Pittsburgh Brands


Alcoa, first incorporated as the Pittsburgh Reduction Company in 1888, started small, providing aluminum for the manufacture of utensils.

By 1891, it had secured the backing of the Mellon family, outgrown its original facility on Smallman Street in the Strip District and moved its operations north to New Kensington. In 1907, it changed its name to the Aluminum Company of America, but adopted the Alcoa name just three years later.

  • In 1889. The company developed an aluminum tea kettle to pique the interest of cookware manufacturers.
  • In 1910, the company introduced aluminum foil to grateful at-home chefs around the world.
  • Alcoa’s invention in 1962: pull tab rings on aluminum cans. Alcoa first used the tabs on the Pittsburgh Brewing Company’s Iron City beer.
  • Alcoa aluminum was used in the Apollo 11 landing module Eagle, which landed on the moon in July 1969. Aluminum usage is rapidly increasing today in the automotive and aerospace industries due to its light weight, alloy strengths, formability and corrosion resistance.
  • Over the years, Alcoa has made substantial grants to the Pittsburgh area through the Alcoa Foundation. Typically, between $30 million to $40 million (per year) was donated to various worthy causes,. “There was a strong sense of obligation to support the communities where we were based and where we operate.”


Founded in the Rhine River valley, the pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical conglomerate Bayer was almost a century old when it first put a footprint in Pittsburgh in 1958 as Mobay Chemical, a joint venture with Monsanto, marketing polyurethane.

Two years later, Bayer opened its campus on the Parkway West in Robinson Township, which soon became the global corporation’s North American headquarters. Known for a time as Miles Laboratories.

  • Friedrich Bayer founded the company in 1863, using the coal tar created during coke manufacturing to make synthetic dyes, which he sold to a growing textile market.
  • At the beginning of the 20th century, Bayer’s chemists synthesized and trademarked two famous drugs: aspirin and heroin (which was marketed for decades as a non-addictive cough syrup.)
  • Bayer succeeded Alcoa as sponsor of the giant Pittsburgh sign on Mount Washington.
  • Gerhard Domagk won the Nobel Prize in 1939 for discovering that sulfa drugs could stop infection.
  • Bayer launched a bid to buy Monsanto, its former Mobay Chemical business partner, to create an agricultural titan combining Bayer’s pesticides and Monsanto’s seeds.


David L. Clark: founded the D.L. Clark Company in 1886 in a row house on the North Side, initially selling his confections on the street. The brand, and the company, took off during the following decades.

While the NECCO company purchased Clark in 1999, Pittsburgh maintains a taste for Clark Bars. “It still has a huge following in western Pennsylvania,” says Michael McGee, president and CEO of Necco. “That is still its geographic home.”

Clark’s legacy isn’t limited to the bar bearing the company name. Among the company’s many other confectionery inventions was the Zagnut bar, still manufactured today by Hershey.

  •  At the North Side location where the D.L. Clark Company was founded. The building at 528 E. Ohio St. (which was rebuilt in 1910 but stands on the spot of the original Clark site) now houses Priory Fine Pastries.
  • The famous Clark sign, which spelled out the letters in the chocolate bar’s name at night Clark Bar & Grill; it’s visible from Reedsdale Street.
  • Predating the “fun size” varieties of candy bars found especially around Halloween, Clark began manufacturing a 5-cent version of its signature bar, which was wrapped individually. Originally crafted for soldiers during World War I.


One of the world’s biggest food brands began in 1860 in Sharpsburg, where 16-year-old Henry J. Heinz.

Heinz added ketchup, sauerkraut, vinegar, pickles and dozens of other items to the product portfolio, but he stuck with “57 varieties” as a slogan because he liked the sound of that number.

Heinz was a master of promotion, not only with the pickle pins he introduced at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, but also with a giant Heinz pickle made of green light bulbs that was one of the first electric signs in Manhattan. Heinz always used clear glass bottles to emphasize the quality of his products and was a vocal advocate of federal regulations that became the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

Investors led by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital paid $23 billion for the company in 2013, then merged it with another grocery last year to create Kraft Heinz. The corporation employs approximately 700 in Pittsburgh, which shares co-headquarters status with Chicago.

