Fabrication is the process of preparing components ready for assembly on site. Erection is the process of assembling fabricated components on site, and with careful planning can be completed relatively quickly.
In principle, steel erection involves positioning, aligning and securing the components on prepared foundations to form a complete frame.
The steelwork is transferred to the finished stockyard to await bundling and wiring of loose components for loading on to vehicles together with site assembly bolts, ready for dispatch to site.
Erection of structural steelwork consists of the assembly of steel components into a frame on site, and it can be a significant project cost.
Fabrication consists of cutting pieces of steel and connecting them together. Fabrication yards have facilities for storage, processing and dispatch.
Before erection commences the position of the column bases, most usually laid by others, should be verified by the steel contractor.
Inspection and checking occurs at each stage in the fabrication process and after final assembly.
Column splice joints: Columns in multi-storey buildings cannot be erected as a single length and will need to be spliced.
It is important to ensure stability at all stages during construction.
The principal activities associated with fabrication of steelwork include cutting, forming holes, assembling and attaching components, cleaning and protecting.
The principle is to establish a stable unit as quickly as possible, and to attach subsequent elements directly or indirectly to this.
The design and erection should account for the various interfaces with the structure, and the associated tolerances.