Every custom fabrication is a mixture of art and science. The “science” comes from implementing the latest equipment and the techniques of well-trained people. With modern technology we can achieve much greater speed and accuracy than in days past by using design software to create three-dimensional models and then using state-of-the art machinery to cut and form custom shapes.
But we cannot overlook the artistry involved. If a custom fabricator concentrates only on the science, then they may excel in fabricating but lose their ability to modify designs to fit the needs and budgets of the customer.
Designing custom solutions requires the fabricator to determine exactly what the customer is trying to accomplish and utilize their knowledge of methods and materials available to accomplish the desired look and functionality. As an example, we might want to use carbon steel due to its workability and relatively low material cost, but to get the desired finish we might then clad the exposed surfaces with thin mirror polished stainless steel.
Over our 40+ years in business, we have had many opportunities to meld our creativity and fabrication expertise to achieve the finished products that our customers desired. As an example, Astro Sheet Metal was chosen to design and build the mirror-polished flagman’s stand at a major NASCAR track. After seeing the finished product, three other NASCAR tracks asked for the design to be replicated for their facilities. We are proud to see these custom solutions on television when the checkered flag comes down on these NASCAR events!
Another example was a customer who came to us wanting some rectangular brushed stainless steel columns. They wanted these vertical columns to taper from the bottom to the top of their 11-foot span, with sharp corners and no exposed fasteners, and they needed to be structurally functional as well. After putting our heads together, we were able to utilize some out-of-the-box ideas to create these columns to spec and within budget.
Not everything that we see is shiny and decorative. Several years ago a toll road management company came to us with a problem. Their cameras were mounted in such a way that if a tall truck were to hit a camera, the entire row of cameras could be brought down. They needed a system that was adjustable, and yet stable in high winds and durable enough to withstand an impact. Astro Sheet Metal created a serrated clamping system that would allow each individual camera to “break away” in the event of an impact, protecting the overall system from collapse while maintaining the structural needs. This system worked well and was implemented at several toll stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
If you face a situation where you know the desired need or look, without having a clear idea of how to achieve it, please call Astro Sheet Metal. We can use our experience to help you design and create solutions that work!