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Metal Fabrication vs Sheet Metal Fabrication

1 July

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Sheet metal vs fabrication

What is Metal Fabrication?

Many machine parts, which are important for repairs and replacement are products of metal fabrication. The importance of metal fabrication cannot be overemphasised in manufacturing and industries this process plays a large part in manufacturing, often underpinning and supporting sheet metal processing.

In this article learn the difference between metal fabrication and sheet metal fabrication.

What are the functions of Metal Fabrication?

Metal fabrication is the construction of metal structures and products predominantly used within the construction, mining and transport industries. It often involves the entire process from cutting, bending, welding and assembly. The difference between metal fabrication and sheet metal manufacturing is the materials used. Metal fabrication often starts from processing basic raw materials, these raw materials are often large and thick  including; steel, aluminium and copper. The metal products and structures that metal fabricators might create include; metal structures, machinery and parts, and end products.

What is Sheet Metal manufacturing?

Sheet metal manufacturing on the other hand is the process of making flat metal sheets into metal products through cutting, punching, folding, welding, and assembly. Sheet metal manufacturing transforms flat metal sheets often thin materials, by cutting with laser light, punching shapes into the metal or folding the metal into a desired shape. The end product may include furniture, exercise equipment, stairwell railing and balustrades, parts used within off-road vehicles and many more. Many of the TRUMPF machines can perform a multiple of these processes in one machine with one set-up.

What are the steps involved in Sheet metal and fabrication metal processing?

Metal fabrication involves many processes that include but not limited to, drawing, cutting, bending, and assembly.

The first important process in metal fabrication is drawing. Often manufactures use applications to express and visualise the desired end-product using  specifications and dimensions to then process through the machine.

Cutting is often achieved by sawing, shearing, or laser cutting . In fabrication it can also involve the use of hand-held torches, numerical control cutters, and automated laser cutters.

Bending can be more manual in the fabrication process and can entail the use of hammers and hand tools or more automated through the use of press brakes. In automated bending, such as the TRUMPF bending machines, they automatically position material sheets  in order to impress bend lines correctly. The development programming software, such as TRUMPF’s TruTops range,  has brought about seamless and efficient programming of the CNC-controlled press brakes.

Assembly within metal fabrication involves joining, welding, and riveting metal pieces and threaded fasteners.

Read more about our sheet metal machinery.

Read more about fabrication machinery.