METFAB NEWS - 2013

2013 ---- Our 27th Anniversary Year

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December, 2013 Newsletter


Metfab Metals----2013: Another Growth Year


MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON


[Courtesy of ABC News—abcnews.go.com]

Last year at this time we set out here a “visual aid”: a simple chart to show the growth steps of Metfab Metals in 2012. We are even happier to report now twelve months later we have topped that growth and are continuing our plant expansion to better serve our customers. We also took other quantum steps this past year, especially in our expertise in AESS (1).

Put briefly we have taken on and are moving smoothly through our largest AESS job (as in the picture above) AND we are on the cusp of several others. In 2013, we completed a number of these demanding jobs, but now we have so honed our Project Management skills (and organized a new PM department here) that we can handle several such projects simultaneously. A year ago, we proudly said we finished our multi-faceted work at Ground Zero. Now that WTC4 is open to the public and a fully –functioning commercial building, anyone can walk up to it and see the gleaming white solid steel mullions (some 50’ tall) surrounding the structure’s ground floor atrium. Those were our handiwork!

With exciting jobs in the pipeline, we want to talk a little about the future---not the future decades of the 2020’s, but the future here and now in the next twelve months of 2014! While we have a lot of 2014 work booked already--that’s not what we want to tell you now. As you already know, every aspect of the building business is highly competitive, but we here at Metfab Metals believe the best “edge” in such competition is old-fashioned preparedness. Look at the picture of our new specialty shop (just opened last month), designed for the biggerAESS work. That 30-ton crane makes hard jobs far easier!


[New Metfab Metals Shop (before complete equipping/outfitting), with Overhead Crane]


With this shop, we will crank out the huge, finely-finished products that will constitute the façade of the new Smithsonian African-American Museum in Washington, DC. (Take a look at its projected appearance, above. and at www.nmaahc.org.] We’ll be talking more about this unique structure and concept in the coming months. For now, just look at the sophisticated “jig” (a/k/a production fixture) Jim built just to assure the highest quality control (”QC”) on the truss connections for this project.


[Small Metfab Metals Production Fixture]

We ALWAYS deliver our Metfab Metals products and services in full compliance with your specs. That’s our commitment. That’s all.

UPDATES:

National Museum of African American History & Culture, Wash.DC-----We already have fabricated an approved pre-construction VMU, or Visual Mock-Up, of exterior fabricated parts. This was done, as always, to give the owner, contractors and design professionals an opportunity to view the exterior’s appearance and end-products as they’ll appear after the building is completed. This is a service we offer many of our customers, even more so since we did this so successfully prior to construction of WTC4 at Ground Zero this past year (and on an increasing number of larger jobs each year).Now we are on the cusp of cranking out nine (9) months of strict Project Management and an array of micro-tolerance AESS integrated parts for this museum. Follow this with us here in the coming months.

Hudson Yards, NYC, NY-----This is our next challenge! Last year, we were happy to do specialty steel façade fabrications at the Brooklyn’s Barclay Center. But this was only part of the far larger current redevelopments in the five boroughs of NYC. We are now working to supply the planned cluster of high-rises and other Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan with the same type of huge pristine mullions we delivered to WTC4. Follow this work with us here too in the coming months.

NOW, Metfab Metals is your single best fabrication answer, not only for quality custom and production Heavy-Gauge AND Light-Gauge metal parts, but also when your job requires AESS in all its MANY forms, finishes and applications! We always offer to work---FOR FREE---with our customers at the project concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money.

Metfab Metals is now your one-stop source not only for quality custom and production Heavy-Gauge AND Light-Gauge metal parts, but also when your job requires a hard-to-find material, process or resource!

Call me. Come in and talk about pre-construction fabrication concerns  

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. Though most of you are familiar with this term, here’s how we define it and do it. AESS is the acronym for Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel----a catch-all phrase for any (large or small) finely-finished steel members (prepped, welded, filled, blasted, polished, and/or uniquely painted/finished) to be permanently open to the view and touch of all after the job is done. AESS work is never covered by sheetrock or otherwise hidden from public view. Our COO, Jim Murray, has been an integral part of early AESS projects, such as the BWI International Airport [Now BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport]  (erected well over a decade ago)serving the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. There you can see the structural steel ceiling space frame with its threads, pipes and connections in plain view-------- and still shining like its original fabricated & installed condition! Since then, Jim has overseenAESS jobs as varied as the American Jewish Heritage Museum in Philadelphia and the unique roof ladder coverage of an interior courtyard at 51 Louisiana in Washington, DC and the Borgata Casino overhang in Atlantic City, NJ. WTC4 (at the restored Ground Zero in NYC) and VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine) are even grander and more striking examples of our expertise in this evolving art form and architectural esthetics. Metfab Metals is proud to have done the AESS components on all of these jobs.


