If you had to ask a full-service fabricator what the difference is between a standard metal fabrication solution and a custom metal fabrication one, the odds are that they’d give you a one-worded answer—value.
By its very nature, custom metal fabrication starts with thorough research to determine the appropriate methods and materials required in order to produce cost-effective but unique designs. The custom metal fabrication process—from design to delivery—is specifically designed to produce more durable and effective results that provide long-term value, whether they’re colossal steel silos or tiny metal accessories.
We’ve prepared this piece with a look at some of the most commonly used and reliable custom metal fabrications techniques that deliver high-quality products that provide long-term value. Let’s dive right in.
Setting Design Intent
The design element of metal fabrication is critical to reaching the desired outcome. Full-service fabricators may take standard industrial plans or engineering drawings to come up with detailed designs for even extremely complex fabrications. Such a process is suited for custom metal fabrications that include the following:
- Grain and feed tanks, hoppers, and silos with dry solids metering or other material for handling functionality
- Liquid food storage with quality control capabilities
- Wrap-around spiral staircases
Metal Cutting and Forming
Before a fabricator begins cutting, they need to determine the method that is the most appropriate for the type of metal and its thickness. Common metal cutting techniques include:
- Laser cutting for heavy steel plates or delicate metal fabrications
- Plasma machines with Computer Numeric Control for complex steel shapes
- Sawing for structural steel projects
Metal forming typically requires bending, punching, or plate and angle rolling. Common metal forming equipment may include:
- CNC and mechanical, hydraulic press brakes
- CNC punching machines and beam punches
- Angle rolling and plate rolling machines
- Multi-function ironworkers for bending, punching, and sheering
Custom Welding and Assembly
Custom welding and assembly ensure that the fabrication meets strict industry standards. Generally speaking, a qualified custom fabricator will work with certified welders and will have a documented QC program in place.
Finishing is the last stage that is one of the most critical when it comes to adding value to custom metal fabrication projects. Some finishing techniques include:
- Surface prep
- Metal bead blasting
- Custom painting and drying via controlled paint booths
- Hot-dip galvanizing to reach every inch of the metal and prevent moisture from compromising its structural integrity
- Metal powder coating for decorative finishing
PlasmaTech is a leading metal fabrication, metal cutting, and welding services provider in Wasilla, AK. Our quality control programs align with CWB, AWS, and ASTM specifications, adhering strictly to industry safety standards.
Contact our team of certified welders today for more details.