  • Heinz sells 650 million bottles of ketchup every year. Most of the ketchup is made at the company’s plant in Fremont, Ohio, near Toledo.
  • Heinz’s grandson, H.J. “Jack” Heinz, led efforts to create Downtown’s Cultural District, beginning with the renovation of the Loew’s Penn Theatre, now Heinz Hall.
  • Great-grandson John Heinz was serving his third term in the U.S. Senate when he was killed in 1991 in a plane crash near Philadelphia. Pittsburgh’s Sen. John Heinz History Center is named in his honor.


Kennametal is the largest manufacturer of metal cutting tools in the United States, the second largest manufacturer worldwide, and the company also makes mining and construction tools.

Kennametal long has been a keystone of Pittsburgh’s industrial fabric, the company’s public profile generally has remained relatively quiet. One exception to that: The company’s signage graced PNC Park from 2001 to 2015, with a Kennametal “K” posted along the upper deck of the left-field line every time a Pirates’ pitcher recorded a strikeout during a home game.

  • In 1938 when it was founded in Latrobe as the McKenna Metals Company. Founder Philip M. McKenna crafted a tungsten-titanium alloy for cutting tools,  a significant breakthrough in efficiency and strength in machining steel. The name changed to Kennametal Inc. upon the company’s incorporation in 1943.
  • Mining was as important to eastern Pennsylvania as steel was to the western part of the state for much of the 20th century. After the end of the war, Kennametal focused on mining applications for its materials; the company was pivotal in the invention of the continuous mining machine.
  • One iconic brand moved into the digs known for another in 2015, when Kennametal moved its global headquarters to the U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown.
  • The small town of Latrobe remains a part of the global brand today, hosting the company’s corporate center and technology facility.


PPG, the most visible symbol of the company is all glass, the castle-esque PPG Place complex Downtown, the company’s business now is focused on coatings and paints.

Brightly painted Southwest jets, vivid green John Deere tractors and gleaming construction equipment are as memorable as they are thanks to PPG’s coatings. Another PPG innovation; Electrocoat puts an electronic charge into the coating while it’s being applied to the car, which allows the coating to adhere to the body more effectively, thus decreasing the risk of corrosion.

PPG’s global reach (it operates in more than 70 countries) it remains a major presence in the region, with headquarters Downtown and facilities in Allison Park, Monroeville, Springdale and Cranberry Township.

  • Founded by John Pitcairn and John B. Ford in 1883, the original Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. manufactured large panes of glass. As the company diversified in the 1900’s, the name was changed to PPG Industries, symbolically represented the rising prominence of paint among the company’s offerings.
  • PPG introduced Herculite tempered glass in the 1930s. The product, still on the market today, is many times stronger and more shatter-resistant than plate glass.
  • Pittsburgh’s green-energy focus isn’t a 21st-century development. When demand for solar energy first rose in the 1970s, PPG created the first flat-plate solar collector.
  • Also among PPG’s glass innovations: Transitions eyeglass lenses, which automatically darken in sunlight to block UV rays. They were introduced in the 1990s.
  • With 98 percent of PPG’s business now in the coatings and paint sectors, the company’s products brands such as Glidden, Olympic and PPG Paints.


The H.J. Heinz Company, Pittsburgh’s most iconic foodmaker, bought the fish processor in 1962 and moved the company to Pittsburgh at the turn of this century.

Pittsburgh has been fortunate to be the home of many iconic brands, and StarKist is an important member of our corporate community here.

  • Despite being a Heinz-owned company since 1963, the company didn’t relocate StarKist’s headquarters to the North Side until 2000. It’s since been sold twice, to Del Monte in 2002 and Korean company Dongwon in 2008.
  • The North Shore, has the giant, cartoon Charlie the Tuna has graced StarKist headquarters only since 2010.


Landmarks, buildings and bridges from coast to coast have been constructed with the company’s products for more than a century. Created on the bones of seven previous companies (including Andrew Carnegie’s Carnegie Steel Company).

Diversification in the 1980s led to a name change, as U.S. Steel temporarily became a subsidiary of the larger USX corporation; a restructuring in the early 2000s did away with that brand, and the company’s facilities and landmarks in the area (such as the iconic U.S. Steel Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh).

