Metal is used in manufacturing to create products, or it can form the housing for other products. No matter how you choose to use metal, you can be sure that you won't just be using metal sheets straight from the supplier. You must inevitably employ a metal fabrication service to take that sheet of metal and transform it into whatever you want. Metal fabrication may seem like a simple process, but you must make the right choices so that the product will operate as expected.
Which metal should you choose?
Choosing the right metal for your product is vital. There are two sides to your choice. Your engineering team will want to choose a metal that has the required characteristics for your product. The metal fabrication company will need to use metal capable of being machined effectively. Your engineers could be thinking about the strength of the metal, how resistant it is to corrosion, what the metal looks like and whether it has sufficient rigidity to withstand regular use. From the perspective of the metal fabrication company, a metal that is easy to work with is of primary importance. If metal is difficult to machine, or if it requires special handling processes because it marks easily, the job will take longer and could incur extra costs.
Balancing both of these viewpoints is essential when deciding which metal you should choose. If you are having trouble making a decision, the metal fabrication company may suggest a metal that meets your criteria and with which they can work.
What do you want to do with the metal?
Deciding what to do with the metal can be just as problematic and choosing the metal. You may be starting with a basic design but have no idea what fabrication techniques can be used to create the desired shape. If you are struggling and are not sure what to do, it's best to show your design to the metal fabrication company and ask them whether they have the machinery and equipment needed to create that design. They will know what cutting, bending and drilling techniques can be used with that metal and whether the desired results can be achieved. If there are any aspects of the design that could be tricky to reproduce, they may offer alternative solutions that achieve the same result.
One way of assessing whether a metal fabrication company can live up to its claims is to request samples from past customers. Seeing how clean the cutting is and whether the bending is sharp and accurate can guide your decisions and ensure that you make the right choices for your product.