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Aitkin, MN 56431

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(218) 927-2400

info@elemetmfg.com

Categories
CNC Machining

When to Use CNC Milling

What Is the Metal Fabrication Process?

Metal fabrication is the process of cutting, forming, and assembling metals to create structures or individual parts. The cutting process involves using tools to remove material from the workpiece and can be done either manually or with a machine.

Welding joins two pieces of metal together and can be done using various methods such as oxyfuel welding, tungsten arc welding, and resistance welding.

CNC milling is a machining process that uses computer-controlled cutting tools to remove material from the workpiece. The metal fabrication process includes additional steps such as surface finishing, heat treatment, and assembly.

The following is a brief description of various metal fabrication processes and a more in-depth look at when to use CNC milling.

Contact Elemet Manufacturing to learn more about the wide range of metal fabrication services available, including precision waterjet cutting, welding, and CNC machining.

Cutting

Metal cutting is a manufacturing technique that uses a sharp tool to remove material from a metal workpiece. You can use this method to create everything from simple objects like coins to complex pieces like car engine components.

In most cases, the metal workpiece is a sheet that is first cut into smaller pieces using a saw or laser cutter.

Once you have cut out the desired shape, the parts are welded or fastened together to create the final product. Metal cutting is an essential manufacturing technique used in many industries.

Folding

Folding requires shaping a metal surface at a specific angle. It is one of the most challenging methods of fabricating metal components. It is a technique unique from metal bending and limited by geometry and tonnage.

Intricate, acute bends are often not possible as the folding beam has to be able to reach the bend without running into other surfaces on the component. When a folding machine cannot exert enough force, that is when a press brake comes into play.

Metal folding is frequently used in the manufacturing of automotive parts, food packaging, and appliances. It is an efficient and cost-effective way to create strong and durable products.

Welding

Welding is a metal fabrication process that involves joining metal parts together by heating the materials to their melting point, which fuses them when cooled. Several different welding methods include laser welding, TIG welding, MIG welding, and stick welding.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for a particular project will depend on the material selection, the desired strength of the joint, and the budget. 

Machining

Factory Asian male worker

Machining involves removing material from a workpiece to create the desired shape or finish and is performed using various tools, including lathes, mills, and routers. Machining is generally divided into two categories: subtractive and additive.

In subtractive machining, material is removed from the workpiece, while additive machining, on the other hand, involves using 3D printing technology to build up the desired shape layer by layer. 

Punching

This method uses a drill to punch holes in metal placed beneath a die by drilling through it. The circumference of the drill must be small enough to fit appropriately through the die for the punch to be effective.

The scrap slug produced as a result of the operation may be thrown away or recycled. Slugging is another name for stopping short of punching through the metal when making things out of metal.

Shearing

Shearing is when sheet metal is cut into pieces using power-driven blades. It is commonly used to cut metal plates, sheet metal, or metal tubing. Shearing is a quick and efficient way to produce parts with a high degree of accuracy.

However, it can also produce burrs and sharp edges, which you must remove before having a usable piece. Metal shearing is an important process in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, and construction.

Stamping

The metal stamping process is a manufacturing method that uses dies to form complex parts from sheet metal. In contrast to punching, the goal is typically to form a shape in the metal and not punch through it.

The process can produce varied shapes and sizes and is well suited for mass production. The metal stamping process is an efficient way to create parts with complex shapes from sheet metal.

Casting

Casting is a process in which you heat metal until it liquefies and pours it into a mold. The metal takes the shape of the mold as it cools, and once it has cooled completely, you break the mold to reveal the finished product.

Casting is often used to create metal objects with complex shapes that would be difficult or impossible to create using other metal manufacturing methods. You can also use casting to produce large metal objects relatively quickly.

What is CNC Milling?

CNC milling technology

CNC (computer numerical control) milling gradually removes material from the workpiece using rotating multi-point cutting tools and digital controls. This technique creates a specific part or product tailored to the customer’s specifications.

