The importance of precision in steel fabrication

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.


How is quality control maintained in the fabrication process?

As a bespoke fabrication company based in Sheffield, FEM delivers quality metal fabrication products not just to companies in the northern Midlands, but across England, the whole of the UK, internationally, and even offshore.

What makes us a trusted fabrication company is our assurance and delivery of quality. So in this blog, we explore what that means to us, and why you should always seek out a bespoke fabrication company near you that priorities quality…

What do we mean by ‘quality control’ in metal fabrication?

 Quality control in metal fabrication means producing products to a high standard.

The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) defines quality as the “degree to which a set of inherent characteristics of an object fulfils requirements”.

Quality within a fabrication company will be met and maintained using a Quality System – ensuring all elements of production, and all those involved in the production process, are working to the requirements of the same quality manual.

For quality fulfilment, metal fabrication firms will create a Quality Management programme to ensure Quality Control (completion of the process) and Quality Assurances (requirements of the process being met).

Quality Control is not a ‘one size fits all’ system, with each bespoke fabrication process requiring its own standards of quality to meet specifications. Unique quality control measures are identified by a specialist during the design part of the fabrication process.

How is quality control maintained in metal fabrication?

Quality control is maintained with the inspection of the product at each stage of its production.

This starts with a pre-production check of the materials; followed by an in-process inspection; completing quality control with a final inspection of the finished product.

How is quality control implemented in metal fabrication?

A considered quality management programme ensures quality control is implemented at every stage of the production process.

This includes:

Timeensuring the timeline of production is kept to so that deadlines are met.

Safetythat the production team has safety training and codes of conduct are adhered to.

Costkeeping to budget by limiting errors and delivering on time.

Compliancemaking sure staff are trained on product compliance.

Maintenancekeeping equipment well maintained and regularly checked.

Communicationputting a system in place where any issues with quality are reported.

Automationsmart technology means quality control data can be monitored and stored.

Reviewregularly reviewing quality control practices to be sure standards don’t slip.

Why is quality control important?

 Quality control is important not only for the customer, but also for the integrity and safety of the finished product.

That’s why FEM – a bespoke fabrication company in Sheffield – puts so much into quality control, as it’s vital to our reputation and why so many of our clients choose us time and again.

For us the quality control measures we put in place for metal fabrication projects mean our clients receive a finished product that is quality assured, free of defects and meets the brief and need they gave us at the design stage. And by putting in quality control measures at every stage of the process, issues are picked up quickly.

In conclusion, quality control is vital to the fabrication process because it: prevents defects, ensures functionality, guarantees safety, keeps products uniform and delivers projects to time and on budget.

What are the benefits of quality control to the metal fabrication process?

As the team here at our fabrication company in Sheffield have touched upon already in this blog, there are multiple reasons quality control is important in the metal fabrication process.

But here are a few other benefits brought about by quality control:

  • Significantly reduces the risk of recall and all that comes with that.
  • Enhanced measures improve safety.
  • A reduction in liability risk.
  • An increase in customer satisfaction.

What quality assurances should you look out for when choosing a fabrication company?


Following on from the quality control measures put in place during production is the quality assurance of not just the manufacturer, but of recognised third bodies such as ISO.

ISO defines quality assurance as “part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled”.

Here at FEM we are accredited with ISO 9001 Certification, which sets out the criteria for a quality management system, helping to ensure our customers get consistent, high-quality products and services.

FEM’s ISO 9001 Certification helps us to comply, inspect and manage our quality control methods, and is the accredited quality assurance our customers look for when choosing us.

What quality control means to FEM…

 Quality control isn’t just a box-ticking exercise for us here at FEM. We believe it is integral to the integrity of our business and the reason we are so highly reviewed as a fabrication company in Sheffield.

We want every product we produce to be fit for purpose, delivering each project within budget and in a timely manner.

It’s the value we place in quality control which is why we are so well regarded in our industry, putting quality at the heart of everything we do, from an initial client consultation to the arrival of the finished product at its destination.

Where can I find quality control maintained fabrication near me?

Based in Rotherham, just outside of Sheffield in the north midlands of England, Fabrication Engineering Maintenance Ltd (FEM) is centrally based in the UK to easily meet the needs of customers across the length and breadth of the British Isles. We’re open Monday to Friday and always keen to have a chat about how we can fulfil your bespoke fabrication project.



