By Ben Martinez, VP, Business Development
Custom metal fabrication is one of our major areas of expertise at Woven Metal Products (WMP), as our team has specialized in this critical offering for more than 55 years.
But why is metal fabrication important?
You may not realize that projects produced by metal fabrication surround us everywhere. In fact, they’re found at the heart of many industries that shape our everyday lives. From oil and gas, refining and chemicals/petrochemicals to renewable energy, industrial, pulp and paper, waste and water mining, architecture, and electrical/technology, metal fabrication covers a lot of ground.
A few examples:
- Our team creates the internal parts that go into the towers and reactors at refining plants that produce diesel and gasoline and other chemicals.
- WMP fabricates the parts that separate gases in petrochemical plants, which end up being used to manufacture products like paints, coatings, adhesives and other construction materials.
- Ever noticed a decorative metal fence or railing on a building? We create architectural projects like those, with our laser cutting and forming capabilities.
- When it comes to industrial projects, like large screens for waste and water treatment and other kinds of filtration, we’re creating pieces like those with our perforation tools.
Our Three-Step Process
When customers come to WMP, they’re often looking for something one-of-a-kind, not an off-the-shelf product. And they come to us because we’re one of the few custom fabrication companies that can perform all three of the following key steps in-house.
- Design/Engineering. While many customers have approved detailed plans and drawings for us to work from, others need assistance. That’s where our on-site engineering services — a unique offering among metal fabricators — come in. Either way, we align on the design and engineering at the outset with our customers.
- Cutting. When it comes to processing materials needed for your custom fabrication project, we’ve invested in the latest technologies for the job. We have laser cutting machines, combo plasma, drilling and punch machines, rolls, presses and computer numeric control (CNC) machining centers for enhanced precision and performance.
- Assembly and Finishing. Assembly can be as simple as packaging or as complex as welding component parts and hardware installation. We take pride in the appearance of our customers’ finished products and offer finishes from standard metal grinding to powder coating.
Staying Ahead of the Curve to Save The Day
I recently attended FABTECH, North America’s largest forming, fabricating and welding show, to see the latest equipment and technology trends in action. Robotic automation for all phases of fabrication was a big feature at the show, and I was happy to see our team ahead of this trend.
From our Cobot welding cell and ABB handling robots to our newly installed 6Kw fiber laser equipped with automated loading and unloading technology, robotic tech helps us streamline production while ensuring quality and safety.
Having the most efficient technology at our fingertips comes in handy when we’re challenged with a tight turnaround fabrication job. For example, when there’s an equipment failure at an oil & gas refinery, it’s not uncommon for that customer to lose thousands of dollars every minute a unit is offline.
We often get the call to save the day by custom fabricating replacement parts as quickly as possible —even same day. Just recently, one of our operations team members opened the shop at midnight to load crucial parts into production that were needed the next morning. The WMP team got the project done, and the customer was extremely grateful we were able to help so quickly.