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Metal Fabrication

Metal fabricators are companies that process metals into usable products. Fabrication is a blanket term used in reference to a wide range of metalworking processes. Some of the most common fabrication processes include metal bending, metal welding, stamping, punching and many other metal forming processes.

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Long recognized as experts in the field of high-performance metal fabrication, Spincraft`s products and assemblies are found throughout Aerospace, Energy, Defense and Aviation industries. Utilizing comprehensive forming, machining and assembly processes, Spincraft delivers single-source integrated solutions for today`s complex manufacturing challenges.
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In addition to being a full service manufacturer of wire formed parts, Advance Wire Forming offers integrated sheet metal and tubing parts fabrication customized to meet your exact specifications. Our skilled staff and advanced facilities give us the capacity and versatility to produce parts from simple wire forms to complex metal fabrication projects.
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McKey Perforating Co. is a virtual success in the metal fabricating, steel fabricating and aluminum fabricating industry. If you are looking for a solution to your challenging design issue, our team of engineers are eagerly waiting to help you.
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From simple machining to the most sophisticated CNC program systems for complex metal fabrication of precision specifications, this ISO 9001:2000 & 14000 certified company, Northern States Metals, is your source for custom products and quality parts. A full-service facility ensures quality and reduces consumer costs from design and engineering to extrusion, finishing and packaging.
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Fab Masters Company (FMC) is the company of choice for complete turnkey custom aluminum extrusion CNC machining and certified welding for the right parts on time without headaches. We are a volume shop with a minimum order of 100 piece finished product or 1,000 pounds of material, with the exception of prototypes. Our goal is make your life (at work) easier, call for metal fabrication.
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Since 1969 we have been committed to providing our customers with metal fabrication services that the competition cannot match. We are located in Noblesville, Indiana but we are dedicated to serving customers all across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Our skilled technicians have the capability and the know how to provide you with any product that you may need! Visit us online today to learn more!
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Metal Fabrication

Fabricated metal products are generally made using metal materials that have already been processed in some way; freshly mined, unprocessed metals are almost never subject to fabrication processes. Before a metal product can be fabricated, it must first be subject to any number of forming, shaping, forging, alloying or other processes. Aluminum fabricators, for example, are not involved in the mining of the aluminum used in their products, nor are they involved in alloying aluminum with other metals, which is usually necessary to make aluminum useful for fabrication. Steel fabricators and stainless steel fabricators are similarly secondary in the overall timeline of metal product production. However, in the case of metal fabrication, secondary is not synonymous with subordinate.  Fabrication services like heavy fabrication and robotic welding assemble the structural supports of large buildings and the airframes of planes. The steel skeletons of the largest bridges are assembled by metal fabricators, and the smallest inscriptions on complex electronic components are engraved during laser fabrication. For all of the needs in between, custom metal fabrication services allow for the creation of irregular fabricated metal products. Metal fabrication is an essential industrial process.

The need for metal fabrication services stretches across all sectors of industry and commerce. Consumer markets are also saturated with fabricated metal products. The most basic hand tools and the most complicated electronics feature fabricated metal products. A given office building makes use of fabricated metal furniture, shelving, HVAC components like ductwork and grating, desktop paper trays and a host of other products. Industrial operations require stamped metal racks for product storage, bent metal hoods for fluorescent lighting and welded stairwell railings. Domestic utilities like kitchenware, scissors, animal cages, bed frames and appliances can all be products of metal fabrication processes. Primary metal forming processes like extrusion and casting create the metal materials from which metal fabrications are produced. Without fabrication, many of these unprocessed metal parts would not be useful. Extruded aluminum vehicle trim, for example, would have no use if it was not bent into the correct shape and fastened to a vehicle door. A cast engine block would also be useless unless fitted with fabricated parts and attached to a vehicle. Because unprocessed metals are used to create so many different things, many fabrication methods are necessary to process them.

Welding is one of the most important metal fabrication methods. It is used to join metal pieces in so many contexts that welding methods have been developed for applications in outer space and under water. Welding services are essential to the continued maintenance of industrial facilities like power plants, the manufacturing of vehicles, the fabrication of furniture and many other operations and processes. Roll forming, another fabrication method, is a continuous, high volume bending process. Roll formers can take textured, extruded, finished and other kinds of metals and bend them into useful products like channels and trim. Roll forming is particularly important to operations that produce metal sheets and paneling. Another very prominent method of metal bending is press braking, which produces bent metal on a much lower scale than roll forming. Press brakes involve a flat working surface with a specially formed indentation in the shape of the bend to be imparted into the metal. Above the working surface is suspended a pressing tool with an edge that fits perfectly into the indentation in the working surface. A sheet of metal is then placed in between the surface and the pressing tool; when a technician presses the tool into the metal, it forces the metal into the indentation in the working surface.