The future of sheet metal fabrication

Sheet metal fabrication is a fast-growing, innovative industry, and in this blog, we’ll look at what it is, current processes and industry outlook, and what the future holds for sheet metal fabrication companies like FEM…

What is sheet metal fabrication?

 To define sheet metal fabrication, it is a process that uses cutting, punching, folding and assembling to transform flat sheets of aluminium or steel into metal structures or products. The metal is bent, stretched and shaped via cutting and welding to create the finished product.

This process can be used to make all manner of metal products, from garages and lockers to surgical instruments and kitchen accessories.

What are the benefits of bespoke sheet metal fabrication?

 For bespoke metal fabrication, a highly specialised service like that provided by FEM is required.

Tailored products that are the result of bespoke sheet metal fabrication can benefit companies by allowing them to stand out from the crowd, differentiating their product from competitors with metal fabrication work that is unique, rather than standard.

A bespoke sheet metal product also supports efficiency, as compromises aren’t required to ensure a standard option adapts to the needs of a one-of-a-kind product. And the detail allows optimum solutions for all who use and work with it.

Another benefit of sheet metal fabrication is that standards for that specific product are met.

What are the processes in sheet metal fabrication?

 Working with a bespoke sheet metal fabrication company near to you, like FEM, will allow for a tailored service at every stage of the process.

However, as a guide, these are the usual processes involved in sheet metal fabrication:

  • Designing
  • Programming
  • Cutting
  • Punching (CNC punching)
  • Bending
  • Welding
  • Assembly
  • Powder coating

Remember, final products should always be signed off and certified to BSEN 1090.

The current outlook for sheet metal fabrication…

 The sheet metal fabrication industry is incredibly fast growing as it keeps pace with increasing demand, and as more sectors look to sheet metal fabrication for solutions to new problems.

In fact, it is one of the fastest growing industries in the world; the recent replacement of traditional methods with enhanced technology allowing efficiencies that have hugely supported that growth.

Demand for sheet metal fabrication is coming from a number of sectors, including large-scale industries like automotive, aerospace and construction; right down to everyday item manufacturers such as those who make household products.

With an eye on cost and waste, more is being asked of the sheet metal fabrication industry by its clients to improve operational efficiencies and ensure the lifespan of the products it produces.

 How will advancements in technology change sheet metal fabrication?

There are a number of advancements heading our way here at sheet metal fabrication companies like FEM in Sheffield. So with our finger on the pulse of all things ‘sheet metal fabrication’, here is a look at some of the main technologies which are soon to, or already starting to, support the way we deliver high standards:

Automated Machinery

So the use of automated machinery has already been around a good while thanks to the advancements brought by Industry 3.0. But how and when it is used is becoming more advanced, with the tasks automated machinery can perform increasing in their complexity, and the technology itself faster and cheaper to run.

Cyber Security

As technology improves and is integrated into the fabrication of sheet metal, so too does an increased risk of cyber attack.

Automation (above) and digitization (below) mean that hacked technology can expose private data and sensitive information.

Therefore the future advancements of sheet metal fabrication must keep pace with enhanced cyber security.

As most breaches are a result of human error, keeping our team trained on cyber security is something we are really passionate about at FEM.


While there is no call for robotics to replace the skill and experience of a highly-trained sheet metal fabrication worker like those at FEM, the future for our industry will no doubt see the introduction of repetitive, un-skilled jobs, and those that are high-risk, handed over to ‘Co-Bots’ in years to come. This will free up time for our human team to concentrate on areas of production that require thought and expertise; such as bespoke sheet metal fabrication.

3D Printing

The current cost of 3D printing for steel fabrication is too high for most companies in the industry to buy and maintain the machines.

But as those with larger budgets have proved – like NASA – using 3D in the fabrication industry can be practical and flexible. So it’s likely that 3D printing will become a viable production tool in the metal fabrication industry in the future.

Digitization of data

Allowing data to be collected and stored has been transformative for many industries, and it will continue to improve efficiencies in sheet metal fabrication.

The digitization of data means information can be accessed by individuals anywhere, anytime and in real time. Thus allowing different areas of the business to communicate and utilize data quickly.

As this technology allows industries like ours to do more, processes will become increasingly equipped with data storing sensors.