The Steel City can’t boast the number of mills and steelworkers it did at one time, the company’s bustling Mon Valley Works operations in Clairton, Braddock and West Mifflin keep the region’s industrial heritage alive; between those facilities and the company’s headquarters and research centers, more than 4,000 people in the Pittsburgh area work for U.S. Steel.

  • When it was built, the U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown, was the tallest building between New York and Chicago, at 841 feet.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers logo is an adaptation of the Steelmark logo created by U.S. Steel in 1960. U.S. Steel eventually turned over the rights to the logo to the American Iron and Steel Institute; the Steelers petitioned the institute to allow them to change “Steel” to “Steelers” inside the emblem.
  • Upon its incorporation in 1901, U.S. Steel became the largest business enterprise in the history of the world. The new company was valued at $1.4 billion.


Supplied American and global consumer markets with home appliances for decades; a Westinghouse pressurized water reactor powered America’s first commercial nuclear power plant in Shippingport.

From train signals and switches to natural gas drilling and pipelines to electrical power generation, securing more than 300 patents for Westinghouse and creating a global brand that still represents innovation and technology more than a century.

The corporation doubled down on its broadcasting background in the 1990s, selling off its industrial businesses and buying CBS. But Westinghouse Electric Company remains in Cranberry Township, now owned by Toshiba and employing close to 4,000 people in the region; the company keeps light bulbs shining with the technology behind approximately half of the world’s nuclear power plants.

  • KDKA went live Nov. 2, 1920, delivering election returns to become the world’s first commercial radio broadcast. The next year, the station would be first to broadcast a game of baseball (Pirates over Phillies 8-5) and college football (Pitt 21, West Virginia 13).
  • The company’s experimental “Atom smasheR” in Forest Hills, built in 1937 and shaped like a giant light bulb, was taken down last year.






Pittsburgh Railways

Image result for original trolleys in pittsburgh Image result for different versions of pittsburgh trolleys

Pittsburgh Railways was one of the predecessors of the Port Authority of Allegheny County. It had 666 PCC cars, the third largest fleet in North America (after Toronto (745) and Chicago (683)). It had 68 street car routes.

Trolleys were the main form of transportation in Pittsburgh for over 100 years. The tracks of the West End Traction Company, Southern Traction Company, Monongahela Railways Company, Pittsburgh Railway Company and finally the Port Authority of Allegheny County, ran just about everywhere throughout the city and to the suburbs beyond. At the peak of the rail era, there were nearly 60,000 miles of track. Now only a few routes remain, using the new “T” light rail system.

The rail network is still a convenient way to get around town, although they are no longer visible to pedestrians on the downtown streets. The tracks are now beneath the surface in the subway. (where service is free of charge).

Port Authority of Allegheny County (also known as the Port Authority and formerly as Port Authority Transit (PAT) and PATransit) is the second-largest public transit agency in Pennsylvania and the 26th-largest in the United States. The county-owned, state-funded agency is based in Pittsburgh and is overseen by a CEO and a nine-member board of unpaid volunteer directors, who are appointed by the county executive and approved by the county council.

In October 1981, the Port Authority began construction on its first “modern” light rail/subway service, the “T”, which used an old trolley route to connect Downtown Pittsburgh to the South Hills Village area. The “T” began operating in 1987 over the “Beechview” line. This was a former streetcar line that had been rehabilitated to accommodate light rail vehicles. This line was reconstructed (being completely double tracked) and routed from the South Hills Junction through the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel, emerging at a newly constructed station at Station Square before crossing the Monongahela river on the Panhandle Bridge (a former railway bridge), which then led into a newly built downtown (cut and cover tunnel) subway with four stations, which incorporated the nineteenth century Pittsburgh & Steubenville Extension Railroad Tunnel. The original subway branched north of Steel Plaza, with one branch heading west to Wood Street and one branch heading east to Penn Station. Upon completion of the subway, all former streetcar lines were removed from the surface streets of Downtown Pittsburgh. The First Avenue station was added in 2001 service to Penn Station was suspended later that decade.

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Red Line

(formerly the 42S South Hills Village via Beechview) is a line on the Pittsburgh Light Rail system that runs between South Hills Village and Downtown Pittsburgh via the Beechview neighborhood.

