Any metal fabricator worth pursuing as a partner will do everything in its power to highlight what makes it a suitable fit. Frequently, part of that “pitch” is explaining unique facets of the business that might make it a more enticing choice over the competition. Few metal fabrication outfits can boast an in-house powder coating operation like Badger Sheet Metal Works (BSMW).
There are several reasons for this. The initial investment in powder coating equipment and staff is significant, and some metal fabricators may be intimidated by the training and skill required to do it well. Any mistakes made can revert a project all the way back to the start of the fabrication process!
BSMW made the decision to clear those hurdles, and our customers are better off because of it. As you’ll see below, there is a lot to like about BSMW’s ability to keep the whole job under its own roof.
Better quality is the number one advantage of in-house powder coating. BSMW’s project managers can oversee orders from beginning to end and work closely with the quality control team to ensure consistent standards are met during all stages of fabrication and finishing.
Parts can also be damaged during shipment to and from the powder coating vendor, and subcontractors sometimes lack the expertise to meet certain customer specifications, which can result in a setback in lead time. Dirt or debris in the powder or lack of coverage are both tell-tale characteristics of a coating that had to be outsourced. The powder coaters who work at BSMW are trained to identify these flaws during routine inspection. Quality concerns are immediately addressed without any lost time in production.
By controlling all aspects of a project, BSMW can deliver a more accurate estimate as well as aggressive pricing. In addition, the expensive transportation costs that come with outsourcing are eliminated.
Shorter Lead Times
If a subcontractor is needed to finish a part, the company is no longer in total control of a project’s timeline. And unfortunately, outside vendors aren’t focused solely on the work of a single fabricator.
The effect can be significant. Transport time alone can considerably lengthen lead time. In some cases, it can take weeks for parts to return to the shop floor.
Projects at BSMW go straight from laser cutting to machining to bending to welding fabrication and on to powder coating, all while staying under one roof. By not needing to outsource powder coating services, BSMW can schedule the finishing as soon as the fabrication is complete, with a final inspection to follow close behind. The average project turnaround time at BSMW is just four weeks for weld fabricated parts with powder coating and even shorter for laser/powder and laser/form/powder parts.
More Efficient Communication
If powder coating services have to be outsourced, communication can also become a problem. The fabricator suddenly becomes a middleman, trying to coordinate the service between the customer and third-party vendor. In contrast, in-house powder coating services at BSMW allow for direct communication between workers, project managers, and the customer. This facilitates clearer direction and timely, accurate updates on progress.
BSMW’s on-site powder coating gives it flexibility to handle the demands of a small run that needs to be completed on a very tight schedule. Should a mistake, design change or other unforeseen issue arise, BSMW’s in-house capabilities can prevent days of delay by allowing for parts to be coated, assembled and shipped far more quickly than if a third-party vendor had to be involved.
Want to talk more about the benefits of BSMW’s in-house powder coating?
About Badger Sheet Metal Works
Badger Sheet Metal Works is a custom and OEM metal fabrication partner for various industries, including food and dairy, mining, petroleum, material handling, and architecture. The company employs approximately 100 people in a custom-designed plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The facility includes a 70 by 320-foot main assembly bay with four crane rails featuring a total lifting capacity of 30 tons and a 22-foot under-hook height.