Countless products require fabricated metal. You may not realize it, but the process of metal fabrication is required to make everything from medical equipment to everyday appliances. We’re surrounded by it.
Companies can either mass produce fabricated products at a low cost or make custom metal fabrication products that align with their client’s specifications. A company may also provide stamping and coating services as well.
You may be looking for metal fabrication services but are wondering what actually goes into manufacturing a product.
To help you out, we’re going through the steps to shed some light on the process.
Step 1: Cutting
Custom metal fabrication starts with a large piece of sheet metal. This metal first needs to get cut into smaller pieces. Depending on the manufacturer, this happens one of several possible ways.
Shearing employs a machine that cuts by use of shear stress. During this process, a machine applies a large amount of force until the large piece of sheet metal breaks along the cut location.
During EDM or electrical discharge machining, a piece of metal gets cut into the desired shape using an electrical discharge. Rapid discharges of electric current help cut and remove the smaller pieces.
A company may also use a laser. During this process, a state-of-the-art laser cuts smaller pieces from a larger piece of metal. This process is highly precise.
Step 2: Forming
After the metal gets cut, it needs to be formed into the custom shape of the product or component. During custom metal fabrication, there are specifications that a manufacturer follows when forming.
There are several possible ways a company forms metal into the desired shape.
Rolling is the first common method. This involves shaping the pieces of metal using a roll stand. Repeating this process results in the custom shape.
A company could also choose to bend and form the metal. This means shaping the metal by hand instead of with the use of a machine.
Other techniques like stamping and punching create more detailed design elements in the metal. Welding joins two pieces together if needed.
Step 3: Finishing
After the forming step is complete, the piece must go through a process to make sure it’s ready for use. This is referred to as the finishing process. Think of this as putting the final touches on the product.
During this process, the product gets sharpened and polished where needed with an abrasive material. This removes any rough areas or sharpens the product where needed.
The metal also gets cleaned so that it’s ready for distribution and use.
Custom Metal Fabrication Services
Whether using a piece of fabricated metal for a smaller component within a large item or as the primary foundation of a product, working with an experienced company is essential. Trying to fabricate the piece without the proper resources will be a costly mistake.
Instead, let us put the steps above into motion to fabricate a product for you. We have over 30 years of experience in the metal coating and fabrication business. Contact us to learn more.