Blue Line – Library

Blue Line – South Hills Village

(formerly the 47L Library via Overbrook route) is a Pittsburgh Light Rail line that runs between Downtown Pittsburgh via the Overbrook neighborhood to Library and South Hills Village (formerly 47S South Hills Village via Overbrook). The 44S was discontinued when the Palm Garden Bridge re-opened, in favor of the 42C.

Brown Line

(formerly route 52Allentown) was a branch of the Pittsburgh Light Rail system that ran from South Hills Junction over Mount Washington and across the Monongahela River to downtown Pittsburgh, terminating at Gateway Center. It included the steepest grade of any section of the Pittsburgh light rail system,




𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗶𝘁𝘁𝘀𝗯𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗵 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗧𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗧𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗮

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𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒆?
Pittsburgh Steelers (founded 1933-Present by Art Rooney) nickname: Originally named Pirates after the city’s major league baseball team, Owner Art Rooney Sr. changed the team name to Steelers in 1940 to more properly represent the city’s dominant steel industry.Jul 31, 2002
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒚𝒎𝒃𝒐𝒍 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒎𝒆𝒕?
The logo’s meaning is to represent the three materials used to produce steel:
𝘆𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗼𝗿: 𝗰𝗼𝗮𝗹
𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿: 𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗿𝗲
𝗯𝗹𝘂𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿: 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗽
Back in the early ’60s, the Steelers had to petition AISI in order to change the word “Steel” inside the Steelmark to “Steelers” before the logo was complete.
𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒐 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒎𝒆𝒕?
The Steelers are the only NFL team that puts its logo on only one side of the helmet (the right side). Longtime field and equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to do this by Art Rooney as a test to see how the logo appeared on the gold helmets; however, its popularity led the team to leave it that way permanently.
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒚𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔?
Steve Shorthouse, Color Marketing Manager for PPG Pittsburgh Paints says the “gold” Pantone color of the official Steelers’ logo to the PPG Pittsburgh Paints swatches, the PPG paint color most closely matching the official Steelers’ logo is called “Fall Gold #117-7.”
 𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒚𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑵𝑭𝑳 𝑯𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒇 𝑭𝒂𝒎𝒆?
In 1963, Johnny “Blood” McNally became the first Pittsburgh Steelers player inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒅?
The Pittsburgh Steelers struggled through their first decade of existence. It wasn’t until 1942, under the leadership of head coach Walt Kiesling, that they finally posted a winning record, finishing the season 7-4.
𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒅?
The Pittsburgh Steelers struggled through their first decade of existence. It wasn’t until 1942, under the leadership of head coach Walt Kiesling, that they finally posted a winning record, finishing the season 7-4.
𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 1𝒔𝒕 𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒑𝒊𝒄𝒌 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 1970 𝑵𝑭𝑳 𝒅𝒓𝒂𝒇𝒕?
The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Louisiana Tech quarterback Terry Bradshaw with the 1st overall pick of the 1970 NFL draft.
Bradshaw would go on to become the first quarterback to lead his team to four Super Bowl victories (1975-76 & 1979-80). He retired after the 1983 season with 27,989 career passing yards, 212 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 70.9. Terry Bradshaw was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989,
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒆𝒑𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝑴𝒆𝒍 𝑩𝒍𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒂 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒐𝒏?
In 1975, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Mel Blount set a single-season team record with 11 interceptions.
𝑾𝒉𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒂 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒆-𝒈𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝑵𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 10, 2002?
On November 10, 2002, in a game against the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress set a team record for single-game receiving yards when he had nine receptions for 253 yards.
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒅 𝑴𝑽𝑷 𝒐𝒇 𝑺𝒖𝒑𝒆𝒓 𝑩𝒐𝒘𝒍 𝑿?
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann was named MVP of Super Bowl X. Swann set a Super Bowl record by gaining 161 yards on his four receptions. Other key players in the game included Franco Harris, who rushed for 82 yards, and Terry Bradshaw, who threw two touchdowns and no interceptions.
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒓𝒐𝒐𝒌𝒊𝒆 𝒒𝒖𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌 𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒂 15-1 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒅 𝒊𝒏 2004?
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox went down with an elbow injury in the 2nd week of the 2004 season, rookie Ben Roethlisberger stepped in and lead the Steelers to a 15-1 record. That season, Roethlisberger compiled an amazing 13-0 record.
𝑾𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒐𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑺𝒖𝒑𝒆𝒓 𝑩𝒐𝒘𝒍𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑷𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒔𝒃𝒖𝒓𝒈𝒉 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝑵𝑶𝑻 𝒘𝒊𝒏?
The Pittsburgh Steelers did NOT win Super Bowl XXX, losing to the Dallas Cowboys 17-27. They DID win Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII, Super Bowl XIV, Super Bowl XL, and Super Bowl XLIII.

