When looking for custom metal fabrication companies to start your new fabrication project, it’s easy enough to get overwhelmed by simply trying to find answers to the most basic questions. The term “metal fabrication” can be confusing enough – it broadly refers to many processes that shape, cuts, weld, machine, or mold metal material into a final product. A full-service custom metal fabrication company is not simply a business; it is an integral grouping of technologies that are applied at various stages of production to fabricate the desired end product.
It is important when doing research for a fabrication company not to be sidetracked by misconceptions and generalizations about what a custom metal fabrication company can or cannot do. Knowing what to expect from a fabrication company should be your goal.
Here are five common misconceptions to be aware of when conducting your research and to help you select the best company for your project:
1. Metal fabrication companies are essentially the same
A metal fabrication company may offer many services to its customers or only one. In truth, services differ widely from shop to shop. Choosing one over the other directly relates to your project requirements. It’s important to find a fabrication company that offers the services that you require to complete your project to your satisfaction.
Start by evaluating a metal fabrication company’s capabilities. First, a shop must be able to perform the fabrication method necessary to complete your particular part’s geometry and be familiar with the materials used to fabricate it. Related to this is to make sure the fabrication company serves your industry, too, and that the fabrication shop has the space requirements for your project. The building must be large enough to fulfill your project needs without slowing down or impeding production. Look for a full-service metal fabrication shop to satisfy all your project needs.
2. If you have a design there is no need for an engineer
There is a common misconception that if you submit your own design there is no need for further input from an engineer. However, from concept to actually manufacturing a product is a multi-step process that requires engineering input throughout. Even after submitting a final design for a project, it still requires the expertise of an engineer for testing, tweaking, and prototyping. Engineers and fabricators work together throughout all the processes to make sure the end products work as designed.
3. The best price ensures a better ROI on a project
There is truth in the old saying, ‘find the best price for the best quality and you’ll get the most for your money.’ While doing research for a new fabrication project, preparing a budget is requisite to the profitability of that project. Shopping around for the best price then is essential to ensure the project’s financial success. Keep in mind that, in the long run, the lowest price from a fabricator will not necessarily provide you with a better ROI.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of business models that fabricators adhere to when competing for your business. One fabricator may compete on the price alone, whereas the other competitors on the overall value of their work. There is a distinction—the cost versus quality. Finding a balance is to your advantage, but to ensure a better ROI on your project, it’s better to invest in value.
4. Metal applications are interchangeable
Though there are many metals to choose from when designing a metal fabrication project, some with similar characteristics, it does not mean that these metals can be used interchangeably to complete a project. The material composition of metals varies. Each metal has its own set of unique properties with specific characteristics for specific applications and end products.
A good example is a common misconception that steel can be substituted for aluminum and vice-versa in fabrication projects. Aluminum is softer, more ductile, and much lighter than steel. It is widely used to fabricate parts and components in the transportation sector or for assorted packaging. However, it is also more expensive and does not have the strength of steel. When it comes to durability and resilience, you’re well-advised not to substitute steel for aluminum in fabrication projects.
5. Custom metal fabrication companies use multiple vendors
Though it is certainly possible for a third-party vendor to be brought in on a new project in some shops, very rarely will a full-service fabrication company require the services of one or multiple vendors to complete a new project. No matter how unique the project, from start to finish, design, engineering, fabrication, and assembly is done in-house. When researching a metal fabrication company for your new project, you will be better served to look for a company with the capabilities to fabricate from many metals, such as stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, copper, and brass, that uses state of the art equipment operated by skilled craftsmen all performed under one roof.
As you research custom metal fabrication companies like Quest-Tech, it’s essential to educate yourself about what to expect from the finished results. To learn more about our metal fabrication services, please contact us at Quest-Tech today.