Industries Reliant on Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sheet metal fabrication means the formation of parts from sheet metal. Around the globe, there are countless industries which are heavily reliant on sheet metal fabrication. The formation of custom parts through sheet metal fabrication in developing countries like India and China has created a tremendous opportunity for those involved in sheet metal fabrication.
The process of sheet metal fabrication has progressed and developed over time due to the high demand and broadening uses across multiple industries. With so many different processes, sheet metal fabrication has evolved to become a form of art requiring the utmost craftsmanship.
Precision sheet metal fabrication is one of the most common manufacturing processes in current worldwide practice. Sheet metal fabrication is a vital part of the many technological advancements we’ve seen in fields like aerospace, electronics, medicine, transportation, consumer electronics, and more. In fact, almost all industries rely on some form of sheet metal fabrication.
Techniques and Materials Used in Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sheet metal fabrication processes and techniques include cutting, forging, rolling, bending, assembling, engineering, welding, braking, galvanizing, press forming, painting, powder coating, stamping, turret and laser automation, riveting, punching, sub-contract manufacturing, prototyping, machine design, and technical drawing. These sheet metal fabrication processes require extreme precision from skilled laborers and have little tolerance for error. From enormous structural projects and construction equipment to intricate telecommunications and electronics, the sheet metal fabrication is an essential part of manufacturing.
Materials used in sheet metal fabrication vary widely. Strength, conductivity, hardness, flexibility, and resistance to corrosion are all commonly desired properties for metals used in sheet metal fabrication.
Iron, steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, bronze, aluminum, brass, and magnesium all have properties that lend themselves to various applications in sheet metal fabrication. Federal regulations and safety standards for industries such as health care, aeronautics, and automobile have made the fabrication of metals a precise science, requiring adherence to exact measurements with strict tolerances.
Industries That Use Sheet Metal Fabrication
Some industries that are heavily reliant on sheet metal fabrication are the farming, railroad, aerospace, automobile, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, electronics, food service, heating and cooling, plumbing, medical, telecommunications, computer, military, storage, and construction industries, to name just a few. All of these industries are reliant on precision sheet metal fabrication processes for products and services.
Uses of Sheet Metal Fabrication
Common items produced through sheet metal fabrication include kitchen and restaurant equipment, elevators, doors, boats, automobile bodies, irrigation and drainage equipment, guardrails, brackets, mailboxes, siding, roofing, gutters, electronics enclosures, trim, tanks, drawers, ventilation systems, hoods, cutlery, pipes, cabinets, containment systems, and more.
Sheet metal fabrication is an essential process for creating parts for mass consumption. The mass production of products like screws, caps, cans, cutlery, pipes, and pans through sheet metal fabrication all fall into this category. These types of products tend to have a wider tolerance for error. This means that the individual items can differ in small ways from the original design but still function as expected. Industries reliant on sheet metal fabrication have finely tuned processes to mass produce these types of parts within error tolerances.
Categories of Sheet Metal Fabrication
Most sheet metal fabrication falls into three categories, commercial, industrial and structural.
Commercial fabrication refers to sheet metal fabrication done while creating commercial products. This category covers goods designed for use by consumers. Appliances, electronics, and cars are all common consumer products produced through commercial fabrication.
Industrial sheet metal fabrication creates parts used in the creation of other equipment. This equipment is used in the manufacture of consumer goods. Manufacturers are the main buyers of most products produced through industrial sheet metal fabrication. For example, tools like bandsaws, hydraulics, and drill presses are produced through industrial fabrication.
Structural sheet metal fabrication refers to metalworking done to produce items as part of the building process. Large-scale sheet metal fabrication projects create the metal components used by shops, manufacturers, buildings, and skyscrapers. Metal siding, structural framing studs, roofing, and load bearing fall into this category.
With so many industries reliant on sheet metal fabrication, it is easy to see why there is such a large consumer base for fabricated sheet metal products. If you need more help finding a sheet metal fabricator for your custom project, the European Subcontractor Network can help. We have a large network of sheet metal fabricators waiting to assist you with whatever your manufacturing needs may be. Contact us today and let us connect you with the right subcontractor for your needs.