Collecting, measuring and analyzing that data has already, and will continue to have, huge effects on the productivity, efficiency and transparency for sheet metal fabrication companies around the world.

So how will Industry 4.0 change the future of sheet metal fabrication?

Here at FEM, we don’t predict that the wants of our customers will change in the future; they will still seek quality sheet metal fabrication delivered to time and within budget.

However, how we meet those demands is likely to change:

  1. Technology will expand the realm of projects we can undertake.
  2. Efficiencies will reduce the time fabrication projects take to deliver.
  3. Reductions in cost brought on by new technology will be passed on to the client.

For us, new technologies that will enter the sheet metal fabrication industry, like automation, will allow us to be more flexible, fast and scale our production. With a reduction in waste, we can be more sustainable too.

Why use a bespoke fabrication company like FEM for fabrication projects?

 Using a business which specialises in custom metal fabrication services like FEM can be hugely beneficial to the outcome of your project. Want to know more? Have a read of our blog post here. Whether it’s a new staircase or a raised platform, it should answer your FAQs about bespoke metal fabrication.

Alternatively, call us direct on 01909 774 836. Our team loves to find solutions to all metal fabrication problems, and give you bespoke ideas and a tailor-made quote for sheet metal fabrication near you.

What is spot welding?

Spot welding is often considered to be a fairly simple process for welding sheet metal. However, if you aren’t familiar with the technique and are quite new to it, there are a number of things that can go wrong. That’s where we come in. This article will help you get to grips with spot welding, what it is, how it works, and where you would use it, so you can get a better insight into it when looking for experts to carry out your bespoke fabrication project.  

What is spot welding? 

Spot welding involves overlapping metals being joined between two copper alloy electrodes. Pressure and electric current are applied to the area you want to weld and the internal resistance to the current creates the level of heat that is needed to successfully complete the weld.  

The heat helps to melt the metal and fuse the materials and form a welding joint that takes the shape of a button or “nugget”. This is where the name spot welding originates from as the electric current is used on one small part of the surface of the metal.  

How does spot welding work? 

The key parts of the spot welding process are successfully melting the metal as quickly as possible whilst at the same time using enough pressure to allow the metals to fuse. Ultimately this is done with high current but low voltage pulses sent to the electrodes that will create that resistance and heat. Let’s look at each stage in more detail. 

Set up the metals correctly 

The very first thing you need to do is overlap the sheets of metal and make sure they are secured in the correct position. This will allow you to apply the level of pressure and electric current needed without the metals shifting and trying to weld in the wrong place. If this does occur, it will be better to simply start again with new metal. Based on the type of machine you have; the pressure can be applied to the metal in different ways.  

Apply the pressure and current 

Next you should be ready to add the pressure and current to the area between the electrodes. In most cases standard copper electrodes will be used but certain metal types will need different electrodes like tungsten or molybdenum. When the metal melts, it will likely get to around 2000C, which is higher than the temperature it needs to be in order to fuse.  

Cooling the weld 

The last step in the spot welding process is letting the nugget cool and become solid. As this happens the electrodes support the metal and only stop being in contact with it when the metal has fully solidified.  

Uses of spot welding 

Spot welding can be beneficial in a number of industries, but it is mostly found in vehicle production. This is because the automotive industry depends on processes that are cost effective, reliable, and fast, and spot welding ticks all of those boxes. Robots are placed on assembly lines to spot weld car parts automatically as they can achieve the high level of precision needed and the process is easily repeatable, so all the completed parts look the same. Other places spot welding can be used include: 

  • Kitchenware 
  • Electronics 
  • Manufacturing of nails 
  • Medical uses e.g., attaching dental implants 


Spot welding is a very specific process that is mostly used with sheet metal and is great in certain applications. However, in contrast to MIG or TIG welding, it can’t be applied to a broad range of uses.  

Looking for a fabrication company in Sheffield? 

If you have an upcoming project and need expert fabrication in Sheffield, FEM can help. Our team of engineers have extensive knowledge and experience in many processes relating to fabrication and welding and perfectly meeting our clients’ requirements. Contact us today to discuss your metal fabrication needs and how our services can benefit you. 

Types of structural steel and their uses

Where would the world be without structural steel? It is one of the most popular construction materials for big building projects in the world. However, that isn’t the only industry you will find this metal. It’s flexibility in the types of steel you can get, and the wide range of beneficial properties lend well to a variety of uses that we will be exploring in more detail in this article.  

