4 Essential Tips for Choosing Your Sheet Metal Fabrication Partner
Choosing a metal fabrication company to partner with for many types of businesses, from construction to equipment and machinery manufacturing to creating parts and products for industrial and commercial applications, can significantly impact your business. Most welding companies, for example, aren’t equipped to fabricate commercial HVAC ductwork, and complex custom sheet metal fabrications. It’s vital to vet all prospective partners for their experience, workforce, resources, etc. Without the right sheet metal fabricator, you’ll face design issues, quality problems, and delays.
This blog provides essential tips for choosing the right sheet metal fabrication partner.
What is sheet metal fabrication?
Sheet metal fabrication refers to processes that alter a metal sheet’s original shape, including cutting, bending, welding, machining, forming, joining, and assembly to produce parts and products.
Experience is one of the most critical factors in deciding on a sheet metal fabrication partner. Consider the time served in the metal fabrication industry and how experienced their current leadership and teams are, and the types of projects they’ve completed in the past. If the fabricator hasn’t handled projects similar to yours or doesn’t have the experience you need, they would not be an appropriate partner. For example, a farm equipment parts fabricator may not have the right expertise for an architecture project. Ask these questions to any prospect:
- Are they experienced with projects like yours?
- Have they fabricated parts or products like yours?
- Do they serve other clients in your industry?
- Do they have the expertise to handle a project of your scale?
Your chosen sheet metal fabricator should leverage industry-leading metal designing and manufacturing technology, from materials storage to delivery prep processes to automation. Modern fabrication automation solutions can be critical to reducing quality issues. For larger projects, your fabricator should be willing to embrace new technologies, techniques, and equipment necessary to complete a custom fabrication project. Ask these questions to any prospect:
- What are their current fabrication capabilities and solutions?
- Are they prepared to make additional investments if necessary to complete this project?
- Will they pay for new purchases, or will you have to pay?
- Availability and Communication
Highly flexible service availability is the core of partnership success in today’s world of pandemic lockdowns, environmental disasters, military conflicts, lack of capacity in the shipping industry, and other factors that severely impact supply chains, materials sourcing, timelines, and costs. At APEX, we take pride in ensuring every partner gets the adaptable and innovative solutions it takes to plan and execute never-been-done projects on demanding timelines at massive scales. Check out some of our case studies for detailed examples of the kind of availability, flexibility, and customer service you should expect your fabricator to offer.
A high level of communication is also essential when choosing a sheet metal fabricator, especially for custom and complex projects. Building successful partnerships is critical to ensuring future projects also run smoothly. Clear communication between you and your fabricator helps ensure a healthy relationship with less stress and confusion.
Seek a fabricator who genuinely considers your project goals and communicates their professional expertise and opinions on how best to achieve them. Look for honest and transparent people who take the time to explain the process to you. Problems can occur or impact even the most well-planned project, and a fabricator who can admit an issue and provide a quick, effective solution is invaluable. Ask questions as they arise and note their answers. Use your intuition and judgment of character to find the fabricator who understands how to support your needs no matter the project.
At the end of the day, you need someone who can get the job done – and that alone can be hard to find. Complex projects often demand an expansive range of capabilities and access to equipment and facilities that many fabricators simply don’t have. However, some fabricators are fully prepared for just about any project imaginable. APEX, for example, provides a mix of mechanical services and shop fabrication capabilities that bring a high level of flexibility, performance, and savings to every job, including:
- Industrial field services
- Boiler service and repair
- Sheet metal, plumbing, and HVAC services
- Pipe bending and forming
- Modular construction
- Pipe, sheet metal, and steel fabrication
APEX as Your Fabrication Partner
Use the tips in this blog to help ask the right questions and make smart decisions about choosing the right sheet metal fabrication partner. If you’re ready to work with a team that consistently meets and exceeds expectations among all the criteria above for a diverse range of high-profile clients, APEX is ready to work with you. Contact us today to talk about your next project.