What is Custom Design and Fabrication?
Custom design and fabrication is a manufacturing process that uses industrial equipment and tools to shape metal by cutting it, bending it, and joining pieces together. Generally, this process is done on stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized and galvannealed steel, and copper depending on the use. This process allows the customer to create fully customizable metal works for specific purposes, producing a product that is as efficient and effective as possible.
Custom Metal Fabrication Techniques
There are many techniques that manufacturers use to get the clients desired results. From cutting to welding, there are many different skills metal fabricators need to have.
Laser cutting is the process of cutting metal using a high-powered laser. This laser is guided by a computer and creates a cut edge on many different types of metal, such as aluminum, hot- and cold-rolled steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel, and galvannealed steel.
Forming is a way to force metal into different shapes. The metal is shaped by a plastic mold being forcefully punched into the metal, resulting in different sizes and shapes to form.
Turret punching uses a punch to create a hole in metal. Forceful machinery rapidly punctures the metal, creating the hole. Metal punching creates an imprint on the metal by using pressure and a punch tool.
Simply put, welding is the process of joining two metals or two metal pieces together through melting. Traditional and robotic welding are now options, each having its own advantages. In traditional, or hand, welding a professional welder is manually joining metals. Robotic welding is a little different because the robot, or machine, is responsible for the physical joining of metals with a professional welder in control of the machine and monitoring the process.
The Finishing Touches
Metal finishing is the process of applying a protective outer coating to the metal, giving it a clean look.
Clients asking for their products to be assembled is common. Making sure the product is fully put together before being shipped to the customer is crucial, especially for highly complex or technical works.
In order to fasten some metal pieces together, welding alone doesn’t work. Using the holes that were punched or cut into the metal, hardware is inserted and tightened to fasten the metal and ensure security.
Another type of metal finish, powder coating is a smooth outer finish applied to the metal. This is accomplished by spraying dry powder onto the surface of the metal and then fusing the powder to the surface using an electric charge.
Silkscreening is one of the last steps of metal fabrication. Using heat-cured paint, colorful designs are added to the surface of the metal.
What to Consider When Deciding Which Custom Design and Fabrication Team is Right for You
What Metal is Used?
When looking for a fabricator, you need to make sure that they are comfortable and experienced in whatever kind of metal you are using. Whether it is stainless steel or copper, the right metal is critical to your design and product functionality. Try to opt for a company that has experience with the kind of metal you are using.
What Processes Are the Company Using?
The capabilities and techniques needed for custom metal design and fabrication vary from project to project. You don’t want to have to hire multiple metal fabrication companies just to get one project finished, it is expensive and time-consuming. Having a fabricator that can meet all of your needs, including finishing and assembly is key to saving money.
Is the Company Experienced and Do They Serve Your Industry?
Experience matters when it comes to the creation of your product. Finding a team with experience in your specific industry, and even with your specific type of product, gives you peace of mind that they are the best choice to accomplish the job.
Is the Company Helpful and Informative?
When sourcing out your design and fabrication, a clear line of communication needs to be open at all times to make sure you and your manufacturer are on the same page about the design and production of your product. Having helpful and attentive customer service representatives at the manufacturer you are working with will save time and money in the long run.
Want to See if C.R. Metal Products Meets Your Needs?
For more than 75 years, C.R. Metal Products has served numerous industries with their custom design and fabrication needs. As an ISO-certified metal fabrication company, our extensive capabilities, from laser cutting to silkscreening, are guaranteed to be high-quality.