What are the different types of structural steel? 

As mentioned above, structural steel doesn’t just come in one form and the different types emphasise different benefits that allow the steel to fit in with various applications and uses in industries. The most commonly use type commercially is carbon steel. This is because when more carbon makes up the metal (up to 2% earns the title of ultrahigh carbon steel and is the maximum) it improves its overall strength and durability. We’ll look at some other examples of popular steel types below.  

High strength micro-alloyed steel 

In this type of steel, alloys like manganese, nickel, or chromium are added to improve its strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance. Different elements can be added to alter the properties of the metal to the desired effect.  

Weathering steels 

Weathering steels are a sub-category of the previous steel in this list and focus on creating the best possible resistance to outdoor elements. Given that many industries need their metal to be weather-resistant, this is one of the most valuable forms of steel and is largely used in fabrication and construction.  

Quenched and tempered steel 

Heat treatment is used to create this steel with the outcome being increased strength, which is why it is often used in buildings.  

Fire-resistant steel 

When using steel for structural purposes there are situations where they could be more at risk to fires. To combat this, a fire-resistant steel is created by thermos mechanically treating the metal.  

Real-world uses of structural steel 

Thanks to its broad range of useful benefits like low cost, high strength and longevity, corrosion resistance and more, structural has found its place in many key industries and efficiency has improved because of it.  


Aircraft undercarriages, anchor chains, trains, rails, and ships are just a few examples of the essential products structural steel is used to manufacture in the transport sector.  


The energy sector uses structural steel in a wide variety of applications. It can be found in many industrial buildings as well as several different energy sources like transmission towers, pipelines, wind turbines, electromagnets, and more.  


Structural steel is a big part of the mining industry with a significant part of the substructure being reinforced using steel. Other important parts of mining that feature structural steel include offices, workshops, and mining screens. The main reason behind this is that the smooth surface of the metal makes it easy to clean, meaning it won’t interact with any elements found in the mine.  


Structural steel is resistant to external pressure and stay in their required shapes for the long term. This is particularly advantageous in the marine industry where the products are often exposed to the natural elements. Submarines, boats, ladders, and stairs all include structural steel in some way.  

Where can I find structural steel fabricators near me? 

If you’re looking for professional and experienced structural steel fabricators for your project in Sheffield, the team at FEM are here to help. We have worked with clients in a wide range of industries to create high quality bespoke steel fabrication products that perfect fit with their requirements, and we can do the same for you. Contact us today to discuss your bespoke metal fabrication needs. 


The thermal efficiency of aluminium framework

Energy efficiency is an essential consideration for all construction projects, now more than ever with the effort to reduce climate change and carbon footprint. When it comes to buildings whether they are residential or commercial, doors, windows, and frameworks are key contributors to heat loss and high energy costs, so choosing the right material is extremely important. In this article, we will be exploring the impressive thermal efficiency of an aluminium framework and why aluminium fabrication is so important in maintaining thermal efficiency.  

Why does thermal efficiency matter? 

Thermal efficiency and the performance of framework is important in two ways: high thermal efficiency will help to save money on energy bills thanks to less heat escaping and, as mentioned above it reduces carbon footprint by keeping a building warmer, so the heating doesn’t need to be on as much. Equally, the thermal performance of aluminium windows and doors can be beneficial in the summer too by preventing heat from getting in, so the property can be kept at a reasonable temperature no matter the season.  

Explaining R and U values 

You might have already heard of R and U values as they play a key role in measuring the energy efficiency of both windows and doors. If you can’t decide which materials to use on a project the R and U values could be the influencing factor as the better the measurements, the more energy efficient the finished product will be. All parts of a product can be given these values so you can fairly compare aluminium with other materials like uPVC or timber.  

The difference between a U-value and an R-value is a U-value measures how good the product is at stopping heat from escaping. So, the lower the U-value is the less heat that has been lost and the better the efficiency is. By contrast the R-value comes from things like the type and thickness of the material and ultimately measures to what degree the material can prevent heat loss. Therefore, in the case of R-values, the higher the number the better.  

U-value is the most important measurement with the legal requirement being 1.6 W/(m2K) or below when new windows are being installed onto an existing building. High quality aluminium frames will almost always have a U-value that is less than this.  

