Processes That Help Define Custom Metal Fabrication, Part 1

At Cypress Metals, we’re proud to serve as your top custom metal design, metal fabrication and laser cutting specialists in Utah. We’ve carried out numerous custom metal fabrication jobs, from chimneys and chimney covers to cupolas, range hoods, post caps and many other materials.

What separates our custom fabrication services from standard metal fabrication solutions? There are actually several answers. There are numerous different fabrication methods possible for sheet and other metals out there – this two-part blog series will dig into some of the most common and specific such methods that will be taken by a custom metal fabricator to add major value and cost efficiency to your project.

processes custom metal fabrication

Settling on Design Intent

The entire point of custom metal fabrication, which can encompass numerous different processes, is reaching a desired final outcome of added value. In many cases, this involves your custom fabricator using an existing industrial plan or engineering drawing, but expanding it and adding significant detail or custom components.

This is a process that often involves testing and refining the design through stages. This is often defined by industry-specific standards or even full-on regulations, which a fabricator must be able to work within. Some of the industries or components that tend to benefit most from this early step in the custom metal fabrication process include:

  • Liquid food storage that requires quality control, such as heating or cooling sectors.
  • Feed and grain tanks, hoppers and silos, including areas like dry solids metering or material handling.
  • Custom spiral stair-cases with cross-platforms, common for storage unit access.

Designs will be laid out using one of several possible computer programs, or simply by hand in some cases.

Cutting and Forming Processes

Once you’ve worked with your custom fabricator on the basic goals and value-add areas of the design, it’s time to discuss the cutting and forming processes that will be used. There are several cutting formats potentially available for various fabrication jobs, including laser cutting for heavy plates or strict tolerances – but these lasers will not do as well with metal composites or materials with high levels of impurity.

In many cases, sawing will be done for structural steel projects. In others, plate shears might be used for cutting simple metal shapes. Other metal processes like bending, rolling and punching may also be carried out, and this requires a fabricator who knows how to choose the proper machinery for the required process. Equipment could include areas like hydraulic press brakes, plate or angle rolling machines, beam or CNC punching machines, and multi-function ironworkers for various metal processes.

For more on what separates a custom metal fabricator from standard fabrication, or to learn about any of our laser cutting or other metal design services, speak to the staff at Cypress Metals today.