Whether you work in the automotive industry, in manufacturing, construction, or any other industry that requires the services of a sheet metal fabricator, choosing the right fabricator for the job is critical to your success. Although plenty of metal fabrication workshops may advertise that they offer sheet metal fabrication services, the quality and their work processes can differ widely. Asking the right questions can help you narrow down your choices and pick a sheet metal fabricator you can have a long and successful relationship with.

What Projects Have They Previously Worked On?

Metal fabrication companies often work on a vast variety of projects with differing requirements. Asking them about their previous work can help you understand if they have worked in industries similar to yours. A good way to do this is to ask for their portfolio. You’ll be able to see if they have worked on projects and in industries similar to yours. It will also show you the outcome of those projects to give you confidence in hiring a firm. 

This can be particularly important if you require metal fabrication on a large scale. 

What Equipment Do They Use?

Sheet metal fabrication is a delicate and precise process. The equipment a metal fabricator uses can play a big role in how accurate their work is. Those who work with cutting-edge CNC tools, or Computerized Numerical Controls can deliver high precision. Additionally, equipment like high-quality lathes, punches and dies, and lasers are all indicative of metal fabrication companies that are on top of their equipment game. Great equipment shows that the metal fabricator likes to work quickly, efficiently, and accurately to deliver high quality results.

What Experience Do Their Employees Have?

If they have ticked the equipment box, then it’s a good idea to find out if their employees know how to use it. A great way to do this is to ask how long their employees have been working with them, and what certifications their employees hold. Ask if any of them have expertise in sheet metal fabrication and if they will be working on your project.

Certifications demonstrate commitment to their work and to safety in the workplace. A fabricator with a team of experienced and long-standing employees indicates that they are consistent and reliable, and the chances of quality issues and delays on your project are lower. 

Do They Provide Design and Engineering Services?

Who knows metals and their qualities better than someone who works with them day in and day out? A metal fabricator with experience in design and troubleshooting is always a bonus. They will be able to help you develop your prototype into a working design or may be able to suggest improvements to your existing design. A Touch of Brass has worked on several projects where our workflow changes, system modifications, and automated components have improved the efficiency in our clients’ manufacturing units. 

The ability to provide design and engineering services also means that they will be able to troubleshoot any problems that may arise in the future.

Do They Provide Finishing and Installation Services?

Not all metal fabricators apply finishes to the parts they make. Typically, choosing a sheet metal fabricator with the capability to carry out the finishing in-house will provide you with better quality finishes than those who outsource this step. 

Similarly, if your systems need installation, choosing a sheet metal fabricator who can install them for you is a good idea. This way they can carry out any last minute tweaks as needed.

Will You Have a Dedicated Contact Person for Your Project?

The last thing you need is to spend hours on the phone trying to find out what progress has been made. Ask how regularly you will get project updates and if you will have a specific contact person assigned to you so you can call them if you need to. Any metal fabrication workshop that takes pride in building long-term relationships with their clientele will do so. 

What is Your Pricing Structure Like?

A major red flag to look out for is the lack of transparency in pricing. The cheapest quote you get may not necessarily be the best. Chances are they may have missed out on certain aspects (that will definitely be added on later) or the quality of their work may not meet your exacting standards.

With over 40 years of experience in the metal fabrication world, your project is in safe hands with A Touch of Brass. 

Get in touch and let us know what you need!