November, 2013 Newsletter


QUALITY ("Quality Control",
that is) is "JOB ONE" (1)

Look at what Pres. Franklin D Roosevelt said over seventy (70) years ago, apparently during his re-election campaign in 1936:

“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.”

FDR was an acknowledged rule-breaker, but a principled leader who felt that we often have to “bend” rules to bring about the right—or needed---result.  Well, I’m not at all sure whether the Quality Control (QC) terms in the RFQ’s we see rise to the level of “principles” or are better understood as “rules”, but I do know that more and more of our customers view them as rather “sacred”, and to be disregarded only at one’s peril of being non-compliant and risking non-payment of our invoices. To us here at Metfab Metals, this is a “paper” issue as we already have such a company-wide, almost genetic---or in our DNA----commitment to quality that guarantees our fabrications are spec-compliant. What we now need to be vigilant about is the recording of all the steps we follow to bring about this quality. We want you to know that we have worked for months to generate the Excel-based spreadsheets that allow us (and our new QC supervisor) to record (step by step) not just that we check quality and spec-compliance on a job-by-job basis, but also how we do this.  Only in this way can we satisfy the demanding specs of the larger jobs as well as our own production and accurate delivery needs of the smaller jobs.  

The bottom line is two-fold: (1) QC is now a function that all makers of products (as well as others) must have firmly established in-house for ALL jobs and (2) particular jobs have unique specs in this regard that control how we must execute and record all quality checks. We all must know what is now required and run our businesses to conform to what those requirements mandate specifically. The next step is reducing all of this to a manual for all your employees to consult as needed! [If you have not followed this issue carefully, there are many resources to update you. (2) ]

We here at Metfab Metals are even now seeing the implications of QC in fulfilling such things as requisitions,certifications, job-compliance and contractual schemes emanating from a new generation of project designers. These mandates directly affect your jobs and your right to payment for goods already delivered and accepted! And, in turn your profits! Even your ability to quote/bid contracts is limited often by the condition of detailed QC spec’d as an essential part of the project documents.

And don’t forget our continuing  offer:

We always will consult—for free--with our customers and their design teams from the project concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money.

Metfab Metals is now your one-stop source not only for quality custom and production Heavy-Gauge AND Light-Gauge metal parts, but also when your job requires a hard-to-find material, process or resource!

Call me.  

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. Admittedly, “Quality is Job One” is a proprietary marketing slogan long used by Ford Motor Company. This was back in the 1980’s when Ford sought to counter the seemingly-accurate claims made by Japanese car-makers that their “quality” was superior to American carmakers’ quality. These ads featured video shots of the actual auto-workers checking critical steps in the manufacturing/assembly process. But what we want to address here is not purely the “quality” issue, but rather the “quality control” issue and its minute recordation or record-making.

2. See, for example some of the specific steps involved in a rudimentary non-specific QC protocol, http://www.intouch-quality.com/news/fabricated-metal-inspection-procedures; and http:/www.gisceu.net/pdf (sets out many of the specifics you need to set up a good QC program).”


October, 2013 Newsletter


GREEN as “CODE”?;
GREEN is HERE already!
And Metfab Metals is ready for it!

Metfab Metals, LLC is proud to announce that we have added a new production and storage facility here in North Jersey, very close to the Geo Washington Bridge and all our major Interstate Highways (I-80, I-95, I-287, I-78)-----so we can deliver promptly all that we do for you.


  [UN Secretariat in GREEN rehab: picture courtesy of United Nations]

Look at what the New York Times reported matter-of-factly in talking about current architectural trends: (1)

“Today, most designers know to build green, when they can. And they know to try to make a public noise when they do. Green is chic; whether you’re designing a skyscraper or a children’s spoon. It sells.”

Yes, that is the compelling lesson to those of us in the construction industry, GREEN sells. But we could even say very accurately: GREEN has been sold----sold by concerned citizens and interested lobbies and to law-making bodies everywhere. But, in reality, it’s here. The bottom line is to know what GREEN requires and to run our businesses to conform to what it now requires and what else it will require soon as a matter law.

Of course, the idea that GREEN would become the new standard in construction has been fairly obvious to those of us that have read specs for major 21st century projects. Governments making GREEN an integral part of building codes is just the next “enviro” step architects have told us to anticipate---and prepare for!

If you have not followed this issue carefully, there are many resources to update you.(2) Look at what the City of Buffalo, New York is advertising as a solution to many of its urban woes (woes that are not uncommon in the larger cities of most states, as well as some of the smaller cities all of us already work in):

“The Green Code is a historic revision of Buffalo’s land use and zoning policies that will promote investment, facilitate job creation, and improve the environment. Work to create a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous community is already underway, spurred by residents in neighborhoods across the city. The Green Code is designed to support these efforts.

