What is metal fabrication? As you’re going over search results for a query like “metal fabrication near me,” it’s good to have a general understanding of what it is and what the different processes for quality metal fabricating are.

Maybe it’s best to start by saying what it is not. If you think of the word fabricate, the definition that probably first comes to mind is “to make up for the purpose of deception.” Common applications of this meaning include fabricating a story, fabricating evidence, etc.

However, there isn’t anything deceptive about metal fabrication. It’s not about creating fake or substandard metal products, nor is it about somehow creating metal.

Another definition is “to construct from diverse and usually standardized parts.”

Now we’re getting somewhere.

In reality, metal fabrication is a manufacturing process that shapes metal into parts or end products. Applications of metal fabrication are all around you in cars, tools, electrical appliances, phones and more. It’s a critical part of the manufacturing process, with sheet metal fabrication as a means of converting sheet metal into parts or tools that then help create a finished component.

Types of Metal Fabrication

Now that you have a working definition of metal fabrication, you might be thinking that welding and metal fabrication sound pretty similar. If so, you’re on the right track, but actually, welding is a type of metal fabrication, not a synonym for the process itself. Following are some (not all) other processes used in custom metal fabrication, which goes through several steps: design, prototyping, programming, fabrication, finishing, and assembly.

  • Casting: The fabricator pours molten metal into a mold, and the molten metal cools, becomes solid, and can be removed.
  • Cutting: The most fundamental process in metal fabrication, cutting can occur via shearing, sawing, flame cutting, laser cutting, or waterjet cutting. Through cutting, the metal becomes the desired size and shape.
  • Drilling: Using a circular bit, the operator cuts holes into the metal.
  • Forging: With high-pressure machinery, a fabricator compresses metal and then bends or shapes it.
  • Milling: This process bores perforations into the metal.
  • Punching: Whether for decorative purposes or utility, the machinist uses turrets to punch pre-designed patterns into the metal.
  • Turning: The technician places a piece of metal on a spinning platform. As the metal spins, the technician makes radial cuts with a tool.

Applications of Metal Fabrication

There are so many final applications of metal fabrication that it would be impractical to list them all here, but here are several common and familiar ones:

  • Bolts, nuts, and screws
  • Cans
  • Car parts
  • Cutlery
  • Equipment attachments
  • Hand tools
  • Metal windows and doors
  • Pipes and pipe fittings

How Sustainment Helps with Metal Fabrication Needs

Although metal fabrication is vital to manufacturing and the need for it is widespread, most businesses relying on it lack the equipment and/or the know-how to perform it. It’s no surprise, then, that most businesses needing metal fabrication for their products outsource the work to metal fabrication companies.

Finding good local metal fabricators can be a challenge, though; it’s not like driving down the road until you see the first fast-food restaurant when you’re hungry. To help businesses find a local metal fabrication shop and make the metal fabrication near me process easier, Sustainment provides a powerful search platform that enables its partners to connect with reliable local businesses that can help them get the job done.

Locating good domestic and local suppliers is a lot harder than it needs to be. Sustainment makes it easier.

Join the FREE Sustainment community to find quality metal fabrication near you.

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