This method can machine many materials, including metal, plastic, glass, and wood, and create a vast range of goods and parts with unique designs.

CNC milling, drilling, turning, and others are mechanical processes in which material is removed from the workpiece mechanically, such as by the actions of the milling machine’s cutting blades. CNC milling technology is one of the most dependable ways to make parts from various materials.

Benefits of CNC Milling

The most notable benefits of utilizing CNC milling technology are outlined below.

Precision

Manufacturing parts precisely to specifications is one of the main benefits of using CNC milling machines. The danger of real-time human error, common in manually run machines, is eliminated by CNC mills. 

CNC mills depend on pre-programmed computer instructions, which can be reviewed and checked for accuracy before production. You can form complex pieces accurately with tolerances as tight as 0.004mm.

Efficiency

Conventional milling machines may require an operator to change the cutting tools manually depending on the work required. It is time-consuming and ineffective because it allows for human error during the changeover procedure.

On standard CNC mills, rotating carousels can usually store up to 30 different tools. These instruments are automatically replaced on the spindle during machining operations, allowing you to complete cutting activities more quickly and accurately.

Automated tool changeovers and pre-programmed instructions can reduce fabrication time from days to a few short hours.

Wide Range of Material Options

CNC mills are compatible with many materials, including plastics, metals, and composites. If you have blocks of the material to mill, CNC mills will have no trouble with it.

High Rate of Production

Because CNC milling is an automated operation, the cutting tool can transition through procedure steps more quickly than humans. The actual cutting rates are limited by the design and materials used. It still creates a higher output rate than most other manufacturing methods.

Affordability

CNC milling is an accuracy- and speed-oriented technique that you can use to produce parts with complex shapes. It is also relatively affordable, making it a popular choice for both prototyping and low-volume production runs.

When choosing a CNC milling service, it is important to consider the accuracy and speed requirements of the project, as well as the cost. By carefully selecting the right CNC milling service provider, it is possible to produce high-quality parts at a reasonable price.

Choose the Right Method for Your Project

Metal fabrication requires sophisticated tools and expertise. Elemet Manufacturing has developed expertise in many metal fabrication techniques for various commercial and industrial applications.

Call us today if you need more information about a specific metal fabrication method or want to know which one is appropriate for your project.

Categories
Metal Fabrication

5 Tips for Reducing Metal Fabrication Costs in Your Business

Business owners always need to be on the lookout for cost-cutting tricks and strategies that won’t harm the quality of their products or services. With this need in mind, one of the areas in which both excessive costs and simple cost reductions can be most easily found is with the technical manufacturing costs that your company has for its products and infrastructure.

Metal fabrication is a common area of this in many business industries. All sorts of techniques exist for reducing metal fabrication costs if your business is involved with this process on a regular basis.

Here are five tips for considerable cost reductions in your metal fabrication regardless of your industry.

How to Reduce Metal Fabrication Costs in Your Business

1. Locate competent expert advice

A metal fabrication worker using a machine. Hiring an expert in the field helps lower metal fabrication costs.

As a starting step in reducing the costs of your metal fabrication, do your best to find a competent professional or firm that knows their business and can handle metalwork projects as efficiently as possible. Certified experts will be happy to answer all of your questions and do their best to help you smooth out your design needs in a way that meets your needs and tolerances with minimal waste or cost.

Engineers at experienced metal fabrication shops will likely know precisely how to handle certain jobs already from previous work conducted. They can use this past knowledge to suggest simplifications, design savings, and material alternatives to make your metal project cost less than you thought likely.

2. Simplify your designs and production process

Metal components made by casting techniques.

As mentioned above, by talking to metalworking experts, you can gain enormous insights into how your metal project needs might be simplified for additional savings. However, before even doing that, you can simplify your own design as much as possible and later consult on whether it’s feasible to use.

