Ten years ago, Duo-Gard opened its in-house steel fabrication facility, one of our industry’s few such operations. Five years later, the company expanded this operation to accommodate five times the initial capacity. Now Duo-Gard has achieved another milestone by acquiring certification from the American Institute of Steel Construction. Only 13 firms in Michigan hold this distinction.
As the Institute explains it: “AISC Certification Programs set the quality standard for the structural steel industry and are the most recognized national quality certification program for the industry. Our programs focus on the entire process of fabrication and erection. Our goal is to build quality structures from the start by focusing on error prevention rather than error correction.”
The AISC Certification complements the company’s continuous efforts to provide customers with the highest performance in quality control, cost effectiveness and timely project completion, according to general manager David Brieschke.
He cites a definite competitive advantage too: “Projects that we might have been unable to bid before are now within our reach as customers recognize that they’re gaining increased accountability that minimizes the possibility of product failure.”
Duo-Gard’s product lines are extensive and such accountability is critical for its large canopies and specialty shelters. When large spans are involved, steel is often more cost-effective than aluminum, and Duo-Gard can provide columns, rafters, horizontal supports, purlins and skins with structural designs engineered to meet loading requirements for each project.
Achieving certification was no small undertaking, involving almost a year to encompass all of Duo-Gard’s processes. “There are many components to certification, and they must be drafted into a manual,” says Brieschke. “Fred Hankes, steel operations coordinator, and I worked for a year to complete the required documentation.”
And it doesn’t stop there. AISC performs a yearly on-site inspection to ensure that the Institute’s and Duo-Gard’s goals are being met.