Things to Consider When Starting a Metal Fabrication project


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Updated 15/10/2023

Starting a new metal fabrication project can mean taking on a huge task. Therefore, it’s necessary to work with a fabrication company that has the resources, skill, experience and knowledge for such projects. However, before starting a new metal fabrication project, there are some considerations that must be taken into account.

We’ve put together a short guide with important considerations that can take your metal fabrication project to the next level.


1. Choose the Right Metal Fabrication Company

There are many metal fabrication companies to choose from, so it may be challenging to choose the right one. One of the main considerations when choosing a fabrication company is to ensure they have the experience to handle the project.

The right metal fabrication company also offers exceptional customer service and provides high-quality work that meets your requirements.

You may also want to find a company that offers a design team and in-house engineering. That way, the entire project is handled by one company rather than several.


2. Design

Each metal fabrication project is unique and starts with a design phase. Designs for the project should be readable and easily “translated” to ensure the end result is what you want. In addition, the metal fabricator needs as much detail as possible to create an accurate estimate of time, scope, and costs for the project.

In addition, shop-ready drawings, and technical specifications are necessary, along with plans and profiles should be detailed. These details include drawings for individual parts and assembly of the parts.

Before the design is finalised, it may need to go through reviews, testing, and more. Final approval is required (or should be) before the project can start.


3. Shop Capabilities

Another essential consideration is knowing whether the metal fabricator has the capabilities for the project. For instance, does the shop have enough space for the project? Also, does the fabricator have the right equipment for the job?

Not having enough space or the right equipment can cause many issues, including project interruptions, delays, failed deadlines, and more. These are all costly. So, ensure the shop has the right capabilities to ensure your project is a success.


4. Materials

A wide range of materials can be used in metal fabrication projects, with each kind of material having its own qualities. It’s important to choose the right material for your finished product. Furthermore, each material in the project must have the required mechanical properties to make sure the finished product works as you have planned it.

Choosing the right materials means working with the metal fabricator. They can help you determine which materials have the right corrosion resistance, thermal conductivity, impact resistance, and how much each costs.

This is another reason for choosing the right metal fabricator. It is their years of experience, skills, and knowledge that also determine whether your project will be a success or failure. A metal fabricator who is experienced will be able to choose the right materials for each part of your project.


5. Costs

In addition to ensuring the design and capabilities are right for your project, it’s also crucial to receive an accurate quote for your metal fabrication project.

Your metal fabricator should provide a formal RFQ (Request for Quote) or an RFP (Request for Proposal). The quote is specific about the design, its specifications, timetables, schedules, and logistical information. The cost of the project is more than simple calculations.

Your project’s cost involves other factors, such as its complexity, certifications, and compliance requirements, along with coating & finishing, and shipping (or delivery). Material costs should also be included for hardware and accessories, along with labour costs, and any third-party inspections that may be required.

When you receive the RFQ (RFP), thoroughly read through the document. Make a note of anything that doesn’t seem correct, and speak to the metal fabricator about these issues.

As you read through these tips, you probably noticed that many of them depend on the quality of the metal fabricator you choose for the project. In the following sections, we’ll discuss how to choose a metal fabricator for the job.


What to Look for in a Metal Fabricator

Choosing the right metal fabricator can be challenging, so we’ve put together a few factors to consider when choosing the best one for your project.


1. Experience & Track Record

When you need to find the right metal fabricator, there are several factors to consider. The first one is work experience and track record. A fabricator who has only been around for a short time may not have the experience needed for your complex project. It’s best to ask the company about the projects they’ve worked on in the past.

The more experience they have and the more projects they’ve done successfully, the chance is that they have the knowledge and track record needed to provide high-quality services at the right price.

So, be sure to ask about the company’s experience and track record. Ask if they can provide you with a list of references to past customers, along with their contact information. Contact each customer on the list and ask about their experience with the metal fabricator, the quality of their project, and if they had a good experience with the company.


2. Work Environment & Equipment

Another tip is to check the production shop’s work environment and equipment. Visit the shop yourself to see how it measures up.

As you review the shop, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the shop in good order? Is everything put away and clean?
  • What is their work processed like? Are they a mess, or are these orderly?
  • What kind of fabrication equipment do they have? Is it in good order? Does the fabricator have the equipment needed for your project?
  • Does the shop have enough space for your metal fabrication project?


3. Quality Workmanship

Quality in the shop’s products comes from taking the time to properly train and provide the necessary experience to their fabricators. Fabricators should have the right certifications and training to deliver the best possible product for your project.


Summing It Up

Metal fabrication projects require knowledgeable, experienced metal fabrication companies to meet your project’s specifications. They should also be able to ensure your project is made with high-quality workmanship and materials while keeping the costs reasonable.

Finding the right metal fabricator isn’t easy, but following the tips in this article can help you find the best metal fabricator for your next project.


What factors should I consider when selecting the right metal for my project?

The choice of metal depends on factors like strength, corrosion resistance, and cost. Evaluate your project’s specific requirements before making a decision.

How can I ensure the safety of my team during a metal fabrication project?

Implement comprehensive safety measures, provide necessary safety equipment, and ensure your team is well-trained in safety protocols.

What are the common welding techniques used in metal fabrication?

Common welding techniques include MIG welding, TIG welding, and stick welding. The choice depends on the type of metal and the project’s requirements.

How can I reduce the environmental impact of my metal fabrication project?

Opt for sustainable materials, energy-efficient processes, and recycling to minimise your project’s environmental footprint.

What steps should I take to create a realistic project timeline?

Consider all variables, potential delays, and create a buffer in your timeline. Regularly update it as the project progresses.

How can I stay updated with the latest innovations in metal fabrication?

Keep an eye on industry publications, attend conferences, and network with industry professionals to stay informed about the latest innovations.


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