As a general rule, the simpler a metal design is, the cheaper it will be to manufacture. Thus, to cut costs, aim for simplified angled bends that offer a large inside radius compared to the thickness of the material being bent. Aiming for many cuts and small bends with large and thick metal parts will tend to cause difficulties and inaccuracy risks that increase expenses for overall production.

Another very useful simplification tip is to use as few different metal parts as absolutely necessary and to keep part sizes, thicknesses and bends as standardized as possible. The same advice applies to using all accessory components on your metal projects.

3. Choose a one-stop, highly professional metal fabrication shop

Sheet metal bending at a metal fabrication shop. Choosing a shop that offers many services can help lower metal fabrication costs.

When selecting the metalwork professionals you want to handle your project, aim for a company that meets your needs in one facility or production flow. Having to shop out different parts of your metal production to different fabricators will cost you considerably more on extra time, transport expenses, effort, and production costs. It’s much easier to work with one single fabricator.

Additionally, choose a company with enough expertise and experience with previous clients to understand your needs with minimal room for errors or misunderstandings. Even if they don’t charge you for the work of correcting any mistakes they’ve made, the time cost of having to repeat certain metalwork projects because of errors by inexperienced fabricators will result in monetary costs.

Fabricators with notably superb fabrication and design skills are also an excellent choice for saving on the cost of manufacturing your metal project regardless of its size.

4. Choose your metal types and parts sizes carefully

A metal fabrication worker usinga tool to test a piece of sheet metals' gauge. CHanging the gauge of your sheet metal can lower metal fabrication costs.

The types of materials and metals you use for your metal projects will be one of the biggest drivers of their cost. Because of this, always ask yourself: Can you use cheaper metals and parts instead of more exotic or pricey ones in any way that won’t cause you problems? If it’s possible to do so, then go for it.

When considering possible economic alternatives, always keep the following factors in mind. 

  • Whether a smaller thickness of a particular type of metal is better than a larger thickness of another one?
  • Are standard production metals with easy fabrication properties better than some exotic metal that you were initially budgeting for?

Also, try to ensure that the metal fabrication facility of your choice offers mill-direct buying options that let them negotiate for lower prices directly on your behalf. This isn’t always possible for specific projects, but manufacturers with a good relationship with their providers can be extremely useful in reducing your costs.

Finally, standard metal sheet sizes and gauges almost always cost less than custom measurements. As much as possible, avoid having to use what isn’t standard-sized or commonly used. In addition to this, the thicker and harder the metal parts you need, the more costly their milling and cutting will be. Sometimes this is unavoidable but avoid it wherever possible after careful consultation with the metal engineer of your choice about safe alternatives.

5. Choose a well-located, well-equipped fabrication shop

Exterior of Elemet Manufacturing in MN.

By choosing a fabrication shop that’s as closely located as possible to where you are, you’ll be shaving an enormous amount off the costs of shipping your finished projects back home. Ideally, working with a metal shop that’s local to your region or city will save you the most money on transport costs, but this isn’t always the case.

Suppose the local options lack a number of manufacturing options or simply don’t have the right kinds of high-end metalworking equipment for your more complex projects. In that case, it might be cheaper to find remote alternatives.

Shipping your entire finished project home from a single well-equipped one-stop-shop in another city might, in some cases, actually cost you less than jobbing out your work among multiple local fabricators or a mix of local and remote.

Lower Your Metal Fabrication Costs with Elemet Manufacturing

Elemet Manufacturing Inc offers a highly professional one-stop metal fabrication and value-added production facility for all your technical or simple metalworking needs. Contact our experienced engineers and technicians for a precise estimate of metal fabrication costs and production times. We’re fully ISO 9001:2015 certified and can professionally assess your best manufacturing options.

Categories
Metal Fabrication

The Value of One-Stop Metal Fabrication Services

At one point or another, you may have found yourself in need of some expert metal fabrication services. You may be on the lookout for a reputable business to work with professionally, or you may need a prototype produced for personal reasons. No matter your reason, having your project completed by one company rather than moving your project at each stage is the best course of action. 

