FABRICATION

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FABRICATION 2018-03-07T15:26:00+00:00

Fabrication is the term generally used to describe the process of making parts, assemblies and products by combining one or more individual components into a composite (or fabricated) end product. The individual parts can be produced by a vast range of available manufacturing processes and similarly they can be joined by variety of means.

Individual parts that make up a fabrication usually start out as a piece of bulk raw material. Typically they are cut from full length bar or tube stock or profiled from large plate or sheet stock.

Parts can be cut, folded, bent and otherwise shaped to virtually any geometry conceivable. They can be joined together either temporarily or permanently by means of bolting, riveting, brazing and welding to name but a few processes.

Ashland Engineering specialises in producing fabricated parts using the methods described above. Our manufacturing capabilities include all key processes needed to do general light duty fabrication work.

Cutting processes

Sawing – cold saw, band saw. Used for cutting bar or tube materials.

Guillotine – used for cutting thin sheet materials.

Plasma cutting – used for cutting shapes from sheet and plate. Hand-held plasma cutting allows accurate straight and curved cuts to be made quickly in a wide variety of material thicknesses.

Laser cutting – more accurate than plasma cutting, laser cutting is the go-to modern cutting technology for rapid, cost effective profiling of parts.

Tube notching – when welding tubular components together the tube end needs to be “notched” to give a fish mouth shape that allows it to butt up closely to the mating part. The tube notching machine can do this at a range of angles and creates a tight fit – this the key to producing a high quality welded joint in tube material.

Welding processes

MIG welding – a cost effective process for welding mild steel and stainless steel materials. Quality welds possessing full weld-penetration and minimal spatter are produced by our fully synergic welding machine.

TIG welding – a slower and technically more challenging process than MIG.  TIG welding produces premium weld quality and is the go-to process where cosmetic quality of the weld is a must. Our TIG machine operates in both DC mode, for mild steel and stainless steel applications, as well as AC mode for use on Aluminium. The machine is equipped with AC frequency control and pulse capability both of which gives greater flexibility for weld parameters allowing the setting to be “dialled in” exactly.

Spot welding – For quick strong “point” welds of sheet materials and where cosmetic appearance is not a concern our spot welding machine is a great way of producing fast joints in high volume quickly.

Forming processes

Box and Pan folder – a manual sheet metal folding process used to make boxes, trays and shallow formed parts in thin gauge sheet metal. The folder has a very quick set up time and is repeatable and accurate. Ideal for small batch runs.

Hydraulic Press Brake – a hydraulic press with special tooling and very high tonnage. The press brake is the most common process for production of sheet metal parts. Control of stroke length and back-gauge allow accurate bends to be made time and again. With the right tooling complex folding operations can be achieved. The machine is capable of bending thicker stock that cannot be folded on the box and pan folder.

Tube bender – our CNC rotary draw bender can quickly and accurately bend tubes. A series of bends can be programmed and stored into the machine allowing rapid production of multiple parts. Different sizes of tooling allow a wide variety of tube diameters and bend-radii to be worked.

Bar benders – our manual bar benders allows solid stock (round, square, flat bar) to be bent accurately and repeatably.

Roll bender – this machine is used to create shallow curves rather than tight bends in bar and tube stock. The material is passed through the rollers under pressure taking shape with each pass. Complete circles can even be produced.

Sheet metal rolls – this process is used to create cylindrical and conical curves in sheet metal. It can also create complete cylinders and cones. Like the roll bender, the sheet material is passed repeatably through three rollers under pressure taking on more curve with each pass.

English wheel – this amazing machine us used to form compound (double curvature) shapes from thin gauge sheet metal. Historically car bodies were made using this highly skilled technique and the process is still widely used for creation of bespoke items such as motorcycle tanks, fenders, classic and custom car bodies, etc.

Shrinker / stretcher – another highly skilled sheet metal technique used widely for car body and bespoke sheet metal items. The machine is used to create a concave or a convex curve along the edge of a strip of metal. Often used in conjunction with the English Wheel for similar applications.

Manual processes

No engineering workshop would be complete without a collection of hand tools to undertake numerous specialist processes. Many are tools you will not find in the average workshop.

Aircraft rivet guns and Cleco pins, pop riveters, riv-nut insertion tools, edge jogglers, punches, hand and hydraulic presses, shot bags, numerous specialized sheet metal hammers and mallets, forming dollies, shaping bucks, die grinders, angle grinders, fillet-weld grinders, taps, dies, drills, reamers, hole cutters, hole presses . . . .

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Quality & Customer Service…

We provide a friendly,  professional service and strive to deliver a positive customer experience in all that we do.

Read our Testimonials & Customer Reviews

CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS

“We have used  Ashland Engineering since around 2011 for a variety of design-and-make projects around the factory. Andrew worked closely with us on a number of projects to design and manufacture bespoke items used on our Production Line such as assembly fixtures, bench-extensions, special purpose frames, wheeling-dollies, etc. Parts were delivered in the agreed lead times and the quality of workmanship is good.”

Steve N, Production Manager; Traka Assa Abloy

“Andrew and his company were very helpful in listening to our needs (specs) and delivering the required parts as detailed and on time. Happy with the service provided and would recommend to others looking for a personal, tailored approach to customer service and bespoke parts.”

M Cain, River Island

“We approached Ashland Engineering to design and make a steel dining table base for a large piece of quartz we had purchased. Andrew was very helpful with choose the right materials and coming up with the exact design and style we wanted. He even helped us pick out the right shade of paint. The table was made to a high quality level in the agreed time-frame. The finished piece looks stunning, everyone comments on it. We are very happy with the service we received from Ashland Engineering – highly recommended.”

Mr S. Hussein, Milton Keynes

Quality is a thread that runs through everything we do…

Our commitment to continuous quality improvement is demonstrated by our ISO9001 certification showing our Quality Management System meets this internationally recognised standard.

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