Fabrication or metal fabrication is a process that uses raw materials such as light weight structural steel or metal sheets to turn it into an object with a specific design and function used in buildings and building parts. Such fabricated items may have other uses besides in construction like in heavy machineries or ships etc.
The process is carried out in special manufacturing units equipped with requisite tools and machinery. The processing units are called fab shops in USA and elsewhere.
The process usually begins with:
- White Board
- CAD or computer aided designing
Depending upon the purpose of fabrication, aligned process may also come into picture using higher technologies, machine and tools.
Once the components are made they may be assembled to form one productive unit used in the building. The assembling process may involve welding, binding with adhesives or riveting. Next steps would be priming, powder coating, painting and sand blasting.
Popular use of fabrication technology is to make building components which are usually single components built at a fab shop and installed at construction site.
The use light weight structural steel, prefabrication technique employed at fab shops and subsequent installation at place of work nearby all accord monetary gains or benefits making the business profitable.
Not only components but structural steel work may also be used to make a skeletal frame of the building.This frame usually consists of columns and beams made from hot rolled steel which is bolted or riveted or welded together.
The initial step involves component drawings which usually describes the parts that comprise the unit. In the drawings specifications or component dimensions and physical and chemical properties may be highlighted. The mention of properties highlights the quality which is very important aspect of this business.
When more than one component is involved, it is called assembly and the assembly drawing refers to the components. The drawings are made regarding all aspects of building construction. The drawing are made using CAD software or other open source advance software.
The fabrication drawing are comprehensive and not just simple diagrams or lines. They provide detailed descriptions and specifications and a list that identifies all materials used. The drawing notes should clarify the heat treatments and stress relieving requirements as well.
Fab shops thus are comprehensive units in modern times with amalgamation of many technologies including computerization. In order to fabricate building components quality steel fabricators follow a strict methodology. The business has over the number of years become very competitive but rewarding.