How to Choose a High-volume Metal Fabrication Company

September 21, 2020

Updated 2/23/2024

Finding the right metal fabrication company isn’t an overnight process. Since the parts you order will directly affect your product quality, you want to put a great deal of care into selecting a manufacturing partner.

Your business should consider a company’s fabrication capabilities, its customer service reputation and its manufacturing experience before deciding to work with that team. Your own reputation and the quality of the products you sell, whether they’re tools, medical equipment or solar panels, depends on it.

What to Look for in a Metal Fabrication Company

When you’re in the market for a custom metal fabrication partner, consider the company’s industry experience, capabilities, materials, quality control and, perhaps most important of all, its reputation with its customers.

Project Experience and Expertise

Everyone has got to start somewhere, but for the sake of your company’s projects, it’s in your best interests to choose a company with cutting-edge technology and years of industry experience. Learn as much as you can about a prospective fabrication partner, including how long they have been in business and how long they’ve provided the service you need.

Since every industry has different requirements and expectations for fabrication projects, it’s essential to find one that has experience in your particular industry. Review the list of industries the fabricator has worked with or ask about the operation’s industry experience.

Fabrication Capabilities

Shop size is important when choosing a production partner — a small shop may not have the fabrication capabilities or equipment required for your job. You need a company that can handle your project volume plus that of its other customers without getting overwhelmed. Look for a high-volume fabricator that can handle a wide range of metal gauges and that offers numerous services. The more capabilities the fabricator has, the better equipped their team will be to customize your order and make products that meet your exact specifications.

The size of the fabricator’s workforce is another factor to consider. A larger workforce will have more people available to focus on your projects, ensuring timely project completion.

Material Selection

Not all metal fabrication companies work with the same materials. Depending on what your company wants to make, you need to ensure the fabricator you’re contracting offers that material or can adapt its fabrication equipment to work with your metal of choice.

It could also be the case that you’re unsure of which metal will work best for your projects or products. Ideally, the fabricator will be able to point you in the right direction and provide guidance on choosing the appropriate stock. The more materials the company works with, the more confident you can be that they are recommending a metal to you because it’s the best choice for your project goals, not merely because it’s the only metal they have on offer.

Many companies are capable of metalworking processes for aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel, but you may encounter difficulty finding a partner that works on less common substances like copper, brass and titanium. The right fabrication company will be able to provide you with a list of its material capabilities and advice on selecting the best ones for your application.

Quality Control

Quality is perhaps the single most important aspect of choosing a metalworking company. Verify that the fabricator has a track record of adhering to strict quality control measures and that their team delivers excellent-quality products.

There are a few ways to evaluate the fabricator’s quality, with reviewing their certifications being one of the most effective. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an organization made up of nearly 170 independent bodies that set, publish and maintain standards for various industries. The companies that uphold and comply with those standards can become ISO-certified.

An important credential to look for when choosing a metal fabricator is ISO-9001-2015 certification. The ISO-9001-2015 standard specifies quality management system requirements for organizations, meaning that a fabricator with this certification applies quality management practices to all of its metalworking processes. An active ISO-9001-2015 certification tells you that the company has documented evidence of adhering to these standards.

Note that certification differs from compliance. A company may claim to be ISO-9001-compliant, but this has less weight than certification, as there is no verification that the fabricator has actually applied the standard.

Customer Satisfaction

Look for a fabricator that puts their customers first. Customer service and satisfaction can take many forms. Ideally, the fabrication company will be able to provide:

    • Project transparency: You want to know what’s going on with your project at all phases of the process. The fabricator should go above and beyond to deliver project updates and transparency. Ideally, you’ll be assigned a project coordinator who will work with your company one-on-one to ensure you’re always kept in the loop.

    • Consistent communication: Along the same lines, you want a fabrication company that excels at communication. Consistent communication can take the form of regular update meetings and real-time order status updates.

    • Competitive pricing: Ideally, the fabricator you choose will have a competitive pricing structure. You don’t necessarily want to work with a company that charges the highest prices in the industry, nor do you want to seek out the lowest-cost fabricator. A fabrication company with prices that are in line with the industry while remaining competitive is preferable.

Finally, consider the fabricator’s focus on relationship-building. Is the company more interested in getting your project in and out or eager to form a long-term partnership with your business? A fabricator interested in establishing ongoing relationships will be more likely to consider your company’s needs so they understand where you’re coming from and where you want your projects to go.

Choose Caldera Manufacturing Group for Your Next Fabrication Project

For more than 25 years, we have been serving clients from all industries, providing high-quality metal fabrication services. We perform all of our fabrication services in-house, which allows us to ensure ongoing quality on every level.

We are proud of our position at the forefront of the fabrication industry, and we regularly update our machines to stay at the cutting edge of technology. Our commitment to continual improvement means you can count on us always to perform superior work.

Contact Us Today

If you’re ready to work with a fabrication team that puts your needs first and aims to build a relationship with your company, contact us today to learn more about our processes and discuss your project.

Choose Summit Steel for Your Metal Fabrication Project

Summit Steel specializes in high-volume metal fabrication services in Reading, Pennsylvania. We serve clients from all industries and we channel over 25 years of fabrication experience to get your project completed on-time with delivery options available at your convenience. If you’re interested in learning more about our capabilities and facility, contact us online for further information.

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