In metal fabrication, a custom fabrication shop can provide its clients with an array of fabrication services to see a project through from start to finish under one roof. Regardless of the size and scope of a project, as a whole, custom metal fabrication consists of basic stages, each with its own set of multiple processes. Broadly speaking, once a design is submitted, basic stages will include a drawing review, building, final assembly, and shipment, which in many instances requires the expertise and experience necessary to offer export crating as a bonus value-added service. Let’s take a closer look at these 4 stages:
Among the stages of metal fabrication often overlooked but essential for the successful completion of a project, is the review of the drawings. The drawings are the collected documentation produced by the project design engineers which provide the “blueprint” for the product being fabricated. The purpose of the review is to detail how each component will be made, assembled, installed, and eventually depicted when fabrication is completed.
Drawings are made utilizing CAD software (or like software). CAD software is well-regarded for its accuracy and increased complexity in design. It provides a detailed description of any component in a graphical form. High-quality 3D CAD modeling can render precise measurements, dimensions, sizing, and so forth, and also document a product’s design process through the iterations of testing.
There may be several documents to review. As an example, there may drawings for individual component parts, drawings for an assembly to house the component parts, and drawings for final assembly of the product. All documents must be reviewed and approved before submitted for the next stage of the fabrication process—building.
The building stage of a fabrication project can encompass several methods of fabrication. A custom metal fabrication shop commonly houses machinery, equipment, and tools for cutting, punching, forming, shearing, stamping, welding, and more which are used to shape, cut, mold, or join raw metal material into a final product.
Because the metal fabrication business has applications in nearly every industry, there are many different processes and techniques that are used to create an endless variety of products. The floor of a metal fabrication shop is a diverse place full of tools for cutting, stamping, bending, hole punching, melting, coating, and more.
Processes in fabrication will differ, too, depending on the material used and the desired end product. Some products can be mass-produced while others have custom designs. Whether mass-produced or custom designed, the end products are made with a wide range of metals and their alloys—stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, copper, brass to name a few.
Assembly and Finishing
Once separate metal components have been prepared or formed through a particular fabrication process, they are ready for assembly and finishing. The separate parts are fitted together through a number of techniques. Assembly into a final product may entail a number of processes—various welding methods, PEM-setting operations, weld nut fastening, stud welding for metal studs, or automated pneumatic riveting.
After assembly is completed, many products need a final touch before preparing for shipment. It may be a protective layer like rust-resistant paint or powder coating. Products may require a particular color finish or glaze application, or they may need to be brushed, polished, and shined. In some cases, decals or insulators may need to be applied.
Shipping and Export Crating
One basic stage beyond core manufacturing and metal fabrication services are properly packaging and shipping completed products. Metal fabricated products often require custom crating, skids, pallets, and other wood packaging material. All wood material must meet international protocols, and adhere to the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention), and certified ISPM-15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, No. 15 regulations). Providing clients with export crating as a bonus value-added service ensures customer satisfaction and timely delivery of products.
To learn more about the benefits of working with a custom fabrication shop, please contact us at Quest-Tech today!