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Jun. 26, 2020Three Things to Look for When Choosing a Metal Fabricator

The cost of choosing the wrong metal fabricator is significantly higher than the unit price you are paying for your parts. Think about the last time you were faced with late deliveries or non-conforming products? The pain is real. The additional costs are real. If you are like most people, you are looking to develop a long-term relationship with your metal manufacturer. However, when you are no longer getting what you need from your metal manufacturer, it might be time to start looking for a new partner. This can be a daunting task, so we are providing the top 3 things to look for in a metal manufacturer.


Tolerances, functionality, aesthetic specification must meet requirements. The fabricator must have a systemic quality process instilled in all parts of the supply chain from initial design through delivery. As companies shorten turn-around times, a robust quality system becomes even more critical because there is no time to make corrections without a late delivery.

On-time delivery and lead times

One of the top performance indicators is on-time delivery. Late deliveries impact your production schedule and create a ripple effect that impacts your customers. Lead times are equally important. Time is money. To ensure delivery and lead times meet your needs, find out how they measure these metrics and what you can expect, given the complexity of your product. Beware of giving up quality for shortened lead times and speedy delivery.

Engineering horsepower

Assuming the fabricators on your shortlist have the capabilities needed to produce your product, are they offering the engineering horsepower required to save you money? Do they have enough engineers on staff, so that your product gets the proper amount of attention? A fabricator that offers early design consultation and prototyping can prevent expensive and time-consuming product errors. Using design for manufacturing (DFM) principles will ensure efficiency in production and can reduce costs without compromising the product’s quality or integrity.