WHAT IS METAL FABRICATION?
Metal fabrication is a critical part of the manufacturing process. From paperclips to plane parts, it’s used to create a wide variety of products. Metal fabrication is an essential step in creating everything from hardware and tools to car parts and pipes. Fabricated metal products accounted for $345.1 billion of shipments in 2013 alone!
Although fabricated metal products are common, few people understand how the metal fabrication process works. Most people think of welding when they hear metal fabrication. But welding is just one process that metal fabricators use.
So what exactly is metal fabrication?
Metal fabrication is a manufacturing process used to shape metal into parts or end products. We use a number of techniques to shape sheet metal into a part or good.
Most metal fabrication uses sheet metal, which can be up to .25 inches thick. Fabricators convert this sheet metal into products or tools. We cut, stamp, fold, or shape metal to create the finished part.
Some examples of products made with metal fabrication include:
- · Hand tools
- · Bolts, nuts, and screws
- · Cans
- · Cutlery
- · Pipes and pipe fittings
- · Metal windows and doors
- · Equipment attachments
- · Car parts
Metal fabrication plays a large role in creating parts for mass consumption. The mass production of products like screws, cans, cutlery, pipes and pans all fall into this category. These products tend to have consistent requirements and a wider tolerance for error. This means that the parts can differ in small ways from the original design but still function as expected.
On the other hand, metal fabrication can also create large runs of customized fabricated metal products. These projects usually include the design and fabrication of customized metal parts to fit a business’ needs. Customized valves, car parts and hardware are all examples of this type of project.