Simplify, Consolidate, Save: 8 Key Benefits of Component Consolidation in Metal Fabrication

Here at ASM, we believe that efficient sheet metal fabrication starts with simplification.

One way of streamlining the fabrication process is with component consolidation. When feasible, this time and cost-saving strategy allows metal fabrication shops to integrate two or more separate components into a unified piece.

Read on to learn about the benefits of component consolidation for sheet metal fabrication and what you can do to facilitate the process for your fabricator.

How Can You Benefit from Component Consolidation?

Component Consolidation

If you’ve partnered with a sheet metal fabrication shop to produce multiple components for a single piece, there’s a good chance consolidation is possible.

Component consolidation offers an array of advantages, including:

  1. Reduced assembly time: With fewer parts to assemble, the overall assembly time for your project will decrease.
  2. Lower assembly costs: Using fewer parts will mean less labor will be required for your project, lowering your overall fabrication costs.
  3. Improved structural integrity: Consolidated components often have greater structural integrity than multiple separate parts. For example, given that welds and fasteners between individual parts might lead to weak points in assemblies, a well-designed, single part can optimize your piece’s strength and rigidity.
  4. Enhanced appearance: Consolidation can eliminate visible seams and joints, resulting in a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing final product.
  5. Streamlined fabrication processes: Assemblies that require fewer parts also require fewer manufacturing steps. Component consolidation reduces the complexity of fabrication processes and potentially decreases production errors.
  6. Weight reduction: Consolidating components allows your metal fabrication shop to eliminate redundant materials or joining features and thereby lower the weight of your piece, a particularly attractive benefit for aerospace and automotive assemblies.
  7. Design flexibility: The opportunity to consolidate components grants designers the flexibility to create more innovative and optimized assemblies with complex geometries and additional features.
  8. Overall cost savings: Consolidating parts often leads to material savings, reduced tooling costs, and lower manufacturing overhead, resulting in overall cost savings for the manufacturer.

How Can I Help My Fabricator Consolidate My Components?

When it comes to sheet metal fabrication, there are no evident drawbacks to competent consolidation—it’s simply best practice! However, component consolidation isn’t without its challenges, namely when it comes to design.

Above all, it’s important to design assemblies with component consolidation in mind. Rather than looking at an assembly as a series of individual parts that will eventually need to be put together, designers should approach each as a larger whole so that they can more ably identify fitment issues.

In practice, you can help your fabricator consolidate your components by remembering some simple dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t send assembly components over individually using separate line items or entirely separate purchase orders.
  • Don’t have different components from the same assembly fabricated with different metal fabrication shops just because it’s cheaper.
  • Do provide assembly files that contain explicit directions about which components you’d like consolidated and context about each component’s end use.
  • Do trust all components from a single assembly to one shop so that nothing gets lost in translation.

In addition to reducing the chance that you’ll need to fix your designs or spend more to remake parts, following this advice will give your fabricator the chance to identify opportunities for consolidation (and further savings) that you might have missed.

Let ASM Take the Guesswork Out of Component Consolidation

At ASM, we have the experience and expertise to take the guesswork out of component consolidation for your assembly, no matter its end-use.

Our team will work tirelessly to ensure you reap the benefits of component consolidation, including advising you on assembly file submission, finding opportunities for consolidation that may have gone overlooked, and delivering you an expertly fabricated assembly that meets your specifications and needs.

Request a quote today to save time and money on your next sheet metal project!

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