ABOUT Metal Fabrication
Technology: Metal Fabrication Services are manufacturing services that produce weldments and the like in a range of metals using a variety of methods including cutting, bending, punching, etc. Metal fabricators typically work for heavy industry manufacturers and fabricate curved components, structural assemblies, frames, bases, etc. Often they have large scale machining equipment to provide finish machining on large fabrications. Services provided may include:BrazingCutting and BurningDesign and EngineeringFormingMachiningPaintingPlatingWelding
Fabrications are generally produced when too few are required to use other methods such as casting or in situations where the end product is just too large to be made by any other process than welding. Machinery bases, for example, are typically fabricated from structural tubing and plate steel. Fabricating typically starts with raw materials that need to be cut, bent, punched, etc. before they can be aligned in fixtures and welded or brazed. In the machinery business, a fabrication is not an assembly, which implies multiple part numbers, but instead is a single part composed of many individual pieces but when welded together constitutes only a single part. In contrast, items that are bolted or screwed together are called assemblies.
Fabrications often have to undergo post-weld finishing, heat treating, machining, plating, painting, etc. Many fabricators handle most of these services in-house, with heat treating perhaps being the exception.
Advantages: Metal fabricators will have access to most of the equipment needed to complete fabricated parts.Specialized skills in fixturing and welding many materialsUsually no limit on minimum order size, many fabrication orders are for a single piece
Limitations of Metal Fabrication ServicesNo control over schedulingHigh degree of hand work makes per piece costs high compared to high volume production methods such as casting
Applications: Metal fabrication services are useful for large single parts and smaller parts with limited production numbersMachine bases and framesTanksArchitectural forms