When you are looking for a production partner or need a prototype to launch a new product, finding the right metal fabrication supplier is crucial to the success of your project. If you choose a metal fabrication supplier not qualified nor well-matched with your metal fabricating needs it could cost you in terms of product issues, delivery problems, or unnecessary and unforeseen expense.
Let’s look at four critical things you should consider in evaluating a metal fabrication supplier.
Your metal fabrication supplier’s experience is crucial to your project’s success. The more experience your metal fabrication partner has the more adept they will be at identifying potential issues and heading them off before they become expensive problems. During production, a small deviance in measurement will result in unusable assembly parts. Selecting a finishing process that is ill-suited for your materials used will compromise your product’s final quality. An experienced metal fabrication supplier can spot potential problems before they happen. They can also identify areas of improvement. Their experience will let them see the fabrication processes being used on your project might be “getting the job done”, but at a cost much higher than necessary. An experienced metal fabrication supplier will offer you real savings and higher quality. They will know a slight improvement in design or layout could substantially reduce material waste. An experienced metal fabrication supplier will recognize many opportunities for improvement in your project.
It is important to match the capabilities of your metal fabrication supplier to your needs. Just because a metal fabrication supplier can produce a part does not mean their manufacturing capacity is a good match for your needs. This is particularly critical in the case of large production runs. The typical job shop may not have the proper equipment to efficiently produce the volume of components you need, or they may not have enough experienced labor available to fill quickly fill a large order for you.
Many metal fabrication suppliers offer expertise in a few specific areas of manufacturing. While this may be sufficient for some jobs, many projects will require a variety of metal fabricating services to complete the end product. These services might include:
- Lasers and Turret Presses
- Metal Bending
- Metal Cutting
- Metal Finishing
- Custom Machining
- Certified Welding
In some cases design assistance may be required, especially with new products. Choosing a metal fabrication supplier that can assist you with design can greatly improve the product and reduce the time it takes to get to market.
4. Advanced Technology
Not all metal fabrication suppliers are created equal. More precisely, not all metal fabrication suppliers have a commitment to investing the time and resources to stay at the forefront of metal fabrication technology. While it may not seem like advanced technology is important for your product, it is worthwhile to consider the value break-through technologies such as Salvagnini integrated systems can bring to a project in terms of lower cost, greater throughput and productivity. When evaluating metal fabrication suppliers, be sure you compare their equipment lists so that you can choose a supplier that offers you access to the best technology available.
Have more questions about what to look for in a metal fabrication supplier? Allow us to share with you the benefit of our nearly five decades of experience as a foodservice equipment OEM. Please give us a call to discuss your project.