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    There are steel fabrication companies in nearly every American state, with projected industry growth of about 6% in the coming years. Meanwhile, innovative technologies, automation, and advanced machining techniques have made the CNC manufacturing sector extremely competitive across the globe. And although that’s great for business, it can also make the average project manager’s job a living nightmare.

    Knowing how to find a steel fabricator with the right characteristics and capabilities can be tough. For example, the CNC machine shop you work with needs to have fast workers, great prices, precision machines, and a positive reputation for consistently delivering it all. So, how do you find a reputable CNC machining company to take care of your steel fabrication projects when there are so many legitimate choices? Like this.

    How to find a reputable steel fabricator in 5 easy steps

    Most large-scale metal fabrication projects require an expert’s touch to get it right. That’s because many of the machines, tools, and techniques used to manufacture steel are heavy-duty and potentially dangerous. However, that element of danger may discourage hopeful project managers who don’t realize how helpful a skilled machinist can be.

    By finding a reputable CNC facility with large and small metallurgy capabilities, you essentially reduce your risk on several fronts while seeing your design concepts turn into realities. So, here’s how to have a more fruitful search when looking for a dependable steel fabricator:

    Step #1: Find out which grades of steel the facility uses.

    Steel is an extremely popular raw material that has been used in countless CNC applications for decades. It’s valued because of its durability, strength, and appearance, but it’s especially prized for its easy machinability and range of different grades. However, some machine shops don’t offer an expanded inventory that includes acceptable steel for automotive and/or aerospace projects. So, talk to the staff about which grades of steel they can work with before handing over your blueprints.

    Step #2: Determine the quality of the shop’s machines and tools.

    No machine shop can handle high-quality steel without the right machines, machinists, and tools working together. If the wrong tool or rig gets used to fabricate precision steel parts, it could be disastrous and expensive for both the design team and the client. Therefore, only work with CNC metalworkers who understand material properties enough to know which implements to involve and which ones to avoid at all costs.

    Step #3: Calculate the cost of labor and materials.

    Calculating hourly rates for CNC machining and steel fabrication can be tricky, but an experienced staff should provide ample information to help you estimate costs either way. There may be several factors that increase or decrease your project’s final price, but that same experienced staff can also help you cut costs without sacrificing quality, accuracy, or speed. If you need more help crunching the numbers, consider this:
    • Parts with complex geometries typically cost more to produce.
    • Your chosen steel grade may change the overall fee.
    • The required tools also affect how much money you spend.

    Talk to a shop expert to get more information on the total price of your project.

    Step #4: See what kind of prototyping they can provide.

    Rapid prototyping is one of the most essential pieces of the steel fabrication puzzle, and that’s because it allows project managers to troubleshoot their parts before mass production. By making only one working model, design teams can pinpoint issues and fix flaws without breaking the bank. Best of all, the RP process is usually quick, simple, and convenient (or else if defeats the purpose). So, try to find a metal manufacturer that can thrive under the pressure.

    Step #5: Review their specialty services.

    Did you know that most steel fabricating companies can do more than just fashion parts out of raw materials? Some can even perform complex micromachining tasks, build for highly regulated industries, conduct non-destructive testing (NDT) on parts, and offer high-end metal finishing under the same roof. Thus, it’s easier to mitigate the added cost of outsourcing projects to several different machine shops. In addition, all-inclusive CNC facilities generally assign the same team to work on your order from start to finish.

    BONUS STEP: Submit information to get a quick project estimate and timeline.

    It has never been easier to get started on your steel fabrication goals. Pioneer Cuts offers one of the fastest project quotes in the CNC machining industry. Using their state-of-the-art ProShop ERP software and advanced technologies, the PC staff are able to estimate your project cost and outline a tentative schedule within 6 hours or less. So, gather your information and begin planning today.

    Your manufacturing concepts deserve special attention from a steadfast and trailblazing partner. So for even better results, try to work with a steel fabrication company that’s considered a pioneer in their field.

    Tips for starting a new project with a steel fabrication company

    It’s easy to feel stuck when choosing the right steel fabrication company. So, here are some quick tips to help you take off running:

    • Try to gain a general understanding of the CNC steel machining process.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re concerned about something.
    • Remain open to using different materials and/or inventive techniques.
    • Ask a machinist how you can save even more money on labor, parts, and materials.

    Steel fabrication can be pretty expensive, especially if you approach the project with little knowledge and no basis of comparison. That means you must hold these companies accountable with your savvy choices and refusal to accept anything but the best.

    Cut to the chase

    Let the experts at Pioneer Cuts turn your raw material into something truly marketable. With a quick 6-hour project quote, you can take advantage of our intuitive software and advanced machines to develop precision steel parts at an impressive pace. Contact one of our 12 CNC machining experts today and enjoy the convenience of a full-service machine shop that’s affordable, accessible, and available when you need it the most.

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