There are numerous benefits to this one-stop metal fabrication process, all of which we’ll outline below. To learn more about prototyping and metal fabrication, contact the professionals at Elemet Manufacturing today. 

What Do Custom Metal Fabrication and Cutting Services Include?

First, let’s explore what these metal fabrication services entail. As part of the custom metal fabrication process, customers can expect three main steps: laser cutting, metal forming or bending, and surface finishing. Then, if additional services are needed, waterjet cutting, laser cutting, welding, or CNC machining are also offered. 

Laser Cutting Services

Laser cutting is included in one-stop metal fabrication services

Laser cutting is used for metal products and metal materials that aren’t suited to waterjet cutting. Elemet Manufacturing offers several types of this cutting service, depending on what is best for your project. You’ll work with experts to determine if using a CNC flame, Plasma, or CNC machine is best. 

Precision Waterjet Cutting Services 

Precision waterjet cutting making a star pattern in metal.

State-of-the-art water jetting services are a great asset to have when operating a one-stop shop for metal fabrication. Waterjet machines can easily cut through titanium, stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum. By being able to work with this many materials, customers are allowed more design and steel fabrication options. 

CNC Machining and Milling

A CNC lathe is need for one-stop metal fabrication services

If needed, Elemet Manufacturing can also offer further customization. To put it simply, a CNC machine and CNC milling take customization to a whole new level. At Elemet Manufacturing, we are proud to offer both 4-axis and 5-axis machines. These make it possible to produce complex designs that no other machine is capable of doing. These machines can produce 3D shapes, angled features, and curved surfaces, making metal fabrication services truly customizable

Welding Services

W welding MIG welding metal

Welding services are also usually offered for full-service metal fabrication services, and Elemet Manufacturing is no exception. If your project requires welding, you can choose from the following: 

  1. MIG, TIG, and Stick welding
  2. Laser welding
  3. Aluminum welding

In addition to these, Elemet Manufacturing also works with: 

  1. Titanium
  2. Steel
  3. Stainless steel
  4. Galvanized
  5. Copper
  6. Brass
  7. Aluminum

Metal Forming or Bending 

Metal bending at Elemet Mfg

This step is exactly what it sounds like: manipulating metal material into the desired form and shape by using force. This is done with state-of-the-art equipment such as the brake press. 

Surface Finishing 

Lastly, the surfaces of these metal products are “finished” by applying an e-coating or powder coating. 

What are the Benefits of Working With Just One Business? 

Sheet metal ready for metal fabrication services.

When it comes to high-quality metal fabrication services, choosing one reputable company is best for both you and your project. Let’s take a look at the benefits you’ll enjoy by doing so. 

All Work is Done Under One Roof 

For sheet metal fabrication services to be considered full-service, there needs to be both expertise and equipment to meet a wide range of metal fabrication capabilities. These include: 

  • Powder Coating
  • Swaging
  • Tube Bending
  • Punching
  • Machining
  • Welding Services
  • Forming
  • Cutting, which includes: hand sawing, plasma, laser jetting, and water jetting

Faster Production Times 

If you’re operating with a deadline, lead times are very important. A full-service company with custom metal fabrication capabilities won’t need to wait for things like metal parts or design information to be delivered for the process to start. Therefore, lead times are much shorter, and you’ll be able to get the product faster. 

Cost-Effective 

You can’t go wrong with saving money. Custom fabricated metal parts or products can become quite expensive if you take your product to a different vendor for each step. Hiring metal fabrication services that offer the full-service experience are often cheaper than hiring many vendors individually. You also don’t need to worry about any fees associated with transportation from one facility to another. 

Being an Invested Partner 

When just one company provides every step of the manufacturing process, it’s much easier to develop a good working relationship. Working with several vendors can feel overwhelming at times, and jumping from one business to the next doesn’t allow for a solid working relationship to develop. By working with one company through every step of the process, you can be sure that lines of communication are much easier to maintain. With these open lines of communications, professionals you are working with can become more invested in your project. 

