While many people often confuse and compare metal manufacturing and fabrication, these two terms, while they are two separate processes, very often work together. In this blog, we’re going to look at the differences between metal manufacturing and metal fabrication, as well as how they involve one another and come together for the production of metal products.
What is Manufacturing?
Simply put, manufacturing refers to the process of making products using machinery on a large scale building a product from the ground up. By definition, manufacturing refers to the process of making wares by hand or machinery utilizing the systematic division of labor. It is the process of producing the final structure by combining raw material by the means of a large-scale industrial operation. Typically, manufacturing production involves the use of assembly lines, skilled labor, and machinery.
The manufacturing process refers to the steps that raw materials have to undergo before they are converted into a final project. The goal of manufacturing is to create products that can be easily fabricated.
What is Metal Fabrication?
Fabrication refers to the process of bringing together different standardized, manufactured steel parts. The parts are assembled, or fabricated together to create a finished structure. This can be done using a number of techniques, like bending, punching, cutting, and welding. The process of bolting versus welding steel is also considered metal fabrication.
While metal fabrication generally focuses on cutting and shaping metal, there are several steps involved in a completed fabrication project. First, the design of the project, where all components of the project are established and defined to help ensure that the project will function as desired. Secondly, the actual building process where the project is fabricated. In this phase, a metal fabricator shapes and cuts the components that were defined in the previous stage. There is a wide range of machinery and tools used for this process in order to create exactly what was requested. Lastly comes the final assembly of the project. In this final step, the project is fully completed, including any specific finishing techniques requested like deburring in order to ensure that the metal functions properly and there is no excess material.
So, the term fabrication refers to the process of assembling manufactured parts together to create structural steel components and structures.
The metal and steel market is demanding and has required producers to streamline production and focus on a high output of reliable solutions to customer requests. The main benefit of metal fabrication shops, as opposed to typical mass manufacturing, is that it centralizes many of the processes that often have to be done in alignment between a collection of vendors, and has a broad amount of applications throughout numerous industries.
Relatively, manufacturing can be referred to as the manufacturing of steel structures, while fabrication refers to a part of the manufacturing process of the entire steel structure. Differently, in the manufacturing process, raw materials are converted into the final product, while in fabrication, standardized parts are assembled into the final product.
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