Rebar “spools” may seem like the “hot new thing,” but rebar coils have been a go-to material for fabricators for many years. And recently, ISA sent a survey to over 430 independent rebar fabricators across the U.S. and Canada to ask their opinions about rebar coils versus spools.
Survey responses received: 55, or 12.5% response rate (that’s high for surveys!).
Scroll through the charts below to get a snapshot of what the fabricators said about their perceptions and experience with rebar coils and spools.
Question 7: Have you generated any notable time savings using spools?
So for those using spools, nearly half — 43% — indicated that they have realized notable time savings. This finding bolsters the primary claim of added efficiencies with spools. However, the 28% who have not yet found higher production efficiencies might argue that their current process is “just fine” with traditional coils.
Question 1: Are you using either coils or spools?
97% of all respondents indicated that they’re using either coils or spools, with 3% saying that they’re not doing so. Nothing surprising here in these responses.
Question 2: What percent of your total volume is from coils or spools?
78% of all respondents said that coils/spools represent between 1% to 15% of their total rebar volume. An additional 7% said that coils/spools account for 20% or more of their volume.
Question 3: And do you use coils only, spools only, or both?
So, 27% are still on coils only, with 9% making the move to spools only. The remaining 64% are using a mix of coils and spools. This likely signals a trial period, or change-over occurring among fabricators as they become acquainted with using spools.
Question 4: What are the benefits of spools versus traditional coils?
For this question, respondents could select as many options as they felt were relevant. The highest vote-getter was “Larger Spool Means Less Change-Over,” selected by 72% of respondents.
Question 5: What are the negatives of spools versus traditional coils?
Cost and Availability were selected by many respondents (35% and 20%, respectively), and the two are likely related. Also of note is that 35% of respondents do not perceive any negatives with spools.
Question 6: Did you (or will you) make any investment in order to use spools?
There is a general perception that changing to spools will require some notable investment in new machines, racks/pay-offs, material handling, etc., in order to use the spools. Of the respondents who are using spools, 64% or two-thirds said that no such investment was necessary.