Metal Fabrication Process

What Is Metal Fabrication?


The process of constructing machines and structures from raw materials is called metal fabrication. Metal fabricators (companies that specialize in this process) are called fab shops.  Metal fabricators are referred to as a value added processes because they add additional value at a certain stage of production, creation of machines, parts, and structures from various raw materials.

Metal fabrication is a broad term referring to any process that cuts, shapes or molds metal material into a final product. Stock metal components, such as sheet metal, metal rods and metal bars, are widely available in a variety of material and dimensional specifications. Fabrication shops can produce metal products in a wide range of shapes and sizes. However, when manufacturers require a non-standard component or unique metal product, custom fabrication services can provide both design and production assistance for these built-to-order parts.

A fabrication shop will bid on a job, usually based on the engineering drawings, and if awarded the contract will build the product. .Contractors, equipment manufacturers, and re-sellers have metal fabricators work on a variety of projects for them, including hand railings, stairs and structural frames for buildings and equipment. Often metal fabricators bid on jobs by submitting drawings provided by the steel detailer who prepares detailed plans, drawings and other documents (columns, beams, braces, trusses, stairs, handrails, joists, metal decking, etc.) and if they are awarded the contract, they build the project.

Most metal fabricators and machine shops share many of the same capabilities, with fab shops concentrating primarily on the forming and welding of metal.

Once a contract has been awarded, metal fabricators begin the planning stages. This involves ordering the correct materials and having a manufacturing engineer program CNC machines (computer numerical control is the automation of machine tools by means of computers executing pre-programmed sequences of machine control commands) for the project. Some of the work may be sub-contracted out depending on the size and specialized needs of the project.

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Custom Metal Fabrication:

Custom fabrication services can be helpful in all stages of the product development process. Whether you require a complete production run of items or support on a component assembly project:

  • Design: The conceptualization, creation, or analysis of exact part or product characteristics.
  • Build: The actual construction of the metal product.
  • Finishing and assembly: The improvement of product quality through post-fabrication treatments.

Custom Design:

Manufacturing a unique product often requires considerable design and planning. Insufficient preparation can result in a custom metal part with structural weaknesses, improper dimensions, or other unwanted attributes that may compromise its quality. To ensure optimal results, consider some of the following custom design services:

  • Conceptualizing: If provided with a general idea of how a product should look and which features (strength, versatility, appearance, etc) are important, conceptualization assistance can help determine the exact parts or material characteristics necessary to accomplish the project.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD): CAD programs provide manufacturers with a computer-generated three-dimensional representation of their product. Inputting designs into a CAD program will help to identify potential structural weaknesses prior to actual production.
  • Tooling design: Custom fabricators can also assist with designing specialized production tools.

Custom Build:

Once a product has been designed, the manufacturing process can begin. Choosing a fabrication method suited to a given project depends on part geometry, the product’s intended purpose, and the materials used in crafting it.

  • Casting: Hot liquid metal is forced into a mold and allowed to cool and harden.
  • Drawing: Tensile force is used to draw molten metal into a tapered die.
  • Forging: Compressive force is applied to deform and shape the metal.
  • Extrusion: A ram feeds billets through a die, producing cylindrical items, such as wiring and pipes.
  • Punching: Uniquely shaped turrets punch the metal to create decorative indentions or other features.
  • Welding: Two or more pieces of metal are joined together, through a combination of heat andpressure.
  • Drilling: Circular holes are bored into the metal with a drill bit.
  • Milling: Non-circular holes are cut into the metal through the use of a milling machine.
  • Turning: The metal workpiece is rotated on its axis while a cutting tool shapes the material.

Metal fabricators projects also include loose parts, structural frames for buildings, heavy equipment, stairs, hand railings for buildings. Equipment needed: punching, welding, forging, casting, brazing, shearing, drawing and spinning. Even higher levels of specialization include electrical and hydraulics services.

