Any online search using the term sheet metal fabrication will bring up hundreds to thousands of companies, particularly in larger cities and industrial areas of the country. However, only a small number of those sheet metal fabrication services are ideal for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to consider.
Most established OEMs have gone through a trial and error process in finding sheet metal fabrication services. Most companies tend to work with the same fabrication service on an ongoing basis as both companies are aware of the standards, quality and the specifics of the contract manufacturing job.
Smaller OEMs and startup companies can screen and evaluate possible fabrication services for sheet metal through online research, gathering information through phone and email communication and understanding the benefits of hiring one company over another.
Quality Control Program
In most industries, quality control in all sheet metal fabrication will be a critical consideration. Hiring sheet metal fabrication services with ISO 9001 certification will be important to ensure the quality of production and processes.
Some companies also follow different in-house quality control programs. These are often based on Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, providing a unique, individual approach for continuous improvement for the fabricator.
Capability and Capacity
Not all sheet metal fabrication services are set up to take on large volume orders. Other services may not accept smaller order volumes and will only work on the significant order quantities. The best companies can work to the order requirements of their customers and offer full design through to prototype and full production as part of their services.
The capability of the shop is also dependent on the quality of equipment and staff. Some companies have been around for decades, and these are the services which tend to offer the greatest range of fabrication options combined with the latest in technology and precision sheet metal fabrication.