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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you have a minimum order value?
    Yes. We are a B2B service with a minimum annual spend of £10,000
  • How much do fabrications cost?
    Pricing is primarily based on the variables below. For an accurate price, please get in touch with your designs and we will happily quote for you. Design work requirements Material spec Quantity and Complexity of processes required Batch size Delivery costs
  • How long does it take to get a quote?
    We typically quote within 24 hours of receiving your designs. If your parts include any niche processes that require specialist sub-contracting then it can take a little longer.
  • What are your lead times?
    Our lead times depend on the complexity and quantity of the part. You can typically expect 1-2 weeks on small jobs, 3-4 weeks on medium sized jobs and 4-6 weeks on the largest jobs. We have the capacity to be flexible depending on your requirements, so just let us know if you have specific needs.
  • I have to plan installations around your delivery. Can you deliver on a specific date?
    We certainly can! We typically quote a lead time based on the fastest time we can achieve. If you have a specific date requirement then we will allow a little extra in the lead time to be sure we don't let you down.
  • What about customer support?
    Our sales team are always on hand to respond to any queries, offer design advice or update on project progress. Just drop us an email or call the office if you have any queries.
  • What if something goes wrong?
    We guarantee that we will manufacture to the manufacturing drawings provided. If you were to ever find a discrepancy, then we would be sure to rectify any errors on our part free of charge. We can typically achieve this within 48 hours, depending on the size of the project.
  • What drawing formats do you work with?
    We require a manufacturing PDF for our fabricators to work to. If you can provide a DXF and/or STP file as well, this will reduce the cost and opportunity for errors as we can generate machine programs directly from your CAD files.
  • What grade of Carbon Steel should I use?
    We stock carbon steel in sheet from in CR4 up to 3mm and S275 in 4mm and above, but can also supply S355 in 4mm and above when required. CR4 is the cleanest form of sheet steel, whilst S275 is the industry standard structural steel grade. S355 has an even higher yield strength than S275. Finally, we stock hollow section in S235 which is the equivalent to S275 in hollow section form, as opposed to sheet form.
  • What grade of Stainless Steel should I use?
    The majority of our stainless steel work is in grade 304 for it's balance of anti corrosive properties and cost. You can "upgrade" to 316 for applications such as the food or marine industry for it's additional anti corrosive properties, or "downgrade" to 430 to save on cost.
  • What grade of Aluminium should I use?
    We stock sheet aluminium in grade 1050 as it's the most ductile for our forming processes. Another commonly available sheet grade is 5251 which is known for rapidly work hardening. Structural grade 6063 is also available in sheet form where stronger plates are required, but we do not risk bending or forming due to the likelihood of cracking. Hollow section aluminium is stocked in grade 6063 as standard.
  • What is Galvanised sheet or Zintec?
    Galvanised sheet is carbon steel that has been pre-galvanised (dipped in molten zinc) before fabrication. Zintec is an alternative carbon sheet that has been electroplated (the application of zinc via electrolysis) prior to fabrication. Both forms offer greatly improved anti-corrosive properties over raw carbon steel, for much less cost than galvanising or electroplating after the fabrication process. This material is typically used for plates or bracketry as fabrications still run the risk of rusting at the welds if left untreated. We stock zintec rather than galvanised material.
  • What materials are available other than Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminium?
    Brass and Copper are other examples of materials than can be used in the fabrication processes, along with other "exotic" metals. We unfortunately don't work with these materials.
  • What thickness materials do you use?
    Sheet material is readily available from 0.5mm-20mm. Thicker material is also available in other forms. There's a massive range of sizes available in section, just let us know what you're after. Section includes: Flat bar Square or round solid bar Square or rectangular box section Round tube Equal or unequal Angle
  • What services do you offer?
    We offer a complete On-Stop fabrication services. See our individual Services web pages for more details, or get in touch if you need to check something specific. Design Laser Cutting Folding / Bending Welding / Fabrication Finishing Assembly Inspection Delivery
  • What are the largest parts you can make?
