5 questions to ask when searching for a reputable metal fabrication company

The process of finding the right metal fabrication partner can be challenging due to a range of factors. The selection of metal fabrication suppliers is often based on their ability to provide a low-cost solution. Although cost remains an important consideration, it's also important to consider the ability, experience, and quality of the fabrication company. In this blog post, procurement professionals will learn how to ask insightful questions of prospective metal fabrication companies.


Since the turn of the century, metal fabrication has undergone radical change. Metal fabrication involves cutting, bending, and assembling metal pieces to create structures. Each company will have different capabilities and specialities.

Many companies focus on low-volume, high-cost projects with greater customisation capabilities, while others offer large, low-cost production runs. When looking for a company to collaborate with as a procurement professional, it's important to start gauging the services offered by prospective partners. The right fabrication company will likely provide a wide range of services, such as cutting, stamping, bending, assembling, etc.

In evaluating the capabilities of a potential partner, procurement professionals should analyse and evaluate every offering the partner provides or is capable of offering. The question to ask when choosing a metal fabrication company is: “Can this potential supplier support all of my business needs and prevent problems during prototype and production runs?" Below are a few basic, yet extremely significant questions to ask regarding any metal fabrication company that is being considered to follow through with your designs.

1. What Are Their Capabilities?

There are many types of metal fabrication capabilities available for a given component. A procurement professional should be aware of the many types of metal fabrication processes a potential supplier can provide. In addition to understanding the supply partner better, this may help to reduce the overall program costs. Here are some of the most common metal fabrication processes:

  • Cutting

Including sawing, shearing, or chiselling, both manually and manually powered. These include torching, CNC & laser cutting, water jet machines, etc.

  • Bending

Bending includes manual or powered hammering, as well as the use of press brakes. Metal fabricators commonly use air-bending or coining machines to bend metal sheet. With a CNC-controlled back gauge, cutting parts are positioned using hard stops in order to place bend lines. With the help of downloadable software, CNC-controlled press brakes can now be programmed seamlessly and efficiently.

  • Assembly (joining of pieces)

Assembly can involve welding, adhesive binding, riveting, threaded fasteners, or even more bending in the form of a crimped seam. Fabrication usually starts with structural steel, sheet metal, and welding wire, flux, and fasteners to let the cut pieces join. The fabrication process often incorporates human labour as well as automation.

2. What kind of materials does the company use?

It's important to note that a wide variety of different materials can be utilised, most notably steel and aluminium. It is essential not just to know what the potential suppliers can do for you, but also what the suppliers are known for and what they specialise in.  Steel plate, forged or expanded metal, welding wire or rod, casting, and other metals are some of the most common raw materials used by metal fabrication companies.

3. Is there any design capability?

While many companies can take a prototype from concept to production, what if you need design services? Not all metal fabrication companies provide design or map-making services as core competencies. No matter what kind of design services you require, you should know if the company can follow through on its commitments.

In addition, consider whether the company can work from a drawing (digital or printed), as well as translation of drawings into shop drawings. Are they able to create a design from scratch without the help of an initial design? It is easier to communicate with supply partners throughout the entire process when you have the answers to these questions.

4. In-house or outsourced product finishing?

Blasting and painting are among the most commonly used techniques and these are continuously improving. Thus, finding a fabrication company that uses the latest technology to complete such processes is advantageous. Manufacturing products in-house also ensures better quality than outsourcing. Any company in need of structural steel fabrication that can not only perform welding and fabrication, but also give their projects the final finishing touch can be a great asset.

5. How much experience does the company have?

It is not everyone's skill to fabricate metal components or assemblies. At both individual and company levels, experience is essential. Procurement professionals need to be confident that a potential metal fabrication partner has the experience necessary to avoid costly mistakes. Find out what knowledge your potential partners have regarding industry codes and regulations. Find out if they have completed similar projects or manufactured parts similar to yours. If necessary, request references from present or past customers. There will be plenty of references available who are willing to speak on behalf of a reputable metal fabrication company.


When selecting a metal fabrication supply partner, a sourcing professional should be cognizant of and consider numerous factors. Not only should the bigger picture be considered, but also any reductions or avoidances of short-term costs as well. Supply partners are often selected for the wrong reasons or for short-term gains. By understanding your potential metal fabrication supplier's capabilities, experience, quality, and costs, you will position your company for long-term success.


Omnidex Sheet Metal Fabrication Services

It is crucial to do your research before choosing a metal fabrication company, as not all companies are capable of completing the same level of work. Throughout our years of experience, Omnidex has honed its skills across the board to deliver a quality product and measurable bottom-line value.

With numerous metal fabrication services, including laser cutting, plasma cutting, cold laser welding, forging, metal bending, etc.,  in addition to our partners, OmnidexCN is able to support every component regardless of the development stage or mass production.

You can find out more about our diverse industrial manufacturing solutions by contacting us.