What is a Fabrication Shop? What are the types of Fabrication Shops? What types of tradesmen work in Fabrication Shops?

What is a Fabrication Shop?

A fabrication shop is a workshop where fabrication happens of any sort. Fabrication is a term which refers to building metal structures and assemblies. Raw steel comes into a shop in rough sizes, ie. Plate Sheets 4' x 8', I-Beams in 20'-0 to 40'-0 lengths etc. After they are brought into the shop in these sizes, they are cut, bent (if needed) and assembled. Steel is cut with a saw, shear or run through a CNC (Computer Numeric Controlled) line.A beam line works by the user putting an I-Beam onto a roller in the front and then the machine (using the CNC data for calculations) will drill the holes on the beams in the right locations. The bending is typically done on a press brake which is a large piece of machine capable of bending plate steel to form 'Angle' like shapes. If a piece is to rolled or curved, it will be done in a special shop which focus is on steel rolling.


Fabrication Shop_rolling

Steel being rolled in a shop.

Fabrication Shop_press-brake
Steel Press Brake
(Nelson Steel Products)

The assembling of the steel is usually done with various welding techniques. The main type of welding in a Fabrication Shop would be MIG and Stick welding. If the shop is more involved in stainless steel or aluminum , there might be also TIG welding. We will not get into too much depth about welding here, as its an art on its own.

Fabrication Shops are commonly referred to as fab shops and they can be built to suit the needs of the company. For example , if a fabrication company primarily fabricates 'building' steel (ie, schools, churches , and stores) they might be better off with a CNC beam line to facilitate the ease of structural beams and columns (typically used in the above mentioned) in their shop. Whereas a shop which main focus in pipes and vessels will not find much use in a beam line, and might have auto-welders to do seams on the pipes.

What kind of tradesmen work in a Fabrication Shop?

The tradesmen found in these fab shops would be typically : welders, fitters, plate worker, CNC operators, general laborer, and other machine operators.

The order in which each would be used in a typical fab shop:

raw steel comes in(general laborer), Cut to length (CNC operator), holes drilled (CNC operator), pieces 'roughly' attached (fitter), pieces finally attached (welder), finished prodcut out (general laborer)

The end product is that which is considered Fabricated in a Fabrication Shop.
Rough or raw material goes in - custom products come out.