End-to-end Manufacturing Production 

High-quality end-to-end manufacturing production is the best way to ensure that quality control and communication are a high priority. Think of this in terms of writing an essay. If a different person writes each paragraph of an essay, it will likely be disjointed and unclear. If one person writes the essay, there can be a clear tone, purpose, and ultimately a better final product. 

If there does happen to be any confusion during the project, it’s easy for one department to consult another to figure things out. If one vendor in New York has a question for another in China, things will undoubtedly take longer to figure out. 

The Ability to Focus on One Prototype or Large Production Runs 

Sometimes, customers will need one custom fabricated prototype. Other times, they will need a large production run to be completed. High-quality, full-service metal fabrication services can do both types of projects. 

One-Stop Metal Fabrication Services Done Right 

CNC maching metal fabrication services

Elemet Manufacturing is dedicated to bringing you precise, high-quality service. A combined force of Precision Waterjet Concepts, founded in 2002, and Aitkin Iron Works, founded in 1935, has integrated these two businesses into one powerhouse company. 

Although they are based in Aitkin, Minnesota, Elemet Manufacturing is able to serve customers nationwide by providing the best one-stop metal fabrication services. By offering welding, painting, 5-axis waterjet cutting, threading, turning, and CNC machining and milling, Elemet Manufacturing provides a truly comprehensive, professional service for anyone looking to complete a project. 

For everything you need when it comes to state-of-the-art, custom fabricated metal fabrication services, hire the experts at Elemet Manufacturing today.

Categories
Metal Fabrication

EMI = Precise Metal Bending

EMI uses a CNC brake press for Metal Bending. This process consists of bending and forming the metal into the desired shape.  In concept, metal bending and forming are simple. However, the actual process requires precision positioning of the tooling and workpiece material, combined with the proper programming of the CNC Press Brake, to achieve the precision bending and forming.

CNC Press Brake Metal Bending Services

CNC press brake

CNC press brake bending is one of the most common sheet metal fabrication operations. Also known as press braking, metalworkers use this method to bend a material into an angular shape.

Press brake metal forming services are used to form a piece of sheet metal along a straight axis into a V, U, or channel shape. The press brake uses specialized molded dies and a punch that helps form the shape of the sheet metal for specific design needs.

Press brake machines rely on high pressure to perform their work. As a result, they can shape most materials, including bronze, copper, aluminum, iron, steel, and composites.

The critical factors influencing the mechanics of bending and forming are the material, sheet thickness, width over which the bend or form occurs, machinery, tooling, and specific metal process.

We can take your custom prototype or design and bring it to life for your specific project and needs. With individual experience averaging over a decade, Elemet Manufacturing’s talented workforce takes pride in maintaining a level of quality second to none. Your products are bent and formed accurately, on time, with minimal distortion and maximum consistency.

The Metal Bending Machine Process

Metal Bending machine punch and die

Hydraulic press brakes work by clamping the workpiece or sheet metal between a matching punch and die. Once the workpiece or sheet metal is positioned underneath the press brake machine punch, the tool setter activates the machine. The press brake machine, using hydraulic pressure, pushes the punch down against the surface of the workpiece into the die, which shapes the workpiece.

Three Types of Metal Bending Services

Man Metal Bending sheet metal

There are three types of bending on a press brake. The relationship of the end tool position to the thickness of the material defines each type. These three types are air bending, bottoming, and coining.

1.    Air Bending

The flexibility and relatively low pressure required by air bending make it a popular choice. In the Air bending process, the metal workpiece does not touch the tooling parts entirely. The workpiece rests on 2 points, and a radiused tipped punch pushes the material into a die with a U or V-shaped channel to create the bend.

Air bending can produce different profiles and products using a single set of top and bottom tools and varying press-stroke depth. The bend’s angle is determined by how far the punch tip penetrates the “V” cavity. The greater the penetration of the punch tip, the greater the rise achieved. The stroke depth must be very accurate to achieve a quality bend.

