You may know that the metal fabrication process involves the forming, shaping, joining and/or finishing of metal, which likely happens through deforming or removing portions of the material. But despite many people’s beliefs, metal fabrication is not just a simple one or two-step process. In fact, it’s detailed and comprehensive—it’s not simply taking just any piece of metal and fabricating away. Want to hire a metal fabricator, but also want to know what’s going on? Here’s a look at some of the different aspects of metal fabrication in Phoenix, AZ:
- Metal fabrication is a process: Most metal fabrication jobs require several steps for the process to be truly complete. Any of the following steps may be involved: shearing or cutting, forming, machining and welding. These important steps need careful planning and follow-through to determine lead time. Keep this in mind should a job or project need to be completed sooner rather than later.
- The process requires a variety of equipment: Each step of the metal fabrication process is done using certain tools and equipment. Because of this, machine shops own a wide range of equipment and supplies. Any type of project could call for a metal fabricator to use equipment like a press brake, lathe, table saw, grinder or others. Each job is different, and therefore, the equipment used from one job to the next will also be different.
- There are limitations: It’s important to understand that it takes time and planning for a metal fabricator to customize a piece from material. It doesn’t happen immediately. Often, machine shop equipment, materials and access to particular processes pose limitations. For instance, a shop may be able to perform all the main metal fabrication functions but not the finish. They will need to send metal components out for special finishes. Another example is a fabricator discovering that design specifications won’t work with the material requested by the client. That may mean using an alternative material or fabrication method.
- Different materials have different fabrication processes: Metal fabricators have to multi-task, from carefully planning the process to knowing which fabrication techniques work to getting the job done right. A big part about the job is understanding the material. An untrained eye will see all metals as looking the same, when each one is actually quite different, with unique properties that need to be taken into consideration. Such properties include tensile strength, weldability and formability. Additionally, not all metals can be fabricated the same way. Take aluminum, for example—aluminum has a lower melting point than stainless steel, making it a more versatile material for metal fabricators to work with.
- Possible secondary processes: The major components to the metal fabrication process are cutting, forming and assembling. However, there are also secondary processes that need to happen before a job is completely done. Secondary processes can include anodizing, galvanizing, plating, sandblasting and finishing.
It’s a good idea to be informed about what your chosen metal fabricator can and cannot do in their shop. Ask questions and get referrals! Call Metal Pro Inc. to learn more about metal fabrication in Phoenix, AZ.