How important is the framework for saving energy? 

The type of glass you use can make a significant difference to how thermally efficient your finished product is. Even though it might not seem like it because it is a smaller area than the glass and its main function is providing structural integrity, the frame is just as important in aluminium fabrication door designs and windows for maintaining heat.  

Aluminium frames on windows and doors are fairly new to the market and haven’t always had the best reputation for thermal efficiency, especially in comparison to materials that have always been widely used like wood. However, time and advancements in technology have led to aluminium being fabricated in a way that achieves and even exceeds the standard for energy efficiency and is a much more cost-effective option than its timber counterparts.  

This is thanks to a process called thermal breaking which utilises a resin filled channel and placing a reinforced polyamide bar in between the aluminium profiles to form an insulated wall in the framework. As a result, temperature and sound will escape at a much slower rate than with normal aluminium.  

Other benefits of aluminium 

As well as modern aluminium fabrication leading to high levels of thermal efficiency, the metal has many other properties and benefits that make it ideal for use in windows and doors. The most valued examples include its reduced cost (particularly when compared to market alternatives), its sustainability and easy recyclability that benefits the environment, and its overall strength and durability which is useful not only against various weather conditions and corrosion but also helps with security and making it more difficult for a building to be broken into.  

You can find out more about the benefits of aluminium, particularly in relation to windows and doors, in one of our other guides. Click here to learn more.  


Aluminium is one of the best materials on the market for thermal efficiency thanks to the fabrication work that goes into it to make it that way. If you’re looking for the highest quality aluminium fabrication services for your next project, our team at FEM can help. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and learn more about what we can do for you with our bespoke fabrication processes. 

FEM sponsor local football team

FEM are proud to announce we’ve sponsored our local football team Kiverton miners FC U12’. We are keen to support local kids’ clubs with sporting activities at their centre.

This newly created team are in their first season and are already top of the league and aiming for promotion!

The passion of the coaching staff and the time they invest are a massive part of the success of the team and the positive environment they have created:

Manager: Adam Travis
Assistant manager: Dougie Travis
Coach: Ali Nicklin
U12 treasurer: John Watkinson

Catering staff:
Jackie Travis
Kim Travis
Christine Watkinson

Good luck for the rest of the season lads!

Sheet metal hemming explained

Hemming is a sheet metal fabrication process in which the edges are folded over each other. The aim of it is to give the edges more strength, improve the visual aesthetic, join different parts together, and cover any rough edges or burrs/defects. In this article, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about sheet metal hemming including the benefits of the process and the different types of hem. Let’s start by looking at hemming in more detail.  

What is sheet metal hemming? 

Like the name suggests, sheet metal hemming does resemble edge stitching on clothes. When the edge of sheet metal is hemmed, its strength is reinforced to give it better longevity and accuracy during the process is essential for a better surface quality and appearance ahead of its application upon completion. A common use for sheet metal hemming is in the production of car parts, including the doors, bonnet, and boot lid. This is because it is extremely useful for connecting two metal parts together.  

What are the benefits of hemming? 

There are several benefits to using sheet metal hemming including strengthening the edges of the metal, covering imperfections, making the edges easier and safer to work with, and joining parts together. This all works together to create a product that will be high-quality and long lasting in various industries.  

Breaking down the main hemming processes 

Conventional die hemming 

This type of hemming is the most commonly used for fabrication of straightforward and flat panels on a mass production scale as it is more restricted to simple pieces. It requires several stages, often referred to as pre-hemming and final hemming to bend the complete length of the metal and predetermined angles with a hemming tool. Despite the production of conventional die hemming being very costly, especially when buying the equipment, there are ways to minimise cycle times significantly.  

Roll hemming 

A hemming roller is used to carry out this process in small parts. Due to the accuracy and technicality required it is often done with robots so the roller can precisely create the flange. By contrast to die hemming, roll hemming is considered to be much more flexible, economical, and less expensive, but the cycle times can be a lot higher due to the roller needing to follow a vert strict path to achieve its goal to the highest possible standard.  

What are the different types of hem? 

Closed hem 

In a closed hem, the folded over part of the metal lies completely flat on top of the other metal surface with no air pocket or gap in between them. More tonnage is needed to make a closed hem than other hems, meaning thicker sheets of metal should be avoided in this process as they could start to crack.  

