Purchasing the right equipment from the right supplier is an important part of any project. It is generally a fine balance between going with the lowest cost supplier, or taking a look at a number of variables that contribute to the total Value Equation. When it comes to Troughs used at a water or wastewater treatment plant, they are important, but sometimes overshadowed by the larger more visible equipment within the process.

One of the important decisions in the trough purchasing process is: Will I purchase the troughs from an equipment supplier or are troughs a non-specialty item that I can purchase from a miscellaneous metals supplier?

The miscellaneous metals supplier is likely to offer the best pricing in dollars per foot, however there are other variables that can affect the life-cycle cost.

Some advantages to treating the troughs as equipment rather than miscellaneous metal:

  • Reduce time spent by consulting engineer designing troughs– your equipment company will custom design for your needs, correct design can be especially important in troughs that span long distance, or in high seismic consideration areas
  • Reduce risk and time to the engineer from designing troughs themselves
  • Equipment supplier can value engineer, optimizing the design to reduce material
  • Equipment supplier has in house manufacturing capabilities, and can control all steps of the process
  • The equipment supplier will warranty the work. This may not be true when purchasing from local fab shops
  • There can be concern of ferritic contamination in local fab shops if they work with both carbon steel and stainless steel
  • Single source of accountability

So, as you are researching trough suppliers, you will want to take a careful look at the total value equation, with consideration of more than just cost. Troughs may be a small part of the total budget for any given project, but they can be key to making the overall design perform as expected.

Want to learn more about Trough designs? Watch this recent JMS webinar on Trough design.