Metal fabrication involves several processes such as metal casting, molding, cutting, shaping, drawing, punching, etc. However, not all of these processes are required for manufacturing a specific product. The required ones will depend on the design as well as other application requirements. This is where custom metal fabrication comes into play. It allows metal fabricators to select a suitable metal fabrication process that helps in the precise fabrication of the product. The following post discusses the key benefits of custom metal fabrication.
What is Custom Metal Fabrication?
Custom metal fabrication refers to the customizable application of different fabrication processes to manufacture a product. Unlike traditional stock metal fabrication processes, the custom fabrication process offers flexibility for manufacturing application-specific products. The product specifications may vary across industries such as automotive, aerospace, military and defense, depending on the application requirements. Metal fabricators need to adopt a flexible fabrication approach in order to meet the typical requirements of these industries. This approach not only helps them to design and manufacture application-specific products but also to ensure their quality and performance in a long run.
Key Factors That Make Custom Metal Fabrication Superior to Stock Fabrication
Flexibility isn’t the only reason that makes custom fabrication superior to stock fabrication. The following pointers will provide a better understanding on the benefits of the process:
- High Component Compatibility: The customization of metal/sheet metal-fabrication offers component compatibility. Since all components are custom designed and fabricated to certain specifications they are usually compatible with eachother. Factors such as friction between two components, dimensional fit, and surface chemical reactions are important in custom fabrication processes. For example, the fabrication of a boiler cylinder and an insulation ring are the same. The inner diameter of the insulation ring must match the outer diameter of the cylinder and the inner diameter of the cylinder lid. Stock manufacturing would only offer the option to select the closest fitting ring size but custom fabrication enables production with specific dimensions.
- Durable Product Lifecycle: Custom fabrication helps in producing durable products. After a discussion with the client, a fabricator can select the material that compliments the desired application. The fabricator can consider the possible stresses, strains, and external forces along with the chemical reactions involved in the process. This makes the product design application-centered. For example, if the application involves hard water, then plain steel may not be the right option. Salt can corrode the product in a short time. During custom fabrication, the metal fabricator has the liberty to use stainless steel (Grade 316) to increase the shelf-life of the product.
- Increased Efficiency: Sometimes a component can be manufactured in many ways by employing two or more processes. Custom fabrication allows for the selection of the optimum fabrication process from all available options. For example, a gear can be manufactured by lathe machining, CNC machining, forging, or powder metallurgy. In custom fabrication, a metal fabricator will select the process that perfectly suits the requirement and helps accelerate the production time. In terms of the operational efficiency, custom fabrication aces stock fabrication. As custom fabrication allows compatible component manufacturing, losses induced by factors such as friction, wear, and tear, component overlapping can be eliminated. Streamlining these processes allows for increased efficiency in metal fabrication.
Those are some of the key factors that influence a fabricator to select custom fabrication over stock fabrication. The fabricator’s qualification, experience, and excellence make a huge difference in the final product. This process involves precise calculations, accurate designs, and meticulous manufacturing practice. Therefore, one should always go for a prominent custom metal fabrication service provider like BEPeterson. The company has been providing custom metal fabrication services for heavy gauge metal parts and equipment since 1935. The company operates from its well-equipped 90,000 square foot facility in Avon, MA.