The first step in this process is a land use plan that will guide the city’s development over the next 20 years. The second step is a new zoning ordinance – the first in nearly six decades – that will promote investment by making the development process simple, transparent, and in line with the vision we share for our city.”(3)

GREEN as Code” is a phrase we are going to see in locality after locality.  Indeed, New York City has advanced the two-fold idea that a GREEN Code does not significantly increase initial costs and it enables lasting savings in energy, reduced carbon emissions, less building services needed and reduction of water consumption so that even any minimal increase of construction/rehab costs in the short term is offset with consistent larger savings over the long term.(4)

So, we here at Metfab Metals are even now seeing the implications of GREEN in fulfilling such things as LEED (5) certifications, identifying resources and suppliers that help to make our jobs LEED-compliant and looking at where these statutory schemes will lead this generation of project designers. These codes will affect your jobs! Your profits! Even your ability to quote/bid contracts when GREEN is spec’d as a design element of the project!

One last point should not be missed---and it was the closing note of the Times article we started with above. GREEN Codes may not just affect the way new buildings are built, but may determine whether a new building is built at all.

“So it’s worth keeping an eye on a project in Buffalo: Henry Hobson Richardson’s former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, the largest commission of that important 19th century American architect’s career. The New York architect Deborah Berke recently won a commission to adapt that hunkering sandstone complex of 11 buildings dating from 1870 into a hotel and conference center that can serve contemporary needs. A groundbreaking is scheduled for early next year.

It will be an interesting project to watch, given that the greenest buildings of all are the ones we never have to build.”(6) (emphasis added)

In other words, one of the major impacts of GREEN Codes may be that more buildings will be rehab’d or retro-fitted, rather than razed and a new structure put in its place. We here at Metfab Metals have already worked such major jobs, such as last year when we supplied the exterior AESS steel for the retro-fitting of the iconic United Nations Secretariat Building on the East River in New York City!
 Metfab Metals is uniquely experienced to supply the full array of fabricated metals needed for either new GREEN construction or other fabricated metals needed for the even GREENER jobs of retro-fitting existing structures. We’ve done many of both!

And don’t forget our continuing  offer:

We always will consult—for free--with our customers and their design teams from the project concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money---and now to earn LEED points!

Metfab Metals is now your one-stop source not only for quality custom and production Heavy-Gauge AND Light-Gauge metal parts, but also when your job requires a hard-to-find material, process or resource!


Call me.   We want to help!

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. New York Times, “Architecture in Tune With the Climate”, p.82, September 8, 2013.

2. See, for instance, www.urbangreencouncil.com which reported the list of GREEN mandates now in the New York City Building Codes. California has gone even further and implemented a whole array of GREEN initiatives as Code requirements. Title 24, Part 11 (CalGreen) Also, there is pressure coming from international bodies for municipal and state lawmakers to enact these stringent standards across the country. www.iccsafe.org/cs/Pages/PR.

3. See  www.buffalogreencode.com and all the useful information set out there.

4. See  www.urbangreencouncil.org/GreenCodes.

5. The USGBC or United States Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org/leed) defines this as follows:
LEED or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is transforming the way we think about how our buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe. Comprehensive and flexible, LEED is a green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies.

At its core, LEED is a program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Prerequisites and credits differ for each rating system, and teams choose the best fit for the project.

6. New York Times, “Architecture in Tune With the Climate”, p.82, September 8, 2013. (End of article)


September, 2013 Newsletter

METFAB METALS EXPANDS AGAIN!

Metfab Metals Report More Growth in Our Space and Capacities

Metfab Metals, LLC is proud to announce that we have added a new production and storage facility here in North Jersey, very close to the Geo Washington Bridge and all our major Interstate Highways (I-80, I-95, I-287, I-78)-----so we can deliver promptly all that we do for you.


 [Midland Park, NJ Satellite Shop--- before substantial improvements & upgrades]

Most months in this space we report new events, important developments, significant jobs, some other noteworthy issues, even milestones in our company, Metfab Metals, LLC. Look at just some of them in the last two years:

February, 2011
Fully Operational Light-Gauge Metal shop
September, 2011
Anchors for Memorial Pools at “Ground Zero”, NYC
March, 2012
Metfab Metals delivers AESS* BARS at “Ground Zero”, NYC
May, 2012
Brake Metal Advances
November, 2012
Metfab Metals continues to deliver despite Hurricane “Sandy”
December, 2012
Metfab Metals---Annual Growth Report

As this chart visually illustrates, we spent a lot of time talking about----and fabricating & supplying---AESS (1) this past year. But now we’d like to talk a little about the future----the future of the next twelve months of 2013, into 2014! We have a lot of 2013 work booked already, as well as orders we’ll still be delivering in 2014! We have these Purchase Orders as well as many “pending” active quotes on our computer screen in our proprietary quotation program. This all allows us to monitor evolving design specifications on jobs, change quotes accordingly and work with you, our customers, to bring them to reality at a fair price for what the design team ultimately requires.

