabricators have invested in advanced computer-controlled (CNC) machinery and material-handling equipment to perform the more common tasks such as cutting to length, drilling and shape burning. The CNC machines are extremely fast and efficient and are fed automatically from the BIM systems used by the detailers.

Steel Mills

Witness the beginning (and end) of the structural steel supply chain by visiting a steel mill and seeing the awesome capability of these huge scrap metal recycling and steel production facilities. Experience the quality control procedures throughout the process and develop an understanding of rolling schedules and steel availability.

Attendees will learn about and witness the steel-making process from start to finish.

About Steel Mills

Steel mills directly produce wide-flange beams, channels, angles and plate. Every piece of steel is produced to conform to precise standards. Material strengths and dimensions are checked and verified several times before the material leaves the mill. This ensures a reliable, predictable product that structural engineers can design more easily and be guaranteed of its strength and characteristics.

Today’s modern steel production mills are also metal recycling facilities – scrap metal now being the primary component in the manufacture of structural steel. Steel is North America’s No. 1 recycled product. The recycled content of structural steel beams and columns averages over 93%, with wide-flange beam production often having recycled content of over 98% - making structural steel the model of sustainable material production.

During the tour, attendees will experience the awesome capability of a steel mill and will witness the making of steel - starting with mostly recycled material and ending with high quality structural steel.

Steel Service Centres

Come and visit a structural steel service centre and see what thousands of tons of steel looks like. Experience the crucial role these facilities play in the structural steel industry and learn how they can help you and your project.

Attendees will learn how and why steel is distributed through service centres and how service centres can help with their projects. In addition the nationwide inventory of structural steel will be highlighted and witnessed.

About Steel Service Centres

Most structural steel, around 70%, is supplied to fabricators directly by steel service centres. While domestic mills provide structural steel to Canadian market, steel service centres are strategically located across the nation.

Steel service centres buy steel from each rolling cycle at every mill and keep it as inventory to sell to fabricators. They keep a full range of steel products in multiple lengths and also provide value-added services to fabricators such as first-stage, pre-fabrication processing (cutting beams to length, tee splitting, cambering, plate burning) and meeting staged delivery requirements (e.g. delivering multiple shapes from various producers according to the project sequence).

Service centres maintain inventory levels according to market conditions ensuring steel is always available, accomodating for any unexpected peaks in demand.

HSS Producers

Witness the incredible machinery and processes used to manufacture top quality hollow structural sections (HSS). Learn about the differences between HSS and TS or HSS and pipe and know how to call them out appropriately. Experience the quality control procedures throughout the process and develop an understanding of manufacturing schedules and HSS shape availability.

Attendees will see first hand the fascinating process of manufacturing hollow structural sections out of steel coil.

About HSS Producers

Manufacturers of hollow structural sections (HSS) produce square, rectangular and circular hollow structural sections out of flat steel plate using some of the most sophisticated and automated machinery in the industry.

The steel plate is received from the mill as a coil and these coils are fed through a series of incredible machines and processes to continuously produce the required section.

In North America, HSS sections conform to the ASTM Specification A500 and Canadian Specification CAN/CSA-G40.20-04/G40.21-04. The use of HSS is growing with popularity all around the world in the building industry. While less than 15% of the U.S. structural steel market, in Europe and Japan HSS members account for approximately 30% of the market. Popular uses include architecturally exposed structural steel, staggered truss and conventional truss structures, and basic column or vertical bracing elements.

Bender-Rollers

Curved steel doesn’t just happen. Precision instruments and expert benders are responsible for these increasingly popular architectural and structural elements. Learn about the various methods of bending and rolling steel shapes and develop an understanding of these specialty sub-contractors and how they fit into the structural steel supply chain.

Attendees will learn about and witness the very specialized and skilled process of bending and rolling steel shapes.

About Bender-Rollers

Bender-Roller companies are specialty sub-contractors who focus on bending (or rolling) steel shapes according to the job specification. Bending steel is a specialized and skilled process and fabricators do not normally have the capability to do it themselves. As such Benders receive the steel from the fabricator and then ship the curved steel back to the fabricator. Typical fabrication is still carried out through the main project fabricator who organizes the steel package from procurement through delivery to the site for erection.

Attendees to a Bender-Roller tour will learn about the five typical methods of bending: rolling, incremental bending, hot bending, rotary-draw bending, and induction bending. Each method has its advantages, with some methods more common in the steel construction industry, and others more common in the automobile or manufacturing industries.

Common terms and nuances of the processes will be explained and examples provided leaving the participants with the tools to be able to specify bent steel for their projects with more confidence.

Galvanizers

Visit a hot-dip galvanizing facility and watch as fabricated steel is staged, cleaned, prepped and finally dipped into a kettle full of molten zinc to complete the galvanizing process.

Attendees will learn first hand about the Hot-Dip Galvanizing (HDG) process, from staging material through each process until the steel is silver-gray and fully protected against corrosion.

About Galvanizers

Hot-dip galvanizing (HDG), is the process whereby fabricated steel, structural steel, castings, or small parts are immersed in a kettle or vat of molten zinc, resulting in a metallurgical bonded alloy coating that protects the steel from corrosion.

Steel is galvanized post-fabrication and generally en-route to the project site. The galvanizing process consists of moving the steel through various baths. The first bath ensures the steel is free of grease, dirt and oil and following this it is neutralized, then dipped in an acid bath to remove any oxidation. To prevent further oxidation and prepare the steel for actual galvanizing the steel goes through another chemical mixture before arriving at the zinc kettle.

The zinc kettle contains 99% pure molten zinc, heated between 815-850F. Once the steel is dipped into the kettle the chemical reaction occurs naturally and once the base metal reaches the same temperature as the molten zinc it is complete. There is no cure time needed although each batch is typically then dipped into a vat of water for cooling.


In addition to facility tours some SteelDay hosts will also be offering other types of events and activities including such things as: job site tours, multiple facility tours, presentations and seminars, walking tours and hands-on activities.

Each event Host will be providing more details as they become available. Keep checking in for details.