Correcting the bend angle is simple. If the load is released and the material’s spring back results in a wrong angle, it is simple to adjust by applying some more pressure.

Advantages of air bending

  • Requires less bend force
  • Uses smaller tools than other methods
  • No retooling
  • Angle accuracy is approximately ±0.5 deg

2.    Bottoming

In the bottoming process, the metal workpiece is forced against the punch and the groove width opening in the bottom tool.  However, the two pieces do not make complete contact.

The optimum width of the opening (V) should be 6 to 12 times the sheet metal thickness (t) for sheets 3-12 mm thick. The bend radius should be at least 0.8-2t for sheet steel. Bottoming requires a different toolset for each bend angle, sheet thickness, and material.

Advantages of bottoming

  • greater accuracy
  • less spring back

3.    Coining

In the coining process, the top tool forces the material into the bottom die with high force, causing permanent shaping through the workpiece.

Advantages of Coining

  • Very little spring back
  • Can produce an inside radius as low as 0.4t with a V as high as 5t
  • High precision

Issues from Improper Metal Bending Services

Metal Bending tools

Metal bending and forming require proper positioning of the workpiece, the die, and the punch while precisely determining the bending radius, pressure, and clearance. Errors in positioning or bend calculations can result in poorly formed parts that may not fit well with other parts in the assembly process. Types of problems that can occur include:

  • Broken parts
  • A bending edge that is not straight and an unstable size
  • Cracks at the bending angles
  • A bending surface that is too thin
  • An uneven or bulging surface on the part
  • Misaligned holes in the part

Work with EMI for your Metal Bending Services

Man operating CNC Press Brake

Elemet Manufacturing (EMI) has various CNC Press Brake machines to handle any job, no matter the size. CNC technology allows us to provide press brake metal bending and forming faster, more accurately, and with reliable consistency.  Our machines include:

  • Accupress Mechanical 135-ton Press/Brake (10’)
  • Hydraulic 25-ton press
  • Hamilton 250-ton Press

EMI offers creative manufacturing solutions to our clients and eliminates having to work with several different partners, saving you time and money. In addition to our CNC Metal Bending Services, we provide:

  • CNC milling, turning, threading, and machining
  • 5-axis waterjet cutting
  • Welding
  • Fabricating
  • Assembly
  • Inspection

As part of the Elemet Group, we offer one-stop metal manufacturing, machining, fabricating, and coating solutions. Our other group company services include:

The Benefits of Working with Elemet Manufacturing

  • Competitive pricing
  • Fast production times
  • Reliable accuracy and consistency
  • Can produce one prototype or large production runs
  • All work performed under one roof

When you work with us, you are more than a client; you are a valuable partner. Our team at Elemet Manufacturing is happy to assist you with your project and will help you to determine the correct bending and forming method for your needs. Give us a call.

 

 

Categories
Metal Fabrication

An Introduction To Metal Fabrication

Projects produced by metal fabrication surround us in our everyday lives, from simple things like grills or hand railings to heavy equipment and large machinery. Cutlery, hand tools, nuts and bolts, springs, wires, screws, and many architectural products are prime examples.

Manufacturers use metal fabrication to shape iron, steel, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, bronze, or any other workable metal. The only requirement is that the chosen metal needs to have the ability to change its configuration, shape, or thickness.

Elemet Manufacturing, Inc. (EMI) can handle production runs ranging from one prototype through large amounts. Our metal fabrication process consists of bending, cutting, and assembling building structures according to your specifications as an end-to-end fabrication provider. EMI works on your project from start to finish.

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Defining Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is a manufacturing process that forms the metal into finished parts or end-products.

We convert metals into many different structures through the use of metal fabrication techniques. The techniques in the metal fabrication process can vary but normally include:

  • cutting,
  • welding,
  • burning,
  • machining,
  • forming,
  • and assembling into the required end-product.

Many metal fabricators use sheet metal for this type of manufacturing. The sheet metal can be up to 0.25 inches thick.

Fabricators convert this sheet metal into tools or other products. They cut, fold, or shape metal to create finished pieces.

Manufacturers use metal fabrication to mass-produce. But it can also be used for different-sized runs of customized fabricated metal pieces. These projects typically include the customized design and fabrication of metal parts to fit a business’s needs.

For metal fabrication, both human labor and robotic automation are necessary. Shops specializing in this type of metalwork are called fabrication shops or “fab shops.”

Most metal fabrication is carried out in these shops by experts. These experts are well-versed in welding, ironwork, blacksmithy, and other complementary professions. You will also find people who are well-versed in cutting or punching, press machine operators, lathe operators, welders, assemblers, solderers, and brazers.

Metal fabricators have learned to constantly change production lines as customer needs ask for various products that suit their specific business requirements.

All The Things That Make Up Metal Fabrication

Fabricated metal pieces are commonplace. However, few lay people understand how the fabrication process works. We will explain.

Many people only think of welding when they hear the term “metal fabrication.” But welding is only one process that metal fabricators use. Welding involves joining two metal pieces together with molten metal. Welding techniques are constantly evolving.

Most industrial metal fabrication will involve cutting. Originally, metal fabricators used saws for this process. Modern fabrication shops, however, use waterjets, plasma, and laser cutting methods. The choice will depend both on the complexity of the cutting and the cost of the cutting.

Any parts that need to be bent will need the folding process. Most fabrication shops use brake presses that are either manually, hydraulically or motor-driven. Some forms and shapes are mass-produced with metal dies.

The machining process involves removing metal from raw metal to form specific shapes. Manufacturers use drills, lathes, and other cutting machines for this purpose.

Another process often used in metal fabrication before assembly or metal forming is punching. Dies are extensively used in punching.

Stamping is a process very similar to punching. However, it may not require the cutting of the metal, whereas punching does.

Shearing is a process that requires cutting the metal down to the required size. The process is often carried out on sheet metal.

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Walking Through The Steps Of Metal Fabrication

Though most metal fabrication projects indeed focus on cutting and shaping metal, several sub-processes are typically involved in a successful manufacturing project.

The entire metal fabrication process starts with a design and ends with a finished and functional part.

Here’s a short breakdown of the three main steps in a typical fabrication project:

First, designing the project. 

The first (and likely most important) step is the design of the part/end-product. Some businesses come to us with a completed design. But some come to us with a prototype. In either case, we work with our customers to refine and test the design before starting a large run.

Many metal fabricators use computer-aided design programs (CAD) during the manufacturing process. Using CAD programs, we can develop a 3D prototype of an object before beginning work with the metal.

This phase helps to ensure that the end-product will function as required.

We’ll also work with our customers during this initial design process to clarify which types of metal to use and any required finishing process.

Second, building the part.

The second step encompasses the actual building process. During this building phase, a metal fabricator cuts and shapes each of the design phase components.

There’s a wide range of tools and expertise used in these projects. We often employ CNC (computer numerical controls) tools to ensure that each piece is cut exactly to the design specifications. These CNC tools extract a computer program of the exact commands and specifications used to create a piece.

Third, assembling & finishing the project.

The last step in metal fabrication is finishing and assembling the pieces into the final end-product. This finishing step strengthens the product and ensures that it’s ready for its intended use.

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The Benefits Of Using A Metal Fabrication Shop

The main benefit of using a metal fabrication shop is the centralization of these metal fabrication processes, which often perform in parallel via multiple vendors.

A one-stop metal fabrication shop helps contractors limit their need to work with multiple vendors to complete complicated projects.

EMI can handle production runs ranging from one prototype through large amounts. Our metal fabrication process consists of bending, cutting, and assembling building structures according to your specifications as an end-to-end fabrication provider. EMI works on your project from start to finish.