What is metal fabrication and where is the industry headed?

- Jun 20, 2020-

Metal fabrication is the process of building machines and structures from raw metal materials. The process includes cutting, burning, welding, machining, forming, and assembly to create the final product.


Metal fabrication projects include everything from hand railings to heavy equipment and machinery. Specific subsectors include cutlery and hand tools; architectural and structural metals; hardware manufacturing; spring and wire manufacturing; screw, nut, and bolt manufacturing; and forging and stamping.


The main benefit of metal fabrication shops is the centralization of these many processes that are often required to be performed in parallel via a collection of vendors. A one-stop metal fabrication shop helps contractors limit their need to work with multiple vendors to complete complicated projects.


How Is Metal Fabrication Performed?

Metal fabrication industry has broad applications across a great many industries and consumer products. Standard raw materials used include plate metal, fittings, castings, formed and expanded metal, sectional metal, flat metal, and welding wire.


Shops employ many different experts, including welders, ironworkers, blacksmiths, boilermakers, and similar professionals that work with these raw materials and convert them into their final products.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.425 million workers are employed in metal fabrication. Among them are cutting, punching, and press machine setters and operators; first-line supervisors; managers; machinists; team assemblers; welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers.