Choosing a Quality Machining and Fabrication Shop
As the demand for precision metal parts continues to grow, machining and fabrication shops are opening successful businesses across North America. Industrial companies, engineering firms, and mining operations are in constant need of skilled shops that can manufacture accurate and complex components for a wide range of applications. However, just because a shop seems to be capable of welding metal fabrication and machining, does not mean they are the best shop for the job. Consider these ideas when choosing a metal shop for your precision metal parts:
CNC Laser Cutting Capabilities:
CNC laser cutting machines have the ability to cut very complex parts from metal sheets with a high degree of accuracy. Even better, since the design is programmed into the machine, it can replicate parts identically as many times as is required. This is a huge benefit to the quality and consistency of the parts produced, but also requires less time than traditional techniques, and, therefore, reduces the cost.
Machinery Is Great, But Can They Use It:
Many machining and fabrication shops are quick to boast about their technology and the capabilities they have as a result. This is a great start. It makes sense to choose a shop with newer technology that can likely produce parts faster and cheaper. However, machinery is not everything, it is important that the team is skilled enough to use it properly, and understand the intricacies of welding metal fabrication. In some cases, shops that have invested heavily in new technology will charge more in order to pay for the equipment. An experienced shop, with a veteran team, likely understands which technology is required, and which they can do without, meaning costs and quality are managed.
Price is Not the Only Factor:
Every business looks for opportunities to save money, but in the machining and fabrication industry, it may not always make sense to go with the lowest quote. A low quote may simply mean that they have poor workflow processes, and had difficulty providing an accurate quote upfront. In some cases this can result in unexpected costs later on. Secondly, crafting precision metal parts is very skilled work. Shops offering lower quotes may have less skilled staff, or apprentices, who are paid lower salaries. A low quote may result in a lesser quality finished part.
The equipment and staff in welding metal fabrication shops today is very impressive. The industry has benefitted from some important advances in technology, such as CNC laser cutting, as can now produce almost anything designers can dream up. However, it takes experienced metal workers to understand the finer points of the trade, and continue to create strong and reliable parts.