Custom metal parts

How To Meet Complex Project Demands With Custom Metal Parts

May 3, 2024 | custom fabrication

As a custom manufacturer, your projects are often complicated and unique. That challenge is that each project likely will need custom metal parts. That’s where fabrication shops come in. 

There are applications where choosing an off-the-shelf item is fine. But more often than not, your client’s project will require parts that don’t currently exist. For that, you require a solution that is quick, reliable, and high-quality. 

There are more than 34,000 fabrication companies in the US. These companies specialize in bending, welding, and cutting a variety of materials. That’s a sign of how fundamental this service is to custom manufacturing.

Let’s take a look at how metal parts, built with precision, will make your project a success.

4 ways custom metal parts support complex project requirements

1. Many metals and materials to fit your project needs

Creating custom sheet metal parts, or complex pieces machined from a metal billet, can all be handled by a well-equipped fabricator. No matter the task, the right fabrication shop will have access to the required materials and equipment to do the job. This is important because it allows you to make choices like corrosion resistance, strength, and durability, based on the properties that are best for the client’s requirements. 

You will have many options and will only be bound by the project requirements. Build what you need to make it work right. With fewer design compromises, your build will go smoother. You will also be able to hit your objectives easier.

2. Streamline the production process

Working with someone who has a stake in your project can make everything smoother. Some fabrication shops have engineers on staff who can analyze your designs. They can then draw on their company’s experience to see if other design solutions might work even better. 

Fabrication shops are also experts in working with a wide variety of metals. Their suggestions are reliable because they are born from experience. There is more control over deadlines as you and the fabricator will agree on lead times and delivery dates. Custom metal parts fabrication is one of the best ways to get high-quality parts on time and on spec. 

3. Fabricators expect changes and small volume orders 

Fabrication shops are built to handle production runs at both low and high volumes When you simply want to design the part, get it into the production queue, and send it to your manufacturing floor once built, custom metal parts fabrication is an excellent choice.   

This also allows flexibility you will never find with off-the-shelf products. If the customer changes the design or the first parts don’t work quite right, you can focus on fixing the problem. You won’t get bogged down in constantly changing the design for a few parts. 

Maybe you only have to ask a fabrication to modify a part they already produced. Possibly they will need to machine a new one from scratch. No matter what happens, you end up with a part designed how you need it.

4. Parts that fit your design 

Designing around mass-produced parts is frustrating. Items like fasteners, washers, and bearings are easy to integrate. But as assemblies get more complex, you get farther from the ideal design as you make compromises to fit the off-the-shelf parts. 

Custom-made metal parts are your answer. They will help move your project forward in four specific ways.

3 Tips for ordering custom metal parts

When it comes time to put in an order for your components, there are three things you should keep in mind. Following these tips will provide a smoother experience with a fabrication partner.  

1. Carefully Review your Quote

Just like any contract, you want to make sure you understand who handles what. You also want to ensure that there are no misunderstandings or hidden costs. It’s an important step. No matter how much you trust your fabricator,  it’s still a best practice to spend time reviewing their offer. 

2. Have Open Communication

Be upfront about the type and frequency of communication you want. You can start before production. Ask questions, and be willing to answer theirs, too. When you develop a healthy partnership with your fabricator, there will be a greater chance of catching issues before they affect design, production, and timelines. 

3. Define your requirements before you press “go”

Make sure you provide clear and detailed specifications. More detail is better for a typical fabricator, as it allows them to understand what you need. Check-in with questions often. This provides opportunities for both of you to clarify any gray areas.  

4. Design for manufacture

Involve manufacturing experts early on in your product development phase. They will identify potential problems that will pop up later on in the project and can suggest solutions. By taking a big-picture approach, bringing your designs to life will be more efficient. You can take an in-depth look at Design for Manufacture strategies here.

Find the right partner with the right materials and capabilities

With thousands of fabrication companies to work with, you’re bound to find one that will bring your projects across the finish line. From materials and fabrication techniques to efficiency and quality, fabrication shops are the key to client satisfaction. 

We’ve got some tips for you to help you find the right partner in this blog as well. 

To learn more about Impact Fab and the role metal fabrication can play in your custom manufacturing process, we invite you to check out our metal fabrication information here.