Since their development in antiquity, some of the most basic metalworking practices have endured and are still in use. Bending, stamping and engraving are, in principle, the same processes they have always been, though the processes have become more effective and efficient as time has passed. As for the future of metalworking, the development of lasers and other advanced machinery that can cut metals without even touching them has made possible levels of precision fabrication that professionals even 20 years ago may never have dreamed. Computer-assisted manufacturing equipment (many varieties of which are known as Computer Numeric Equipment) can fabricate products with virtually no mistakes. Complex designs can be created easily with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and created by computer-assisted equipment with tremendous ease. Despite the surge of developments in metal fabrication technology, some metalworkers temper their enthusiasm for the future of metalworking. As advanced metalworking methods are developed, the possibility that older methods as well as workers will be displaced seems very real; automated production lines can make entire shifts of workers unnecessary. The only certainty about the future of metalworking is that no one can predict its course.



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Metal Fabrication Types

  • Aluminum fabricators manufacture components for industrial machinery or other products.
  • Custom metal fabrication is any service that offers metal part assembly, stamping, welding or any other fabrication service according to customer specifications.
  • Fabricated metal products are complete metal products that have been assembled, stamped, punched, welded or subject to any other fabrication process. 
  • Heavy fabrication processes are any operations that deal with the creation of very large or complex fabricated metal products.
  • Laser fabrication utilizes a device that produces a bright and intense light beam. The high-powered laser beam, depending on the total power output and beam diameter, is capable of cutting, marking and welding a metal.
  • Metal bending is a metal forming process in which metal can be deformed through plastically deforming the material and then changing its shape.
  • Metal fabricating is the act of creating or modifying a metal product. Examples of metal fabricating include welding, bending, laser cutting, etc.
  • Metal forming encompasses a wide variety of manufacturing processes that are performed on metal parts and are used to fabricate metal components.
  • Metal welding is the joining of two metals through coalescence, which is accomplished through heating the metals enough to melt into one another.
  • Metalworking is the processes of assembling, stamping, punching or applying any other fabrication process to a metal. 
  • Robotic welding is the process in which robotic equipment performs welding tasks.
  • Sheet metal fabricators create custom-shaped or molded goods from metal sheets. Sheet metal fabricators are responsible for making body panels for automobiles, aerospace and aviation parts.
  • Stainless steel fabrication is the process of creating custom parts using various grades of stainless steel. Stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance, high strength and attractive aesthetic characteristics.
  • Steel fabricators make or modify products made of steel. A steel fabricator offers varying services including steel bending, welding and cutting.
  • Structural steel fabricators manufacture steel components for the construction industry.



Metal Fabrication Terms

Alloy Steel - A steel to which one or more alloying elements-with the exception of carbon and the commonly accepted amounts of manganese, silicon sulfur and phosphorus-have been added to attain specific physical properties. Common alloys include chromium, nickel, molybdenum, etc.

Aluminum - A nonferrous metal that is commonly used in the creation of light, strong and corrosion-resistant alloys. Aluminum is an element that is primarily found in bauxite.

Annealing - A process that involves the heating and cooling of a cold-rolled substrate, making it softer and easier to form.

Bending - The changing of the shape of sheet metal by utilizing pairs of forming rollers in succession. Bending changes the thickness of the metal only at the bend radius, at which point a slight thinning occurs.

Brazing - A high-heat, metal-linking method that uses a filler material to make a bond between two metals. The filler is melted to a temperature just below the melting points of the materials being joined.

Chemical Treatment - A solution of chemicals often applied to various metals in order to inhibit corrosion.

Computer Numeric Control CNC Machining - A manufacturing process that automatically shapes or forms metals or other materials into highly precise parts. CNC machines utilize specialized software in conjunction with CAD/CAM software systems to instruct the tooling to execute the exact movements necessary to create the part.

Cold-Rolled Product - A flat-rolled metal sheet whose final thickness was achieved by rolling it at room temperature.

Conversion Coating - A chemical film that is applied to a metal prior to the painting process.

Corrosion - The deterioration of a metal due to a chemical reaction or oxidation. Rust is a common form of corrosion.

Cutting - A process in which a metal is penetrated or opened using a sharp edge. Metal sheets are almost always cut from a larger source prior to fabrication.

Die Cutting - The application of a powerful die to a metal blank. Pressure from the stamping device is often applied by a mechanical or hydraulic press.

Ductility - The ability of a metal to endure change without fracturing. Hardness and the tensile strength of the metal often determine its ductility.

Forming - A term that encompasses many processes, which are used to shape or mold a metal piece into a desired configuration.

Hot Rolled Sheet - A metal sheet processed to its absolute thickness by rolling on a specialized hot-rolling machine.

Leveling - Eliminating distortions of a rolled sheet by flattening the material.

Powder Coating - The process of applying a powder consisting of solids to a material surface and then heating the powder above its melting point to create a uniform film.

Roll Forming - A process in which sheet metal is continually deformed by passing it through a series of rolls.

Stainless Steel - A wide variety of corrosion-resistant steel that contains at least 10% chromium and to which varying amounts of other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium and niobium, have been added.

Tensile Strength - Also referred to as "ultimate strength," it is the maximum amount of stress a material can endure.




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