Open hem 

When the metal is folded over, a gap or air pocket is left between the metal, with the bend sitting at an angle of 180 degrees. Not as much tonnage is required to create this hem in comparison to a closed hem.  

These are the two main types of hem that you need to know about, there are others, but these are the most commonly used.   

What is the difference between hemming and seaming? 

As well as hemming, there is another similar process in this area of metal fabrication called seaming. You will often find seaming being used in the food industry as it is very effective in sealing tinned items thanks to its ability to cut off one side of the sheet metal from another. Even though they can be considered as quite similar, seaming is different to hemming in a few notable ways including: 

  • In most cases they will be used differently for example, the hemming process features heavily in vehicle production and some other general uses. Seaming on the other hand is more specialised and has its role in food and roofing sectors for which hemming would not be suitable.   
  • There will always be a gap in the seaming process, it doesn’t create a fully flat style of hem.  
  • The goal of seaming is simply to join two parts together, the strength of the edges, the look and quality of the end result is not as important as it is with hemming.  

Where can I find sheet metal fabrication near me? 

If you’re looking for high quality bespoke metal fabrication, our team at FEM can help. The range of products we make are diverse and span across a range of sectors from structural fabrications, offshore oil, and gas, nuclear, and many others. We have accreditations in place to ensure there is full traceability of all materials while manufacturing metal to a specified standard. Contact us today to discuss the specific requirements of your project. 





Why you should use mild steel for fabrication

When it comes to factors like versatility and cost-effectiveness, not many metals can offer as good a performance as mild steel. As the world’s most common type of steel, it has broad applications and is relied upon in daily life, thanks to its ability to be cut exactly to size and modified to suit where it is needed during the mild steel fabrication process. In this article, we will be exploring the benefits of mild steel as well as why it should be used for fabrication. 


First, what is mild steel? 

Mild steel is a form of low carbon steel, meaning it contains only a small percentage of carbon. Carbon content in steel can vary depending on the desired characteristics; with low carbon steels containing 0.05 – 0.25% carbon, increasing the properties of pure iron. 

Even though there are different grades of mild steel, they all have carbon levels that fall within the above-mentioned range. Inclusion of additional components enhances useful characteristics of steel, like anti-corrosion, abrasion-resistance, and strength. 


What are the benefits of mild steel? 


Mild steel is the least expensive of all steel types with many everyday objects being created from it such as vehicle chassis, motorbike frames, and a lot of kitchenware. The reason for its affordability is its carbon content, making it strong enough for a variety of jobs without being costly tensile. When it is needed for large orders, high quality mild steel fabrication companies like FEM can produce it en masse with a much lower cost than other steels, ensuring the best possible results and happy customers. 


In comparison to high-carbon steel, it is far easier for mild steel to be coalesced. Due to certain properties the metal has, electric currents can move through it without altering its ‘makeup’. This is different to other metals like stainless steel, where special techniques are required to ensure it is welded to a professional standard. This lessens expenses for labour and electricity, plus provides a solid end product from its simple fabrication. 


Ductility measures how much a material can be deformed by elongation without it breaking. These materials can stretch up to 15% of their original form before irreversibly changing and no longer returning to their initial shape. Along with materials like copper and thermoplastics, mild steel is able to bend, stretch and have reasonably large forces applied to it, making it easier for form, shape, and weld as needed. 


A key benefit of most steels, including mild steel, is that it can be indefinitely recycled without losing its quality. Thanks to its magnetic properties as well, mild steel is especially easy to recover from unsorted waste and scrapped mild steel is essential to be able to produce more of it. Recycling scrap metal as much as possible is much cheaper than mining iron ore and processing it to create more. 


Why should mild steel be used for fabrication? 

