Metal Fabrication: A Quick FAQ

September 30, 2021 6:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

An integral part of many of America’s industries, metal fabrication is the process used to create metal equipment and products. It’s remarkably complex, with a multitude of techniques and machines being used to cut, form, punch, weld, fold, mill and stamp metal.

There’s a lot going on when it comes to metal fabrication. So, if you’re not sure what metal stamping is, or don’t know the ins and outs of progressive die stamping, this article is for you. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about metal fabrication.

What is metal fabrication?

Metal fabrication is a manufacturing method that turns metal pieces (sheets, blocks, etc.) into shapes that can be used as metal parts and products.

“Metal fabrication” is an umbrella term that encompasses the numerous processes used to transform raw metal materials through functional products such as cutting, pressing, bending, forming and turning, among others.

Special equipment is needed to perform these tasks (usually in the form of CNC machines), but this provides greater flexibility than other metal manufacturing techniques.

What is metal stamping?

Metal stamping is a more specialized form of metal fabrication, though it doesn’t require as much specialized equipment. It involves the use of a punch press, tooling and die sets to form the desired shape or pattern of a given finished metal product.

Metal stamping can be performed more quickly than metal fabrication, allowing for greater production efficiency, but it doesn’t offer as much in the way of part customization.

What is progressive die stamping?

In the metal stamping section above, we mentioned die sets. A progressive die is a multi-part set of punch press tools that form stations for the raw metal piece to be put through.

The piece of raw metal is run through the stations of the progressive die, and all the necessary modifications (cutting, bending, punching, etc.) are made gradually at each station, until the modified part is finished.

A progressive die is a fantastic way to ramp up production, as it allows for a great number of parts to be made quickly and efficiently, as well as with a high level of precision.

What types of products can be created through metal fabrication?

Many metal fabrication shops specialize in crafting industrial materials for use in business, but with the advent of computer technology, they can make almost anything out of metal. Here are some examples of what certain metal fabrication shops can create:

  • Ductwork
  • Electrical enclosures
  • HVAC cabinets
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Workbenches
  • Automotive parts
  • Utility carts
  • Piping
  • Storage tanks
  • Water heater tanks
  • Conveyors
  • Catwalks
  • Handrails
  • Storage bins

Are there advantages to going with domestic manufacturing instead of overseas manufacturing?

In short, yes. Aside from the logistical advantages of choosing a manufacturer in the United States, like shorter turnaround times, there are other benefits as well.

The quality of work provided by an American metal fabrication shop is unrivaled, and the communication with said shop is usually quicker and clearer than with an overseas metal fabrication shop.

On top of that, the fact that costs are often the same or lower than those of overseas manufacturers make it easy to see why so many people are choosing to go with domestic manufacturers.

Call with any additional metal fabrication questions today

Though you now know what metal stamping is and are familiar with the benefits of progressive die stamping, you might still have some questions that weren’t covered here. If that’s the case, call NW Metal Fabricators Inc. today, and we’d be happy to help you with anything you need.

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