    Standard sheet sizes are up to 3m long and 1.5m wide which is the constraint on individual components. However we can of course join pieces together (by welding or otherwise) to create almost any size required! Hollow section tubes typically come in 6 - 7.5m lengths (depending on material).
  • What size holes can you put in material?
    Most holes are cut on our CNC laser cutter. A good rule of thumb is that the smallest hole you can laser is the same diameter as the thickness of the material. Smaller holes can be laser marked and manually drilled at extra cost. The only upper limit on the hole we can laser is the size of the part itself. We can manually drill all standard metric sizes and common imperial sizes. Non-round holes are almost always cut on the laser for a fast, tidy finish.
  • Are parts left with sharp edges?
    Laser cutting leaves a much cleaner, smoother finish than traditional cutting methods. However, we always double check edges for sharpness and deburr where required.
  • What type of welding do we use?
    Depending on the application we use: MIG welding (fastest) TIG welding (neatest) Stick welding Spot welding (for thin material)
  • What materials can you weld?
    We can weld all the materials that we supply: Carbon Steel Stainless Steel Aluminum Galvanised / Zintec
  • What are the limitations of folding sheet material?
    Folding machines (known as press brakes) have maximum tonnages and bend lengths. We have machinery up to 3m long and 100T which is sufficient for all our folding requirements. The more common restraint is what dimensions different tooling can achieve. We have a range of tooling for different material thicknesses. See the table below, where "B" represents the minimum flange length that can be achieved for different tooling (defined by the "V" width). The rule of thumb is that V should by 7.5x the material thickness. A larger V can be used to increase the internal radius, but a smaller V risks indenting the material. When folding a "U" shape channel, the width of the channel must be equal or greater than the depth of the channel to prevent the part crashing into the tooling.
  • Can you bend hollow section tube?
    Yes! Round tube can be bent to a given radius depending on the tooling. Each set of tooling has a fixed tube diameter and radius that it can form, so tooling is limited to standard target dimensions. Just ask if you have a critical dimension to be achieved. Non-round tube can also be formed in the same way with specialist equipment. We use local bending specialists where this process is required.
  • Can you roll curves out of sheet metal?
    Yes! We have automated rollers than from form sheet material into continuous curves for application such as rolling a cylinder. Our rollers are limited to 1200mm long, but can roll from 100mm to 1000mm diameter in a single piece. For any requirements outside those limits, we have local bending specialists can can for the parts we need to complete a fabrication.
  • How do you assemble sheet metal parts?
    We can add various different threaded studs, bushes or standoffs to make your life easier when assembling parts. These fasteners come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common methods of fixing them are: Clinch Nut / Stud (where the fixing is pressed into the material surface) Hank / Rivet Bush (where a flanged nut passes through a whole to grip the material from the other side) Weld Stud (where a stud is welded to a material face via a stud gun) Rivet (a fastener then passes through a hole which is only accessible from one side and is compressed until it grips the material)
  • What finishes are available in Carbon Steel?
    The most common finishes are: Natural (left as raw steel) Powder coated (painted for aesthetic purposes and to delay corrosion) Plated (a thin shiny zinc coating via electrolysis to prevent corrosion) Galvanised (a thicker mottled zinc coating via dipping in a bath of molten zinc to prevent corrosion) Hardened (develops the optimum combination of hardness, strength and toughness)
  • What finishes are available in Stainless Steel?
    The most common finishes are: Natural (left as raw steel) Powder coated (painted for aesthetic purposes) Pickled (to remove any burn marks from welding) Passivated (to remove surface contaminants) Polished (to give a shiny finish) Mirrored (the most extensive polish)
  • What finishes are available in Aluminium?
    The most common finishes are: Natural (left as raw steel) Powder coated (painted for aesthetic purposes) Annodised ( to improve resistance to corrosion)
  • Are welds visible?
    We typically "dress" welds on the outside of parts by grinding away any excess material. This means that a joint becomes invisible if the part is painted. Joints requiring additional strength will typically have the weld left as laid. Welds that are hidden on the inside corner of a joint are typically left as they are difficult to access.
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