7 Vital Questions to Ask an Industrial Piping Contractor Before Hiring

industrial process piping fabrication

When it comes to process piping systems, hiring the right industrial piping contractor is crucial for success. Whether you're planning a new installation, retrofit, or upgrade, partnering with the right contractor can make all the difference.  At Ahern, we have provided pipe fabrication solutions including design, fabrication, and installation for numerous projects across a variety of industrial sectors. Through our experience, we understand the importance of choosing the right process piping company. 

We're here to help you make an informed decision. In this article, we highlight the top seven questions you should ask any industrial piping contractor before hiring them. By asking these questions, you'll ensure that you're making the best choice for your project.

1. What is Your Industrial Process Piping Experience In My Industry?

Experience matters when choosing a contractor to fabricate your process piping systems. Ask about the industrial piping company’s track record, completed projects, and specific expertise in your vertical market. A process piping company that has experience in your industry can save you time and money. They will know the most efficient and cost-effective methods, and help you avoid mistakes to successfully complete the project within your budget and timeline. 

At Ahern, we have tackled projects within a variety of industries that require process piping systems such as:

2. Do You Have The Proper Certifications and Quality Control?

The industrial piping company you hire should hold the proper certifications to ensure they are committed to quality and accredited by world-wide organizations. The types of certifications to ask about include certified welding inspectors, ASME, PP, R, and U. Knowing how long the company held these certifications and how long they are good for are also important.

To ensure your process piping systems are safe and consistent to meet the highest industry standards, it is critical to ask about their quality control procedures. In-house testing of your products such as magnetic particle testing, hydrostatic testing, radiographic, ultrasonic testing, paint testing, and PMI testing will ensure your products can uphold its intended use.

3. Do You Have Enough Experienced Staff to Handle My Project? 

To avoid running into costly time delays and rework, it is critical that the industrial piping contractor you hire has proper staffing of experienced craftsmen for your project. You should also inquire about their years of welding and quality control experience. Through our knowledge and experience, we know that early collaboration is important. That is why we recommend asking if the pipe fabricator is capable of handling the drafting portion of your project in-house to minimize the number of change orders and discrepancies your project requires. Learn how Ahern’s preconstruction services improve your project cycle.

4. Is Your Industrial Piping Company Equipped to Handle My Project?

This question involves many dimensions, but are all equally important to avoid unnecessary costs, and lower quality and efficiency. Unfortunately, some companies will charge you to rent additional space or to subcontract work. 

Things to inquire about include:

  • Range of metals: Do they have the capability to work with a variety of metals including carbon, stainless, chrome, and alloys?
  • Pipe sizes: Are they capable of welding large-diameter pipes?
  • Facility capacity: Do they have the square footage to weld, process, store, and properly ship your piping? What about interior cover to protect materials?
  • Quality and availability of their tools and equipment: Are they able to blast, paint, and finish your project? Do they own an in-house tool and equipment shop?

Asking these questions will also help improve productivity to keep your project moving at maximum efficiency and eliminate the hassle of juggling multiple contracts. Get an inside look at Ahern’s pipe fabrication shop to learn more about our shop’s features and capabilities.

5. What Is Your Approach to Customer Service and Supply Chain Management?

Since you will be working with the industrial piping service provider throughout the duration of your project, it is important to ensure they will provide excellent customer service and clear communication. Asking if they will provide one main point of contact is crucial to guarantee a strong partnership and immediate response time. The contractor you hire should provide documented reports for status updates and spool tracking throughout the project. A careless management style and lack of communication can lead to a high rework rate, costing time and money. 

To receive the highest quality products at the best price, you should ask about their supply chain management. An industrial process piping company that utilizes global sources within a worldwide network can maximize your material purchase effectiveness.

6. What Safety Measures Do You Have in Place?

Safety should be a top priority. Ask about the contractor's safety protocols, training programs, and safety record. Ahern's commitment to safety is unwavering, with a strong safety culture ingrained in our workforce. Learn more about our award-winning safety program.

7. What is Your Reputation in the Industry and Community?

To ensure you choose a reputable company, it is important to ask questions about their company and past projects. Consider asking questions such as how long they have been in the industry, what values have they delivered to past projects, and what their financial stability is. Requesting references or details on previous projects showcasing their work can also give you insight to their reputation. Ahern has completed hundreds of projects in a wide variety of industries and geographic locations. Explore our previous projects.

Choosing the right industrial piping contractor is essential for the success of your project. By asking these vital questions, you can confidently evaluate potential contractors and make an informed decision.

Learn more about the factors to keep in mind by checking out our eBook: Selecting A High Performing Pipe Fabricator.


Reduce Your Risk With JF Ahern

At Ahern, we're dedicated to delivering exceptional industrial piping services. We specialize in prefabrication of piping including pipe spools, industrial piping, mechanical components, multi-trade modules, and more that ship to various project sites nationwide for a variety of vertical markets. 

From structural engineering and design, budgeting, supply chain, production, and shipment, we are here to help your industrial process piping project go smoothly to meet your project schedule and budget. We also provide piping services for HVAC, plumbing, and fire sprinkler systems to provide one integrated multi-trade solution for your service and construction projects. Our capabilities and expertise allow us to be a valued partner within numerous markets.

Get started by contacting us today to discuss your project and experience working with an industry leader. 


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