Structural Fabrication Plate Work – Production Process

Plate Processing for Steel Fabricators – Our Process

Attention structural fabricators…

Plasma Cutting Services is here to help with any of your plate needs. We service many structural fabricators, small to large, with custom plates such as connection plates, gussets, lintels, bent plates, base plates and any other type of plate suited for structural applications. We use the latest plasma cutting technology to produce high quality cut edges for exterior profiles as well as interiors such as holes and slots. We would like to share our quoting as well as production process for structural plates:


Our Production Process

1. Customer will email or use online form to send PDF gather sheets, BOM spreadsheets, and/or DXF files when job is ready for fabrication. Customer often uses some kind of structural fabrication software such as Tekla Structures or SDS2 to export part drawings from. Plasma Cutting Services prefers DXF or DWG files as we can simply import them into Hypertherm ProNest and get an exact per part cost.

2. Plasma Cutting Services saves the files to a project specific folder and imports into Hypertherm ProNest. We go through each piece (part) number and ensure that the correct quantity, thickness, and grade is selected. After importing, ProNest uses nesting algorithims to best utilize material space on each sheet. We update the material pricing in the ProNest database and use the quoting module to produce a PDF quote at a competitive price and lead time.

3. Upon receiving a customer PO, Plasma Cutting Services adds the job to the burn queue and then production takes it from there! We burn the parts using our Hypertherm XPR300 High-Definition plasma table. After the cut cycle is complete, workers remove the parts from the burn table and send them through our steel sanding machine giving the parts a clean and shiny surface. The parts then are sorted, and sticky stack labels are applied depicting the job number and piece mark.

4. If any of the structural plates need bent or formed, they will get sent over to the press brake. We have capabilities of applying 175 tons of force which translates into about 10′ lengths of 1/4″, 7′ lengths of 3/8″, 4′ lengths of 1/2″, etc. We are very familiar with our press brake and general bending limitations, and we will not quote a job if we cannot produce it. Our WILA tooling makes for precise and repeatable bends. Our press brake operators can read drawings quickly and without error to minimize rework and scrap.

5. The completed structural plates are packaged and ready to be shipped out. We use several carriers to ship plates to locations across the US. Freight prices are always quoted in advance so there are no surprise freight charges. For local customers, freight charges are waived depending on the size of the job. The parts are shipped right to the customers manufacturing facilities or to the construction/job site.

6. Customer supplied project lien waivers are signed after receipt of payment.

7. And… we repeat the process.

Our customers LOVE us. We push for the fastest lead times in the industry, often under 1 week. Our pricing structure is unbeatable, and our streamlined quoting process makes quotes appear in your inbox quicker than the majority of our competitors.

If you are a structural fabrication shop faced with the following issues, I believe we can help.

1. Our burn table is behind and cannot keep up with current orders.

2. Our burn table is producing parts out of tolerance.

3. Our plasma table operators keep mixing parts up and miss labeling structural plates correctly due to complicated piece marks.

4. Our current plate supplier has too long of project lead times or cost that is out of our budget.

5. And then obviously if you don’t have a burn table or press brake and are already outsourcing plate work, please add us to the bid list! 

Plasma Cutting Services has worked with 500+ employee companies all the way down to one-man shops. We will bid any job we can feasibly do. Again, for structural fabricators… Common parts cut include but not limited to: steel connection plates, steel lintel plates, steel base plates, steel gusset plates, steel joint plates, steel support plates, steel X Brace plates, steel shim plates, steel V plates, etc. 

gather sheet of structural plates
gather sheet of structural plates

5/8" thick bent structural column plates
5/8″ thick bent structural column plates