Certainly, such metal fabrication in 2013 remains a competitive business, but we here at Metfab Metals have learned that it is a competition that is not, by its nature, solely price-driven. Rather it’s a business that pivots on value (2). Our customers come to know-----and expect from us-----true value, not a just a price-value, based solely on a “numbers game”. True value in construction (as it is always so much a function of time) is actually computed from a bevy of factors, including:

  1. a fair price;
  2. production/fabrication done well;
  3. timely, accurate deliveries;
  4. deliveries exclusively of fully spec-compliant parts, as ordered and designed;
  5. deliveries at one time, or in the increments needed/ specified;
  6. job-appropriate packing, shipping, handling & labeling for ease of identification and accurate installation; and
  7. consistent “timely, accurate deliveries“ without the proverbial “thousand” phone calls, emails, threats & excuses.

So that we can continue to again grow in 2014, as we have done now for almost thirty (30) years, here’s what else Metfab Metals can now do for our customers at the new Midland Park facility:

  • Provide space (under roof or outside) for your VMU’s
  • Give you temporary inside/outside storage;
  • Heavy Lifting Capacity (30-ton crane service for entire interior;
  • Capacity to Fabricate even larger AESS frames/parts/assemblies (as in NMAAHC);
  • Work better with you at the concept/design stages;
  • Produce parts “samples” or miniature scale models for your creative/unique projects; (and)
  • Remediate your non-conforming parts from other (some distant or foreign) suppliers;
  • Store off-site your trailers of supplies needed for later stages of work;
  • And more…………………..

We here at Metfab Metals ALWAYS deliver our products and services in full compliance with all the factors just enumerated. That’s it, pure & simple! If we do just that, all of our customers will get “true value” on every order, be it one for a few hundred dollars or millions. We approach all your orders with the same commitment----ALWAYS.

JOB UPDATES:

Columbia Univ., Manhattanville, NY-----Here we produced our standard Curtainwall Support Steel. We also built a pre-construction VMU (“Visual Mock-Up”), of all the exterior fabricated parts. This gave the owner, contractors and design professionals an opportunity to view the exterior’s appearance as it will look after the building is completed. This VMU service is especially well-suited to our customers with significant, unique and/or creatively-designed projects, as we did so successfully prior to construction of WTC4 at Ground Zero last year.

645 W.57th Street, NYC, NY
-----Here we supplied radiused tube steel assemblies for the exterior of this new residential high-rise. Take a look at this on GOOGLE as it resembles Pinocchio’s hat in appearance.

We always offer to work---FOR FREE---with our customers at the project concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money. Call me. Come in and talk about pre-construction fabrication concerns.


Call me.   

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. Our COO, Jim Murray, has been an integral part of early AESS projects, such as the BWI International Airport [Now BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport] (erected now almost 20 years ago) serving the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. Most simply put, AESSis Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, or finely-finished steel members (prepped, welded, filled, blasted, polished, and/or uniquely painted/finished) to be permanently open to the view and touch of all after the job is done. AESS work is never covered by sheetrock or otherwise hidden from public view. The BWI job consisted of an AESS ceiling ofstructural steel space frame members with threads, pipes and connections in plain view. These are still shining much like their original fabricated & installed condition! Since then, Jim has overseen a full spectrum of AESS jobs from the American Jewish Heritage Museum in Philadelphia, the unique roof ladder coverage of an interior courtyard at 51 Louisiana in Washington, DC and the Borgata Casino overhang in Atlantic City, NJ. In the last few years, we were one of the proud contractors at Ground Zero in NYC with huge solid AESS mullions at WTC4 , as well as at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine). These are even more unique and more striking examples of this evolving architectural artwork. We here at Metfab Metals are doing several AESS jobs right now in NYC. But we are perhaps most proud to have been selected to produce the AESS components., trusses and assemblies for the newest Smithsonian museum in Washington, the National Museum of African American History & Culture (“NMAAHC”).  We will report more in coming months about this truly creative interlocking exterior framework of super-finished support steel.  The extended parts we made for the PMU (“Performance Mock-Up”) have already been well-received by the demanding design team on this world-class very public building.

2. Warren Buffett, the legendary, super-successful investor often called the “Sage of Omaha”, observed that “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”


July/August, 2013 Newsletter

Metfab Metals---Our In-House Version of
“If You See Something, Say Something”


You have all seen the signs in airports, train stations, public buildings and other places.

“If You See Something, Say Something”

It’s so commonplace today, that we don’t re-read it every time we see it. We just KNOW what it means and many of us have followed its wise instruction. The lesson:  a random package lying around unattended could be a very dangerous thing. So---“Say Something” to someone who can respond right away!