Some of the raw materials used by metal fabricators are: plate metal, pre-formed and expanded metal, welding wire, fittings and castings. To begin, these raw materials need to be cut to the correct size. This is done with tools like a special band saw or with cutting torches. Metal can then be formed using dies. Tube bending machines and rolling machines are also used to bend and make round sections of metal. Parts are welded together, and then after cooling the machine or structure is usually sand blasted and painted. This final product is thoroughly inspected before it is shipped off to the client.













World Steel Association

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 (𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐥)
The World Steel Association (worldsteel) was founded as the International Iron and Steel Institute on 10 July 1967. It changed its name to the World Steel Association on 6 October 2008.

The association celebrated its 50th year anniversary in 2017.

𝑊𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑 𝑆𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝐴𝑠𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 is one of the largest and most steel dynamic industry associations in the world. worldsteel members represent approximately 85% of the world’s steel production, including over 160 steel producers with 9 of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry.

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Scrap Recycling

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ISRI began more than 25 years ago, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, (ISRI) “Design for Recycling” initiative encourages manufacturers to think about the ultimate destiny of their products during the design-stage of a product’s development.

(ISRI) is a United States-based private, non-profit trade association representing more than 1,600 private and public for-profit companies. Operating at more than 6,000 facilities in the United States and 30 countries worldwide. Its membership is made up of manufacturers and processors, brokers and industrial consumers of scrap commodities, including ferrous and nonferrous metals, paper, electronics, rubber, plastics, glass and textiles.

ISRI’s associate members include equipment and service providers to the scrap recycling industry. Manufacturers and sellers of equipment and services, such as shredders, balers, cranes, cargo transporters, computer systems and more, also promote the scrap recycling industry through their membership in ISRI.

The recycling industry annually transforms 130 million metric tons of obsolete materials from consumers, businesses, and manufacturers into useful raw materials.

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  1. Making Consumer Products Recyclable
    Manufacturers must ensure that consumer products can be safely and economically recycled, using existing recycling technology and methods, when removed from service. Recyclers of consumer products should not have to incur unnecessary costs due to the use of hazardous constituents in the products. Unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary, consumer products should be recyclable without creating risks to human health or the environment from hazardous constituents.
  2. Reducing Environmental Risks From Consumer Products
    All newly manufactured durable consumer products should have demonstrated recyclability.  In most cases, if a product is found to present environmental risks that make it uneconomical to recycle the product, it should not be sold without design or manufacturing changes that will remove those risks.
  3. Controlling Special Environmental Problems
    Some products may not be capable of being redesigned so as to eliminate risk to the recycler.  For example, for some applications, there may be no feasible substitute for a hazardous constituent in the product. In these cases, there should be new cooperative arrangements between manufacturers and recyclers to ensure recycling, and recyclers should be relieved of the resulting risks of environmental liability.
  4. Assistance to Manufacturers of Consumer Durables
    Manufacturers who are required to alter the design or manufacture of their products should receive transitional assistance, when appropriate. Small business, in particular, should be afforded economic and technical assistance in ensuring their products’ safe recyclability.  Manufacturers should not be asked to bear all the costs of “Design for Recycling”, any more than recyclers should be required to continue to bear all the environmental risks of recycling in that absence of appropriate product design. “Design for Recycling” will benefit all of  society, and it is therefore fitting that society assist manufacturers in its implementation.


ISRI and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have formed an Alliance to promote health and safety in workplaces throughout the recycling industry.





There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel alloys and grades. The exact count is uncertain, organizations such as the World Steel Association (worldsteel) state that “there are more than 3,500 different grades of steel” and “approximately 75% of modern steels have been developed in the past 20 years.”

Steel is the world’s most recycled material because of ferromagnetic properties of many steel alloys, steel is exceptionally easy to remove from the solid waste stream and divert into recycling plants.

Statistics stated by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in a 2015 report, “In the United States alone, 73 million metric tons of ferrous scrap was processed by the scrap recycling industry. No matter how many times steel is reprocessed, it will retain its properties, making it an eminently sustainable material.

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Almost half of america’s ferrous scrap supply comes from industrial and manufacturing sources. Steel scrap is heavily recycled in the U.S. Between the metal shavings left behind after key parts shaping and finishing processes, and steel parts that are rendered unusable by manufacturing accidents, there’s a lot of “prompt scrap” generated by the industrial and manufacturing industries.

