Steel fabrication in its broadest term is the process by which steel is cut, shaped, or moulded to form a final specified product. This can be through stock components such as steel bars, tubes, or pipes which are heavily used in the construction industry through to one-off bespoke pieces such as machinery parts or even decorative work such as fencing, gates, or sculptures.
So what happens when a customer requires a non-standard bespoke piece? What do they do then?
Firstly any good steel fabricator worth their salt isn’t just good at manufacturing the product they can also help with the design and functionality of the product too. This includes the conceptualisation, creation, and analysis of the product characteristics, the build of the item and the final finishing, assembly, and testing of the product.
An experienced fabricator should also be able to tell whether a product is going to work or not even before it’s been constructed. Computer aided design (CAD) is a great way to test the structural weaknesses of products (particularly machinery parts or specialised tooling) virtually, before they even get to the manufacturing stage. This means that any tweaks, changes, or enhancements can be addressed quickly before work gets under way.
Once everything has been designed the manufacturing process can begin. There are a multitude of design processes that a steel fabricator has at their disposal dependent on project specifications. These include casting, drawing, forging, punching, welding, turning, drilling, and milling. The fabricator may use one or more processes to deliver the desired results. More often than not many projects are time-sensitive and an in-demand fabricator will find themselves juggling more than one project at once.
Finishing and assembly
In some cases a bespoke project will need secondary finishing treatments in order to match the desired specifications. These can include, polishing, bonding, de-burring, riveting, painting, and bonding, before the final assembly is carried out.
The fact that a tradesman or individual can go to a metal fabricator with a seed of an idea and a rough design and days later may have the fully functioning version is pretty impressive and this is why a good fabricator is very much in demand.
Here at Metro Steel we’ve been helping contractors or individuals with their bespoke metal work for over ten years and have the knowledge and experience to deliver any steel product while giving the customer exceptional service. If you have a metal work project in mind, then we can help. Call us on 07 3204 1000 and speak to our friendly staff who are only too glad to assist.