September 13, 2012
Steel industry gears up for SteelDay 2012
Steel fabricators, service centres and others are gearing up to celebrate SteelDay 2012, an annual event intended to showcase the versatility, performance and sustainability of steel.
Hosted by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), the Sept. 28 event includes shop tours, open houses, 3D modeling presentations and even barbeques. The event is now in its third year.
As of Sept. 10, more than 30 CISC member firms from Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and all four western provinces had signed up to participate. Architects, engineers, contractors, developers, students, educators and the general public are being invited to attend.
“SteelDay is a great opportunity for the industry to showcase its success, to share best practices and to spread the word about all that is possible with steel — one of the world’s most versatile and sustainable building materials,” said Tareq Ali, CISC’s national marketing manager.
Last year, 27 firms hosted events. In Ontario, one of this year’s participants is Kitchener-based ACL Steel Ltd., a privately owned company which provides a full range of services including fabrication and erection of structural steel. ACL will host a tour of its drafting department and fabricating facility.
Last year, about 75 visitors toured the company’s premises, including engineers and customers as well as a bus load of students from Toronto’s George Brown College.
“I think one of the key benefits is introducing our industry to the public and showing people what we can do,” said president Paul Siebel.
“Even general contractors don’t understand how it all works.”
He said SteelDay also affords an opportunity to make students aware of potential careers in the industry. Siebel, whose company employs a variety of trades as well as drafting, estimating and project management personnel, said SteelDay also gives ACL staff a chance to showcase their skills.
“They think this is great.”
Other Ontario participants are the Pittsburgh Steel Group, a Mississauga-based structural steel fabricator, and Samuel, Son & Co., Ltd. a metal service centre and metal manufacturing company which is hosting an event in Hamilton.
Bill Hutton, Samuel’s Mississauga, Ont.-based corporate vice-president, marketing and national accounts, said SteelDay in part allows the company to make itself “and what we do” more visible.
One of the provinces that is particularly well represented this year is British Columbia. As of late August, ten B.C. companies had registered to host events.
“We’ve really encouraged our members to get involved,” said Tony Hernandez, sales manager at Canron Western Constructors LP, a Delta-based designer, detailer, fabricator and erector of structural steel and other items.
Hernandez, who sits on an industry subcommittee set up to promote SteelDay in the province, said visitors will have an opportunity to view fabrication processes that occur at Canron before steel is shipped to a site for erection.
“They get to see what it is all about,” he said.
The company recently completed fabrication of structural steel girders for the new Port Mann Bridge. It is currently fabricating steel “for some fairly large projects” including a Canada Post distribution facility in Richmond, B.C.
Hernandez said last year’s visitors included community college and university students from the Vancouver area.
“If we can get even a few engineering students to start thinking about designing in steel, it helps our industry,” he said.
Canron, which has participated in SteelDay since day one, also makes a point of encouraging clients to attend the event.
Last year, engineers from the province’s highways ministry were among the attendees.
“This isn’t just to promote our company, although that is one of our goals of course,” Hernandez said.
“It’s also to promote general usage of steel in construction.”
For more information and news online about SteelDay 2012 visit www.steelday.ca.
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