Engineers looking to hire a metal fabricator have a lot of choices. But with nearly 50,000 metal fabricators in the United States, how do you know which one is the best fit for your project?
Unfortunately, we hear fabrication horror stories over and over again where engineers send their designs to a shop only to receive low-quality parts that result in project delays and cost overruns.
Choosing the right fabricator can be the difference between staying on budget and on schedule, or wrecking your entire project.
When all you want is a part that works, you need a fabricator that can make high-quality parts that meet your standards. Here are five tips for hiring the best metal fabrication company that will ensure your project is a success.
Five Tips for Hiring the Best Metal Fabrication Company Who Will Ensure Your Project is a Success
1. Confirm they have the right technology and capabilities to get your job done
Depending on your project requirements and design specifications, the first factor to consider is whether the metal fabrication company has the machinery that will get the job done right. The best fabrication shops should be able to offer you a wide range of solutions in order to provide you with the high-quality part you’re looking for.
Some of the solutions include:
- Design and Engineering
- CNC Machining
- Laser Cutting
- Water Jet Cutting
If the company does what you need in-house, you’re more likely to get the parts you need on time. Once you determine the company’s capabilities, it’s time to check their experience.
2. Check their experience
How do you know how much experience a metal fabricator has? Looking at their website is a great place to start. There are three things you should look for when checking out their experience:
- See how long they have been in business for
You want to hire a company that knows the ins-and-outs of your business. The length of time a fabrication shop has been around is a good indicator of their experience. At Impact Fab, we’ve been around for almost three decades, making sure your quality standards and deadlines are met — and we can honestly say that we’ve seen it all.
- Check out which clients they have previously worked with
It’s also important to evaluate the current and past clients that the fabrication shop has. This helps determine their level of experience within your own industry. What are the shop’s testimonials saying? Do they work with similar clients like you? Do they provide case studies or examples of the work that they have done?
- See what qualifications/credentials they have
Another step to take is to look into their qualifications and certifications. There are a number of certifications that can be earned as employees and as a business. The more they have, the more you can be assured that they care about the quality you need.
3. Make sure they are focused on quality
Many fabricators are only concerned with the single part they’re making. But what if the shape isn’t right? What if the tolerance is slightly off? What if it doesn’t function correctly when assembled? It’s back to the drawing board. Understanding the quality that a metal fabricator puts into your project is important. When it comes down to it, you need a high-quality partner just as much as you need a high-quality part.
What does that look like?
- Ensure that they use the type of material you need for the job
We often talk about “metal” but that covers a wide range of materials. Most metals come in a variety of alloy compositions, strengths, hardness, and conductivity. You’ll want to make sure that your fabrication shop is using the right material for your project.
- Vet whether they care about the whole project (and not just the part they’re fabricating)
Building something to spec is great, but what will the end result be? Do you have the optimal design for your project? Is there a better material you should use? Will it work just like you wanted it to? A fabrication shop that asks these questions will be the right hire every single time.
4. Establish turnaround time and delivery dates
Missing a deadline can cause your whole project to be delayed, and that’s costly. Next thing you know, you’re being charged more for expedited shipping, your crew doesn’t have what they need to move forward, and the weight of the project falls on you to make this right. However, this isn’t something you should have to worry about.
When hiring a metal fabrication company, make sure that they are upfront about their process, timeline, due dates, and shipping processes. Communicating about these things before hiring the company will save you time and money in the long run — rather than running into project delays and cost overruns.
5. Confirm their commitment to customer service
The fabricator you hire should be honest, transparent, and solution-oriented when it comes to the part you need. They should make you feel welcome when you have questions and should be able to answer those questions quickly. If you’re not experiencing this throughout the process, that’s a big red flag.
You need someone who understands how important your part is and treats it that way. A good metal fabrication company will do that.
Now you’re ready to hire the right partner
Hiring the right metal fabrication partner is an important part of the success of your project. These five tips will get started on the right track.
With nearly three decades of experience, Impact Fab has seen how high-quality fabrication contributes to the success of the whole project. We will work with you to fully understand the design of the part, and how it fits into the whole project. We’re a second set of eyes that can help identify issues that may turn up, or confirm that everything should work as intended.
Stop putting yourself at risk of receiving low-quality parts causing further project delays and cost overruns. Click here to start the conversation with one of our fabrication experts. From there we’ll provide you with a quote and help you get the job done.