Key Processes of Metal Fabrication

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Metal fabrication is the process responsible for the creation of many products and structures used in everyday life. Large items such as indoor and outdoor furniture, signs, car parts, fencing and gates, structural assemblies and more are created using metal fabrication, as well as cutlery, nuts, and bolts. Metal fabrication has been a popular choice for its strength and precision for decades, dating back to World War II.

Fabrication is the process of making something from scratch, as opposed to purchasing or installing semi-finished or raw materials from ready-made components. Fabrication allows for much more customization and a better fit in most instances with the ability to mould, shape and cut the object to suit the parameters of the space. Metal fabrication starts with drawings and precise measurements before moving into the fabrication stage and installation of the final project. Fabrication allows for the creation of missing or broken parts, style or functionality edits and extensions onto pre-existing items or structures.

The 4-Step Process of Metal Fabrication

Metal Fabrication is an intricate process that is generally undertaken by experts in the field, working in fabrication and machine shops. The metal is presented to the fabricator as a sheet of raw material up to .25 inches thick and through methods of cutting, bending and assembling, the final object is produced. The fabricator must cut with surgeon-level accuracy to achieve the desired result and will have trained for years before working on your metal. The process involves strategies and planning through engineering, communication with the client, adjustments, and sourcing of the best metal for the project.

There are four typical steps involved in the process of fabricating metal, including:

  1. Cutting

This integral first step of the fabrication process involves cutting the metal to the size and shape required to be moulded to the final design. Cutting the sheet can occur through shearing, punching or laser cutting, depending on how precise and specific the metal needs to be. Shearing may take some editing and working to create a final perfect product, whereas punching and laser cutting can create complex shapes with focus and precision.

  1. Bending

After cutting, the metal will need to be bent into shape by a machine. This step takes a skilled and patient hand to manage the metal once it springs back after being bent or moulded. The grain of the metal can influence how the metal responds to the bending process, and cracking can occur if the metal is not handled correctly.

  1. Assembly

This is the step of riveting, welding, and screwing to assemble the metal into shape. Each piece is held together and assembled accordingly with the most appropriate method. Each job is different, and some will require long welding pieces, while others may only require screwing or bonding.

  1. Finishing

Once the metal is joined and secured, the finish must be tidied and cleaned to present a cohesive and cosmetically pleasing appearance while adding protection from rust and damage. Fabrication combines several specialties and requires an expert in each to get the job done to the highest standard. A metal fabricator may be experienced and qualified in blacksmithing, welding, boiler making, iron and steelwork.

Cutting involves the use of saws, shears, and chisels of both the handheld and powered varieties, bending uses hammers, press brakes and tube benders to cut the metal into specific positions, and assembling uses adhesives, welding, and binding. After this four-step process, the metal is sandblasted, primed and painted, and ready for final inspection and installation.

Finding your fabricator

There is no doubt that a qualified expert in metal fabrication is needed to get the job done and choosing the right fabricator can be a difficult task. Each metal fabrication company offers something different, from capabilities to professionalism and experience, and there are several factors to consider.

Before hiring a fabricator, it is important to know the ins and outs of your project, to provide them with the most information. Some projects may be out of the scope of fabricators, and some may focus on large or small projects only. All fabricating processes have different requirements, so you will need to make sure that the fabricator you choose has the tools, know-how, and even the facility to bring your ideas to life. The metal fabrication company will have qualifications and certifications to ensure quality and to pass inspection and insurance requirements.

When selecting any company for a job as important and intricate as metal fabrication, their methods, core beliefs and customer service are important aspects to consider. At Turnweld Engineering, we pride ourselves on loyalty, safe teamwork, quality products and standards, quick and enthusiastic responses, high levels of quality control, honesty, knowledge and skill. Our team is formed with dedicated, local, equally hired experts, and we work together to bring the best results for you.

To discuss your metal fabrication needs, contact Turnweld Engineering today. We offer top-level safety, quick turnover times, individual client focus, and decades of expertise in metal fabrication.