Whether you’re a metal fabricator by profession, or simply enjoying working with metal as a pastime, there are continual advancements related to techniques, technology and processes, that are worth keeping up with, especially if you rely on metal fabricating as a source of income.
To help you stay abreast of the changes, and turn yourself into an even better metal fabricator than you may already be, here are some top tips:
- Always try to embrace the latest technology: As mentioned at the top of the article, metal fabrication technology is always advancing, and for anyone making a career out of it, staying abreast of such changes is paramount. From the latest machinery, to integrated software, using top-of-the-range, cutting edge fabrication technology can help you improve not just the quality of your work, but the quantity, too.
- Aim for peak efficiency with streamlined setups: By optimising your setups as a steel fabricator, the more efficient your operations will be, and the quicker and more effectively you’ll be able to create products of a higher quality. One example of setup streamlining is quick-change tooling; something that can be installed on the majority of press brakes, and which can significantly reduce the time it takes you to set up. In much the same way, simulation software and offline programming can minimize machine downtime dramatically, while giving yourself easy access to all of the tools you need will greatly enhance your productivity overall.
- Purchase the best quality tools and materials: As with many professions, the quality of work you’re able to produce, is largely dependent on the quality of the tools used. Where possible, purchase steel structure materials of a high quality, and invest in tools that are designed to give optimum results for the task they’re intended for, such as the Bosch GWS 600. Want to get the best deals when shopping for tools and materials? Try to establish and maintain good relationships with suppliers that you can rely on; this can be key not just to ensuring that you always work with the best tools and materials, but can also prove fruitful in terms of future partnerships or collaborations.
- Maintain your tools regularly: The machinery and tools you use in your profession are your lifeline, and without regular maintenance, they can soon start to let you down. By cleaning, oiling and carefully inspecting your tools on a regular basis (ideally, after every use), and replacing any parts that are worn, you can prolong their lifespan and avoid costly repairs which will eat into your profits. Regular maintenance isn’t just essential for the longevity of your tools, though, it also helps ensure that they’re performing at their best for longer, which in turn, helps you efficiently produce work of a higher standard.
- Make safety a priority: While safety might not affect the quality of your work per se, keeping yourself and anyone else working with you, safe, will of course enable you to carry on fabricating metal of a high standard, and essentially, carry on earning a living. Making safety a priority involves always wearing appropriate safety gear, such as safety glasses, steel-toed boots and gloves. You should always strive to keep your workspace free from clutter and potential hazards to limit the risk of anyone having an accident.
- Keep your workspace organized: A clean and tidy workspace is crucial for enabling you and anyone working with you, to fabricate metal safely and to a high standard. As well as ensuring that you can work safely, a well-organized workspace can give your morale a boost, too.
To be the best that you can possibly be as a metal fabricator, follow the tips above and never scrimp when buying tools and materials, as this is often reflected in the quality of work you’re able to produce.