Successful engineering companies use a combination of expert knowledge, experience and continuous investment in machinery and staff. Custom fabrication services require all of these elements and more as quality and production costs are the top priority. Custom fabrication is a specialist process whether you’re machining steel or aluminium.
Metal fabrication, for example, involves a wide range of skills and disciplines from profiling, bending and forming, cropping, welding to assembly and finishing. While technology, machinery and computer-aided design software have led to advanced custom fabrication services, there is still no substitute for experience.
Custom Fabrication At PRV Engineering
PRV Engineering has years of experience in structural steelwork, architectural steelwork and groundworks. They offer a complete ‘On-Stop’ service from the design and structural details to manufacturing, groundworks, amenities and electrical installations. All materials are manufactured and CE marked to BSEN 1090 – Ex3.
They have provided custom fabrication services to various industries for more than 20 years. This includes aluminium fabrication, stainless fabrication, structural steel fabrication and architectural steel fabrication among others.
Over the years they have developed an extensive fabrication department capable of producing very small to the much larger products and services. Their expertise includes simple and complex products to prototype testing and development. The vastly experienced staff are on hand to manage your project from start to finish.
Different Types Of Fabrication Process
Engineering companies across the world use many different processes. While some may still use the older method of sawing, many use modern methods such as laser, plasma and waterjet cutting. Here are some of the more common fabrication methods:
Machining involves removing metal from a material using either a lathe or drill. With a lathe, the material moves against it and when using a drill, the tool will rotate in different ways against the fixed object. A great example of precision machining for custom fabrication is 5-Axis Machining.
Cutting And Folding
There are several cutting methods and the right choice will depend on the project complexity and pricing factor. Examples include saws, lasers, waterjet cutting or plasma torches. When it comes to folding, parts often need to be bent into the correct shape. The most common folding method is using a brake press where the dies form creases in the metal by pinching it. While this is an exceptionally useful method, it is only used for very specific projects.
Punching And Stamping
Punching involves using the punch and the die to cut out the piece of metal and make a hole. The punch and die must be the same size and shape as the required hole for obvious reasons. In some cases, they keep the main piece and the holes are used for fastening. Other times the removed part is, in fact, the desired product and this is called ‘blanking’.
While stamping is similar to punching, the difference is that the material is not cut. Instead, the die is made so that the material is raised instead of penetrating the metal.
Shearing is a process usually done on sheet metal where a long cut is made on the metal piece. One could compare it to the old guillotine with the long handle for cutting paper.
Put simply, welding is the process of joining two metal pieces together. There are several types of welding methods for different metals used in a variety of applications. Here are four of the most common methods:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW/MIG)
- Flux Cord Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Gas Welding (GTAW/TIG)
Related article: ‘Coded Welding And Finishing’
Custom Fabrication Projects
PRV Engineering provides high-quality custom fabrication and other services with a comprehensive portfolio of completed projects. We’ve listed a few below:
- Fabricated Skids
- Fabricated Brackets
- Boat Cradles
- Steel Balustrades
- Steel Staircases
- Juliet Balconies
- Mezzanine Floors
- Steel Fire Escapes
- Heavy Load Steel Racking
- High Load Steel Racking
- Steel Stillage
- Steel Walkways
In addition to precision machining, they also provide several specialist services including shot blasting, powder coating, spray painting. They also have a plating facility for their biggest niche – busbar manufacturing and plating.
Custom Fabrication Machinery
PRV Engineering manufacture for many industries from food and chemical processing, pharmaceutical, oil and gas to railway, aircraft, automotive, defence and construction. In fact, all types of industrial and specialist engineering are catered for at their Pontypool facility.
The continued investment in staff, premises and the latest equipment help PRV provide the best possible service to everyone. More and more customers have asked them to produce larger components which led them to invest in additional machinery.
This machine comes with a high standard specification like a 12000 rpm, 30 tool changer and spindle cooling. According to Simon Jones, Managing Director at PRV, “When it comes to one-off projects, the Siemens panel is so user-friendly – it’s quick and easy for anyone to use”.
PRV needed a machine with larger cutting dimensions that could handle high-speed aluminium cutting. The acquisition was as a result of a big manufacturing contract for large format components. In order to complete the project, they needed a machine with 2.2 in X and 1.6 in Y, linear scales, face and taper spindles. With a high-speed spindle at 15000 rpm and spindle cooling, the Takumi H22S was perfect for the job.
Idroline S1730 Hydro-Abrasive Waterjet Cutting System
Waterjet cutting is often the preferred choice for materials that are sensitive to high temperatures from other methods. PRV Engineering applies waterjet cutting to various projects in several industries including mining and aerospace for cutting, shaping and reaming.
While PRV Engineering specialises in several industries, high voltage power gear is one of the largest. However, they also make parts for the automotive industry, auto sports, aviation and aerospace. They also make busbars for energy storage systems, valve work and extensive projects for the defence industry.
“Our large format equipment allows us to machine large aluminium plates and structures as well as large steel components and structures. If somebody wants something made, we can make it and in any material from the most exotics to wood and plastic.” – Simon Jones
If you have any questions about custom fabrication services, please leave a comment below or contact PRV via the website. You can also join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn using the hashtag #PRVtech.