Metal fabrication is the process of constructing structures from raw materials by processes like cutting, bending, and assembling. Metal fabricators (companies specializing in the process) are known as fab shops. Metal fabrication is a “value-added” process because additional value is added through various stages of production.
Machine shops and fabricators, are very similar with the expectation that fab shops concentrate on welding and forming of metals.
Metal Fabrication Process
Metal fabrication begins at the planning stage. Fab shops employ many different experts, including iron workers, welders, boilermakers, blacksmiths, and professionals that convert raw materials into their final products. Since metal fabrication is the overarching process, it involves many different processes, including specialty techniques, which can involve:
– punching, welding, forging, casting, brazing, shearing, drawing and spinning
as well as
– die cutting, hydroforming, finishing, shrinking, roll forming, spinning, stretching and stamping
Even higher levels of specialization include electrical and hydraulics services
Standard raw materials used include plate metal, fittings, castings, formed and expanded metal, sectional metal, flat metal, and welding wire.
Future of Metal Fabrication
Where is the future of the metal fabrication industry headed?
The key to success in a volatility market in this industry is keeping up with rapidly changing demands of customers while maintaining high output capability, with machinery that is becoming more sophisticated. Its is about learning to balance capacity with variability.
For metal fabrication shops this means
continually optimizing machinery and the manufacturing process
keeping an eye on the customer base and economic trends
innovating new ways to support customer demands and variability
increasing streamline practices
focusing ability in reliably to product out-capacity output
Veriform since the beginning has made modern investments, streamlining our manufacturing process from top to bottom, to meet the demands of our diverse customer base without cutting corners. All this while, trying to help preserve the environment. This has helped us cater to your needs at any given time.
Veriform was recognized with a graduation certificate for its 10 year commitment to reducing energy consumption and becoming a Sustainable Waterloo Gold Pledging Partner. The company proudly attended the 8th Annual Evening of Recognition on Thursday, April 27th 2017 at Maxwell’s 35 University Avenue East to
Left to right: Tova Davidson (Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo), Gerry Cutting (Energy Manager at VeriForm, Emily Aria Rak (daughter of Paul Rak VeriForm’s owner), and Matthew Day (RCI Program Manager) Emily Rak received the diploma on stage that evening on behalf of VeriForm, for graduating from the 10 year commitment for sustainability. Photo Courtesy of Sustainable Waterloo
Reducing the amount of CO2 emissions via electricity and natural gas usage has always been a priority for us however since the year 2015, 100% of CO2 emissions were completely eliminated. Going from 245 tons of carbon emissions to an amazing 64 tons. On top of that, VeriForm has been growing and building by 145% since 2007. And if that doesn’t impress you, VeriForm is the 4th company in Canada to achieve ISO 50001 certification for their energy management system, which results in a 5% reduction in energy use year after year.
Carbon Emissions Results Up Until 2016
See the acceptance speech below:
We are proud to say that it has been 12 years of CO2 awareness for the company and 2 years of being carbon neutral. These numbers highlight the true commitment and dedication of the VeriForm team with many more to come!
Now, in 2017 modern laser cutters have more innovative features, faster controls and powerful beams. Many industries are opting to outsource cutting for laser cutting services to other conventional alternatives.
Laser cutters work like printers, etching materials, using computer directed high-powered laser beams at precise focal lengths. The lasers will melt the metal while an assisting gas blasts the molten metal out of the cut.
Laser Cutter Features and Advantages
Recommended for projects involving intricate detailing and precise dimensions.
Programs are automated to change parts not to mention require relatively inexpensive replacement parts contributing to shorter set, and longer machine uptimes. Productivity is further improved with the following features:
Precise High-Quality Cutting
Most can achieve precision of +/- 0.005 inches or +/- 0.13 millimetres and controlled by computer programs
Metal is cleanly cut without deformation or blurs
Cuts exceptionally fine contours and virtually radius-free inner edges
More human input can be dedicated to design rather than production
Cuts Smaller Diameter Holes
With complex detail and good edge quality
No Contact Cutting
Eliminates tool wear problem
Low noise, vibration and pollution
Leading to time savings and allowing for smaller production runs to more competitive job costing
Bending is the process of deforming sheet metal into an angle. Sheet metal is forced by a press brake between an upper and lower tool. The punch being the upper component and die being the lower tool. The press brake is what manipulates the punch and die to apple a press force.
This is a great method of creating 3D shapes from 2D sheets.
Cost Reduction Tips
Complex bend combinations
Adding more bends than necessary
Using slots for a time, and bend the metal later on manually. This will help to lower shipping costs as well as takes up less storage room.
Design with packing in mind
Include straight edges that will run parallel to a bend
Metal Bending Services and Capabilities
VeriForms addition of a 20-foot CNC offers incredible handling for all types of complex bending projects. This CNC also features multiple work stations that ensure high uptimes and seamless productivity. Other functionalities include:
Having quality welds for any project that requires welding is paramount. From safety and liability reasons, to something as simple as aesthetics, there are many definitions of a quality weld. So what makes a quality weld?
Three Contributing Factors to Welding Quality
It’s no secret, quality welds start with professional, certified welders. The Canadian Stands Association requires companies that wish to be certified for fusion welding of steel, comply and follow guidelines the CSA has set in place, including providing documentation as requested. The certification is known as the CSA Standard w47.1.
Certified Weld Inspectors
To ensure quality in a weld, it’s critical that a professional weld inspector is present at all times during the process, and not simply inspecting the final product. A certified weld inspector ensure that everything in the pre-weld environment is correctly calibrated and set to ensure that the welding process is able to be completed correctly, including any clamps or specific joint positions. Once everything is ready for the certified welder to begin welding, the inspector will continue to monitor the process to ensure quality and compliance of welding standards. Finally, as expected, the welding inspector will inspect all finished welds, as the inspector is accountable for the final quality of the weld. If the inspector gives the weld a passing grade, you can guarantee the welds are of high quality.
During the welding, there is one specific process that can make or break a weld, literally; it’s called stress relieving of a weld. When welding, molten metal is used to fuse two pieces of metal together. During this process the molten metal begins to cool quickly, too quickly in fact. As the weld begins to cool to room temperature, the weld shrinks and pulls the other metal pieces out of the optimal setting. To combat this type of shrinking, stress relieving of a weld is undertaken, where a weld is either treated by heated air, or electricity. A benefit of this type of stress relieving is not only a strong and precise weld, but also any discolouration or corrosion that may have occurred to the metal during the initial weld; this step is referred to a passivation.