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) report, prompt scrap “accounts for approximately half of the ferrous scrap supply.” Over 35 million tons of recycled scrap comes straight from the construction and manufacturing industries each year.


source:isri.org / worldsteel.org



Structural Fastners and Bolts


Structural fasteners.

Fasteners that are considered structural are quenched and tempered steel heavy hex structural bolts having a minimal tensile strength of 120 ksi for use in structural connections.

Screenshot (586)     Screenshot (585)

Structural Bolts

ASTM A325. ASTM A325 is an ASTM International standard for heavy hex structural bolts, titled Standard Specification for Structural Bolts, Steel, Heat Treated, 120/105 ksi Minimum Tensile Strength. It defines mechanical properties for bolts that range from ​12 to 1-​12 in diameter.

ASTM A490 – 14a Standard Specification for Structural Bolts, Alloy Steel, Heat Treated, 150 ksi Minimum Tensile Strength.

Required grade of washer to be used with an A325 or A490 structural bolt is an ASTM F436 hardened washer.

Screenshot (585)   source:FMA-International

The Process of Steel Detailing

Steel detailing is a critical and multifaceted step in the process of constructing anything made out of steel be it buildings, industrial plants, bridges, elevators, air handling units, and non-building structures.  The structural engineer and/or architect creates an idea about a project and puts this on paper in a general way.  These drawings could also contain items linked to mechanical systems which pertain to the fabrication of the steel members.

Next in the steel detailing process, the steel detailer takes these design drawings and transforms them into meticulous diagrams for each steel piece.  He produces drawings and plans for the making and erection of steel members such as beams, trusses, columns, braces, stairs and handrails, metal decking and joists.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

For the steel detailer in the steel detailing process:

  • Observes design drawing parameters and with industry standards like those of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the American Welding Society (AWS).
  • Presents his drawings to the structural engineer and/or architect for evaluation before their release to the fabricator.
  • In cases where structural drawings have inadequate information, offers links subject to the sanction of the structural engineer.
  • If the detailer is uncertain about any information which prevents him from completing the drawings, they send a request for information (RFI) to the relevant parties before continuing.
  • Sends his drawing to another steel detailer (labeled the “checker”) for completeness and accuracy.
  • To monitor changes during the drawing creation process, identifies the revisions by assigning an associated number or letter code in the drawing revision block.
  • Must resolve any comments which may have come out of the checking and approval process.


Steel detailers use 3-D modeling applications. The process for the construction of these drawings are very different from two-dimensional drafting. 3-D modeling systems, Tekla Structures is use in production of shop drawings from the model.

Drawings can be downloaded into a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) file and automatically begin drilling and cutting each part. In the process, each piece is fixed with a part number and plate location. 3-D modeling systems, Tekla.

The steel detailer has an extremely critical role in the steel detailing process.  Then links to the structural engineer, the architect, general contractors, the steel fabricator, the steel erector, the checker. The detailer’s shop and erection drawings are crucial to the entire process.

Shop Drawings

In steel detailing, the detailer’s drawings covering the making of these steel pieces are called shop drawings.  They identify the precise specifications for fabricating each member/piece of a structure.

The steel fabricator uses these drawings, (also called detail drawings) to produce these members. Steel detailing, comprehensive shop drawings may include for each piece:

  • Size
  • Material specification
  • Required dimensions
  • Surface preparation
  • Bolting
  • Welding
  • Painting requirements
  • Manufacturing conventions
  • Special fabricating instructions.

Steel detailing, once the steel fabricator produces the steel members, the steel detailer steps in again and produces the drawings for the erection of the steel members in the field. These are called erection drawings.

Erection Drawings

It is the construction site steel erector who refers to these drawings in the steel detailing process, in order to know how and where to build with the fabricated steel pieces. Included in the erection drawings are dimensional plans to identify the steel members, in addition to all work required on the site including welding, bolting, and installing masonry anchors

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A good shop foreman, can communicate, and can lead the shop guys. The foreman is often asked to lead fabrication jobs and pass along production tips and tricks to less experienced shop floor personnel. Knowledgeable foremen easily can win the respect of those companies that employ them, those who work for them, and customers who work with them.