As UK-based specialists in bespoke steel fabrication, the FEM team answers in this blog the most frequently asked questions about how important precision is in the manufacturing industry (especially steel fabrication), and what precision steel fabrication involves.
What is steel fabrication?
A simple definition of steel fabrication is the use of different processes – including cutting, bending and assembling – to create metal structures. Steel fabrication is essentially transforming steel into a specific shape.
The material’s hardiness is why it is so regularly used for components.
What do we mean by “precision” in steel fabrication?
Precision steel fabrication uses advanced and highly skilled processes and techniques – including forming, welding, punching and cutting – to manufacture high-precision parts for a multitude of uses. The steel will then be used in the manufacture, assembly or construction of a final product; the precision technique allowing for identical steel parts to be made.
The use of precision machinery in structural steel fabrication ensures the product is formed with extreme accuracy, to precise details and forming exact duplicates.
As a bespoke steel fabrication technique, precision machining is growing as demand for its application increases.
What is precision steel fabrication used for?
When people think of precision steel fabrication, their thoughts almost certainly turn to the aerospace and automobile industries, or in the production of medical equipment.
But precision techniques have a huge influence on other uses for tailor-made steel parts too. From household electronics to home construction, there is precision metal fabrication being utilised across so many industries. Advances in technology means that list is only growing.
Take a look at FEM’s case studies for our recent examples of structural steel fabrication and bespoke steel fabrication.
Why is it important?
New technology has transformed the way manufacturers form steel parts, with precision being one of the most important outcomes.
Today, the global machining market is predominantly made up of precision machining.
Why? Well aside from the obvious advantages of being able to create something entirely bespoke and made for purpose that can be reproduced exactly… it also saves time, saves on waste, improves quality and puts businesses at a competitive advantage.
What does precision steel fabrication involve?
Precision steel fabrication is achieved through the use of specialist technologies, including, but not limited to, 3D printing, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine processes use everything from laser cutting to stamping to physically produce the precise steel products.
What are the benefits of precision in steel fabrication?
Efficiency, cost savings, improved quality, accuracy… there are endless reasons that precision techniques are useful in steel fabrication.
We’ve already touched on the importance of precision in steel fabrication in this blog. But let’s have a look now at the benefits in more detail:
Thanks to the equipment and software used to create precision steel, production time is reduced when compared to more traditional methods of production. Parts can be made in days rather than weeks, and the precision involved means there is less chance of error.
By choosing a precision steel manufacturer close to you, like FEM in central England, the lead time is also reduced.
Using a UK-based steel fabrication firm like FEM, which is local to you, means you don’t have to factor in overseas logistics, or allow for unforeseen problems with, for example, the transport of your product, or extra time when a prototype isn’t right.
As we’ve already alluded to, one of the main benefits of precision steel fabrication is a reduction in cost. Here’s why that is the case:
- Less waste – products being made to their exact specifications naturally means there is less waste.
- Accuracy – because parts are made so precisely, extra materials aren’t required to account for inaccurate parts being made.
- Labour – there is less manual labour involved with precision techniques because the machines that are used are highly automated.
- Tolerance guarantee – the precision of CNC machining ensures complex parts are made which achieve tighter tolerances than conventional methods.
- Time – the reduction in production time reduces the overall cost of the project.
- Economies of scale – due to identical products being produced quickly and accurately.
Precision machining can be used across a range of materials. But that’s not the only reason it is a flexible product technique. Custom parts can be made quickly so that prototypes can be produced and tested. Unique parts are made efficiently, and products can be modified quickly, or redesigned entirely, without needing to factor in a lengthy development stage.
Because of the accuracy involved, precision steel fabrication results in significantly better quality control when compared with manual methods of production.
The end product will have fewer defects; saving costs and improving performance.
A precise steel fabrication will assemble more easily with its component parts – enhancing overall performance.
Being able to make small adjustments to the precision technology and machinery means prototypes can be quickly and easily altered.
UK steel fabrication specialists…
Above all, choosing the right company for your business’s needs is vital to the success of your precision steel fabrication requirements.
FEM is a specialist, central-England based, steel fabrication company with more than 20 years’ experience in producing specialist steel parts for customers seeking assured quality. Family-owned and run, FEM prides itself on delivering a friendly, solution-focussed service that sets it apart from other steel fabrication companies.
Want to know more? FEM is passionate about finding ways to support your business with fabrication, welding and machining projects. Give us a call on 01909 774 836 for a free, no-obligation quote.