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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.

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