If you rely on precise parts, tools, or products on a daily basis, it’s important to establish a relationship with a reputable fabrication firm, especially if you don’t have thousands of pounds lying around to invest in your own cutting machinery. But before you can make a confident hire, it’s in your best interests to learn more about the three most common modes of fabrication in today’s day and age:
- Water-Jet: Water-jet cutting makes use of a high-pressure stream of water and abrasive sediment to manufacture machine parts out of metallic compounds. But this fabrication method is falling out of favour due to its slow cutting speeds, noisy operation, quickly deteriorating nozzle heads, and excessive debris produced during the process. Although the machinery is relatively inexpensive to purchase and install, contracting water-jet cutting services tends to be significantly more expensive when compared to the alternative methods shown below.
- Plasma: Plasma cutting involves powering an augmented jet of hot plasma to create intricate incisions in various metals and other electrically-conductive materials. With a relatively high speed of operation and increased accuracy (when compared to water-jet applications), plasma cutting is often used in the automotive repair and construction industries; however, it’s important to note that plasma cutting machines produce dangerous fumes during operation and they tend to cause micro-fracturing in many of the most common materials. To boot, the equipment creates excessive amounts of heat during cutting manoeuvres and the edge quality tends to be less than acceptable in many applications.
- Laser: As the most popular fabrication method today, laser cutting employs a powerful optical laser beam and motion control system to fabricate and engineer various materials. This new-age process can produce parts within a tolerance of .05mm and it can cut thin and thick materials simultaneously, which makes it the most accurate fabrication method available nowadays. Contemporary material handling systems allow laser cutting to be performed both manually and remotely without producing copious amounts of heat during operation.
As you might imagine by now, laser cutting represents the pinnacle of modernised fabrication, which is why so many prudent business owners are beginning to make the switch from plasma and water-jet cutting services; the results speak for themselves.
Thus, the remainder of this brief article will focus on helping you ascertain the most distinguished local laser-cutting firm by way of a step-by-step guide.
Step One: Check the Accreditations
The most reputable fabrication firms, such as ADS Laser Cutting Ltd, for instance, are able to tout the following endorsements and qualifications:
- URS ISO 9001 approved
- Accredited by UKAS Management Systems
- Up-to-date CE Certificate
Step Two: Ensure a Versatile Suite of Services
Next, you’ll want to turn your attention towards the company’s in-house proficiencies and aptitudes, especially if you’d like to establish a long-term relationship with a one-stop shop for all of your fabrication needs. Shown below is the ideal suite of services:
- Comprehensive laser cutting services including precise work on mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass, and a myriad of alternative materials
- Precision bending speciality for nuanced engineering tasks
- Robust fabrication services such as welding, polishing, and finishing
- In-house painting provisions including powder coating, wet spraying, and shot/bead blasting
- Production services for both prototype requests and high-volume orders
- On-site stoving oven for small-quantity orders
- Highly accurate testing services for depth, adhesion, and environmental impact of all manufacturing requests
Step Three: Look for a Streamlined Quotation Process
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to ensure that your fabricator of choice can provide a hassle-free process from the onset:
- Tailor-made consultations and quotations
- Easy-to-use online request platform with the option to upload PDF and DXF files
- Wide coverage area including Derby, Coventry, Peterborough, Northampton, Nottingham, and Milton Keynes
- Customer testimonials portal