Metal fabrication unveiled: tips and types of sheet metal fabrication processes

May 1, 2020

When you look at a completed metal fabrication project, it may not seem like it took a lot of work to get to that final result.

If you stop and consider how it looked when it all started, getting all those raw materials to turn into something functional seems a lot more complicated.

To get the raw materials into the final stage, certain fabrication processes are necessary. If they are not executed properly, or in the right order, the final project won’t be what you expect.

If you’d like to learn about different metal fabrication processes and how they work, keep reading to find out what All Metals Fabricating can do for you.

WHAT IS METAL FABRICATION?

Metal fabrication occurs when craftspeople follow a series of processes to build parts using various metal materials.

It may include cutting or machining, forming and bending, welding, hardware insertion, finishing and assembly to achieve the completed result.

There are many types of projects that may require metal fabrication. The project could be as small as simple cover plates or simplistic bracketry, or as large as complete industrial integrated enclosures or complicated electro-mechanical assemblies.

By using a metal fabrication shop, you can get your job completed faster because all of the processes needed for the end result can be done in one place. You won’t have to work with multiple shops and individuals to get your project completed.

TYPES OF FABRICATION PROCESSES

Here are some of the metal fabrication processes that we use, in no particular order, to get you the final result you’re looking for.

Whether it is helping you design the project in the beginning or putting the final touches on at the end, we are capable of completing the necessary processes for a great product.

ENGINEERING AND DESIGN

We have the ability to provide you with engineering and design expertise no matter what stage your project may be in.

If you need a consultation before the project begins or during production, our experts can help.

Our knowledge of metal fabrication techniques, CNC machining, sheet metal design, and cutting edge technology allows us to help you determine what the best product at the best price will be for you.

LASER CUTTING

If your project requires odd shapes with tight tolerancees and high-speed cutting, we will use laser cutting to get the job done. This is a metal fabrication technology that allows us to use a powerful laser to cut sheet metal, tubing and structural shapes with great precision.

We have four exceptional, state-of-the-art laser cutting machines that can work with a variety of sheet metal, tubing, and structural shapes.

CNC PUNCHING

CNC punching is a modern metal fabrication process for sheet metal that employs computerized punch press machinery.

Punch presses have special rams that make holes or deform sheet metal.  Typical features requiring CNC punching include dimples, louvers, ribs, extruded holes and knock-outs, only to name a few.

The utilization of computerized programming software ensures the ram is in the correct position each time it creates a feature in the metal.

CNC MACHINING

This is a manufacturing process we also perform using programming computer software to create the coding for the machinery to cut the parts.  Using it, we can dictate how the tools and machinery move to complete our projects.

CNC machining can be used for many different purposes and on different types of machinery.

If you need turning, drilling, milling, countersinking, sawing, and more, this is a good way to get the job done with precision. Our experts know how to use this machinery for any type of project you may have to ensure accuracy.

BENDING AND FORMING

Forming is a process in which different metal parts are reshaped to create a new workpiece. There is nothing added or removed during this process, so the actual amount of metal will stay the same.

Bending is when metal is manipulated to be a V-shape, channel shape, or U-shape.

We use Amada CNC press brakes to bend the metal into the needed shape for your project.

If your project requires something simple or something significantly more complex, we have a variety of equipment options and in-house for these processes that will be able to get the job done per your specifications.

With our CNC press brakes, we can give our customers the quality and precision necessary for intricate workpieces.

WELDING

Welding is a very important part of metal fabrication because it bonds the fabricatred pieces together to help form a completed project.

We have an extensive welding department with certified welders that know how to use different welding procedures as needed. The right technique will be used on your project every time.

We even have a robotic welding workstation for higher volume projects, or projects that require extensive welding.  Using our robotic workstation affords us the capability to weld components together with higher speed and precision.

Regardless of the thickness or the type of material, our craftspeople are capable of using the right tools, equipment, and technique to get the detail needed.

HARDWARE INSERTION

Hardware insertion can be a strategic process in the grander scheme of your projects.  Any connection that is intended to be “bolted together” requires human intervention to position the hardware and then the use of tools to tighten the connection properly.

We have the ability to permanently attach nuts, standoffs, studs, and many other assembly type hardware to sheet metal components.  In doing so, we can eliminate the need to access to the back side of components for the assembly process.

There are a myriad of features we can add to your components to streamline assembly by you or your customers.  If you are curious, contact us and we can discuss your application and help you develop a solution.

FINISHING

All Metals Fabricating is a full solutions provider, meaning we will be able to give you an entirely completed project.

For finishing services, we offer:

  • Painting / Powder coating

We have in-house painting capability which allows us to help control costs and maintain schedules by keeping the process flow in motion without extra transportation costs.

  • Plating

We do out-source component plating and have strong relationships with our local vendors to provide these services for us in a timely and efficient manner.

  • SIlkscreening

We are fully capable to silkscreen legends and markings on parts after paint or plating as required for the project.

  • Cable / Wiring fabrication

An odd feture of a metal fabrication facility, but we do have a cable and wiring manufacturing department that is fully equipped with cutters and strippers as well as automated crimping machinery and tooling.  So, when building finished assemblies, we can also build the wiring harnesses and cables internally as well.

  • Assembly

Our assembly folks are experienced craftspeople who understand quality and have an un-canny obsession with details.  They inspect, assemble, test, and package components and assemblies for shipment.  We have the great fortune of having these folks inspecting and sharing their insight to help us help improve our customer’s products when they see opportunities exist.

LOGISTICS

We frequently ship products directly to our customer’s end customer.  In doing so, we often package the product with instructional literature as required, serialize and label the package for shipment using our customer’s shipping labeling and pack list formats.  In doing so, we can be your logistical partner as well.

GET HELP WITH YOUR METAL FABRICATION NEEDS

As you can see, there are many processes that can go into metal fabrication as a whole and it takes skilled hands to be able to perform these tasks well.

At All Metals Fabricating, we have exceptional craftspeople who are ready to take on your task.

Please contact us with any additional questions you may have. We want to reassure you that your metal fabrication project is in safe hands and we are willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

When you’re ready, request a quote to see what we can do for you and your next project.