The Art Of Metal Fabrication In Virginia
Metal fabrication in Virginia is a mystery to most people. Every person in Virginia uses something made by the art and science of metal fabrication every day and in fact every minute of their life. Few appreciate the skill of the artisans or the delicate interplay between men and machine that making something useful from metal is.
This is an ancient art. It started the first time a man saw a metal flow out of a rock that he had heated. Time, mathematics, engineering, and computing have refined this basic knowledge into a craft that no one can live without. Try and imagine a life without a fabricated metal part.
What metal fabrication in Virginia takes
1) The tools
Press brakes bend metal of any thickness to a specified angle. Press brakes vary in size depending on the thickness of the material to be formed and the length of the piece. Some press brakes are manual and some are fully automated.
Rolls convert flat metal or bars of metal into round forms or cylinders. The force necessary to accomplish the task can be tremendous. Rolls can be manually operated depending on the thickness of the material being fabricated.
Shears cut sheets of metal into specified sizes. This is usually the first fabrication operation. Blades with extraordinary strength last through thousands of cuts.
Saws trim and cut intricate designs. Punches create holes in an astonishing variety of shapes for a variety of other processes. Fabricators have machines that can drill, tap, and insert fittings in a drilled hole.
Many of the machines that metal fabrication in Virginia use are run with computers. Special computer languages have been developed that orient the part to be machined and the tool that does the work to each other. The automation of fabrication with computerization has reduced errors, cut down on waste, and increased productivity.
Engineers and draftsmen make an idea into a design that can become a functional reality. The design is done in CAD. This makes transfer of each element of the design to the fabrication shop easier.
The final design is often collaboration between engineering in one location and the fabricator in another location. A cooperative effort is often needed when the engineer cannot see the equipment that is available to make the part or machine that has been designed.
2) The shop
Some view people who work in metal fabrication as a low level worker. The reality could not be further from this erroneous concept.
A person who works in metal fabrication in Virginia must receive special training in a trade school or a junior college. Mastery of these skills is similar to the dedication required of an artist or a scientist.
A fabricator must be a competent computer programmer to deal with the corrections that happen constantly during a days work. These artisans are expected to be masters of an enormous variety of intricate and dangerous machines.
Fabrication is a skill that can and does produce instruments of utility. The craft is also capable of creating art that is truly art. The intricacy of machined parts is one aspect of the skill. The ability to bring so many different skills together to make something useful and beautiful is a special form of art.