Custom metal fabrication is the best way to create conveyor systems, pressure and storage vessels, unique parts, exhausts and feeders, as well as storage systems for food production. But not all metal fabricators are alike. So when you need to meet strict safety, sanitation, and utility demands for a food or beverage production line, there are a few things to expect from the process of custom metal fabrication.
Look for metal fabricators that are strictly ASME, or American Society of Mechanical Engineers certified to deliver a product that's manufactured by universal engineering guidelines and standards. Metal fabrication can be done in many shops that have the proper equipment, but still don't manufacture to meet ASME certification standards.
In order to ensure that your product performs optimally during stress tests, meets safety standards, and exceeds operational demands, it helps to use a metal fabricator that's certified and can adhere to the ASME manufacturing guidelines.
Materials and Measurement Traceability
Using ASME certification is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the custom product your ordering, but having a facility that employs materials and measurement traceability is also important.
Materials traceability refers to the chronological chain of events that's documented throughout the process of manufacturing. It's the only way to determine all sources and handling of the materials used in manufacture to ensure quality control. Having documentation of standards in comparison to controls is what accounts for measurement traceability, and it involves routine calibration of production equipment to meet universal standards.
Calibration in manufacturing facilities must be performed by a third party that can test and adjust equipment regularly for manufacturing control, so you should always hire a fabricator that can demonstrate routine calibration with documentation. If a fabricator claims to employ materials traceability, they should also be able to give you a detailed list of all sourcing and handling of the materials used in production, so you can ensure that your parts are safe for food production.
Due to the unique and ever-changing demands of metal fabrication for universal industries, it helps to hire a company that makes routine upgrades and technological improvements to their own equipment. Metal manufacturers that produce materials of high quality need to invest in keeping their own tools and manufacturing processes up-to-date.
So when you begin the process of looking for a metal fabricator, it helps to hire someone that has machinery that's current, well-maintained, and equipped to handle the customized needs of your order. If at any point, you feel that the prototype of your product will not meet your utility and quality standards, you should hire someone else to finish your custom order.