Connect the Pieces With Materials Tracking Platform

Learn about FabKinect, an in-house project management and tracking system that brings multiple databases covering all aspects of fabrication operations together to make critical data readily available.

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Timely delivery of custom-fabricated pipe and steel is critical to the success of large construction projects. But tracking your order across different departments has always been difficult. A centralized data platform improves transparency and operational efficiency.

The success of any large construction project depends on bringing the right resources together at the scheduled place and time. Knowing the correct pipe and structural steel will be ready is essential. To keep your projects moving smoothly, you need consistent access to accurate data about the status of these materials.

Historically, tracking pipe and steel orders has been a challenge. Fabrication and shipping data was commonly stored in many separate spreadsheets, and a multiple database solution simply couldn’t deliver the information you needed in a timely manner.

Tracking spool status, stop work orders, requests for information (RFIs) and milestones often required talking to multiple people with specialized knowledge. The wait may have been hours or days to find the right data. Because that data was scattered across many files, it sometimes had errors.

FabKinect is our in-house project management and tracking system that brings multiple databases covering all aspects of fabrication operations into a single, centralized platform. With FabKinect, the precise status of your orders can be accessed quickly and easily.


FabKinect brings all fabrication information — including drafting, scheduling, material control, document control, stop work orders, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) — together to make critical data readily available. Specifically, FabKinect:

  • Automates data capturing and shares data across pipe fabrication departments, thereby reducing data entry errors.
  • Reports across multiple jobs, providing standardized reporting and system notifications when an item is not moving along the production process.
  • Simplifies change management tasks like Stop Work Order in System (including creation, routing and approval) and the RFI log (which is linked to spool information and notifies appropriate personnel of changes).
  • Improves document control through advanced tracking of ISO receipt and logging, as well as revision tracking, reporting and metrics.
  • Facilitates logistics and tracking between our metal fabrication and pipe fabrication facilities.
  • Provides timely data capture and status updates from the shop floor to support proactive planning and scheduling.
  • Tracks all QA inspections electronically, including automatically generated weld data from the drafting software, real-time inspection information and notifications of required inspections.
  • Supports data entry from the shop floor for expedited shipping status updates and compiles all shipping reports in one area for intradepartmental access.



In developing FabKinect, every manual workflow process was evaluated to see if it could be automated. Ultimately, more than 30 antiquated processes were incorporated in the system, resulting in an average of 40% greater efficiency per task.

A key benefit of FabKinect is the integration of the drafting software to automatically feed spool and weld data. Processing time was minimized for every fabrication function requiring data entry, including drawing tracking (receipt, revisions and transmittals), and ordering and tracking of supports from metal fabrication.

FabKinect’s meticulous automation helps see that every detail, from spool design modifications to shop orders, is in order and on track. This also allows orders to be completed at a faster pace — in many cases, in just three to five hours.

With the help of FabKinect, new technology is available on the shop floor. Data, such as spool loading and NDE activities, is captured and utilized as fabricators work. When delays occur, the system automatically generates notifications along with any necessary attachments. By decreasing manual data reporting, FabKinect reduces errors, captures a history of notifications, and frees up the user’s time to focus on fabrication.


FabKinect continues to evolve. Soon, a full radio-frequency identification (RFID) system will be in place to monitor real-time progress in the shops. Movement will be tracked from receiving through cutting, fitting, tack welding, weld-out, testing, shipping and even yard laydown. As you require more detailed information, we will continue to expand FabKinect’s capabilities to make that data readily available.


NRG Energy

Carlsbad, California

December 2018


The iconic Encina Power Plant supplied power to a coastal California community for more than 60 years. The aging 965-megawatt natural gas-fired plant provided baseload support but could take up to 18 hours to ramp up. It was further challenged by changing environmental regulations that ruled against the plant’s once-through cooling process, which involved siphoning water from the nearby Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

NRG Energy decided to replace the plant with a simple-cycle natural gas-fired peaking facility for faster and more flexible response to energy demand. The proposed Carlsbad Energy Center would need to be designed for a small, challenging brownfield site, with the facility constructed on the site of a fuel oil tank farm within the existing plant’s footprint.

With a contract in place to provide power to the local grid, NRG would need to maintain the project schedule to achieve the agreed-upon completion date.


Scott Strawn

Vice President of Marketing & Sales

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