Metal fabrication can mean different things to different customers. Metal fabricators offer a surprisingly wide range of services. This means that choosing a metal fabricator for your job might be confusing.

A metal fabricator can be anything from a small, one-person shop to a huge multinational corporation. These different types of metal fabricators serve different clients, meeting different needs.

If you’ve ever had a job requiring metal fabrication, you may have asked yourself, what type of metal fabricator do I need?
Let’s break down the most common types of metal fabricators and discuss the differences.

Specialized Metal Fabrication

Some metal fabricators specialize in a particular capability. For instance, a company might be skilled in laser cutting, or welding, and focus on that particular service. These fabricators often support and work with other fabricators who specialize in other, often complementary, capabilities.


Small, One-Person Weld Shops

Small, often one-person weld shops specialize in one-off jobs and prototyping. This would be your local welder, and they’ll work on a variety of projects, such as fixing welds or custom one-off projects.


Tube Fabricators

Tube fabricators specialize in cutting, forming and welding various types of tubes. They work with different tube shapes such as round, square or rectangular. They start with a long section of tube and cut, bend and weld it into useable products for a variety of applications. Fitness equipment, vehicles and furniture are just some of the products a tube fabricator might produce.


Structural Steel Fabricators

Structural steel fabricators specialize in engineering and manufacturing parts used in construction. They work with thick-plate metal and other large products, such as I-beams. They produce large, heavy products that must be fabricated on site or lifted with large cranes or other erecting equipment.


Sheet Metal Fabricators

A sheet metal fabricator is similar to a tube fabricator except instead of starting with raw tube, they begin with a flat sheet of metal. This flat sheet is then cut into various shapes and profiles and secondary operations create products out of the metal.

Sheet metal fabricators can be divided into various sub-categories, depending on the product mix, the volume of product produced and the size of product produced.

Some sheet metal fabricators create large, thick parts, such as tanks. Others create precision components. These precision components are generally classified as small enough for one person to carry.


Where does Midlake fit?

Midlake is a sheet metal fabricator making precision parts, small assemblies and weldments. We’re a high mix; low-mid volume manufacturer.

We offer a diverse range of capabilities, so if the product you need produced requires a variety of features, we’re a great partner. We add value because we can handle many different processes, cost efficiently, under one roof.

Our advanced software helps us get those parts right the first time, and we maintain excellent document and program control. This ensures repeatability.  

If you need a sheet metal fabricator for precision components, Midlake is ready to help.

Contact us to discuss how we can meet your metal fabrication needs.