Questions to Ask Before Metal Fabrication Begins

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It’s an exciting time: You’ve completed the CAD design for your metal part and are ready to move things over to the fabrication stage.

Before your idea is put into action, you’ll want to first ask custom parts manufacturers some questions. The answers will provide you with a better understanding of the metal fabrication process and the solutions available to meet your needs.

3 Questions to Ask Before the Metal Fabrication Process

What Types of Production Techniques Do You Use?

Production techniques play a decisive role in the quality of a metal part. While traditional approaches may work for some sheet metal designs, others may require a more flexible approach.

The complexity of the design is a deciding factor. Say you have a thin part with several intricacies. In this case, chemical etching is the best candidate — an approach that is also beneficial to thick parts with few features.

As you learn about the production techniques manufacturers use, you can choose the route that best suits your metal fabrication needs. Building this connection between the two elements leads to a greater ROI.

How Do You Handle Sourcing?

When designing prototypes, many manufacturers outsource different steps to ensure the best quality. These steps can range from the materials included in a sheet metal design to the finishing work.

Because of their influence on the end product, it’s important to know how manufacturers handle sourcing. Do they have a network of partners they use? What types of experience do these different partners have?

Insight into the collaboration between in-house techniques and vendors provides a more complete overview of the metal fabrication process. Further, it gives you insight into the added value of combined expertise.

What Measures Are Taken to Meet Quality Standards?

Quality management involves both the process of how a part is made as well as inspections of the final product. Establishing policies and guidelines for each side of the equation is key to ensuring customer satisfaction and improving processes.

When you find that a manufacturer has an effective quality management program, it can help build confidence around their available sheet metal products and services. For instance, if an organization has ISO certification, it showcases their dedication to ensuring consistency in product design and scrutinizing processes for potential improvements.

With this knowledge, you can ensure that the manufacturer’s quality standards match your expectations, avoiding any surprises along the way.

At Switzer, we recognize the value of high-quality standards. That’s why we make them a priority in every custom metal part we help design and produce. For more information on our metal fabrication services, contact us today.

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