What Is Metal Fabrication?
So, you’re looking into metal fabrication, but don’t know what it is. Simply put, metal fabrication produces structures created through cutting, bending, and assembly. Most of the time, this type of service offering is a value-add for many companies.
The Phases Of Fabrication
It’s true, metal fabrication is a complex process that involves several phases to transform materials into finished metal products. Here’s the process you’ll likely see for metal fabrication:
This phase involves designing and engineering the product according to the client’s specifications. For this phase, just like when building a home, you’re picking out the material, what size you want the product, overall aesthetics, and more. Sometimes, it can even include computer-aided design software, also known as CAD, to create detailed drawings and models of the product.
This phase involves cutting the raw metal materials into the required shapes and sizes using various cutting methods. These methods can include things like sawing, shearing, or laser cutting.
This phase involves shaping the metal into the desired shape and size using various forming techniques, including bending, rolling, or stamping. A lot of the time, you’ll see specialized equipment in this phase, such as press brakes or rollers.
This phase combines metal pieces using various welding techniques, including MIG, TIG, or stick welding and requires very skilled welders.
This phase involves applying finishing touches to the metal product to improve its appearance and functionality. Finishing techniques include sandblasting, painting, powder coating, or polishing.
This phase involves assembling all the components of the metal product to create the final product. This phase requires precision and attention to detail to ensure all components fit together correctly.
This phase involves inspecting the finished product to ensure it meets the client’s specifications and quality standards. During this time, the product’s strength, durability, and functionality are put to the test.
In a nutshell, fabrication is a critical step in creating any finished metal part or structure. Metal fabricators typically work with various raw materials that may include different types of metal such as:
- Stainless steel
Types of Fabrication
We’ll touch on various segmentation levels, but here are three of the most common types of metal fabrication.
Industrial Metal Fabrication
Industrial metal fabrication refers to the manufacturing process of creating metal structures, parts, and products used in various industries, such as construction, automotive, aerospace, and more. It involves various techniques and processes to shape, cut, and join metal materials. We can touch on many processes here, but often, you’ll see sheet metal fabrication, welding, or stamping used here.
Industrial metal products may include the following:
- HVAC ducts
- Metal cabinets
- Electronic enclosures
Structural Metal Fabrication
Structural metal fabrication is a specific type of metal fabrication that involves the production of metal structures, such as bridges, buildings, and other large-scale infrastructure. This type of metal fabrication requires a high level of expertise and precision to ensure that the final product is strong, durable, and able to withstand its weight and stress.
Structural metal fabrication often involves processes like cutting and welding, amongst others.
Structural metal products may include the following:
- Steel beams
- Staircases and handrails
- Industrial machinery and equipment
Commercial Metal Fabrication
Commercial metal fabrication involves creating the parts typically installed in commercial venues such as restaurants, stores, public spaces, and municipal buildings. Commercial metal fabrication involves the following processes like sheet metal fab, machining, and finishing. Commercial parts are smaller and more precise than structural and industrial metal parts. However, they’re just as crucial to how a commercial entity operates, both from a functional standpoint and when it comes to keeping employees and customers safe.
Commercial metal products may include the following:
What To Look For In A Metal Fabrication Company
Choosing the right metal fabrication company requires careful consideration of several factors, including:
Look for a company with a proven track record of delivering high-quality metal fabrication services. The company should have experienced and knowledgeable staff who can provide expert guidance and recommendations.
The metal fabrication company should have various capabilities and equipment to handle various projects and requirements. This includes cutting, welding, bending, finishing equipment, and more.
Quality control and certifications
The metal fabrication company should have a robust quality control process to ensure the final product meets the required specifications and standards. They should also have relevant certifications, such as ISO 9001, to demonstrate their commitment to quality.
Choose a metal fabrication company that values customer service and communication. They should respond to your inquiries, provide regular updates on the project’s progress, and be willing to work with you to meet your needs.
Pricing and lead times
The metal fabrication company should provide transparent pricing and lead times for their services. They should also be willing to work within your budget and timeline requirements.
Are You Ready To Start Your Metal Fab Project?
Metal fabrication is an essential process that plays a vital role in various industries, providing strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal to buildings, infrastructure, and other structures. With the right metal fabrication company, you can ensure that your project is completed to the highest standards of quality and precision. Dimar Manufacturing specializes in all things custom metal. Request a free quote from us here.