Steel fabrication has applications in multiple industries, such as the mining industry. The aerospace industry is also hugely dependent on metal fabrication work since it requires a lot of tools and technology to build aerospace infrastructure. Aerospace fabrication requires high precision and tight tolerances with the finest-quality materials, skilled personnel with extensive experience utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and the capability to perform complex assemblies and integration that meet the most stringent industry regulations. It combines traditional pipe fabrication methods and assembly techniques with advanced material assembly, production processes, and procedures that differ from other metal fabrication processes. As a result, there are certain points to be considered when evaluating fabricators for an aerospace sheet metal fabrication project. This blog will elaborate further in this regard.
Prior Fabrication Experience
The success of an aerospace fabrication project will significantly depend on the prior experience of the fabricator. Upfront, the company must have the reputation and experience in the field to manage similar projects efficiently and effectively and to avoid costly mistakes. Workforce experience should also be evaluated as to how closely expertise and skill set relates to the fabrication of parts and components for aerospace. Finally, potential aerospace fabricators should be checked for references as a reputable and experienced heavy steel fabrication company will have many success stories.
Capabilities of Fabricator
Equipment and resources are vital to the successful completion and outcome of any fabrication project. To meet the necessary performance and production standards, aerospace metal fabrication requires cutting-edge design and manufacturing technology. With regard to precision manufacturing of aerospace parts, fabricators should be considered that utilize fully automated CNC programmed technologies such as cutting, stamping, punching etc. Automation increases and ensures that the highest quality standards are met in the manufacture of parts, components, and sub-assemblies.
Usage of Materials
Since some fabrication shops specialize in working with certain raw materials, it is necessary to ascertain if their expertise aligns with the customer’s material requirements. With regard to the modern aerospace industry, it’s highly likely that expertise would be in working with aluminum, and aluminum alloys and composites. This is due to the fact that aluminum’s lightweight, good formability and alloying, and relatively low cost make it a choice material in the fabrication of a variety of parts and components used in the manufacture of aircraft.
Standards and Compliance
Fabrication of parts and components for aircraft must be in compliance with national and international standards and regulations that govern the design and manufacture of aircraft. All parts must meet fabrication quality management standards for airworthiness in accordance with approved procedures. Governing authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Transport Canada oversee and enforce regulations and approval processes for design, fabrication, and production standards. The fabricator should be knowledgeable of and in compliance with the regulations and procedures that govern the fabrication of aircraft parts.
The aerospace industry is not simply about aircraft or spacecraft – it comprises both aeronautics and astronautics. The design, fabrication, and assembly of flying machines are an enormous undertaking, especially as it involves large numbers of human lives who are at risk if fabrication is not done properly. In an increasingly interconnected world, there are more expectations from fabrication companies with regard to its downstream processes, specifically its capability to crate and ship after product assembly is completed. Thus, with respect to the aerospace industry, fabrication companies should have a single mantra – best quality with zero errors!