While working at an ornamental Iron company, I found out the process for selling making and installing a rail.
The first thing that has to be done is that the company needs a job order, most of the time some home owner will call up and ask for a rail. The bidder will go on to the computer and put the amount of iron to be fabricated into the program. When the bid comes out it is judged on the amount of dollars per foot. Over the phone the home owner will be given the estimate so that they can compare prices with other companies. They will tell the bidder if the price is agreeable and if it is the bidder will be sent out to that house to get exact measurements. The price of the rail can vary with curvature cement types or if it will be mounted by plate or drilled into the ground.
Next, the measurements will come back to the shop and one specified shop worker will check to see if all the steel needed to build the rail is in the steel rack if it isn't more steel will be ordered in to cover the rail. This will prolong the building process a day or two.
If the sufficient steel is in the shop the next step is for somebody to make a parts list. The parts list is divided up into categories such as amount of pickets, top and bottom channels and posts. The list is made so that the least amount of steel is wasted as possible by doing this the company saves a lot of money and makes more off the rail because it takes less time to build.
The parts are to be cut or an assortment of machines usually on either a ban saw or a piranha cutter. Once they are cut they are given to a fabricator in the shop. This person is fully certified in fork lift training and all types of welding.
Each fabricater is given a table in the shop to build on they also have there own welder and supplies. The fabricator makes a layout of the rail to show the exact size it will be, and then they stick the parts together.
The rail is sent over to the paint booth to be primed and painted by a certified painter. They will paint the rail the color specified by the homeowner, usually this color is black.
Once that is done the rail will be installed at the house or building on the job sheet. The amount of time to install a rail varies from one hour to two weeks. Once the rail is installed the bill will be sent out as long as a satisfactory job has been done and the check will be expected in the mail.