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    If you’re in the market for a reliable steel fabrication company you could get stuck trying to narrow down your options. Not only is metallurgy a job reserved strictly for pros but it’s also one of the most fundamental processes in our burgeoning economy. Without skilled machinists and properly utilized materials, our world would function on a much less sophisticated level. But with the ever-increasing demand comes countless CNC machine shops that promise consistent quality. Still, they can’t all be the best.

    To choose the right one, project managers must understand the significance of what they’re doing. They must also appreciate the complexities of the job and respect the various processes required to machine a functional component. Thus, it’s important to learn the top five factors that affect steel and metal fabrication before approaching your next job with open arms. Here’s what you need to know.

    What does steel fabrication involve?

    Steel fabrication is a complicated process that involves taking raw materials and transforming them into usable parts for various industries. The raw materials first get melted down, and then molten steel is added to the mixture before it’s formed into the desired shape. Usually, the most efficient fabrication methods include welding, burning, and forming/molding. Meanwhile, more labor-intensive processes may be used to create intricate geometries and/or customized alloys.
    Pieces of fabricated metal are joined or assembled using a variety of techniques such as adhesive binding, riveting, threaded fasteners, and even bending to create crimped seams. Afterward, the materials are passed to other machinists for further fabrication into functional parts or testable prototypes. In some cases, the entire process can be completed within the same facility. Either way, there are a few important factors that every project manager should consider before pulling the trigger.

    5 things to consider when choosing a steel fabricator

    The same factors apply whether you’re looking for a precision machine shop to handle large-scale projects or not, and little changes when you look at the rest of the world. However, it’s not always easy to pick the right steel fabricator near you because there are so many different things to think about. So, as you move forward in the process, look at these five things first:

    #1. The Shop’s Reputation

    A reputable machine shop should have plenty of positive reviews to back up its claims. So, an excellent track record in the industry is of key importance. That’s because steel is especially strong and durable. Therefore, CNC machine shops handling steel fabrication projects must adhere to strict manufacturing regulations to ensure safety and accuracy at all times.

    #2. The Project Specifications

    The unique details of your project can change the way things are done. While some clients only need a steady supply of steel, others require expert metallurgy services and advanced machining options to remain relevant and/or competitive in their industry. A CNC facility that can accommodate customized orders is crucial for that reason, especially if the prototyping phase reveals problems in the original design.

    #3. The Equipment Used

    Steel fabricators must commit to many things when taking on such dangerous projects, and that’s generally why they invest in high-tech, heavy-duty, industry-leading machines, tools, and materials. Only by using the most cutting-edge technologies can they continually improve efficiency, ensure product quality, and shorten lead times to help clients beat competitors faster than ever.

    #4. The Price of the Project

    There are several factors that can affect the final price of a machined part or a steel fabrication project. For example, the materials required may cost more/less than the original design because of machining elements you don’t know about and/or surprises that weren’t expected. In fact, that’s why it’s so important to get a quick service quote before initiating any job like this.

    #5. The Available Finishes

    The initial creation of your project is only the beginning, so it serves as just a small piece of the manufacturing puzzle. Most of the time, clients also require surface blasting, painting, and/or expedited metal finishing as well. But working with a machine shop that always outsources these services is expensive and time-consuming. So, try to run your orders through a one-stop CNC facility instead.

    Other steel fabrication considerations may include things like:

    • The financial stability of the shop – You don’t want to work with a company that’s about to go bankrupt because they’ll most likely cut corners where it hurts you the most. So, look for machine shops that are rapidly expanding.
    • The level of expertise on the staff – Knowing how to run a large machine and handle tools is one thing but understanding the nuances of machining to intuitively create masterful parts is another. Choose a shop that employs experts only.
    • The source of all materials – Look for a facility that uses eco-friendly material sourcing practices and/or one that supports local businesses. This not only has a positive impact on the environment but also helps the economy.

    To get more information on how your chosen CNC machine shop handles steel fabrication projects, contact customer service with any questions, comments, or concerns.

    How to save money on steel fabrication projects

    When you understand the factors that affect pricing and you know which things to consider first, it’s much easier to cut costs without sacrificing quality. Pioneer Cuts experts habitually streamline projects to create precision components at top speeds for less money. So, reach out to a member of the PC team for tips, tricks, and techniques to help get you started.

    The takeaway

    Well-equipped CNC machine shops with a good reputation and an expert staff can handle the complexities of steel fabrication without decreasing product quality or machining efficiency. Moreover, it’s crucial to combine forces with a facility that’s large enough to handle all steps of the process in the same location. That means getting in touch with Pioneer Cuts before blindly accepting the industry norm.

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