Well, we don’t have such unattended dangerous packages here at Metfab Metals, but we have been following a similar simple idea daily in our business to avoid our own business dangers. Here, if one of our staff sees something simply “off” about your order, drawings, specs, even oral rush orders, he or she “says something”.  This is part and parcel of what has given us a truly-earned reputation for delivering assemblies, parts, items, products and miscellaneous steel that “fits”----in other words, “works” at the jobsite for the purposes you and the design team intended.

We here at Metfab Metals have a lot of “earned experience”, or better put as learned experience, at solving issues before they become installation or jobsite problems.  While we have been doing innovative fabrications for over 30 years (as well as tons of everyday basic parts), we see NEW challenges every week. Just as we have old (and proven reliable) tools from earlier eras (some are over 50 years old, but still very useful), we couldn’t fulfill today’s designs without real attention to every detail or without all our staff constantly empowered to challenge the design, fit, selection, details, even geometry of the fabrications seemingly ordered (but somehow “off”). Just as we are constantly updating our machinery, supplementing our computers & their programming, and getting our shop staff certified in new techniques, methods and machines, focus and attention to detail are even more indispensable. 

We have learned that the best way to truly “keep up” ------beyond just quoting and attracting unique jobs from creative owners, architects and engineers------is to always ”say something” before we simply (like robots, not the expert fabricators that we are) commence executing these orders. In this way, your parts will come out “right” and there can be no unexpected jobsite issues AND consequent delay!

Our focus here is always that we---you and Metfab Metals---are in the building business. Whether you are building/restoring high-rise housing, erecting/retro-fitting commercial and industrial structures or creating futuristic “solutions” in unique structures, steel will be essential.  Call us so we can help with any job or questions you have. Parts will need to be “fabricated”. We can do anything that is spec’d, even the most unique shapes, welds, finishes---and more!

We always offer to work with our customers from the job concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money.

JOB UPDATES:

 

 

National Museaum Of Affrican History & Culture ("NMAAHC"), Washington, D.C. ---- Our fabrication work for the “Performance Mock-Up” (“PMU”) is done and looks A-OK. Now the design team of this unique structure is testing it from a performance vantage point. This is going to be a water-shed job of our AESS (1) skills. The job fabrication aspect of our contract should commence shortly here. Look in this space for further updates as this landmark work progresses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Building. Miramar, Florida ---- Phase #1 of this AESS (2) tube steel “fabrication & finish” work is done and accepted. We are now into Phase #2 of this demanding paint spec----3-part high-performance metallic paint. Look at the finish pictured here!  

 

 

 

 

City University of New York.NYC, NY (Manhattan ---- Here again, we are providing our customer with yard space to erect the pre-construction Visual Mock-Up” (“VMU”) so the job’s design team can come here and see the various installed glass panels, caulking, shadow boxes, and other issues in a 3-storey structure we fabricated to actual size to demo the differences each projects. As with prior VMU’s we have done, this “model” can even be lifted by a crane at various points in the day (to reflect its actual appearance as the Sun travels across the heavens).

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (“CHOP”).Philadelphia, PA----- We are now in production for this curtainwall support steel for another long-term customer. This is an example of the standard types of parts we put out every day while also fulfilling truly challenging specs.

Columbia University Dormitories. NYC, NY-----These are also going up right in the middle of Manhattan as we supply more AESS (3) parts for their exteriors. Look for pix and further reports on this developing project as it goes along. 

Metfab Metals, LLC has decades of experience meeting your specs, making adjustments, then making these parts right and making YOUR jobs go smoothly, on time, and end successfully!

Watch for our future Info/CC’s/Updates after all our Newsletters in direct emails to you and your project managers. Join our Email list if you haven’t already! Put all your Project Managers on it too so they can see this timely  informative info too.


Call me for all your METALS questions. If I can't answer it. I have
all the needed "sources" to do so right away.   

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. For those still unfamiliar with this acronym, AESS is Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, and is finely-finished steel members (prepped, welded, filled, blasted, polished, and/or uniquely painted/finished) to be permanently open to the view and touch of all after the job is done. AESS work is never covered by sheetrock or otherwise hidden from public view. Our COO, Jim Murray, has been an integral part of early AESS projects, such as the BWI International Airport [Now BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport] (erected well over a decade ago) serving the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. There you can see the structural steel space frame ceiling with its threads, pipes and connections in plain view-------- and still shining like its original fabricated & installed condition! Since then, Jim has overseen AESS jobs as varied as the American Jewish Heritage Museum a few years back in Philadelphia and the unique roof ladder coverage of an interior courtyard at 51 Louisiana in Washington, DC or the Borgata Casino overhang in Atlantic City, NJ. WTC4 (at the restored Ground Zero in NYC) and VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine) are even grander and more striking examples of this evolving art form and architectural esthetics at which Metfab Metals is proud to have done the AESS components.

