Metal Fabricators

scr_080118-D-7203T-045Metal fabrication is the process of creating/construction of structures and machines from raw materials. The process involves the cutting, bending and assembling of metal pieces to create the end product. Companies that specialize in the metal fabrication are called fab shops. Some fab shops offer a variety of services such as cutting, welding, and forming in addition to machining. These fab shops are seen as value-added suppliers as they limit the need for clients to have multiple vendors. Metal fabricators do work for equipment manufacturers, contractors, and re-sellers and they create items such as stairs, hand railings, and structural frames for equipment and buildings.

The metal fabricators get contracts from companies by submitting drawings. Most metal fabricators share the same capabilities.

The planning stages start when the contract is awarded. Materials are ordered, and a manufacturing engineer programs the CNC machine. If the project is quite large or specialized, some of the work may be contracted out.

Raw materials used for metal fabricators

  • Plate metal
  • Pre-formed and expanded metal
  • Welding wire
  • Fittings
  • Castings

Process of metal fabrication

  • The raw materials are cut to the correct size
  • Cutting is done by tools such as a special band saw or cutting torches
  • Dies are used to form the metal
  • If the metal needs to be bent or made round, then tube bending machines and rolling machines are then used
  • Parts are then welded together and left to cool
  • The structure is then sandblasted painted if necessary
  • Final inspection occurs before the item is sent off to the clients

Specialization of metal fabricators

Depending on their own expertise and the needs of the clients, metal fabricators tend to specialise in specific processes. These processes can include:

  • punching,
  • welding,
  • forging,
  • casting,
  • brazing,
  • shearing,
  • drawing and
  • spinning.

Higher levels of specialisation can include processes such as hydraulics and electrical services.