Tag Archives: steelwork fabrication

Business model built on dedication and investment in technology

Business model built on dedication and investment in technologyBusiness model built on dedication and investment in technology

From the bottom up, Frank and Dolores Kiernan have built their successful business.
25 years ago, Frank and Dolores Kiernan saw their world fall apart when they were both made redundant. Frank had worked in the steel erection business and Dolores in accounting and book-keeping. When their efforts of finding alternative employment failed, the couple were left facing a bleak future. Instead, they embarked on a journey to form their own business. And in 1989, Kiernan Structural Steel was created.

Today, ready to mark their 25th year anniversary, they have much to celebrate. From what started out as a way to create jobs for themselves has now grown into a hugely successful business that has over 100 employees and an annual turnover of €13m in 2012.

Even after 25 years, they have not lost any of their enthusiasm for the business. Inside their modern factory large CNC operated machines cut and drill the raw material into their required lengths in a largely automated process assisted by the StruM.I.S software nesting and production routing features to further assist in managing purchasing and stock control hence reducing overheads and waste material.

Frank Kiernan comments, “We had very humble beginnings.” “We started the business in an old, two-bay hayshed at the rear of our home.”

Things were slow to begin with until the early 90s where Kiernan Structural Steel received a welcome boost when the Government introduced grants for farmers wanting to build new sheds. To cope with the extra demand, the Kiernan’s expanded their existing premise and hired their first employees. With added capacity, a broader skill-base and the experience gained from working on smaller projects, they began to target the wider construction sector.

Business model built on dedication and investment in technology

In the mid 90’s, the couple bought their first automated sawing and drilling CNC machines. “It was a huge investment” said Frank Kiernan. However, it proved to be a wise decision by significantly increasing their productivity and enabling them to undertake even larger projects.

Kiernan Structural Steel also invested in StruM.I.S – a steel fabrication management system enabling them to be efficient in their steel fabrication. StruM.I.S integrated well into their steelwork fabrication, providing traceability and real-time piece status tracking to ensure successful project execution ultimately displaying significant cost & time savings.

Dolores comments, “We have worked on projects with many top Irish and international firms, such as Google, Intel, Tesco, Diageo / Guinness, Kerry Foods, PM Group and many others.”

“Our staff are highly skilled, many have been working with us for up to 20 years,” says Frank. “While we are a family-owned and family-run company, everyone has a real say in how the company is run,” he insists.

The story of Kiernan Structural Steel is a real example of how one couple managed to turn what could have been a bleak future into a hugely successful one through their own hard work and investment in the right technology enabling ROI.

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How does the BCSA’s mandatory introduction of CE marking affect me, and how can StruM.I.S help?

CE Marking logoAs of 1st July 2013, the Construction Products Directive (CPD) will be removed and replaced by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). The main difference between the two is that the CPR is mandatory and comes into effect in the UK and RoI law on 1st July 2013. The CPR makes CE marking mandatory in all member states including the UK and RoI for construction products covered by a harmonised standard or a European Technical Assessment that is in force.

What is CE Marking?

CE Marking is a regulatory mark applied by the manufacturer that is a declaration to public authorities and clients that the product satisfies required levels of health and safety (concerning such issues as release of hazardous substances and structural strength).

How does this affect you – steelwork contractors?

From 1st July 2013:-

From the 1st July 2013 steelwork contractors must have in place a purchasing system that will ensure that essential products (steel sections, structural bolting assemblies, welding consumables etc.) are covered by a Standard (specification), purchased and correctly CE marked.
The model purchase specifications for structural sections and bolting assemblies produced by BCSA may be used to develop a purchasing system that complies with the CPR.

From 1st July 2014:-

BS EN 1090-1- Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures – (Part 1) Requirements for conformity assessment of structural components (1st July 2014) 

The CE Marking standard for fabricated steelwork is BS EN 1090-1 and this is supported by the fabrication standard BS EN 1090-2 and the welding quality management standard BS EN ISO 3834. Those affected by CE Marking must put in place a Factory Production Control system (FPC) and have the system certified by a Notified Body.

Other things to consider

  • Selection of correct Consequence Class (CC) as per Eurocode 0 (EN 1990 standard)
  • Design in accordance with Eurocode 3 (EN 1993-series standards)
  • Designers material selection (EN 1993-1-10 requirements)
  • Selection of correct execution class (EXC) by designers, acc. to EN 1090-2
  • Workshop certifications to ISO 9000 and the relevant part of ISO 3834 for the workshop
  • The workshop must have a welding coordinator; his minimum qualifications depend on the EXC. For execution class EXC3 and EXC4 he must be certified welding engineer (EWE/EWI)
  • Generally the workshop must follow the EN 1090-2 standard for the fabrication of steel structures

Traceability and how StruM.I.S can help…

For Audit purposes traceability is now a key factor in gaining CE accreditation.

AceCad Software, along with StruM.I.S – a complete steel fabrication management system and Essentials by StruM.I.S – A light steel fabrication management information and production system for Small to Medium (SME) sized engineering and steelwork fabrication companies, will help you gain CE Marking accreditation, as we have off the shelf products available to assist you with traceability. Designed especially for smaller fabrication teams and with the features that smaller businesses need, Essentials by StruM.I.S is the perfect management system to assist in the tracking of production, purchasing and is a one stop solution for documenting the day to day running of your business.

Richard Brotherton, Managing Director of AceCad Software commenting on the release of Essentials by StruM.I.S said, ’Essentials opens a world of potential business advantages on the steelwork project to all in the sector. Smaller fabricators can now experience new levels of capability, unrivalled in the industry, to deliver benefits to their businesses and other project stakeholders’.

AceCad is aware of the current grievance felt by UK companies due to the recent changes in the construction industry. We have therefore created a cost effective solution that can not only be implemented smoothly, but also see you earn a return on your investment.

To learn more on how StruM.I.S can help you gain CE Marking accreditation:

  • Click here to read more about StruM.I.S and its Purchasing module –
  • Want to have a chat with a representative on how StruM.I.S can help? Click here to request a call back.
  • Request a personal FREE no obligation demonstration here

Steel Purchasing webinar


Watch our webinar covering Better Purchasing with StruM.I.S  on our YouTube channel here