When considering the benefits of mild steel above, it’s easy to see why mild steel is used in fabrication. It’s a key part of a wide range of industries and its useful properties and cost effectiveness make it a popular choice over other types of steel. To understand the importance of why it is used in fabrication, take a look at the list of a few examples of mild steel products and uses in various industries: 

  • Steel frame buildings- mild steel is commonly used for construction frame materials because of the high strength beams. 
  • Gates and fencing- two products where high security and aesthetic appeal are important, mild steel offers both of these important qualities. Low carbon steel is difficult to break and can be painted, primed, or galvanised to be corrosion resistant and provide a decorative finish. 
  • Machinery parts- one of the most sought-after traits of low carbon steel is malleability, which makes it well suited to use during production of sheet metals within car body kits and other key machinery components. 
  • Pipelines- mild steel is a top choice for creating steel pipes for various projects. This is because of their impressive ductility and being easy to weld whilst flexible enough not to break under pressure. Mild steel pipes can also be insulated to ensure their performance in colder weather, improving the long-term quality of the pipework. 
  • Structural steel- Low carbon steel is suitable for structural steel fabrication as it has consistent yield strength and is malleable. These properties and the cost-effectiveness of the metal means mild steel can sometimes be preferable over structural steel in smaller applications. 


If you’re looking for high quality mild steel fabrication UK, our team of experienced engineers at FEM can help. Contact us today to discuss your project requirements and we will deliver impressive, bespoke metal work that goes above and beyond your expectations. 

Why aluminium is the top metal for doors and windows

With the harsh cold of winter starting to fully kick in, you will probably start feeling the effects in your home and workplace. These effects can be significantly improved by using high quality aluminium fabrication for your doors and windows. Aluminium is an extremely popular choice for doors and windows and given the impressive benefits it offers, there’s no surprise as to why. In this article, we’ll be exploring the advantages of aluminium and hence the reasons why it is the go-to metal for modern doors and windows. 


Light weight 

Aluminium is a very light weight metal, coming in at 2.7g/cm3 which is around one third of steel or copper. It is actually one of the lightest metals commercially available on the market. This makes it great for window and door frames as the last thing you need when opening and closing your windows or doors is to struggle with how heavy they are. 


Corrosion resistant and low maintenance 

A key concern when purchasing windows and doors is whether they will deteriorate over time and face the challenge of corrosion. You don’t have to worry about this with aluminium though as when it comes into contact with air, a protective layer of aluminium oxide is created on the surface. This layer is highly resistant to corrosion no matter what the weather throws at it, and it won’t be damaged by any cleaning products either. 

Also, unlike timber or uPVC frames, aluminium fabrication door designs won’t swell, crack, split, or warp over the years. Corrosion protection can be solidified even further by anodising or painting (normally by powder coating) the surface. Cleaning aluminium will only require the occasional wipe with a damp cloth or soap water. It doesn’t take much effort to keep them looking fresh and new no matter how many years you have them. 


Malleable and strong 

Aluminium can be easily bent, pressed into shape, or drawn out into a thin wire without compromising any of its strength and without cracking or breaking. It is the second most malleable metal and the sixth most ductile, which is ideal for windows and doors. This is because the aluminium frame profiles can be easily bent or pressed into the desired shape without any risk of them breaking, making customisation much easier. 


Fully recyclable 

Aluminium is quite unique when it comes to recycling metals. It is 100% recyclable, and the quality of the recycled aluminium is exactly the same as the original metal. This means it can be recycled over and over again, which is especially advantageous from an environmental and sustainability point of view with a smaller carbon footprint and lower costs. Nearly 75% of all aluminium that has ever been produced is still being used today. 


Thermal efficiency 

As well as being a good conductor, aluminium is known for being a great insulator too, due to it reflecting the radiation of heat back to its source, like how aluminium foil keeps your food warm. Keeping the heat in is essential at this time of year, not only to stop your house or office feeling the cold but also to save you money on your energy bills. The thermal insulation features of aluminium are advantageous in summer too. If you want efficiency and value for money over the long term, aluminium fabricated windows and doors are your best option. 



Aluminium windows and doors have excellent sound insulating properties, which is a benefit many other materials can’t provide. They have fusion-welded joints that ensure the overall sealing of frames and stop entry of external noise. So, by choosing aluminium fabrication you can get a quiet, relaxing, and stress-environment in your home or workplace. 


Aesthetically appealing and customisable 

Aluminium can be easily anodised, or powder coated to give it a decorative smooth or textured finish. This, alongside the natural look of aluminium itself, mean that your new doors and windows will only be high performing in all the key areas, but they will look modern and stylish too. 


If you’re looking for professional, high-quality aluminium fabrication services or any other metal fabrication contact FEM today. Our team have extensive experience in the industry we pride ourselves on exceeding customer expectations with every bespoke fabrication project we do.