2. While the basic step in AESS work is the preparation of the surface of the fabricated steel parts, a later essential component is the finish which may vary from bare steel to Space Age paint applications

3. AESS finishes for aesthetic/design reasons to remain open to the full view of the public for decades to come.


NOW, as in all the past decades of our company, you can truly
count on Metfab Metals for full value for the price you pay.
This is still our pledge and our commitment to all our customers again in 2013.


May/June, 2013 Newsletter

Metfab Metals---Facing New Challenges Daily and Improvising to Meet Them!

[Picture of NMAAHC Truss]    [Pic of Florida slotted tube]

While we at Metfab Metals have been doing innovative fabrications for over 30 years, we see new challenges every week. While we have old (and reliable) tools from earlier eras (some are over 50 years old), we couldn’t fulfill today’s designs without updating our machinery constantly, supplementing our computers & their programming, and getting our shop staff certified in new techniques, methods and machines. In earlier messages to you, we have reported  how we follow our business competitors and the trends in our industry. But the best way to “keep up” is to keep quoting and attracting unique jobs from creative owners, architects and engineers.

The pictures above speak volumes of the “challenges” that we have seen in recent months.  Whether it’s the huge truss for the PMU for a museum or huge slotted tubes for a federal building or superaigtened 50’ solid AESS columns for an iconic lobby podium, no fabricator was asked to make these just 20 years ago. And no fabricator could have produced these unique fabrications---on the schedule required and documented as needed.

Nor was anyone asked to “finish” these or fully conceal welds or “mic” them to the tiny tolerances now demanded-----at least until VERY recent years!  We have written before that we are experts in AESS steel-------------finished steel parts/assemblies that simply are made to look very little like STEEL and  more like a smooth plastic extrusion. (1)

We here at Metfab Metals are always ramping up to meet any need your job and its drawings call for. Our focus here is that we---you and Metfab Metals ---are in the building business. Whether you are building/restoring high-rise housing, erecting/retro-fitting commercial and industrial structures or creating futuristic “solutions” in unique structures, steel will be essential.  Call us so we can help with any job or  questions you have as to what has to be “fabricated”. We can do anything that is spec’d, even the most unique welds, shapes, finishes----and more!
 
Metfab Metals, LLC has decades of experience meeting your specs, making adjustments, then making these parts right and making YOUR jobs go smoothly, on time, and end successfully!

Call us; you’ll soon see what we have written here is what helps there. 


Watch for our future InfoCC’s/updates after all our Newsletters in direct emails to you and your project managers. Join our Email list if you haven’t already! Put all your Project Managers on it too so they can see this informative info too.

Call me for all your METALS questions. If I can't answer it. I have
all the needed "sources" to do so right away.   

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. Look at our Newsletters from September, 2012 to December, 2012 posted under “News” on our website at www.metfabmetals.com.


March/April, 2013 Newsletter

Metfab Metals---Committed to Transparency!

"A mediocre person tells. -- A good person explains. -- A superior person demonstrates. -- A great person inspires others to see for themselves." -- Harvey Mackay, noted entrepreneur & successful business author.

The metalwork we do here at Metfab Metals (as above)  is never “mediocre”; is always “good”; regularly “superior”; and often we are told it’s “great”. But we cannot always be perfectly perceptive, even in our own industry, so we can and do follow our business colleagues, even competitors, and we do watch the trends in our business and even the broader building industry. The future truly does belong to the “informed”, not to the guys who cling to old processes & procedures saying repeatedly that “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” [Without the new “processes”, we couldn’t make the AESS parts (above) that are now going into a new federal building in Florida.]

The future of building----and, in the short term, building BIG jobs----is going to involve 3-D CAD, electronic document transmissions, BIM, mandatory QC/QA programs, transparency about all issues, and (in fabrication shops) quick turn-arounds, CNC, on-site plasma cutting, AESS, seamless welding, and much, much more.

 We here at Metfab Metals will not be left behind. We are putting our proverbial “money where our mouth is”. We have all the above already and are open to any other future cyber-development, shop innovation or process adjustment that will help us to serve our customers better. For further info on what’s coming to the larger jobs, see US Glass magazine, April, 2013, “Intangible Tools” where reps of three of our customers (Brian O’Connell and Mic Patterson of Enclos and Ed Zaucha, president of APG International and Jim Mitchell, president of Gamma Windows & Walls Canada) commented at length on the newest tech tools to be found on jobsites and for deliveries to jobs. These “tools” include Site Webcams, Cloud Computing, GPS Tags, RFID, Total Station Surveys and more.  For example, Brian O’Connell of Enclos talked of their current use of jobsite webcams:

“Some webcams give you the ability to select a date from the past to investigate the historical sequence of progress. This has been helpful in updating schedules and, in some cases, resolving disputes with the general contractor as to our progress or documenting occurrences that have impeded our progress.”        (page 28, US Glass magazine, April, 2013, “Intangible Tools”)

We at Metfab Metals are already updating our electronics to accommodate all of these innovations and learning how we can integrate our information into these job-tracking improvements.

