Custom sheet metal manufacturers create fit-for-purpose metal products for a range of industries and applications. These special metal products can be quite difficult for non-specialists to fabricate in-house. Additionally, they aren’t usually available as off-the-shelf items. As a result, a lot of businesses choose to use custom sheet metal for more complicated projects.
So, what exactly is custom sheet metal fabrication? Sheet metal fabrication involves taking flat sheets of metal and turning them into specific structures through cutting, forming, bending and/or welding techniques. Custom sheet metal providers use equipment like cutting torches, chop saws and specialised forms/moulds to shape the metal accurately. They even use tools like oxy-acetylene torches to remove any deformations that might occur during the manufacturing process.
You might think that getting your metal products custom-made will cost you more. However, because they work in such a focused and specialised industry, many custom sheet metal providers are able to reduce their costs by streamlining the manufacturing process.
Whether you’re working on a small or a large manufacturing project, it’s worth considering custom sheet metal products.
To help you decide, we’ve listed a few benefits of custom sheet metal fabrication.
Compatibility with special projects
Let’s say you’re in need of a common metal product. This might be piping, various construction materials or even the metal housing for your computer hard disk drive. Chances are, it will be available as an off-the-shelf item in most metal shops.
However, there are projects that need very specific metal shapes. For example, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) often require special metal parts for their end products. This is because OEMs need to make sure that their equipment is compatible with the particular automotive or computer brand that they are manufacturing for.
With custom sheet metal fabrication, OEMs are able to obtain metal products that meet their specific product requirements.
It’s worth noting that OEMs are common clients of custom sheet metal providers. As a result of this, custom sheet metal manufacturers are often knowledgeable about OEM quality standards.
With custom sheet manufacturing, there will be no need to compromise your designs by using off-the-shelf products that simply don’t fit your vision. You can get the exact part that you need to complete your project.
Increased useful life
Custom metal manufacturers will also make sure that your product has the properties to endure the specific pressures and stresses that your project entails. For instance, if your project involves corrosive substances and extreme temperatures, the manufacturers will ensure that the metal product is designed to be chemical and weather resistant.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf steel may not have these protective qualities. The plain steel could end up breaking down quickly once it reaches a high temperature or if comes into contact with strong chemicals. This can compromise your project and potentially cause you to spend more during manufacturing.
When ordering customised sheet metal, you can let the manufacturers know of the substances that you’ll be using in your project. In addition, you can also tell them the setting that the product will be used in (e.g. outdoors where it’s exposed to extreme weather). With this information, they can create a metal product that can withstand the elements and the damaging substances that will be involved in your project.
This special kind of durability increases the lifespan of your sheet metal products and ensures that your project doesn’t fall apart at the seams.
Increases process efficiency
Because they work in such a specialised field, custom sheet metal manufacturers have a deep commitment to developing specific processes that allow them to create high-quality metal products. Additionally, their resources are mainly used on training and equipment that are specifically designed for custom metal fabrication. With such a refined focus on one field, custom metal manufacturers were able to streamline their manufacturing process. This streamlining allows them to deliver custom metal products with high efficiency.
Custom metal fabrication methods include using a laser cutter for fast, high-precision cutting; a computer numerically controlled (CNC) punching machine to manipulate and form large metal sheets; and a fibre laser welder for increased welding accuracy and speed.
Additionally, some manufacturers offer end-to-end supply solutions. This means that they can help their clients with designing, prototyping and manufacturing a product. For businesses that don’t have the resources to undertake the whole process in-house, end-to-end services can be a time and money saver.
In order for other companies to create their own metal products, they will have to use their already limited resources on metal fabrication training and equipment. Additionally, since sheet metal fabrication is not their core business, their process will most likely be inefficient and costly. As a result of this, OEMs and other businesses often outsource the metal fabrication process to specialists.
Custom sheet metal manufacturers are focused purely on metal fabrication methods. This means they can afford to use resources on automated equipment and extensive specialised training. This streamlined system allows them to supply high-quality sheet metal products at a lower cost and at a faster speed. Such benefits make outsourcing a far better choice than in-house manufacturing.
The custom sheet metal fabrication industry is a very specialised field. You can rest assured that the sheet metal manufacturers will understand your needs and will know how to meet them. When you go with custom sheet metal fabrication you can expect high quality and efficiency.
If you’re starting a new project, consider going the custom route. It will ensure that your project comes together as you originally envisioned it. In addition, it might save you a lot of money and time in the long run.