Custom metal fabrication shops are able to offer clients a multitude of fabrication services to complete the projects they need. From start to finish, the entire project is finished in the shop despite the size of the project. Completing a custom metal fabrication project consists of 4 stages that all have their own processes. After you have submitted your design, these 4 basic stages are set to begin– you’ll review the drawing, the product will be built, final assembly occurs, and then it is ready to be shipped. For many custom fabrication projects, shipping the final product will require expertise and the necessary experience to safely transfer the product.
Review The Drawings
One of the most important stages of completing a custom fabrication project is reviewing the drawings. However, this step is frequently overlooked. Produced by the project design engineers, these drawings are essentially the blueprint for the product that will soon be brought to life through the process of metal fabrication. Why do they need to be reviewed if they were created by skilled engineers? To ensure how each component is going to be made, produced, installed, and depicted after the fabrication process is completed is accurately detailed. This helps to minimize the chance of error later in the process.
Using CAD, or a similar software, engineers are able to create complex designs with accuracy. Each component is described with great detail in a graphical formation. A high-quality 3-dimensional CAD model is able to provide precise measurements, sizing, dimensions, and more while documenting the product’s design process using iterations of testing.
Considering all that goes into producing a drawing, you can expect to have multiple documents to review. For example, your custom fabrication plan could include drawings for each individual component part, drawings for an assembly used to house those parts, and then drawings that detail the final assembly process to complete the project. All of the documents will need to be thoroughly reviewed and get the seal of approval prior to beginning the building process.
The Building Stage
Building a custom fabrication project may require implementing more than one method of fabrication. Custom metal fabrication shops typically have machinery equipment, as well as the tools needed for cutting, forming, punching, shearing, welding, stamping, etc. These are used to mold, shape, cut, or join raw metal material into the desired product.
Metal fabrication business can be used in almost every industry. This is why there are several different processes and techniques that can be used to produce all sorts of products. When you step inside a metal fabrication shop, you might be surprised at how diverse all the tools are as they each serve their own purpose in the process of creating unique products.
Processes in fabrication will also vary based on the materials that are being used and the product that is being created. While some products may be mass produced to quickly meet the demands of the consumer, custom designs may take more time and skill. Regardless, the final products are made using various metals and their alloys– aluminum, brass, carbon steel, copper, and stainless steel being a few.
Assembly And Finishing Touches
After the metal components are prepared or formed using a particular fabrication process, they are then ready to be assembled and finished. Each of the parts are properly fitted together using the necessary techniques. Creating the finished products might require several processes such as various welding methods, weld nut fastening, automated pneumatic riveting, PEM-setting operations, or stud welding.
Once the assembly process is complete, most products need some finishing touches prior to being shipped to the customer. These may include adding a protective layer such as rust-resistant paint or powder coatings. Products might have to have a color finish or glaze application or need to be brushed, polished, and shined. Others might need a decal or insulator applied to complete the project.
Shipping And Export Crating
When the core manufacturing and metal fabrication processes are finished, it is important that the final product is properly packaged and shipped. Metal fabricated products generally need custom crating, skids, pallets, and other wood packaging materials to be shipped without being damaged. All wood material has to meet international protocols, while adhering to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, No. 15 regulations (ISPM-15). By offering clients export crating, you are providing them with a valuable service that will ensure satisfaction and a timely delivery– which we all know is important.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of working with a custom fabrication shop or have questions about the process and expenses, reach out to the Palmer Tool Company today! We would love to get your next fabrication project started.
Contact us (731-584-4681) to start a no-obligation discussion about your project.
About Palmer Tool
Palmer Tool completes critical jobs on-time and on-budget. Since 1966, Palmer has taken on jobs that other shops and contractors either didn’t want, or just couldn’t do. We can fabricate parts in our shops, visit you at your plant, or meet you at on-location (ie. logging, mining, construction, etc.). From the toughest repairs to the most complex new assembly, we’ve seen and done it all. Over the past 50+ years, Palmer has maintained our reputation as a trusted expert welder and fabricator of non-ferrous alloys in demanding applications (high pressure + high temperature chemical plants). Our hard-facing applications, and robust designs, have successfully extended the service life of countless industrial “extreme service” components, saving our clients’ money! Palmer Tool and Contractors provide on-call emergency services 24/7, because we understand that in manufacturing “the clock never stops”.