Now, this is not an unselfish action on our part; it’s BUSINESS, pure & simple, in 21st century style. We can “tell” you, and “explain” to you, even “demonstrate” to you how what we have already done----as well as what’s coming----will help all of us deliver a better job, faster and on time, and at cost savings. Maybe right now, we are even “inspiring” you to join us to advance technological progress at the jobsite---and before. This should be good for us---and YOU---and all of our customers.

We here at Metfab Metals will never produce every part of a project and cannot be involved in every aspect of a project, but we are very often an early, essential, participating part of your projects----and will be. With the integration of the above technology, many suppliers and fabricators (including all of us here at Metfab Metals) can now demonstrate that communication, transparency, cooperation, equipment-updating and electronic coordination in these fabrications----from the very start----cannot be over-done or overessed and that the end results are our specialty parts arriving at your jobsite in installation condition, and as designed. 

Metfab Metals, LLC has decades of experience meeting your specs, making adjustments, then making these parts right and making YOUR jobs go smoothly, on time, and end successfully!

Call us; you’ll soon see what we have written here is what helps there. 


Watch for our future InfoCC’s/updates after all our Newsletters in direct emails to you and your project managers. Join our Email list if you haven’t already! Put all your Project Managers on it too so they can see this informative info too.

Call me for all your METALS questions. If I can't answer it. I have
all the needed "sources" to do so right away.   

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


We always offer to work with our customers from the job concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money.


February, 2013 Newsletter

Metfab Metals Also Can Help You in the Design Stage!

[Typical parts drawing, with some of our markings suggesting needed changes]

The father of the “Atomic Age” once said something that might well apply to our entire building industry. This was simply:

“A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” ---   Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

While we here at Metfab Metals will not even attempt to say that we have any “Einsteins” working on our staff, we do have a whole staff full of men and women who have considerable expertise in metals and metals fabrication—and know how to follow closely the details of a project drawing and its accompanying specs. But not every order has such detailed drawings/specs---at least not at the early stages. But you guys know that!

This mantra should guide us all to better results from the design stage through the final “completion” of the project itself. For six (6) years in these Newsletters, we here at Metfab Metals have projected our own capacities, advances and systems to deliver as ordered! This is “what is”; we never try to do our own “what (we) think should be”, with one critical exception

And that exception is what we want to tell you about today. We here at Metfab Metals have made and commented on whatever the customer’s metal fabrication plans required----or seemed to require! Whether it is AESS (1) or Major Mullions or stone anchors, or trusses or whatever other specialty metals products were specified. But we also regularly try to keep you abreast of what we have learned of new developments in our industry. But what is the single-most crucial thing we have learned? This single point might well be as important as even our three decades of knowledge of metal fabrication itself.

What is this “what is” (as Einstein said)? It is our commitment to LOOK at your plan(s) ASAP to see where we can “help”.

How so, you ask!
         
Well, it’s actually as simple as “what is”, not “what you (the customer or the design team) think should be.” This is also so for a truly simple reason. Sometimes what is in the dream or the hope or the drawn plan of the design team is not “squarely” there, for as we know “the devil is in the details”. (2)

But what does this mean to you, our customers, and to us here in this fabrication shop at Metfab Metals ? It means simply that the sum total and all we most often have from you are these plans (paper or electronic) from which to learn what you want.  We can just execute those as drawn----------------but is that what you truly want from an expert  fabrication shop? Don’t you really want more-----more insight, more review, more expertise, more searching for indeed “the devil is in the details”? We actually study what you give us!
 
Why? Well, first we have to generate a quote from it in detail. Why then do we adjust, learn, upgrade and, most importantly, understand. WHY? Another simple reason----the end result we are all looking for is a beautiful job, beautifully executed----with not ONE dreaded “change order”! Agree? I think so.

In this way, Metfab Metals has shown, and will continue to show, that we are “team players” who want to be part of your regular  building team, even work with the design team, of YOUR jobs so that together we can deliver truly fine results-----every time.

Call us; you’ll soon see what we have written here is what helps there. 


Call me for all your METALS questions. If I can't answer it. I have
all the needed "sources" to do so right away.   

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


1. AESS, or Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, is what we have now literature as finely repeated many (to some of you regular readers TOO MANY) times in our -finished steel members (prepped, welded, filled, blasted, polished, and/or uniquely painted/finished) to be permanently open to the view and touch of all after the job is done. AESS work is never covered by sheetrock or otherwise hidden from public view.

2. This shorthand is a real truism meaning there is often a catch or a mysterious element hidden in the details per  legendary German-born architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1929) who is most often credited with this coinage. You may recall that he also designed the Seagram Building in NYC as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in “less is more”” too. So he knew where the “devils” were for contractors trying to follow plans to a “T”.


