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Metal Fabrication – A Guide Through The Process

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PDF, Inc. is a specialty design, fabrication, and manufacturing facility producing metal parts and specialized OEM (original equipment manufacturer) machinery and equipment. All our products and services are marketed under Process Development & Fabrication, Inc.

Headquartered in Brazil, Indiana, we do custom-designed equipment fabricated for each customer’s specific needs. These specialty equipment are shipped through the United States and 15 other countries worldwide.

What Is Metal Fabrication?

Metal fabrication involves building parts and structural elements from raw metal materials to conform to specific shapes, forms, designs, textures, and the appearance of the manufactured items. The process confines several phases, from cutting and shaping to final assembly.

Our metal fabricators here at PDF, Inc. are highly skilled specialists trained to manipulate metal precisely to the desired shapes and forms. Our experts can also work on specialized fabricated components to cater to any needs and requirements of our customers.

Benefits Of Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is a big part of our everyday life. Our electronic appliances, gadgets, mobile phones, cars, and more, have a product of metal fabrication in them. Operating any of the electric systems we use and the various parts that keep the vehicles, kitchens, houses, computers, and businesses operational would be impossible without metal fabrication. Here are some primary benefits of metal fabrication:

Strength, Durability, And Longevity

Metals are more robust, long-lasting, and durable than plastic and other materials, making them a material of choice when fabricating parts and components for structural purposes. Even if the temperature rises, metals do not quickly tarnish, and they can undergo various processes, including chipping, casting, forging, welding, soldering, and more. The superior strength of metals makes the fabricated components last longer and withstand abuse and extreme weather conditions. Finished products produced through metal fabrication possess robust qualities, making them dependable and long-lasting.


Metals are not rare, making them more cost-effective, and they can be enormously cheaper when the production is done in high volumes. Most machine shops can fabricate metal and replicate procedures that create multiple pieces for a much-reduced cost for every unit. Additionally, the metal’s strength, longevity, and durability result in increased lifespan and less frequent need for replacement for your fabricated metal parts. Thus, saving more money for production, replacement, or repair.

Metal Fabrication Process Guide

The entire process for metal fabrication is described step-by-step below:


This phase involves creating the design for manufacturing. While the customer often does this step for more standard parts, PDF, Inc.’s fabrication experts coordinate with the customer. Together, we work with you to determine project requirements, manufacturing methods, and relevant areas of improvement.


In this phase, we produce a rapid prototype using either 3D printing or rapid sheet metal prototyping. The prototype is analyzed for feasibility. The customer and design team determine any adjustments that need to be made to the design before starting production.


The finalized CAD design for the product is translated into programming for any computer-controlled machines involved in the process. This step is crucial for automated cutting, punching, and turning machines.


The time it takes to fabricate depends on the part’s complexity, the processes involved, and the demand in the machine shop. The fabrication process may include various steps, including cutting, punching, folding, machining, welding, and more.


Finishing includes refining surfaces and edges or applying coating options, such as powder coating.


Some fabrication services also offer assembly, which may involve welding or electrical integrations.

Types of Metal Fabrication Processes

Various processes in metal fabrication vary according to the manufacturing design, geometric requirements, usage type, and what metal components will be used. Here are examples of some choices for different types of fabrication processes:

Technology Used for Metal Fabrication

The practices and technology in metal fabrication have significantly evolved through the years. Although many fundamental processes have been around for centuries, some significant strides and innovations have revolutionized the way we fabricate metal products in today’s world. The most notable types of technology in metal fabrication that are now at the forefront of the process include:

CAD Software

Engineers use computer-aided design (CAD) software to develop designs, which a fabrication company can use in the metal fabrication process. This software system enables the production of 3D models and allows quick updates and changes to the design. CAD software also streamlines translations of programming language for programming fabrication machinery. In addition, it’s much easier to fine-tune parts with CAD. It allows engineers to determine crucial information on areas that may be structurally weak.


In recent years, automation has done its part in transforming the fabrication process. Fabrication machinery has programming capabilities that allow equipment to complete projects with high precision and minimal human involvement—this improves productivity and accuracy in manufacturing metal parts.


Many cutting-edge types of machinery are used in metal fabrication. For example, laser technology enables faster cutting through thicker materials. Other technologies, including plasma and waterjet cutting, are increasingly becoming popular too. PDF Inc. uses state-of-the-art machinery to produce products, parts, and components with the highest precision and quality, following our customers’ specific requirements and specifications.

Common Types Of Metal Used In Metal Fabrication

Most metals undergo a majority of fabrication processes, though limitations exist depending on the metal’s softness, flexibility, and thickness. To learn more about the different process requirements for a particular metal, reach out to our specialist in metal fabrication services here at PDF, Inc. Below are a few common types of metal used in metal fabrication:

Applications Of Metal Fabrication On Various Industries

Metal fabrication is widely used across various industrial sectors. It is nearly impossible to imagine the construction industry without metal fabrication. Architects and engineers prefer using metal steel and fabricated steel products.

Metal fabrication makes it easier for automobiles and transportation sectors to build vehicle components or custom-made vehicle body parts. Metal fabrication is also used in aerospace engineering in designing and producing spacecraft and aircraft and is used to repair and maintain ships and other water vehicles.

Other sectors that involve metal fabrication are oil &gas, energy, and mining, which use pipes, turbines, fittings, rails, and other fabricated metals. The manufacturing and material handling sectors are also top industries that get metal fabrication services to produce their products’ parts and components. Environmental, government, and even food and beverages sectors use metal fabricated equipment for different projects and services they handle.

Get Top-Notch Fabrication Services From PDF, Inc.

When choosing a metal fabrication service, it’s crucial to look for companies with excellent resources and highly-skilled experts in the specified industry you intend to use your parts.

PDF, Inc. metal fabrication services set the bar high on three key aspects: price, quality, and delivery. We understand that real value is about treating all three equally.

Our production involves state-of-the-art equipment in a cutting-edge, professional facility with the industry’s best engineers and technicians.

Contact PDF, Inc. today to find out why we lead the industry in high-quality metal fabrication.