January, 2013 Newsletter

Metfab Metals
Into the “Information Age”---another ”Solution”

Most months for more than five (5) years in these Newsletters, we talked briefly (or not so briefly at times!) about our capacities, our advances and our systems----all so we can deliver better for you!

Rendering of the coming New WTC Site at Ground Zero, courtesy of Silverstein Properties.]

We here at Metfab Metals have made and commented on whatever the  customer’s metal fabrication plans required (as we are doing at the above new WTC): AESS (1) to Major Mullions to huge stone anchors, trusses and many other specialty metals products. (2) We reported some industry information, referred you to other sources (3) and tried to keep you abreast of what we are doing and what we have learned of new developments in our industry. But what have we learned? [And hopefully you have learned along with us!] Simply put, that we in this 21st century are truly now are fully into the “Information Age” (4) where our mutual information at critical points might well be as important as even our long-term knowledge of metal fabrication itself.

But what does this mean to you, our customers, and to us here in this fabrication shop at Metfab Metals ? It means we all have to adjust, learn, upgrade and, most importantly, understand. WHY? Because, if we don’t, the world will pass us by and each of our businesses will become like that “buggy whip” manufacturer a century back (at the cusp of the Industrial Age) who couldn’t adjust and did not understand that those “horseless carriages” were the death-knell of his prosperity! So what are we here at Metfab Metals  going to do? We are going to “adjust, learn, upgrade and, most importantly, understand”. And we are going to prove it RIGHT HERE.

These Newsletters are just not the entire scope of  21st century media to get our true message out to you.  Almost fifty years ago,  a “hippie” guru said “the medium IS the message”. (5) That’s pretty close to what we have learned and now will implement so that, together, we can all make better “transparency”,  better parts, better buildings and better records of how we did it all. This will lead, as it has done in Silicon Valley, to better profits---for everyone in this industry.

Here, we will continue to regularly post these Newsletters and disseminate these to all of you on our email database. But then we are going to do more. Not more marketing (indeed we will send emails with NO MARKETING), but more sharing (as BIM (6) tells us to do to make the building process better—for ALL involved). We are going to email all of you (who will open them or get your IT Departments NOT to block these or exclude them by server filters) educational and informational articles, kinda like “infomercials” without the sales pitch. Topics like BIM, STEM, CAD 3-D, Contractor Transparency, VMU’s, and more will be the “stuff” of these “informational” 21st century missives.

In this way, Metfab Metals has shown, and will show, that we are “team players” who want to be part of your regular  building team, even the design team, of YOUR jobs so that together we can deliver truly fine products to become integral parts of truly memorable and lasting buildings.

Metfab Metals has decades of experience making these parts and making YOUR jobs go smoothly and end successfully! Call us; you’ll soon see what we have written here is what happens there.  

Metfab Metals, LLC has decades of experience meeting your specs, making adjustments, then making these parts right and making YOUR jobs go smoothly, on time, and end successfully!


Watch for our future Infomercial updates after all our Newsletters in direct emails to you and your project managers.

Call me for all your METALS questions. If I can't answer it. I have
all the needed "sources" to do so right away.   

Jim Murray, C.O.O.  973-675-7676    jim@metfabmetals.com


We always offer to work with our customers from the job concept stage to anticipate issues before fabrication, to suggest better ways to order, extrude, cut, drill, paint, finish, even stage and deliver and always to save time and money.


1. AESS, or Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, is what we have now literature as finely repeated many (to some of you regular readers TOO MANY) times in our -finished steel members (prepped, welded, filled, blasted, polished, and/or uniquely painted/finished) to be permanently open to the view and touch of all after the job is done. AESS work is never covered by sheetrock or otherwise hidden from public view.

2. See listing in our September, 2012 Newsletter at “News” on www.metfabmetals.com.

3. See, e.g., our suggestion that you get a VERY useful Canadian Manual at CISC (at www.cisc-icca.ca/files/publications/techpubs/codes/AESS/AESSGuide2E.pdf) on all the details about grades of AESS. www.metfabmetals.com Newsletter, September, 2012.

4. A phrase coined now years ago to cover the period roughly from 1970 to the present when computers have become ever more indispensable. See ”Moore’s Law” coined about 1970. Alternately, this same time period and the related instantaneous exchange of information of all types has been called the Computer Age or Digital Age. It is now routinely referred to as a unique epoch of history with impacts everywhere around the globe, not unlike the prior “Industrial Age”.

5. Per Marshall McLuhan in the ‘60’s. See his book, “The Medium is the Massage, an Inventory of Effects” (Bantam Books 1967), itself a play on words, confusing message and massage and playing off   message against massage!

6. See our recent Newsletters on our website at www.metfabmetals,com.


Click HERE for news from 2012

Click HERE for news from 2011

Click HERE for news from 2010

Click HERE for news from 2009

Click HERE for news from 2008

Click HERE for news from 2006 and 2007